Monday, September 26, 2016

Transistor man, transistor band

Yesterday, I get into my car to go to lunch in Balboa Park with Mary Kit and the radio is already tuned into the Dodger baseball radio station. Now I'm a long-suffering Padre fan since I moved down to San Diego in 1975, but for the last couple of days, I've been trying to savor my last moments of hearing the voice, the beautiful musical voice of Vin Scully.

My memory is transported to 1965. I'm up in my bunk-bed with my brother Steve sleeping below me. I have my hand-held Sony transistor radio (the most popular electronic communication device in history) in bed with me under the covers. I've got the single audio ear piece in my left ear, downside into the pillow facing the wall so my parents can't see the wire. I'm listening to Dodger baseball with Vin calling the play-by-play. I remember Wally Moon's at the plate, Vin's describing the count and simultaneously telling a story about Wally. Crack of the bat, Wally hits a single between the 1st and 2nd base gap as Vinny visually takes you there, Wally rounds first and comes back to the bag. My dad opens the bedroom door to check in on us. I lay perfectly still. Maybe he knows exactly what is going but doesn't say a word and quietly shuts the door.

Now, listen to Vin here at a more recent Giants vs Dodgers game. Don't watch the video, close your eyes and just listen to the master.

Now back to 1965. I'm in my front yard, laying on the grass with my metal roller skates on. I've been skating round the block several times and sweating, need a break. I've got my transistor radio with me and I'm relaxing listening to a local rock 'n roll station through the speaker. My mom calls out through the screen door that it's time for dinner. The Rolling Stones, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction comes on. I've never heard this song before, it's really good, I instantly like it. I think, I'll want to hear that one some more...

This October 19th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Mary Kit and I are going to see The Rolling Stones, (for the first time). Satisfaction, is the last encore on the set list. I think they did pretty well with that one.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Harmony and me

Looking through a special souvenir book yesterday, I got this song playing in my head and it goes back to a very happy time in my life. Harmony by Elton John on the 1973 double album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is Elton on a very high mountain after this incredible streak of albums -

Tumbleweed Connection (1970)
Madman Across the Water (1971)
Honky Château (1972)
Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

Our souvenir book of Elton John's
concert appearances at
Doug Weston's Troubadour
August 25-27, 1975
My girlfriend at the time, Mary Kit just loved Elton John and we got to see him three times together, first at the famous 1973 Hollywood Bowl show and then at the Forum in 1974. In 1975, Mary Kit won tickets where Elton and the band celebrated five years of success in America by preforming a benefit for the Jules Stein Eye Institute at Doug Weston's Troubadour (250 seats) in LA. I'll never forget being at her house when she got the call that she was selected from all the people who entered their names for the drawing. We thought we had won the lottery and yes, we did win the lottery. 

During that incredible show, we spotted Bernie Taupin just to left of us standing by a door. We got up, went over to him as he was surrounded by several girls. Mary Kit marched right up to him and just started talking to him. He spoke to her for several seconds and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. That was a very cool moment. At the time, we had just started our junior year of college at San Diego State University and I had driven us up in my 1968 BMW 1600. This was a very used car I purchased in LA for $800. Anyway, when I got down to San Diego, the clutch started going out. On the trip up to the Troubadour for the concert, it really started going out. We parked it in a lot and went to the show. On the way home, I had to ride the clutch and don't remember ever getting out of 3rd gear. The fog was thick along the coast. I was white knuckled driving thinking the clutch was going to fall out of the engine, couldn't see more than 10 feet in front me and my girl friend is just so very happy on her best date ever!

This past year, Mary Kit and I saw Elton John at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Needless to say,
Harmony and me
We're pretty good company
Looking for an island 
In our boat upon the sea

Monday, September 12, 2016

Under Pressure

School has started up, the boss is not happy, a family member is not doing well, the home improvement project is stalled, your to-do list is growing and you are simply, under pressure. Life does it's ebb and flow, you catch the wave and sometimes the wave catches you.

Today, Monday is a new day, what will it bring, what will you bring to it?

For me, it's Sunday morning, I'm in the shower going over that to-do list in my head thinking, why do I get myself in this hustle-bustle? I should be going to beach, the tourists are gone, I'm retired two years from my day job, what the hell?

I need to go for a walk. So, Mary Kit and I go for walk in our community, we then go to Costco, I watch a little football and my to-do list waits a little longer. Maybe, just maybe I've finally reached a place of peace because my hustle-bustle is mine, I own it. I start to write this blog, it's on my to-do list but music is a passion, so my rule now is passion always comes first. I know, nice to be a retired guy, I worked, I worked for it.

So I'm thinking about the song, Under Pressure by Queen with David Bowie. I'm thinking Freddie Mercury would have been 70 years old last week. I'm thinking David Bowie was a very remarkable person and these two people have left this world. But, they left us with so many wonderful songs, songs that touched our lives. Under Pressure is one of my favorite songs. I started playing the tape of the song in my head while in the shower yesterday and instantly started feeling better. When David Bowie leads the last chorus and the band soars, I think it's one of the most inspiring verses in rock and I get the tingle feeling every time I hear it.

I have no idea about your Monday, I wish you a prosperous one. I hope this song helps kick-start your work day.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Johnnyswim New Music Monday

In continuing my married musical couple's theme from last week's blog, Familial Brew with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, I just discovered a new band (to me) called Johnnyswim. I was watching a 2014 rerun of Daryl's House when Daryl Hall had Johnnyswim's Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez on Episode 65. I instantly liked Johnnyswim because Abner and Amanda are complementary singers who play off each other with a natural grace and respect. They also just look like a great couple having the time of their lives not to mention they just had a baby boy, Joaquin born in 2015.

As I was looking at their website and then YouTube Channel, I noticed they do a live video on Monday's called New Music Monday whenever they have a new song they just have written or just want share. Well, Johnnyswim, welcome to Monday Monday Music! So hey, I'm just a little copacetic with this duo as we got it going here on Monday morning.

So here is my Johnnyswim Youtube playlist as I love their positive energy together, not to mention they know how to kick off your Monday. Pre-order their new album, Georgica Pond.

Also, if you're wondering about their name, I think you'll enjoy this brief explanation from Abner that I got from the Johnnyswim Wikipedia page. Ramirez has joked that the name Johnnyswim comes from an anecdote about Sudano's childhood pet, a goldfish name Johnny. When the fish died, he floated to the top of his bowl and Sudano's mother tried to dispose of before Sudano found out. However, Sudano walked in and cried out,"No wait - he's alive! Johnny, swim!" From Wikipedia. Also interesting to note that Amanda Sudano's mom is the late Donna Summer.