Monday, May 25, 2020

50 Years of Music • April - May, 1970

50 Years of Music Series • 1970
January - March | April - May

Howard McIntosh Sr. (top row 3rd from right) - Santa Maria High School Varsity Baseball Team 1924 or 1925
April and May of 1970 reminds me of freshmen high school baseball. I wasn't the greatest player but was fast enough to often beat out an infield hit. On the defensive side I played first base. I loved playing first base simply for the reason that the ball usually came to my glove from a variety of infield hits, almost every inning. As a freshmen, I followed the crowd and played football and baseball. In hindsight, I wish I had focused on cross-country, track, and tennis.

But, that's not why I started this blog. The picture above, hangs in my bedroom/bathroom area and I look at this picture almost everyday. If you look at my grandfather's teammates, they are wearing the uniform of the day which was probably made of wool. Now my outstanding memory at 15 of playing baseball for the Santa Maria Saints was not any special play I made, it was the very old hand-me-down uniforms they gave us to wear. I swear to God, they gave us these wool baseball uniforms that could have been just a few years removed from my grandfather's playing days. My long-term memory on this one is specifically tactile, it was the constant goddamned itching of my uniform on warm spring days! 

Now my outstanding musical memory of 9th grade was Let It Be

In 1964, I saw The Beatles first appearance on  the Ed Sullivan Show on a Sunday night after church. We were in our living room with our good friends, the Reyburn family. So my brother Steve, sister Stephanie, and the three Reyburn children (Steve, Cheryl, and Brenda) and I are were all huddled around the TV with our parents sitting behind us. As the Beatles are performing, my dad (Buddy) and Mr. (Lee) Reyburn are making fun of The Beatles and we are telling them to, "SHUSH!"

Now fast forward to the summer of 1970, and I'm on a backpacking trip in the Sierra's with Lee and son Steve, my dad, and my brother Steve, all jammed in our family Vista Cruiser station wagon. We had a fantastic week hiking and fishing, and make it back to our parked car near the old China Peak Resort. We all pile into the car exhausted, and my dad drives home. At some point on the trip back home, my dad turns on the radio and after a while the song Let It Be comes on. We all sit silently and listen to the entire song. Lee Reyburn turns around from his front seat to us kids in the back, looks at me directly and says, "That is a beautiful song and I give The Beatles a lot of credit for writing such a song." Lee Reyburn was a real nice man and I liked him very much, and on that day, I connected with him for the rest of my life. Rest in peace, Buddy and Lee.

Now the playlist this week is chock-full of wonderful albums experienced at the time, and more discovered and appreciated later.

On this Memorial Day, there are several songs in the playlist that cover aspects of soldiers and the Vietnam war. As a 15 year old, I experienced the Vietnam War through the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. In the summer of 1970, CBS aired a documentary in prime time called, The World of Charlie Company. I was glued to the TV watching an embedded film crew follow the 100+ soldiers of C (Charlie) Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in 1970 during the Vietnam War.

The unit routinely patrols the harsh, heat-filled Vietnamese jungles in War zone C near the Cambodian border west of Saigon looking for enemy contact and supplies. The soldiers are worn down on every patrol by the exhausting conditions of heat, dense foliage and biting insects. The troops express diverse opinions about fighting the war. One soldier who opposes the war says he hasn't fired his weapon, a mortar, since arriving in South Vietnam. Others talk about killing the enemy as routine. "Killing gooks don't mean nothing," says one. The medic, a pacifist, says, "Killing for peace just don't make sense." The troops talk about their lives back in the United States that they commonly refer to as "back in the world."
Wikipedia

This documentary rocked my little world! I realized I was just three to four years younger than many of the boys fighting in the jungle for their lives everyday. God bless those boys! (I have included 3 video clips of Charlie Company at the end of my playlist. The first clip, was filmed on the morning of my 15th birthday.)

Okay, I'll finish this one on a happy note. I started dating my girl friend, Mary Kit in the spring of 1973. After coming back from a first date movie, the original Bloom in Love, we sat together on a red ottoman in her family room and listened to the 1970 Mona Bone Jakon album by Cat Stevens. Our first, 'our song' was Lady D'Arbanville. The red ottoman now resides in our living room.

Enjoy this playlist, and stay well my friends!



References

Note 1 - On the McCartney album, since I did a blog on the subject a few weeks back, I decided to just add the songs I didn't feature in A 'What if' Album: Apple Scruffs • The Beatles.

Note 2 - On May 11, 1970 the triple album, Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More was released. I chose not to feature it here, as I've written about Woodstock previously and usually don't feature live or compilation albums. However, in this playlist I do sneak in several songs from The Who's Live at Leeds.

Monday, May 18, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • April-May • 2020

#NewMusicMonday Series • 2020
January-March | April-May

In March, I started a new and reoccurring blog series that I call #NewMusicMonday. I plan to highlight new music releases hopefully during a current one, two, or thee month stretch throughout the year. This installment is for April-May, but it's really impossible for me to find and capture on a playlist every song released at a particular month. 

So this month, you will see some of my new favs I found dating back to January that I missed in my January-March installment. I may also throw in an old song that's been recently recorded. For example, I have several #StayAtHome videos of Jimmy Fallon and James Taylor songs that I think you will enjoy. I may also throw in a song or two I haven't heard before. Paul Hobbs sent me a 2019 Keb' Mo'/Taj Mahal song plus several new releases, and I added a 2019 video from Rosie Flores who played the San Diego club circuit in the 1970's with Rosie and the Screamers, and rekindled some fond memories. 

Purchase or Stream on Amazon
For this week's playlist I have 69 songs. For me, one album stands out above the rest, James Elkington's 
Ever-Roving Eye

An epiphany… a cryptic storyteller and dazzling acoustic guitarist. – Rolling Stone 

Elkington stands apart among the wave of 21st century guitar soloists. Beautiful, complex, and assured.
– Pitchfork

Stay well my friends, music always helps.



References

Monday, May 11, 2020

Outdoor Exercise In The Time Of Coronavirus: Who was that masked man?

Holy Bat-Distancing Catwoman
Four weeks ago,
Mary Kit and I started wearing masks. Oh no not that kind... maybe you thought the former Kindergarten and Pre-School teachers had finally lost it at our #StayatHome... maybe a little too much dramatic play?

No, I'm actually talking about the handmade cloth pandemic face masks people have been crafting at home. We started wearing them while at the grocery store and noticed that several young people avoided making eye contact in the aisles and several older people looked at us with a visible look of distain.

