Monday, May 29, 2023

Fifty Years of Music • June 1, 1973 • McIntosh in Love

Susan Anspach, Kris Kristofferson, and George Segal in Blume in Love (1973)  

If you go back a couple of months to the blog post, Fifty Years of Music • March, 1973, you can catch most of the beginning of this little love story.

In that post, we have young McIntosh just turning 18 who is completely smitten by a pretty and spunky redhead, Mary Kit Smith. She's been sitting behind him in English class the entire spring semester. Well here it is late May of 1973 with graduation only a few weeks away, and damn it all, the boy has not summoned the courage to ask the fascination of his dreams, out on a date. 

He has however done some reconnaissance. He has enlisted a long-time Sunday school friend and current classmate in Miss Dunn's English class, Evie to ask Mary Kit if she likes Doug enough to go out with him on a date. Her response, "Yes."

But nevertheless, the lad is hopeless and fails in several attempts as the class bell rings and popping that question just before the rush of students fills the hallway.

He even stoops so low after finding out that Mary Kit and her best friend, Valerie are going to see the wildly popular 1972 movie, Cabaret at the Peppertree Plaza Theater. With this information, he stalks the pair entering the theater and slips in the back row to watch them watch the movie, so pathetic!

However, he does see a poster in the theater lobby for an upcoming movie, Blume in Love. And most importantly, it plays as a preview trailer before Cabaret. He's now plotting, maybe I could take her to that movie?

The movie's tagline is "A love story for guys who cheat on their wives." It's about a guy, (Stephen Blume) who's still hopelessly in love with his ex-wife (Nina). It's not exactly high school first date material, but oh well.

So a plan is hatched and rehearsed, "Hey Mary Kit there's this new movie out called Blume in Love, and I was wondering if you heard about it?"

So with that line practiced in his brain, he finally summons the courage to ask the question in the 11th hour of the last week of May just before the bell (literally) rings. Her answer, "Yeah, that one looks kind of interesting." 

And the all important follow up, "Well, would you like to go with me this Friday night and see it at the Peppertree?" 

Her response, "Yes, that would be fun." They then walk slowly together in the hall of wall-to-wall students before splitting off to their next classes. The boy will remember that scene forever.

So on a Friday night, June 1, 1973, young McIntosh hops in his green 1957 MGA sports car, nervous but happy as he has ever been in life, and turns onto East Church street. Inexplicably, he quickly drives right past her house as she's waiting, looking out the front living room picture window. "Did that little f**ker just chicken out," she's thinking.

No, in his excitement he's simply lost in love, what a doof! He slowly turns around and parks the car. She's there to greet him at the door with her parents in tow, and that begins a wonderful four year relationship from that moment. 

Unbelievably it's now fifty years later, and that seventeen year old girl waiting at the door eventually became, his second wife! But that's a whole other story...

Enjoy the Playlist my friends!
And, thanks for the timing of this Harry Nilsson with your June, 1973 release of A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night. Nothing better than a little mood music to kick this thing off.

Monday, May 22, 2023

#NewMusicMonday • 5/19/23 • Paul Simon's Seven Psalms


Paul Simon's new album is not a typical album of songs, rather seven connected works.

Produced by Simon and Kyle Crusham, Seven Psalms is a single suite of music comprised of the following seven interlinked movements:

1. The Lord
2. Love Is Like A Braid
3. My Professional Opinion
4. Your Forgiveness
5. Trail of Volcanoes
6. The Sacred Harp
7. Wait

I've been listening to it on YouTube and present it here. What I like is that the original form is a 33 minute continuous stream of music. I'm sure others will break up the seven songs, but what it did for me was force me to make time to listen to a half hour of music. Kind of like when I was a teenager, buy an album and sit in my bedroom and listen to the entire piece. I suggest taking it on a walk with your phone, somewhere in nature away from the cars and noise, or just maybe in a quiet room with amplified equipment.

Enjoy my friends.

Monday, May 15, 2023

60 Years of Music • May, 1963 • The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan starts with the front cover itself, a photo that will reflect a generation. Bob with his hip but too thin suede leather jacket for a cold February, 1963 day in New York City, walking in the middle of the street with his bundled up girlfriend, Suze Rotolo in the dirty snow. I just love how they are framed between the building and cars (not to mention the VW Bus that would be a symbol itself of the 1960's.)

This is a 21 year old with his whole life in front of him with most any young person looking at the cover and thinking the same. The photograph is a thoroughly spontaneous moment in time that communicates, you're going to like what's inside.

I of course was an oblivious 8 year old at the time. I can't recall the first time or 25th time I casually heard Blowin' in the Wind on the radio or TV. But, at some point in many a teenager's life since 1963, we let our minds purposely listen to this wonderful song for the first time, and ponder the big questions without any answers, for ourselves.

