Musicians and their dogs

[Elisa F.G. is helping out whilst I purge some kidney stones from my system. – AC]

“You never lie and you don’t cheat and you don’t have any baggage tied to your four feet” Is a lyric from Man of the Hour off Norah Jones’ third studio album Not Too Late. Raise your hand if you agree with Norah Jones and have professed similar sentiments to your the pet?

Ok good. Now raise your hand if you love animals so much you have professed similar sentiments to someone else’s pet, even dogs you just met two minutes ago in the park or that cat in your neighbour’s driveway you just walked by. If you agree with Norah Jones and raised your hand twice, you are definitely an animal lover through and through.

Next question. (No prizes though, just bragging rights.) What do Lilly Allen, Kirk Hammett and Alan Cross have in common?

They all share an affinity for English bull terriers. Alan and Kirk have even discussed this topic on more than one occasion, swearing by the breed and the level of companionship they provide. You know what they say: “Once you go bull terrier you never go harrier.” (No one says that, but they should.)

[Here’s Kirk meeting Schmooze–who passed away last week at age 15–at an event a couple of years ago. Schmooze also met The Clown from Slipknot and a few other musicians in her day. Lily Allen , Eric Clapton, Liam Gallagher, and Taylor Swift are all current or former BT caregivers.- AC]

The Queen loved her flock of corgis and she had a few in her time but the most dogs ever owned by one person was 5,000 mastiffs, Kublai Khan (Genghis Khans’ grandson) was known for his great kennel of dogs. Imagine being his next-door-neighbour? Hopefully the real-estate agent would stipulate that before letting anyone sign the dotted line.

Either way, here are seven songs you may have not known were about dogs (or at least featured them.)

1. Seamus – Pink Floyd

Unlike the “Dogs” of Animals, which equates record company executives with evil canines, Seamus the German Shepard was an actual dog. He didn’t belong to anyone in the band but he did belong to Steve Marriott (Humble Pie) who was totally cool with Seamus laying down tracks for Pink Floyd. Last track on the A-side of Meddle is titled “Seamus” doing his thing.

2. I Love My Dog – Cat Stevens

Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think? Ya I really do think but it’s true. A song by a Cat for a dog.

3. Martha My Dear – The Beatles

Good ol’ Martha the sheepdog belonged to Paul McCartney, she was 15 when she passed but she did leave behind a little furry legacy, she had pups and one of them even followed in her paw prints and made it onto a Beatles record just like momma Martha.

4. Man of the Hour – Norah Jones

The title of the tune was dedicated to her poodle, Ralph.

5.Black Dog – Led Zeppelin

During the recording of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, a nameless black lab was wandering the grounds of Headley Grange in the English countryside where the band had set up shop. The song itself has nothing to do with the dog, but when it needed a name, someone said “black dog!” and it stuck.

6. Love My Dog – Sublime

Bradley Nowel loved Lou Dog, a dalmatian that served as Sublime’s canine mascot and occasionally showed up on record. That’s Lou Dog at the beginning of “Waiting for My Ruca” on the 40 oz to Freedom album. Lou Dog went everywhere with Sublime and was with Bradley when he overdosed at the Ocean View Hotel in San Francsico on May 25, 1996. Lou Dog himself died on September 17, 2001.

7. Jane’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealing

Not a song about a dog, but we do hear Annie barking at the beginning. Perry Farrell explained her contributions to Rolling Stone: “I’d got her from a dog shelter and she was quite needy, so I brought her down to the studio that day rather than leave her at home… I’m singing in the booth with the headphones on and Annie gets all excited and starts going, ‘Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!’… The fact that she ended up on the track was just pure coincidence.”

You got any favourite rock-and-dog songs?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38403 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Musicians and their dogs

  • I’m kinda partial to Westies but English Bull Terriers are good too!

    Cosmo and Robbie send the luv to Schmooze!


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