This past week everybody had an assortment of face masks on in the store.

My favorite is the, "Ma'am I'm not robbing a bank bandana, I'm just here for the Noosa yogurt."

Three weeks ago,
Mary Kit and I started wearing our masks on our morning walk together, and me on my run in our urban neighborhood. Only the older people were wearing masks, and no runners or bicyclists had a mask on.

On May 1st,
All San Diego County residents are now required to wear a cloth face mask while out in public. On our walk now we see about 1/2 of the public are following this new requirement. Again, older folks are leading by example, not to mention the fact that many in this age group may have a compromised immune system. We have also observed more women wearing masks at about a 2:1 ratio over men.

Most annoying, is my own running and biking brother and sisters continuing NOT to mask up!
I bruise you
You bruise me
We both bruise too easily
Too easily to let it show
I love you and that's all I know

The lyrics above are from the Jimmy Webb song, All I Know (video link), a big hit for Art Garfunkel in 1973. The song came on my phone music app while on a run last week. On that run, I made a parody of that song in my head while passing mostly people without masks.
I mask for you
will you mask for me
we all mask so individually
so individually please let it show
I run on with my sweaty glow

Kit's Crafts "Go Hawks"
You don't need a TV shrink or pundit telling you to get outdoors these days. Its simple common sense, we all need to get outdoors, breathe fresh air and exercise for our mental and physical well-being, all the while social distancing.

Wearing a mask is such a drag, and that's something 100% of us can probably agree on. Now if you are a runner or bicyclist, it's beyond a drag, it's a hyperventilation mini sweatbox!

My mask in 'ready position'
If you are walking outdoors, here is what most people are practicing while wearing their mask. You wear the mask down at your chin in 'ready position.' When someone approaches you from about 25 feet away, you get your mask up and keep it up for 25 feet past you, then pull it back down to your chin. We try to stay 10-25 ft. away from everyone while walking, and will go into the street if needed to avoid people completely. People do the same with us, and we appreciate that so much. 

Now more than ever, it is important to have our social skills, and say, "Good morning" and a wave is always good, especially to the adults and kids not wearing masks.

If you're out walking or running and encounter a runner or bicyclist, you need to mask up 25 yards before they pass you and keep it on 50 yards after they have passed you . If a runner or bicyclist passes you from behind, you need to get out of their direct 'vapor trail' path and stay 50 yards behind. 

I have no statistical data to back these distances up, it's just my common sense telling me to be cautious in a pandemic and insure the 'aerosol effect' has evaporatedPublic health experts like to refer to bigger particles that are heavy and thus fall fast as “droplets,” and tiny particles that evaporate faster than they can fall as “aerosols.” When a virus is transmissible as aerosols, they say it’s “airborne”(Vox). Also, the 25 yards before guideline seems to be a good visual cue for both parties to mask up (if they have one). This has just been my personal experience.

Also, mask up when coming to a blind corner on a street of bend on the trail. People sometimes just appear out of nowhere.

I've discovered that the coronavirus is no time to attempt your PR (personal record) time on your course. Sometimes, I have to go way around people and into the street bike lane, or wait for a mom and her two little kids on the narrowest part of the trail to pass (always happens there). Memo to self- "Relax."

I would like to note that wearing a cloth mask is a little bit like the guys I see wearing those high altitude simulation training masks, you know the ones that make them look like they're in the cast of Mad Max: Fury Road. Since I've started wearing my cloth mask, it's in mask up mode longer and longer every week, and I'm slowly getting a bit faster in my up hill split times. (Update 5/18- I now wear a mask on for my entire run.) I also recommend having Altoids® with you on your run. The peppermint will cool your mouth with the mask on and I swear it has a calming effect while running.

If you are wearing glasses or sunglasses and they fog up in combo with wearing a mask, try Fog Gone, I love it!

Wearing a cloth mask while running is a bit like finding the right pair of running shoes, you have to go through a couple different models before you find the one that works for you.

Now is the mask meant to protect you, or the stranger? 

The mask is actually for the stranger. By wearing a mask you are protecting a stranger from catching this crazy virus because you don't know if you have the virus. Most all of us assume we don't. We feel fine, fine enough to get some exercise, so you may ask, "why do I need to wearing a f*#%ing mask, nobody else is?"

So a 'lil shoutout here to the exercising mask wearers! You're simply doing the right thing in trying to protect yourself and the strangers around you! What did your parents tell you, "All you can do is try." 

But please, DO NOT pull a Larry David-like scene with the people around you not wearing a mask. People don't like to be told what to do, and your little scolding is only going to backfire and cause that person to go deeper in their resistance to ever wearing a mask- for a stranger.

As a regular runner for some forty-seven years now (Mary Kit editing this, says,"nobody cares"), I thought runner's were kind of a cool breed of human. We smile and wave at each other, give each other the transcendental "good mornin" "howdy," or even a thumbs up as we pass each other.

However in recent weeks, I'm just starting to get an unspoken vibe by all the exercising walkers and dog walkers around me that maybe are thinking these joggers are just a bunch of perspiring pariahs. Here's some observations.
  • When I'm running mask up and approaching a non-masked person, there is often an uneasy look in their eye or body language.  I'm not the harmless old fart on the trail anymore. So if I'm now some aerosol can of sweat, why in Gotham City don't you have a mask on to protect yourself... especially on a popular and often narrow trail for runners?
  • A new walking woman on my regular trail route has turned her back to me while I approach her. In our previous two encounters, she was the one without the mask, so who is protecting me in this situation? Since the May 1st mask requirement, she now has a mask on which is a safer situation, for me. She still turns her back away from me, well okay. (5/18 update - She's back to not wearing a mask, turning her back and pulling up her tank top to cover her mouth.)
  • On three occasions in the past couple of weeks I've encountered a young couple walking without masks on the trail. When I get close, the guy always pulls up his t-shirt to cover his face when I go by, to I guess protect himself from the old masked running man. Am I hideous? Quasimodo? This is actually hilarious. The young woman does nothing, but I'm praying for the day she pulls her top up too! 
  • Now I've also started seeing people carry their mask in their hand on their walk, never even attempting to put it on as other walkers or runners approach them... posers. (update 5/8-Now I see a lot of people with their mask in 'ready position' but never attempt to mask up in a mask up situation.) This reminds me of the old Seinfeld skit where Jerry has a car reservation at a car rental. ("You have a mask, you just don't know how to use the mask.") Play the clip below and you'll see my point.