As an 8 year old, I lived in an household where abstract questions were presented with a singular answer. From my small town church community and parents, the answer wasn't blowing in the wind, it was Jesus Christ. He was the answer. The man who died for our sins so that we could have everlasting life... but with the caveat, only if we accepted him into our life... as our personal savior. Yes, I was told very strongly by the church as a child, that I personally needed saving. And please sit tight, don't ask questions, as we have all the big answers.

Bobby Dylan and his friends come along in the 1960's with their 'Protest Songs,' then, plug in an electric guitar into an amp, and the Billy Graham's suddenly got themselves some serious competition. 

This devil music just wasn't going away, and by the 1970's 'Christian Rock' actually became a thing.

In 1963, all my family, and all my close friends went to church. 

In 2023, none of my siblings, blended family, and close friends go to church. Guess we started asking some questions?

Blowin' in the Wind

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
Yes, and how many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
And how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
And how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

Before I get to the album, here's a clip I love of Bob Dylan singing Blowin' in the Wind with a few friends at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan would make Bob Dylan an international star and singer-songwriter for the ages. Still today, generation after generation of young people discover Bob Dylan for the first time. I could only be so lucky to have a young person hear this album here for the first time. 

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan 

Monday, May 08, 2023

Fifty Years of Music • Paul Simon and George Harrison • May, 1973

There Goes Rhymin' Simon
 was released by Paul Simon on May 5, 1973 and I bought it shortly after. It instantly was one of my all-time favorite albums with so many great songs. I love them all to this day. If there was ever a doubt about the genius of Paul Simon, this album puts Simon into rarified air among artists. In 2003, the album was ranked number 267 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums, I personally would put it in the Top 100.

In the spring of 1973, as the Watergate scandal was heating up and leading to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974, Simon's American Tune hits the streets. If ever there was a song that captures that snapshot in time, it's American Tune. It is in fact a timeless song. Listen to it today, and it plugs right into today. Upon hearing it again this past week, I immediately thought of the mass killings happening everyday in America with assault weapons. 

For me, American Tune transcends an individual citizen's weariness to our nation's weariness. We now live in a time where keeping Democracy is a taunting challenge. Our weariness in this struggle is felt by millions, but we get up every morning with the knowledge of who we are and the collective tasks ahead, as Americans.

I never tire of reading the lyrics.

American Tune

Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken
And certainly misused

Oh, but I'm alright, I'm alright
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
Or driven to its knees

But it's alright, it's alright
For we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
Road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what has gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly

And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call The Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hours
And sing an American tune

Oh, and it's alright, it's alright, it's alright
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest

Living in a Material World was released by George Harrison on May 30, 1973. I never purchased this album, but in the world of streaming albums and YouTube, I can listen to it anytime. This past week I sat down and listened to the whole album and now appreciate this gem of a record with it's #1 smash hit Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) which in turn made it the #1 album at the time too.

This album hits at a time where many young people are "losing their religion" and finding an inner spiritual awareness as an individual over organized religious denominations. In 1973, I was still very much in the grips of a conservative Baptist upbringing, but rock 'n' roll would help "save me" in the long run from that narrow mindedness, to creating my own path. It's interesting that George emerged from the "Quiet Beatle", to openly share his own spiritual journey as a wealthy person in a spiritually poor world.


In 1976, Paul Simon hosted Saturday Night Live and his special musical guest was none other than George Harrison. Here I have included their two songs together, George's Here Comes The Sun followed by Paul's Homeward Bound.

Monday, May 01, 2023

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume 22 • It's Only Rock 'n' Roll

The book on Amazon

This playlist has been shaping itself for the past couple of months after I discovered that I was picking a lot of songs with "rock," "roll," or "rock and roll" in the song title. 

I then started stripping out the straight up "folk" or softer stuff, and started alternating bands and artists between the 60's-70's classic era with rock 'n' roll songs from the 80's on. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are always the exception for me, as that band is one of the best five bands of all-time and stand next to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. (I'll let you pick the other band.) I'm not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, but Bruce and Tom carried the torch through the 80's and 90's and helped keep rock 'n' roll front and center until it wasn't. 

As the playlist progressed, I just stopped my natural selection process of hearing songs on my trail runs and just started thinking about songs with "rock," "roll" in the title, or songs that struck me as the essence of rock 'n' roll. For example, The Doors Light My Fire certainly does that for me. The video I picked from their 1967 performance on Ed Sullivan must have shaken "the establishment" to the core with his, "I don't give a f*** attitude." Jim Morrison's performance of that song on that show is quiet memorable from my 7th grade brain. 

The Byrds are one of my favorite bands and perfect to start this thing off as they were pioneers in blurring the lines between folk and folk-rock, psychedeliaand then, country and country-rock. If you love rock 'n' roll, you can never forget The Byrds.

A last note of sorts- You may say, "Why didn't he pick ____________, or for example, Bob Seger's Old Time Rock & Rock? Well, that particular song doesn't move me, but Fire Lake sure does. Well, it's only rock 'n' roll, and as the old saying goes pertaining to art, "I know what I like."

