August of '69, I'm about to enter high school and be on the freshmen football team. The tradition was that every football player at Santa Maria High School had to buzz cut their hair in order to try-out.
Can you imagine, all my friends are growing long(er) hair and I have to look like I'm going into the military. In 1969, the military draft were taking boys just 4 years older than me, to Vietnam.
My new buzz cut was a serious blow to my wannabe hippy thing. Maybe listening to bands like Jethro Tull
with my next door neighbor Ron would keep me at least at the counterculture back door, looking in.
Now listening to Jethro Tull's album, Stand Up
50 years later is like a lightning bolt flash back. Ron had purchased the album, and like I've said many times in my blogs, I'm sitting on his bed listening and looking at the album cover art. Our auditory music memory is like our sense of smell, you hear it and you're right back in a place long ago. Stand Up
Next up, Green River
by Creedence Clearwater Revival
. I loved this album with one of my top 100 songs
of all-time, Bad Moon Rising
Mary Kit and I saw John Fogerty in Las Vegas a couple of years ago and he really puts on a fantastic show. If you have not seen John Fogerty recently, I highly recommend you go to one of his shows, it will make everything in the world pause for a couple of hours. Mary Kit says he's back in Vegas this November with his 50 Year Trip.
John's music is so pure and I often link Booker T. and the MG's
and CCR with both having a simple and authentic sound that has stood the test of time. Green River
I have most Donovan
albums checked in my Amazon Music app and he randomly comes up on many a trail run, and I rarely skip a song. By 1969, Barabajagal
was his seventh studio album and he kept his hits streak rolling with this album. I've included the song, I Love My Shirt
which so reminds me of a song that the great children's songwriter, Raffi
could have written. Donovan always did his own thing and didn't try to imitate Bob Dylan. I like that Donovan usually did an anti-war song on his many albums and on this one penned, To Susan on the West Coast Waiting [From Andy in Vietnam Fighting].
debut album who were one of the unknown bands to the Woodstock audience a few weeks prior in August of '69. Talk about great timing! Santana took off like a roaring lion and Carlos has never stopped. I'm partial to this original lineup and had the pleasure of seeing the organ and lead singer for Santana, Gregg Rolie
several years ago in Ringo Starr's All-Star Band
. Greg sings Santana's early hits and is never recognized until he starts singing and Ringo's crowds love it!
is Harry Nilsson's fourth studio album and like most people I didn't get back to this album until he became more famous in the 1970's. The big song from this album is I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City
, the similar sounding song to Fred Neil's Everybody's Talkin'
, the smash hit from the 1969 film, Midnight Cowboy. Director John Schlesinger had been using Nilsson's cover of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" as an example of the kind of song he wanted on the final soundtrack but then decided not to replace it. If "I Guess the Lord ..." had been included, it would have been eligible for an Oscar, as it was an original song. Harry Nilsson did win a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Everybody's Talkin'"
[in 1970]. Wikipedia.
The summer of '69 is a memorable period for millions of Americans. We landed on the moon in July and then Woodstock in August. In September, The Beatles release Abbey Road
and we begin to close out a decade with some of the most memorable music ever made.
At fourteen, I didn't realize the impact of living in 1969 until years later, but often reflect back here in this blog with the knowledge and experience of When I'm Sixty-Four.
Grandchildren on your knee...
Peace and Love 2019 my friends!