Below is  Seth Meyers to continue, and hit my points right on the head.



Symbol Charades
So why the weird vibe about wearing face masks while on a walk or run? On our walk there's this particular old guy without a mask, who just glares at us when we walk by, no "good morning" here.

In the past several weeks, the masks themselves have seemed to morph into a larger political game.

It's no secret that leaders model the behavior they want others to follow. Again, your parents may have told you, "Talk is cheap, it's what you do that matters."

Now unless you're living under a rock, you've seen the President or Vice President on TV make numerous public appearances at hospitals, factories or large facilities that I personally think would require face masks all around.

Leading by example? @ The Mayo Clinic w/ COVID-19 patient
So why are Trump and Pence overtly modeling to every man, women and child in America that wearing a face mask at close quarters public events is not important, in fact if you do, you're kind of a pussy. (Maybe a correlation with my 2:1 woman to man mask ratio observation earlier?)

"The decision to wear a mask in public is becoming a political statement — a moment to pick sides in a brewing culture war over containing the coronavirus. While not yet as loaded as a “Make America Great Again” hat, the mask is increasingly a visual shorthand for a debate pitting those willing to follow health officials’ guidance and cover their faces against those who feel it violates their freedom or buys into a threat they think is overblown." (NBC)

I also think it's coupled with "The Donald's" narcissism and old world political machismo bullshit where both Trump and Pence need to be SEEN as 'tough leaders' - nothing to worry about little sheep, this soon shall pass.

As ESPN would say, "C'mon man."

It's time for these two to man up! Wear the damn mask in public social distancing situations so that millions of Americans will follow your lead, and save some lives.
Mask up motherf*#%ers.

So what if I wear this mask, will that work for everyone? 

Of all the stuff I've heard about masks in this pandemic, an elderly woman being interviewed on the news said it best, "Is wearing a mask around town more uncomfortable than being on a ventilator in an ICU at the hospital?"

My Born To Run - Runner's Playlist
I've presented this before in my Team Tortoise blogs, but I've updated it again this week and think it might spark that bounce in your steps. Stay well my friends!

and, Rest in Peace Little Richard.




References
"Who was that masked man?"
The allusion to the masked man refers to the question often asked at the end of an episode of The Lone Ranger, a radio and television program featuring a vigilante cowboy, popular from the 1930s to the 1950s. 
–Library of Congress




Face Mask Resources

Monday, May 4, 2020

A 'What If' Album: All In • CSNY 1970

By Doug McIntosh & Paul Hobbs
(two fans and a fanciful rewrite of 1970)

A 'What if' Album Series:
Apple Scruffs • The Beatles 1970 | All In • CSNY 1970

Photograph by Jim Cummins • Morrison Hotel Gallery


Background
David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young came from successful bands. The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and The Hollies, collectively had more than a dozen hits in the middle sixties. But by 1968, Crosby is kicked out of the Byrds, Nash stifled and frustrated in the Hollies, and Stills, who’s band fell apart just as it seemed poised for greater things, were drifting, looking to be a part of something else.

Neil Young, Stills’ former bandmate in Buffalo Springfield, had left the band, came back, and left again, his final departure coming as they were preparing to play the Tonight Show, a major milestone in a young bands rise. Neil was not drifting. He embarked immediately on a solo career, releasing Neil Young in 1968, and Everybody Know This is Nowhere in 1969. He did not look back.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash had found each other in Laurel Canyon, joined forces and released their self-titled stunning debut album in May of 1969 to great acclaim.

It all seemed to make perfect sense...

Ahmet Ertegun
That was... until Ahmet Ertegun, the President of CSN's record company (Atlantic Records) made a bold suggestion to have Neil Young join the band and go out with them on their first tour together. After some wrangling among the three founding members, all agreed to have Neil join the band as a full member to become Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Fan Fantasy
If you are a loyal reader of Monday Monday Music, you know this subject has been well covered before in the May, 2019 blog-
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Celebrating 50 Years of Their Debut Album. In that blog, I (Doug) take the 'what if' position that Ertegun does not make the suggestion for Young to join the band and CSN is lead by Stills as that band continues to develop as a harmonious trio.

In my March 23rd blog this year, I wrote about the 50th anniversary of Déjà Vu • March, 1970. My co-author this week, Paul picks up on that read, and we start to bat around the notion, "What if Neil didn't bolt (again) after the 1970 Déjà Vu Tour." So this week, we are going down the rabbit hole together with the fan fantasy that Neil is either hit by lightning or better, sees a 1950's Pontiac Hearst on Sunset Blvd when he returns from that 1970 tour and has an epiphany- He's going to stay with Stills this time and be the greatest American band (even if he is from Canada, and Nash is from England).

Back to Reality for a Moment
Like CSN, CSNY wanted to be an even a bigger supergroup of individuals and declared that up front with their last-name-band-name brand. This was done by design as all band members intended to use CSN and now CSNY as a springboard for having solo careers basically following Neil's solo album playbook. By Neil agreeing to join CSN and CSN agreeing to sign this talented free agent, they were all literally banking on all-star name recognition for a lifetime, with Neil posed in perfect position to be a superstar.

CSNY's second gig together as the new band was not just any tour stop, it was the Woodstock Festival, August 18, 1969. In what would be the start of countless dysfunctional acts among the group, Neil refused to have himself filmed at Woodstock and threatened the cameramen if they took any pictures. Most fans didn't even realize Neil was at Woodstock until years later.

In March, 1970 CSNY released Déjà Vu and it tops the charts as the band intentions are fully actualized. (Déjà Vu, reached number one in several international charts in 1970, and remains their best selling album, going on to sell over 8 million copies with three hit singles. Wikipedia)

On May 4, 1970 unarmed college students are shot at by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, during a mass protest against the bombing in neutral Cambodia by United States military forces. Twenty-eight National Guard soldiers fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis. Wikipedia

David Crosby takes the May 15th, 1970 Life Magazine to Neil Young and encourages him to write the song Ohio, which he completes very quickly. The song is rehearsed by the band and recorded on May 21st in just a few takes. It is released in early June and climbs to #14 on the Billboard charts.

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the tragedy at Kent State. Let's just take a moment...