Monday, April 24, 2023

Fifty Years of Music • The Beatles Compilation Albums, 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 • Released April, 1973

By Paul Hobbs

The Beatles ended, embroiled in a fierce battle regarding who should take over the management of their affairs. They were bleeding money. They were growing apart. But, they convened once again at EMI studios, later to be officially renamed Abbey Road Studios, to record the album, named for the road on which the studio is located.

John Lennon would later speak, dismissively, about Abbey Road, but was enthusiastic when interviewed by Alan Smith for New Musical Express in 1969. He talked about how much he and Paul were writing individually and that he was going to Paul’s to write with him at the conclusion of the interview — they were working on Abbey Road.

The narrative we got, on the other hand, was immediately redirected by the release of Let It Be, the album and accompanying film. They had been shelved indefinitely, due to the extensive editing needed on the film, and subsequent production of the album being handed over to Phil Spector as the Beatles washed their hands of it. They were released, respectively, as the last Beatle album, and a film of a band in the process of writing and recording that album. It also showed them in the process of falling apart.

The album is considered by many Beatle fans to be the weakest in their canon, and the film shows them to be, constantly, at odds with one another. It’s presented as the Beatles at the end of the line. Very depressing! And then they were gone.

I and my fellow Beatle fans were shocked and saddened. We carried on loyally following the solo careers of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but it would never be the same. Three years crept by. It seemed like 30. And then…

The Beatles Red (1962-1966) and Blue (1967-1970) albums were released simultaneously — on April 2nd, here, and April 19th in England — in 1973. All the fanfare of this new collection of old Beatle songs, and not-as-old Beatle songs, reawakened the passion of Beatle fans everywhere. It had been three years, man! They were thirsting for more Beatles. It didn’t matter that true Beatle fans had most of this stuff in their record collections already. The two albums sold like hotcakes.

This release heralded the new trend of repackaging songs in various forms. They had the quintessential Red and Blue, Rock and Roll, Love Songs, Past Masters (Volumes 1 and 2). The album featuring all their singles that reached number one, 1, not only sold well, but catapulted the band back to the top of the charts when it was released in November of 2000.

The Beatles Discography
They even repackaged the first eight Beatle albums released by Capitol in the 60s as two, separate boxed sets that also sold astoundingly well. These were the albums that Dave Dexter, the A&R man for Capitol Records, whose job it was to facilitate the integration of British acts on American radio, had assembled. EMI, who owned a 97% share of Capitol, sent all The Beatles’ singles to him, all of which he passed on before, according to some sources, he was directed to accept I Want To Hold Your Hand. He was responsible for borrowing tracks from one album to add to another, and for brazenly adding reverb to tracks that George Martin and The Beatles had painstakingly mixed to perfection before Dave got his hands on them. Sorry, I digress.

The Beatles were further reimagined, if you will, with the highly anticipated film Get Back. Here they were shown to ultimately love each other, some of the time, and on one occasion, George and John, are seen expressing an openness to work on side projects and reconvene for Beatle albums. Oh, what could have been!

At any rate, the record companies, and The Beatles are still raking it in. Those Beatles: the gift that keeps on giving.

The Beatles/1962-1966


The Beatles/1967-1970

Monday, April 17, 2023

Fifty Years of Music • Eagles, Desperado • Released April 17, 1973

I'm as pleased as an outlaw in a sleepy town bank to write this post.

First hitching post.

It's September, 1975 and I've just moved into the Toltec dorms at San Diego State University as a junior transfer. It's my first time living away from home and I'm teamed up with another junior, Kevin Kuhlmeyer from Pasadena, California. 

We become friends and share our love for the Eagles. Kevin has just bought the new Eagles album that came out in June 1975, One of These Nights. Kevin quickly proclaims it as the "best" Eagles album. I too love One of these Nights, but in a fun dorm room debate stake my claim that Desperado is indeed the best Eagles album. 

During that 1975-76 school year, we will share each others records on our respective turntables as we both have complete stereo systems in our little 10' x 12' cell block dorm room. So one day during the spring semester, I walk into the room and Kevin is sitting with his friend, Debbie Phelps listening to Desperado, and he says to me, "Doug, I think Desperado is now my favorite Eagles album." Rest in peace my friend, I'll always cherish our year together.

Second hitching post.

YouTube was started in 2005, and then was purchased in 2006 by Google for $1.65 billion dollars. (In 2022, YouTube is estimated to be worth $180 billion dollars.)

If you're old enough to remember the wild west of streaming music back in the early 2000's, you might recall that thing called, "Napster" was shot down like a dirty dog in the street in 2001. Another outlaw online streaming service, Limewire was hung in the public square in 2011. I say this in context as various bands like The Beatles and Eagles were slow to embrace the new streaming format for music. The Beatles didn't appear on the very "legit"  iTunes until 2010, for example.

Since the early 2000's, most famous bands and artists eventually put all their content on YouTube, Spotify (2006), and Amazon Music (2007) as they figured pennies on the dollar were better than no pennies at all. 