As young teenagers, Paul and I lived the Vietnam War and antiwar protests through our TV sets. The song Ohio brought the war and protests directly to our music listening as a single on our local AM radio station. CSNY opened a door to the the counterculture for many young people living in little towns like our's across America. Their music was powerful for a couple of young hippie wanna-be's as CSNY had more songs in the wings for our budding political awareness.

After releasing Ohio, and the 1970 summer tour, CSNY were on top of the world.

It all seemed to make perfect sense...

Then as quickly as it all came together, the band dissolves. So instead of a 4 Way Street coming together as a musical intersection, it's really four one-way streets all driving away from each other.

During 1970-1971, all four members made solo albums, and CSNY never attains the critical acclaim and chart performances from the original two classics Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Déjà Vu.

Neil Young                                 Stephen Stills                   David Crosby - If I Could           Graham Nash
After The Gold Rush                  Stephen Stills                    Only Remember My Name          Songs for Beginners
September 19, 1970                   November 16, 1970          February 22, 1971                       May 28th, 1971


and now for some... 

'What If' Pure Fan Fiction
It's July of 1970 and CSNY take the summer off from the second part of their 1969-1970 Tour. All four have agreed to meet in Los Angeles for mid-September rehearsals and recording for their third studio album scheduled for a December release date, and just in time for Christmas shoppers.

The young men, all previously intending to release solo albums in 1970 or 1970 have developed a killer instinct. They now know they have something special and this third CSN/CSNY album would put them in an elite class with the big three: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. And hey, The Beatles have just broken up in spring 1970, and CSNY sees their band moving into that big three band slot.

During that first tour, the band mates talked about the Stones and how they somehow managed to stay together as a team being, "all in." That phrase has kind of stuck with the boys and on July 9th in a Bloomington Sports Center dressing room (after their last first tour performance), agree to title the upcoming third album, All In.

1970 Fantasy-Band-Land Rules
  • Our album had to be a 12" vinyl LP (Long Playing) analog record with 23 minutes maximum play time per side. So back in 1970, a typical album had 12 songs or 6 songs per side.
  • Our fantasy album has seven songs on each side, almost taking up the entire 23 minutes per side. The thinking behind this- As four creative singer-songwriters, they have the songs! They also want to create a buzz in the music industry.
  • Songs picked for this 'What If' album would be from Neil, Stephen, David and Graham's solo albums released in 1970-71. This album will also include their hit single Ohio, and the B-side single, Find The Cost Of Freedom.
  • Think of these solo album songs as 'demo tracks' recorded without all four  participating to make a final definitive track with CSNY harmonies.
  • Use your imagination. For example, on Songs for Beginners, think of the boys harmonizing over Rita Coolidge's back up vocals.

All In • Release Date: December 7, 1970
All In represents a complete collaborative philosophy as the band wants to capture the spirit of making their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash. They are actually practicing Music is Love, not only in a hippie sense, but by each band member bringing in their best songs for the group album, it becomes a critically acclaimed hot selling classic.

From a business sense, the boys play the long game and will be much richer in the years ahead over the sales of their individual albums. (How come countless bands can't see this, other than being young and stupid drugged out self-loathing egomaniacs.)

If they're smart, they will take all the songs from the four 1970-71 individual albums not yet used, plus new songs always coming and continue to make CSNY albums, but only bringing in their best material for much of the 1970's. How's that for some historical fiction!

And in a last fan fantasy footnote-
Historically, they are not viewed as a wash out band by the mid-1970's with only two great albums to carry their legacy decades down the road and most everything Wasted On The Way.

All inAlbum Design
In creating our fake album, Paul and I wanted to capture the band's involvement in the Vietnam antiwar movement. The back cover photograph was taken at the Fillmore East. With a little help from Photoshop, I gave the album jacket a textured feel. We both remember getting Déjà Vu and Neil Young's Harvest (1972), where you not only heard the albums, but you tactually experienced them as well.




Ladies and Gentlemen
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young • All In 

Monday, April 27, 2020

A 'What if' Album: Apple Scruffs • The Beatles

By Doug McIntosh & Paul Hobbs
(two fans and a fanciful rewrite of 1970)

A 'What if' Album Series:
Apple Scruffs • The Beatles 1970 | All In • CSNY 1970

The Apple Scruffs were a loosely-knit group of hardcore Beatles fans who were known for congregating outside the Apple Corps building and at the gates of Abbey Road Studios in London during the waning days of Beatlemania, in the hope of seeing or interacting with one of the band members. The name was first coined by George Harrison, who also recorded the song "Apple Scruffs" as a tribute to them for his 1970 triple album All Things Must PassWikipedia 

I actually co-opted the idea for this What If blog series from my good friend Paul Hobbs. In high school, Paul started a fun tradition of putting together imaginary new Beatle albums after their breakup in April of 1970. Paul's process would be to create a cassette tape mix from the solo albums of the post-fab-four from that year or thereabouts. I would often go over to Paul's house and we would sit in his bedroom and listen to albums on his portable record player. Sometime in 1970, Paul invited me over and shared his new Beatle album mix tape with me and together we escaped into a Beatles-forever alternate universe.

Recently in our 2020 #stayathome phone conversations, we decided to go back fifty years and put our heads together to create what that followup album might have been from our perspective today. Without too much rancor (just kidding), we both came together with a side one of seven songs, and a side two of six songs for our 42 minute mythical vinyl album. 

First we needed some basic rules to follow.

A 'What If' Album - 1970 Fantasy-Band-Land Rules
  • Our album had to be a 12" vinyl LP (Long Playing) analog record with 23 minutes maximum play time per side. So back in the day, a typical album had 12 songs or 6 songs per side.
  • Songs picked for this 'What If' album would be from John, Paul, George, and Ringo's solo recordings, no later than 1970. 
  • Think of these solo album songs as 'demo tracks' recorded without all four Beatles participating to make a final definitive Beatle track.
    1969-1970 Beatle Discography
    Abbey Road was released September, 1969 and even though Let It Be was recorded earlier in January of 1969, it was released in May of 1970.

    1970 Solo Albums -
    Paul McCartney                         George Harrison                      John Lennon                              Ringo Starr - Single
    McCartney                                 All Things Must Pass               Lennon/Plastic Ono Band         It Don't Come Easy 
    April 17, 1970                           November 27, 1970                 December 11, 1970                   Recorded March & Oct. 1970

    Here's a fun B Side song found on Ringo's It Don't Come Easy single, called Early 1970. (YouTube video link)














    and now for a little fantasy.... Starting with our made up press release

    Hey ‘Scruffs’ Cheer Up Good News For Beatles Fans
    Actual 1970 Circus Magazine Cover
    Dan Lingman • August 14, 1970 • Circus Magazine

    In the aftermath of courtroom battles and breakup rumors, the Beatles have resurfaced at Abbey Road Studios where they’re putting the finishing touches on Apple Scruffs a new collection of Beatle songs tentatively slated for a fall release.