However, there were a few holdouts who were not going to give it all away as the Eagles, and in particular, Don Henley was just not having it. It's like he hired Palidin from Have Gun - Will Travel as an AI bot bounty hunter taking down non-approved fan uploads of Eagles and Henley songs with his six-shooter. 

In January 2015, I started writing this blog and used another outlaw free streaming service called "Grooveshark" to build my playlists. By April, that too was strung up, and thus I made my way to YouTube that still stands tall today like Gary Cooper in High Noon as my playlist app of choice. 

Last year, I was doolin-dalton around on YouTube, and found that every song from Desperado was now actually there! By combining a 2018 Eagles greatest hits album called, Eagles - Legacy with the non-hits from Desperado, that had been uploaded in 2014, I was finally able to blacksmith a complete Desperado YouTube album playlist. Phew! (So how many of these cowboy references is he going to throw in here?)

Third hitching post.

In preparing this blog post, I came across a website called, Randy Meisner - Hearts on Fire. You have to stop and click here first, before listening to the playlist as it chronicles the outlaw photo shoot by Henry Diltz and includes many interesting articles, you'll love it!

Jackson Browne, JD Souther, Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner, Don Henley & Glenn Frey

Enjoy the Desperado playlist my friends. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Fifty Years of Music • April, 1973

April of 1973 finds me instantly buying Seals and Crofts Diamond Girl as the soft rock duo is at the height of their careers. 

Their 1974 follow up, Unborn Child would smack their young fans in the face with their anti-abortion stance as Roe v Wade had just been passed in January of 1973. Looking back 50 years later, I guess the duo got their wish as the Supreme Court ended Roe v Wade last June, not to mention our current political landscape. For me, Unborn Child was an awakening of how religion and rock 'n' roll simply don't mix. 

Diamond Girl, and Seals and Crofts' previous albums had played that middle ground of rock 'n' roll fan tolerance, as we all love a good song about peace and unity without dipping deep into the religious dogma. My enthusiasm for Seals and Crofts (and their fan base) dropped off instantly. Also, anybody remember Yusuf Islam?

But in 1973, I was a huge Seals and Crofts fan and wore out Diamond Girl and Year of Sunday on my portable record player in my room.

Upon the release of David Bowie's, Aladdin Sane, I hardly gave it a thought as "glam" rock was not in my orbit. However, by the summer of '73 I was dating the Judge's daughter and she had just bought that album. In any event, I heard a lot of Aladdin Sane and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars that year, and my appreciation for Mr. Bowie continues to this day, with one big caveat. Bowie, looking past the Ziggy Stardust character should have never dropped his guitar player and arranger, Mick Ronson. What a team those two made! David was always the star without having to throw out Mick Ronson with the bath water. 

If it's one thing most bands who become famous seem to forget and eventually lose, is that duality of talent that got them to the big stage in the first place. There's a lot to be said about the Rolling Stones, but you have to give a tip of the hat to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as those two seemed to figure it out through periods of separation, and not the finality of divorce.

In listening to Paul McCartney and Wings Red Red Speedway, and Stephen Stills and Manassas' Down the Road, I was a little more impressed 50 years later, but back in 1973, not so much. I was a huge fan of both and it seemed that the quality had dropped off by many of the 1960's rock 'n' roll gods.

However, three albums that came out in April, 1973 would quickly change my spirits. 

On April 17, 1973 one of my favorite albums of all-time, Desperado was released by the Eagles. That will be my feature next week.

In two weeks, Paul Hobbs returns with his take of the April 1973 release of The Beatles' two compilation albums, 1962-1966 and, 

Enjoy the playlist my friends.

Monday, April 03, 2023

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume 21 - Analog Man

So much of everything we do these days is digital. When Joe Walsh's Analog Man came on the other day, I thought about my most enduring analog task, handwriting outline notes and
___To Do Lists
___To Do Lists
___To Do Lists.

My wife and I share a Google Calendar, but she likes her spiral notebook style calendar too. She says if she handwrites an event in, she remembers it much better than entering it in the app. The calendar, not a bad wingman for the mind.

People who handwrite a self-journal most enjoy a worn beat up cover and tattered pages. The physical vessel itself is like a broken in baseball glove, it just fits the owner.

My favorite pen of all-time is the Uni•ball Air. The pen shown here is the Uni•ball Vision Elite as I've been giving that a test run. My penmanship is crap, always has been. Sometimes I have to squint at my own chicken scratch to see what the hell I have written. 

When I was young, I feared the moment of pencil in hand staring at lined paper... what to do next? Now with a lot of years hanging over my belt, I sit in front of my laptop keyboard and the writing comes easier. I like the ying yang of shifting from the keyboard to picking up the pen and jotting down some notes, doing a doddle, recycling the blank backside page from using my printer to print something almost instantly useless.

Near the bottom of my current (pictured above) To Do List, I have listed ___ Blog Vol. 21. From the looks of things here, scratch that one off.

Enjoy the playlist my friends.

Monday, March 27, 2023

60 Years of Music • The Beach Boys, Surfin' USA • Released March 25, 1963

Avila Beach Pier and town. Notice the red rectangle?
Music is all about association. In March of 1963, I turned 8 years old. This post is about my childhood in the 1960's and the associations I have with California beach culture growing up on the central coast. For me, Avila Beach and the Beach Boys are joined as sand is to the surf.

Left of the pier, sunning by the wall.
I picked the panoramic photo above because it best helps tell this little story. I want you to picture this scene if you drove into Avila Beach with your family in the 1960's, parked the station wagon, and walked to the beach. As you approach, the right side beach at the pier was the family side, and the left side was more of the teenager's side. If you look how I've blocked off the rising road and embankment wall in the red rectangle, that particular section was where all the high school and possibly Cal Poly college students laid out their beach towels and sunned themselves in all their beach blanket bikini glory. As a child and adolescent, I walked that section many times, not only on the beach, but walking up on the sidewalk and looking down the embankment, if you get my drift. Oh my wannabe self, to be one of the guys with my Gordon and Smith surfboard resting against the embankment wall while I was talking with the girls... Hello cowgirl in the sand.

Now to the right of the pier (the family side), that's where my parents would set up. When you were really little you played in the sand, on the slide or took a spin on the merry-go-round. It was so cool, that they had all that right there in the sand for the kids to play.

A vintage "Surf Mat"

When we got a little older, we would rent the inflatable canvas blue and yellow rafts for 50 cents a hour under the pier and ride the waves in the pre-Boogieboard days (see the photo on the left I found on the Internet called, "surf mats"). Typically Avila waves are not a left or right break at all. On bigger days (3-5 ft.) the swell would develop and just slam straight down. A great ride was being in the wave and when it slammed, the industrial strength rental raft just bounced and you held on for dear life and rode that buckin' bronco in a wave of white foam. A bad ride was usually catching it a little too early on top and going over the cliff of the wave to be body slammed. Now as an 8-9 year old, if you did that in the shallower water, you'd get slammed into the sand. By 10 years old, you were a pro, and if you were going to get slammed, it would be on bigger waves in deeper water, or what everybody called, "the washing machine."

It was so fun. You would spend about a hour in the water, and the water was not like Southern California that warmed up in the summer. The water in Northern and Central Coast beaches are cold. You would see kids come out of the water shivering and their skin would be blush red. I remember, running from the surf with my raft to my beach towel cooking on the sand. I would dive into that big beach towel as my shivering would turn to roasting, and then running back into the surf to repeat the whole cycle. I was stoked.

Now back in those days, you could be 10 years old, and your mom gives you money for a burger or treat and you go to the beach strip of shops, all by yourself! I remember this like it's yesterday. The smell of burgers cooking on the grill, teens drinking cokes, kids eating cotton candy all covered in sand, and The Beach Boys playing through a shop's rusted outdoor cone speaker system. I can't say that Surfin' USA was playing in that most vivid moment of my memory, but let's just say it was.

The Wilson brothers (Brian, Carl and Dennis), cousin Mike, and neighbor David Marks had tapped into the early sixties beach culture and surfer music. Sixty years later, why would anyone ever want to leave that scene, you gremmies. 

Enjoy my friends.


Here are some common surfing terms from the 1960s:
  1. Beach Bum: Someone who spends most of their time at the beach, usually a surfer.
  2. Cowabunga: The surfer's cry "Cowabunga" as they climb a 12 foot wall of water and "take the drop."
  3. Ditching: Skipping school to go surfing.
  4. Gremmie: A beginner surfer.
  5. Gun: A long surfboard used for riding big waves.
  6. Hang Ten: A term used to describe a surfer's ability to ride a wave with both feet at the front of the board, toes over the edge.
  7. Hotdogging: Showing off one's surfing skills, often involving radical maneuvers and tricks.
  8. Kook: A surfer who is inexperienced or lacks skill.
  9. Nose Riding: Riding the front of the board while balancing on the nose.
  10. Soul Surfer: A surfer who embodies the spirit and culture of surfing.
  11. Stoked: A feeling of excitement or happiness.
  12. Tubed: To successfully ride inside a wave's hollow barrel.
  13. Wipeout: Falling off the board while surfing.

Avila Beach today, minus the oil storage tanks on the bluffs, and that's another story.

Monday, March 20, 2023

60 Years of Music • Please Please Me • The Beatles • March 22, 1963

By Paul Hobbs

Editor's note - 
If you are a regular reader of the Monday Monday Music™ blog, you will be familiar with Paul Hobbs being a guest contributor and writer. I asked Paul if he would be interested in writing a little piece about The Beatles first album as he is the biggest Beatle fan I know. Any musician who grew up with The Beatles in the sixties knows their impact on the millions of lives they touched so deeply. Paul was 9 years old when Please Please Me was released. Check out Paul's music at Paul Hobbs Music on YouTube.