    “Apple Scruffs” comes from George’s affectionate term for the fans who gather outside the Apple offices day after day, hoping for some sort of connection with their heroes,” explains Neil Aspinall, head of Apple Corps. “With all the turmoil caused by the rumors of the Beatles imminent demise the fans have been very much on the Beatles’ minds. They seem genuinely reinvigorated and refocused. I was able to pop in on a session earlier in the week and the energy in the room was extraordinary! Everyone seems very excited.”

    With the prospect of a new Beatles album when it seemed like all was lost? That’s cause for excitement, not to mention a Beatles Christmas for all of us.

    and.... A 'What If' Album Fictional Narrative

    Apple Scruffs • Release Date: October 9, 1970
    It is spring 1970, Let It Be is topping the charts and the lads after a few rough patches on a winding road have gotten back to full-form with the critically acclaimed, Abbey Road. George continues to press John and Paul in getting more of his songs on Beatle albums as he now has a war chest of songs ready to go. In a recent interview George was asked about being a songwriter and he said, "the only reason I started to write songs was because I thought, well, if they can write them, I can write them."

    Ringo is now a movie star with the release of The Magic Christian and thinks his song, It Don't Come Easy will be a single at some point.

    A 'What If' Album Cover


    The band has all agreed that the Phil Spector experiment of producing Let It Be is behind them as he has returned to America, and his gun collection. George Martin is back to steer the magical ship as Producer and 5th Beatle, full speed ahead Mr. Parker, full speed ahead.

    Also, in a stunning reversal, The Beatles have fired manager, Allen Klein and he has been replaced by The Bee Gees, Cream, and Eric Clapton's manager, Robert Stigwood.

    John and Paul are becoming more open to the new dynamics in the band as they begin a new decade together. The Lennon/McCartney team continues to balance their collaborative and solo songwriting craft as both seek greater autonomy in their professional and personal lives. John likes to call himself, "a happily married fellow" these days, and Paul has traded in his London highlife for a sheep farm in Scotland. Can these two find peace and happiness at home? Enough so, that keeps them both coming back to work together, and with George and Ringo? Time will tell, but for now they have a miraculous follow up and journey past Abbey Road's The End.

    A "What If" Back Album Cover




    Ladies and Gentlemen
    The Beatles • Apple Scruffs (1970)



    --------------
    References

    Monday, April 20, 2020

    1960 or Thereabouts: Celebrating 60 Years

    Cathy's Clown, Released in April, 1960 by The Everly Brothers goes to #1 for 5 weeks on the Billboard Top 100
    In 1960 -
    The Beatles, 1960
    • The Beatles make their debut under this name in Hamburg, Germany, beginning a 48-night residency at the Indra club. The band at the time comprises John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums.
    • In Greensboro, North Carolina, four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar non-violent protests throughout the Southern United States, and six months later, the original four protesters are served lunch at the same counter.
    • Elvis Presley returns home from Germany to the United States, after being away on military duty for 2 years.
    • Several Soviet surface-to-air missiles shoot down an American Lockheed U-2 spy plane. Its pilot, Francis Gary Powers of the Central Intelligence Agency, is captured.
    • The Flintstones, My Three Sons, The Andy Griffith Show, Route 66, and The Bugs Bunny Show aired their first season.
    • Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a table at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, his way of protesting the discussion of the Soviet Union's policies toward Eastern Europe.
    • For the first time, Mary Martin's Peter Pan is presented as a stand-alone 2-hour special on NBC, instead of as part of an anthology series. This version, rather than being presented live, is shown on videotape, enabling NBC to repeat it as often as they wish without having to restage it. Although nearly all of the adult actors repeat their original Broadway roles, all of the original children have, ironically, outgrown their roles and are replaced by new actors.
    • 1960 United States presidential election: In a close race, Democratic U. S. Senator John F. Kennedy is elected over Republican U. S. Vice President Richard Nixon, to become (at 43) the second youngest man to serve as President of the United States, and the youngest man elected to this position.
    • 14-year-old Neil Young forms his first band in Junior High, The Jades in Winnipeg, Canada. Source: Various Wikipedia articles

    Fern McIntosh, Sunday School Teacher
    (in front of the window) Grace Baptist Church, 1959
    In 1960, I was five years old and at that time probably didn't know any of the songs on the playlist this week as my primary exposure to music was pretty much a Baptist church gathering, starting with...
    Jesus loves me this I know
    For the Bible tells me so
    Little ones to Him belong
    They are weak but He is strong

    I do remember a firecracker redhead kid who moved to Santa Maria in 1960 named Billy DeVoe who routinely disrupted my Sunday school class pretty much from kindergarten through high school. I am thankful that a strong Jesus did in fact bring us together as we remain best friends some sixty years down the road.

    Doug & Bill - The College Years
    However since our college years, we have both come to doubt the fantastical stories and religious fervor that attracted a good number of adult odd-balls and goof-balls from our town to congregate. As adults ourselves, we would never socially mix with such a fearful and loathing group of people lead by Franklin Graham-like ministers, including a string of creepy youth/music ministers who probably turned a good number of our peers around to end up playing for the agnostic team. My disruptive friend was in fact the only 'normal' thing I took from that place. By the way, who in their right mind would sit in those extremely hard pews for hours at a time, listening to a guy who believes three guys are thrown into a large fiery furnace and are just walking around inside the furnaceI believe in miracles/ where you from/ you sexy thing...

    My other thoughts about 1960 or thereabouts take me back to 300 West Sunset in Santa Maria, CA. Specifically, the time my dad started digging a six foot hole and trench from inside of our house in the hallway heater closet, to underneath the middle of the living room. Now before you make the leap that my dad was bat-shit crazy, let me provide a little context. 

    Steve and Stephanie
    with their brother
    (dad was the barber too
    for the boys haircuts)
    In talking with my mother and younger (twin) brother and sister this past week, we think it probably was more around 1962 because I would have been seven and the twins around five. This also is the timing of the Cuban Missile Crisis as one of our neighbors down the street had actually dug and built a bomb shelter underneath their front yard. Okay, now THAT DAD was bat-shit crazy, but my dad was just a Baptist.