As I read about the 60th anniversary of The Beatles release of Please Please Me in March of 1963, I get a little wistful, like I wasn’t invited to the party. The Beatles released their first album in 1963? How could I have missed it? I’ve been a diehard Beatle fan for most of my life, for crying out loud! But, I guess it only proves what great strides we’ve made in media and communications. Or, could it be that we didn’t really have an overwhelming interest in England until The Beatles pulled the curtain back and revealed just how cool it was over there?

All I know is that when Capitol Records released Meet The Beatles in the U.S. in January of 1964, and then they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for three consecutive weeks, all hell broke loose. Beatlemania was here! But first it was there. Word has it that Ed had run into a mob scene when he’d flown out of Heathrow Airport in London. The Beatles were returning from some dates in France and Spain, and the sight of their throngs of screaming fans prompted him to book them on his show.

At any rate, this is a commemoration of a Beatles release that illustrates the separate worlds we Beatle fans once lived in. We got our Beatle albums, up to Sergeant Pepper, from America’s Capitol Records, who borrowed tracks from one album and added them to another to create bastardized versions of what The Beatles released in England. We didn’t realize the Please Please Me album existed, let alone that it was The Beatles maiden release from almost a year before we knew anything about them.

Oh well. I’ve gone back and filled in the blanks from The Beatles beginnings and I’m a better man for it. I don’t love them any less for being left out of their initial, remarkable achievement. And it’s a great album. I still love the excitement and energy that comes across when the needle hits the vinyl. In fact, I think I’ll put it on and dance around the living room, as long as nobody’s watching.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Fifty Years of Music • March, 1973

 Monster month. It's my 18th birthday and I'm counting the days before graduation. It's the spring semester and I still have an English class requirement for graduation and decide to take a literature class with Miss Dunn. A pretty and spunky little redhead is sitting right behind me everyday now in class. Her name is Mary Kit and I love that name as she'll quickly correct anyone that calls her, "Mary."

We are starting to strike up a daily conversation. She quickly works out a routine of leaning forward and talking to me as I don't turn around to attract attention to Miss Dunn, she's reading passages from To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, I'm hatching a plan that we sit together in the Ethel Pope Auditorium to watch the 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck, as Miss Dunn has planned this as a culminating event to the Harper Lee classic.

Mary Kit's a Junior but I find out soon enough that she's graduating a year early and my fascination is increasing by the day as I can't wait for the few moments before and after English class to have a little face to face conversation with my new friend. Sitting directly behind Mary Kit is her best friend, Valerie and when Miss Dunn breaks us off into small discussion groups, we quickly form our little triangle.

At some point, I find out she's Judge Smith's daughter and I'm thinking, am I way out of my league to ask her out?

Many of the tunes in the playlist this month are all over the radio and the association of meeting Mary Kit and hearing these songs in that spring and summer of 1973 are seared into my brain forever. Pink Floyd's, The Dark Side of the Moon, Led Zeppelin's, Houses of the Holy, and the Doobie Brother's, The Captain and Me, playing on KUHL FM. So I'm driving to the southside of town to get gas for .25 cents a gallon, listening to the car radio in my 1957 MGA convertible, and I'm thinking about that girl. 

Amazingly enough, I don't have a picture of that car, but here's a 1961 I found on the Internet that had the same deep green color. I bought mine for $600 my Junior year in high school, and all I wanted in life at the time, was to have a girl in the passenger seat.

From a music standpoint, listening to all the Rock, Folk and R&B from fifty years ago always has it's wonderful surprises. In 1973, I never listened to Tom Waits debut album, Closing Time. I don't have to tell you it's a classic like the car above, as I couldn't get enough of listening to the entire album this past week. It's ironic that I am now listening to digital streaming music made from 50 to 60 year old vinyl records. The early 70's had such fantastic singer-songwriters like Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson who had that early 20th century upright piano playing and singing style that goes with a cold beer sitting in a bar. Raise a glass to Tom Waits and Closing Time!

Lots of little gems here, but I found myself also listening to the Faces, Ooh La La. This would be the Faces last album as Rod Stewart broke up one of the truly great rock 'n' roll bands seeking his own fame and fortune. 

I also gave some extra listening time to Fleetwood Mac's Penguin, as one of my favorite's, Danny Kirwan was fired from the band while on their Bare Trees album tour for his out of control behavior. Bob Welch would suddenly take on a more important central role on Penguin and in a band that had a knack for losing great musicians only to replace them with newer great musicians.

Enjoy my friends, and thanks to Monday Monday's spunky little editor for proofreading this publication every week. It's been 50 years in the making. And, Happy 68th birthday to the Ol' 55 who writes this rag.

Monday, March 06, 2023

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume 20 - I Hear Dead People

I was thinking about Brian Jones the other day when The Rolling Stones song, Around and Around came on. He drowned in his swimming pool in 1969 and it was described in the coroner's report as, "death by misadventure." Brian Jones was 27 years old and kicked off the whole modern era of the 27 Club of deaths by misadventure.

Now you might think that's an interesting blog post to write about, but I just wasn't in the mood to write about a drug related death this week, or next. But, Brian did get me thinking about musical artists who have recently died and basically made it well into their 70's and beyond.

Burt Bacharach's recent death at 94 hit me this past week. It was a bit of a delayed reaction on my part, but I started playing songs by famous people like Dionne Warwick and Jackie DeShannon who were made famous by the sheer splendor of Burt Bacharach and Hal David songs. So I thought what a great blog that would make, and then, didn't have the writer's drive to do it, probably some day.

I then thought about David Crosby, but then, nah. Although through it all, he still had the sweetest singing voice ever, right up to the end. How was he not in the 27 Club? Second only to Keith Richards to dodge that distinction.

Then, I thought about Christine McVie and how she was always my favorite Fleetwood Mac member of the second iteration of the band starting in 1975. Then I thought about Peter Green and Danny Kirwan in the first iteration of Fleetwood Mac and how I loved those guys too!

Oh, and I can't forget Jeff Beck and what a wonderful playlist that would make, or Jimmy Seals from Seals and Crofts, or the wonderful wonderful Tom Petty, I'm still not over that one.

Then, I started listening to my almost finished #BestSongIHeardToday Vol. 20 and thought, "hell that will do" as half the people I listen to in my 30,000+ Amazon Music app are already dead. All I have to do is switch out about 10 songs and put some more dead musicians in, and I'm good to go!

and this just in, and now a regular event for us rockin' rollers

David Perry Lindey (March 21, 1944 - March 3, 2023) 

Bonus this week, all songs are videos! Enjoy the playlist my friends.

Thinking about Gary Hill thinking about Duane Allman.

Monday, February 27, 2023

#NewMusicMonday • February, 2023

Within a genre of music you're going to encounter, sameness. As a big fan of rock 'n' roll back in the 60's and 70's there were always the imitators. This continues today as many young artists fall into the stereotypical pattern of sameness all trying to relight that spark of familiar hits by previous artists. 

In listening to modern streaming genre playlists with titles like, "Fresh Folk," "Emerging Americana," and "All New Indie," I find that they just seem to perpetuate homogenous grouping of young artists and their niche songs. I'm totally showing my age here, but how many solo droning self-indulgent "smelly cat" artists can there be on a new songs streaming playlist? This past week I kept saying to myself, where have all the bands gone?

In any event, it's getting to be a bit of a grind, as I don't have the time I did a few years ago to do a deep dive hunt for rock 'n' roll and Americana and put a monthly 50+ playlist together. So I'm going to just roll with it. If it takes me two or three months to put a worthy new playlist together with a little musical diversity, then that's where I'm at with my taste in music in 2023. 

There are so many young talented artists I have discovered for myself in the past eight years and shared with my dedicated little group of Monday Monday listeners that I will alway keep this #NewMusicMonday series going. So even though I'm basically saying that the new gems are further distanced from each other these days, it's probably the same feeling I had back in the late 1970's too.

Enjoy my friends. There's people like (header above left to right) Andrew Bird, Bonny Light Horseman, Joy Oladokun, The Lemon Twigs, Caitlin Rose, and (below them) the Milk Carton Kids out there making great new music.

Monday, February 20, 2023

60 Years of Music • February, 1963

We got a couple of big debut rock 'n' roll albums coming next month, but in this journey of 1960's music we are going to encounter albums in months like this. I call these albums, "Under the Influence" to the up and coming stars of the 1960's who had their musical roots in the 1940's and 50's of popular music. These songs embody the fabulous popular singers, musicals and movie scores, soul, R&B and jazz of the time. The mix is all American. As an 8 year old in 1963, these eclectic vibes would not be appreciated until I got older, but they were absorbed instantly and are forever in my soul. Hearing these songs sixty years later, I easily slip into my childhood Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star sneakers and Sony transistor radio.

In listening to the albums of February, 1963 I got a sense that the songs of that time have a door opening with one foot in the 1950's and one stepping into the 1960's.

In 2018, I finally got to see Paul Simon and it was an exceptional evening. One song that I will always remember from that concert was Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War. The song gives tribute to some of Simon's 1950's heroes of R&B harmony- 

Rene and Georgette Magritte
With their dog after the war
Returned to their hotel suite
And they unlocked the door
Easily losing their evening clothes
They danced by the light of the moon

The deep forbidden music
They'd been longing for
Rene and Georgette Magritte
With their dog after the war

So in listening to music of February 1963, this Paul Simon song came rushing up to me. It may seem a bit out of place to put this video here, but maybe you'll get my connection after hearing this song, maybe not. From my experience, the song's a link to 1950's R&B and the appreciation of the sweet harmonies that so greatly influenced a young Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

Enjoy the playlist my friends, it will take you back.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Trilogy of Love

This post just kind of came together in my head after hearing about a father's illness, and then my thoughts about family love.

After hearing about this illness, three songs appeared to me in a clear sequence. I'm not a scriptwriter, but I saw these songs as three connected themes that could provide a treatment or outline for a story or movie.