    In the early 60's, my dad climbed telephones poles for General Telephone Company and my mom was a housewife. They didn't have a lot of money when they bought the Sunset house for $13,500 in 1956, and later discovered the hot water leak underneath their concrete slab somewhere between 1960-62. I wish my dad were here to tell us the exact timeline, but he's eternally on a back nine foursome with the father, son and the holy ghost...

    Buddy McIntosh
    Anyway, my mom tells me the living room floor kept getting warmer and warmer and the hot water in the sinks and bathrooms were down to a trickle. There definitely was a hot water leak, and my dad without means to pay an expensive plumbing bill much less hire a lawyer, became a plumber. My dad could do anything, he could be a mechanic, carpenter or any general fix-it man depending on the breakdown. So my dad enlists my uncle's Skeet and Leslie, and they take out the heater and start digging this huge hole in our hallway and piling a mountain of dirt on a large army tarp in the backyard (thanks Steve for that specific dirt memory).

    So what do you think the neighborhood was thinking, as my mom recalls, "word spread quickly."
    "Bud's gone crazy! He's building a bomb shelter underneath his house!" 

    Here's my outstanding memory of that event in time- I'm standing in the hallway looking down at my dad in the hole (with his head below ground level) and he's smiling up to me. The black and white TV is on in the living room with Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese calling a baseball game, sponsored by Falstaff Beer. I love how Diz would turn to Pee Wee and call him, "podnuh."



    The Playlist this week was a fun task of mixing 1960 pop, folk, R&B, country, jazz and new TV show themes all together in 60 songs. Some of these songs you'll recognize as 70's hits made famous as covers from these 1960 originals. Enjoy and stay well my friends.



    Note - The Theme for Bonanza actually started as a TV show in 1959. Also in 1959, The Dave Brubeck Quartet's Take 5I just couldn't let those two not be part of this collection of songs. 

    Wikipedia References - 

      Monday, April 13, 2020

      The John Prine Smile

      TOM HILL / WIREIMAGE / GETTY

      A young man from a small town
      With a very large imagination...

      On the evening of April 7th, I knew I would be writing a John Prine blog post on the Monday following his passing. In reading the outpouring of love from his fans, journalists and artists in the music business, what could I say that already hasn't been said about one of the greatest singer-songwriters of his generation. Now John Prine's generation- being born in 1946 is a hallowed sweet spot in time, right after World War II where a mighty legion of singer-songwriters grew of age in the 1960's - 70's to carry folk into country and rock 'n' roll, and then back-to-the-future with Americana.

      John Prine's 1971 self-titled first album, John Prine is a masterpiece of songwriting and I was thinking about that album this past week and thought, "did he ever write a bad song?" Then, I thought about doing a comprehensive playlist, and that would be something like 150+ songs. Or, how about doing what many of the news outlets were doing, something like a "John Prine Essentials" list that would include songs like Sam Stone, Hello in There, Angel From Montgomery, Paradiseand the epic Lake Marie.

      Then I started thinking about the #hashtag James Taylor has been using in several of his recent social media posts- #SongsOfComfort based on Yo Yo Ma's call for finding songs to help people at home during this pandemic.

      That is when it hit me, how about just playing some of the fun and goofy songs where John's writing is the invention of a fun puzzle, an engaging mind-game within himself... the John Prine smile. Songs like, It's A Big Ol' Goofy World and Linda Goes to Mars, where even after the first, second and countless listens, the writer's expression is received... in your smile.

      So here's a few of my favorite John Prine smiles that are worthy of the tag #FunSongs, #SongsOfComfort, or songs that simply define #CreativeWriting. Please take time to read the lyrics before playing each video as John's words are a collective bond that have touched so many of us deep to our core.

      It's A Big Old Goofy World

      Up in the morning
      Work like a dog
      Is better than sitting
      Like a bump on a log
      Mind all your manners
      Be quiet as a mouse
      Some day you'll own a home
      That's as big as a house

      I know a fella
      He eats like a horse
      Knocks his old balls
      Round the old golf course
      You oughta see his wife
      She's a cute little dish
      She smokes like a chimney
      And drinks like a fish

      There's a big old goofy man
      Dancing with a big old goofy girl
      Ooh baby
      It's a big old goofy world

      Now Elvis had a woman
      With a head like a rock
      I wished I had a woman
      That made my knees knock
      She'd sing like an angel
      And eat like a bird
      And if I wrote a song
      She'd know ever single word

      Kiss a little baby
      Give the world a smile
      If you take an inch
      Give 'em back a mile
      Cause if you lie like a rug
      And you don't give a damn
      You're never gonna be
      As happy as a clam

      So I'm sitting in a hotel
      Trying to write a song
      My head is just as empty
      As the day is long
      Why it's clear as a bell
      I should have gone to school
      I'd be wise as an owl
      Stead of stubborn as a mule. 




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      In Spite Of Ourselves
      (feat. Iris DeMent)

      She don't like her eggs all runny
      She thinks crossin' her legs is funny
      She looks down her nose at money
      She gets it on like the Easter Bunny
      She's my baby I'm her honey
      I'm never gonna let her go

      He ain't got laid in a month of Sundays
      I caught him once and he was sniffin' my undies
      He ain't too sharp but he gets things done
      Drinks his beer like it's oxygen
      He's my baby
      And I'm his honey
      Never gonna let him go

      In spite of ourselves
      We'll end up a'sittin' on a rainbow
      Against all odds
      Honey, we're the big door prize
      We're gonna spite our noses
      Right off of our faces
      There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
      Dancin' in our eyes.

      She thinks all my jokes are corny
      Convict movies make her horny
      She likes ketchup on her scrambled eggs
      Swears like a sailor when shaves her legs
      She takes a lickin'
      And keeps on tickin'
      I'm never gonna let her go.

      He's got more balls than a big brass monkey
      He's a whacked out weirdo and a lovebug junkie
      Sly as a fox and crazy as a loon
      Payday comes and he's howlin' at the moon
      He's my baby I don't mean maybe
      Never gonna let him go

      In spite of ourselves
      We'll end up a sittin' on a rainbow
      Against all odds
      Honey, we're the big door prize
      We're gonna spite our noses
      Right off of our faces
      There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
      Dancin' in our eyes.
      There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
      Dancin' in our eyes.