The first song is Father and Daughter by Paul Simon. It's song is about Simon's hopes and dreams for his daughter Lulu who was seven years old at the time he wrote it. I'm a father of two daughters, two step-daughters, a daughter in law and four granddaughters. The song is an ongoing favorite of mine that keeps its relevance to me from Simon's first recording of it in 2002 for the animated film, The Wild Thornberrys Movie.

Father and Daughter

If you ever awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second,
You can't remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memories
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star
I believe the light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I can't guarantee there's nothing scary
Hidin' under your bed
I'm gonna
Stand guard
Like the postcard
Of the golden retriever
And never leave
'Til I leave you
With a sweet dream in your head
I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you always know
As long as one and one is two
Ooh ooh
There could never be a father
Love his daughter more than I love you
Trust your intuition
It's just like going fishin'
You cast your line and
Hope you get a bite
But you don't need to waste your time
Worryin' about the marketplace
Trying to help the human race
Struggling to survive
It's as harsh as night
I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you always know
As long as one and one is two
Ooh ooh
There could never be a father
Love his daughter more than I love you
I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you always know
As long as one and one is two
Ooh ooh
There could never be a father
Love his daughter more than I love you

I picked this live version because it's done so wonderfully, but also was recorded with Paul having a few less hairs and a few more gray hairs on his head.

The second song is Blue Heron by Sarah Jarosz written in 2021 for the album, Blue Heron Suite. This album and song struck a chord with me as Sarah reflects on the many walks with her mother on the southern coast line and their sightings of blue herons. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 (now in full remission in 2021).

In a 2021 interview in Paste magazine Sarah states, “I’m very symbol-oriented, and a lot of that comes from my mom. She’s the one who believes in good omens and bad omens and all these personal things. And the blue heron has always been a good-omen symbol for her and for our family, so I kind of gravitated toward that symbol pretty naturally.”

In 2021, my wife had a new medical condition for a short time. Coincidentally, One day on a walk together through our neighborhood I spotted an actual size 3D replica of a blue heron in a front bay window of a house. I thought, "Now that's a very interesting display." I told my wife, Mary Kit that this random walk-by was a sign of fantastic good luck for her and told her about Sarah Jarosz and her mother. For the next several weeks on our walks, we made it a habit to walk by that bay window and feel the blue heron's positive vibe. Several months later, Mary Kit's condition was gone. 

Blue Heron

We were walking
On the coastline
And I wondered
If this could be the last time
Then I took your
Fragile hand into mine
And we talked of
All the good times

It was early
Morning sunrise
When we caught that
Shimmering in her eyes
And she told us
Everything would be fine
And we walked together
In the low tide

Blue heron
Flying overhead
Keeping watch over you
Blue heron
Standing on the shore
While we wandered all along
That southern coastline
We were walking
On the coastline
And you told me
It wouldn't be the last time
Then I took your strong hand into mine
And we walked together in the low tide

Blue heron
Flying overhead
Keeping watch over you
Blue heron
Standing on the shore
You never know if there'll be more
So we'll wander all along
The southern coastline

The third song is Life According to Raechel by Madison Cunningham from her 2022 album, Revealer. However, I first heard this song in January of 2021 as she put it up on YouTube as a Covid home recording. I then put it on a #NewMusicMonday post and my friend, Paul Hobbs went bonkers over this song. Needless to say, we're now both big fans of hers, but it was Paul's great ear to get me back listening to this song many times, on a much deeper level. 

Life According To Raechel is a very personal song about Madison's grandmother passing. Madison has now sung this song many times on various media outlets and TV talk shows and for me, it was my favorite song of 2022. 

Ever hear a song that makes you cry no matter how many times you've heard it, well Life According to Raechel does that to me. I can now get through the album recording and TV versions, but that first home demo is the take for me, it slays me everytime. 

It also completes a life cycle through song of this little trilogy of love.

Life According To Raechel

Once your girl
I'm always your girl
When I'm here or when I'm there
Or on a plane headed somewhere

You were staring down the cars
Hoping it would be one of ours
Children and grandchildren writing you cards
But how long were you waiting for me
To make a left down your street?

It's not if, darling it's when
Was there something left unsaid?
Were your eyes green, were they blue?
What was it that I forgot to ask you?
Busy hands, I'll set 'em down
To say I love you right out loud
I'll bet you're making heaven laugh
But it feels like tears and memories are all we have

Once I knew it
I was always a know it all
Too busy too stressed out
To take your call
Thought I would always find you there
Sitting in your TV chair
While time is in a bar having a laugh somewhere
The nurse said you were waiting for me
To let go, to let it be

It's not if, darling it's when
There's always something left unsaid
Were your eyes green, were they blue?
What was it that I forgot to ask you?
Busy hands, I'll set 'em down
To say I love you here and now
Did God need a new lead in his band?
When this world and its people
Are all we have

Once your girl
I'm always your girl

Happy Valentine's Day love to our families.