      [Spoken:]
      In spite of ourselves




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      Jesus, The Missing Years

      [Spoken:]
      Jesus... the missing years

      It was raining. It was cold
      West Bethlehem was no place for a twelve year old
      So he packed his bags and he headed out
      To find out what the world's about
      He went to France. He went to Spain
      He found love. He found pain.
      He found stores so he started to shop
      But he had no money so he got in trouble with a cop
      Kids in trouble with the cops
      From Israel didn't have no home
      So he cut his hair and moved to Rome
      It was there he met his Irish bride
      And they rented a flat on the lower east side of Rome...
      Italy that is
      Music publishers, book binders, Bible belters, Money Changers,
      Spoon Benders and lots of pretty Italian chicks.

      [Chorus:]
      Charley bought some popcorn
      Billy bought a car
      Someone almost bought the farm
      But they didn't go that far
      Things shut down at midnight
      At least around here they do
      Cause we all reside down the block
      Inside at....23 Skidoo.

      Wine was flowing so were beers
      So Jesus found his missing years
      So He went to a dance and said "This don't move me"
      He hiked up his pants and he went to a movie
      On his thirteenth birthday he saw "Rebel without a Cause"
      He went straight on home and invented Santa Claus
      Who gave him a gift and he responded in kind
      He gave the gift of love and went out of his mind
      You see him and the wife wasn't getting along
      So he took out his guitar and he wrote a song
      Called "The Dove of Love Fell Off the Perch"
      But he couldn't get divorced in the Catholic Church
      At least not back then anyhow
      Jesus was a good guy he didn't need this shit
      So he took a pill with a bag of peanuts and
      A Coca-Cola and he swallowed it.
      He discovered the Beatles
      And he recorded with the Stones
      Once He even opened up a three-way package
      In Southern California for old George Jones

      [Chorus]

      The years went by like sweet little days
      With babies crying pork chops and beaujolais
      When he woke up he was seventeen
      The world was angry. The world was mean.
      Why the man down the street and the kid on the stoop
      All agreed that life stank. All the world smelled like poop
      Baby poop that is..the worst kind
      So he grew his hair long and threw away his comb
      And headed back to Jerusalem to find Mom, Dad and home
      But when he got there the cupboard was bare
      Except for an old black man with a fishing rod
      He said "Whatcha gonna be when you grow up?"
      Jesus said "God"
      Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into?
      I'm a human corkscrew and all my wine is blood
      They're gonna kill me Mama. They don't like me Bud.
      So Jesus went to Heaven and he went there awful quick
      All them people killed him and he wasn't even sick
      So come and gather around me my contemporary peers
      And I'll tell you all the story of
      Jesus...The Missing Years

      [Chorus]

      We all reside down the block
      Inside at... 23 Skidoo.




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      That's The Way That The World Goes 'Round

      I know a guy that's got a lot to lose.
      He's a pretty nice fellow but he's kind of confused.
      He's got muscles in his head that ain't never been used.
      Thinks he own half of this town.

      Starts drinking heavy, gets a big red nose.
      Beats his old lady with a rubber hose,
      Then he takes her out to dinner and buys her new clothes.
      That's the way that the world goes 'round.

      That's the way that the world goes 'round.
      You're up one day and the next you're down.
      It's half an inch of water and you think you're gonna drown.
      That's the way that the world goes 'round.

      I was sitting in the bathtub counting my toes,
      When the radiator broke, water all froze.
      I got stuck in the ice without my clothes,
      Naked as the eyes of a clown.

      I was crying ice cubes hoping I'd croak,
      When the sun come through the window, the ice all broke.
      I stood up and laughed thought it was a joke
      That's the way that the world goes 'round.




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      Fish and Whistle Lyric Video



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      Grandpa Was A Carpenter

      Grandpa wore his suit to dinner
      Nearly every day
      No particular reason
      He just dressed that way
      Brown necktie and a matching vest
      And both his wingtip shoes
      He built a closet on our back porch
      And put a penny in a burned out fuse.

      [Chorus:]
      Grandpa was a carpenter
      He built houses stores and banks
      Chain smoked Camel cigarettes
      And hammered nails in planks
      He was level on the level
      And shaved even every door
      And voted for Eisenhower
      'Cause Lincoln won the war.

      Well, he used to sing me
      "Blood on the Saddle"
      And rock me on his knee
      And let me listen to radio
      Before we got TV
      Well, he'd drive to church on Sunday
      And take me with him too!
      Stained glass in every window
      Hearing aids in every pew.

      [Chorus]

      Now my grandma was a teacher
      Went to school in Bowling Green
      Traded in a milking cow
      For a Singer sewing machine
      She called her husband "Mister"
      And walked real tall and pride
      And used to buy me comic books
      After grandpa died.

      [Chorus]




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      Way Back Then

      Night is falling
      We're doing the things we do
      You are acting just like me
      I'm acting just like you
      Do you remember
      When you were my friend?
      That's the way I'd like things
      Just like way back then

      Baby's sleeping
      Brother is on the run
      I am out undoing
      All the good I've done
      If you loved me
      Tell you what I would do
      Wrap the world in silver foil
      Bring it home to you.

      Lately I feel
      That I can't pretend
      I may never ever see
      The likes of you again
      I take a walk, I come back home
      Then I sit a spell
      Watch the ponies dance around
      The empty wishing well.

      Night has fallen
      I've said the things I did
      The only baby sleeping
      Is when I was a kid
      Do you remember
      When you were my friend?
      That's the way I'd like things
      Just like way back then.




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      Linda Goes To Mars

      I just found out yesterday that Linda goes to Mars
      Every time I sit and look at pictures of used cars
      She'll turn on her radio and sit down in her chair
      And look at me across the room, as if I wasn't there

      [Chorus:]
      Oh My stars! My Linda's gone to Mars
      Well I wish she wouldn't leave me here alone
      Oh My stars! My Linda's gone to Mars
      Well, I wonder if she'd bring me something home.

      Something, somewhere, somehow took my Linda by the hand
      And secretly decoded our sacred wedding band
      For when the moon shines down up on our happy, humble home
      Her inner space gets tortured by some outer space unknown.

      [Chorus]

      Now I ain't seen no saucers 'cept the ones upon the shelf
      And if I ever seen one I'd keep it to myself
      For if there's life out there somewhere beyond this life on earth
      Then Linda must have gone out there and got her money's worth.

      [Chorus]

      Yeah, I wonder if she'd bring me something home.




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      Crazy As A Loon

      Back before I was a movie star
      Straight off of the farm
      I had a picture of another man's wife
      Tattooed on my arm
      With a pack of Camel cigarettes
      In the sleeve of my tee shirt
      I'm headin' out to Hollywood
      Just to have my feelings hurt

      That town will make you crazy
      Just give it a little time
      You'll be walking 'round in circles
      Down at Hollywood and Vine
      You'll be waitin' on a phone call
      At the wrong end of a broom
      Yes, that town'll make you crazy
      Crazy as a loon

      So, I headed down to Nashville
      To become a country star
      Every night you'd find me hangin'
      At every honky-tonk and bar
      Pretty soon I met a woman
      Pretty soon she done me wrong
      Pretty soon my life got sadder
      Than any country song

      That town will make you crazy
      Just give it a little time
      You'll be walking 'round in circles
      Lookin' for that country rhyme
      You'll be waitin' on a phone call
      At the wrong end of a broom
      Yea, that town'll make you crazy
      Crazy as a loon

      So, I gathered up my savvy
      Bought myself a business suit
      I headed up to New York City
      Where a man can make some loot
      I got hired Monday morning
      Downsized that afternoon
      Overcome with grief that evening
      Now I'm crazy as a loon

      So I'm up here in the north woods
      Just staring at a lake
      Wondering just exactly how much
      They think a man can take
      I eat fish to pass the time away
      'Neath this blue Canadian moon
      This old world has made me crazy
      Crazy as a loon
      Lord, this world will make you crazy
      Crazy as a loon




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      Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore

      While digesting Reader's Digest
      In the back of a dirty book store,
      A plastic flag, with gum on the back,
      Fell out on the floor.
      Well, I picked it up and I ran outside
      Slapped it on my window shield,
      And if I could see old Betsy Ross
      I'd tell her how good I feel.

      [Chorus:]
      But your flag decal won't get you
      Into Heaven any more.
      They're already overcrowded
      From your dirty little war.
      Now Jesus don't like killin'
      No matter what the reason's for,
      And your flag decal won't get you
      Into Heaven any more.

      Well, I went to the bank this morning
      And the cashier he said to me,
      "If you join the Christmas club
      We'll give you ten of them flags for free."
      Well, I didn't mess around a bit
      I took him up on what he said.
      And I stuck them stickers all over my car
      And one on my wife's forehead.

      [Chorus]

      Well, I got my window shield so filled
      With flags I couldn't see.
      So, I ran the car upside a curb
      And right into a tree.
      By the time they got a doctor down
      I was already dead.
      And I'll never understand why the man
      Standing in the Pearly Gates said...

      "But your flag decal won't get you
      Into Heaven any more.
      We're already overcrowded
      From your dirty little war.
      Now Jesus don't like killin'
      No matter what the reason's for,
      And your flag decal won't get you
      Into Heaven any more."




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      The Bottomless Lake

      Here's the story of a man and his family
      And a big trip that they took
      Well, I heard all about in a restaurant
      And I read it in a history book
      They rented a car at the Erie Canal
      But the car didn't have no brake
      Said Ma to Pa "My God this car"
      "Is gonna fall into the Bottomless Lake"

      Well, Mama turned to Daddy with a pale face
      Said "I've done something horribly wrong"
      "Well, the waters still runnin' in the bathtub"
      And I think I left the kitchen light on"
      Then I heard a crash the car when splash
      And the compass rolled around and around
      Oh, for Heaven's Sake! We fell in a lake
      And I think we're all gonna drown

      [Chorus:]
      We are falling down
      Down to the bottom of a hole in the ground
      Smoke 'em if you got 'em
      I'm so scared I can hardly breathe
      I may never see my sweetheart again

      There was plenty of food in the backseat
      And the windows were rolled up tight
      So we all nibbled on a chicken leg
      Told stories 'way thru' the night
      Well, Pa told one that he told before
      And the baby got a bellyache
      Said Ma to Pa "My God this car"
      "Falling down a Bottomless Lake"

      [Chorus]

      Poppa played the music on the radio
      Mama rocked the baby to sleep
      He said he would've taken the other road
      But he didn't think the lake was that deep
      Well, if the ferry been there at the end of the pier
      We'd be half way to Uncle Jake's
      Instead of looking at fish out the window I wish
      We'd hit the bottom of the Bottomless Lake
      'Stead of looking at fish out the window I wish
      We'd hit the bottom of the Bottomless Lake

      So if you're ever goin' on a big trip
      Ya better be careful out there
      Start everything on you good foot
      And wear clean underwear
      Take along a Bible in the backseat
      Read of David and Solomon
      For if you make a mistake in the Bottomless Lake
      You may never see your sweetheart again
      If you should make a mistake in the Bottomless Lake
      You may never see your sweetheart again
      If you should make a mistake in the Bottomless Lake
      You may never see your sweetheart again




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      Souvenirs

      All the snow has turned to water
      Christmas days have come and gone
      Broken toys and faded colors
      Are all that's left to linger on
      I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
      For they always bring me tears
      I can't forgive the way they rob me
      Of my childhood souvenirs

      [Chorus:]
      Memories they can't be boughten
      They can't be won at carnivals for free
      Well it took me years
      To get those souvenirs
      And I don't know how they slipped away from me

      Broken hearts and dirty windows
      Make life difficult to see
      That's why last night and this mornin'
      Always look the same to me

      I hate reading old love letters
      For they always bring me tears
      I can't forgive the way they rob me
      Of my sweetheart's souvenirs

      [Chorus]

      John, you're in good company



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      and a last one, that maybe captures this moment...


      Well, maybe one more.


      For further reading, I recommend-
      A couple great articles written this past week, and one almost 50 years ago about John Prine.
      The ebook, John Prine: In Spite of Himself by Eddie Huffman (2015). Here is the Kindle version for $13.99 that I just started reading yesterday and can't put down. Or, you can download an audio version from Audible (free with trial). (Again, thanks to Ken Forman for this recommendation.)

      And, if you're inclined to want to take a deep dive that compares John Prine to the wit and wisdom of Mark Twain, read the 2005 Master of Arts thesis by Michael J. Ruwe,  It's a Big Old Goofy World View: John Prine as a Modern-Day Mark Twain (free pdf download).

      Wishing you all the best, stay well my friends.