Showing posts with label Linda Ronstadt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linda Ronstadt. Show all posts

Monday, March 02, 2020

JD Souther, hey he wrote that song...

Photo: Patrick Breen/The Republic























Well, I guess I'm standin' in a hall of broken dreams
That's the way it sometimes goes
And every new love never turns out like it seems
I guess the feelin' comes and goes

Faithless love like a river flows
Like a raindrops fallin' on a broken rose
Down in some valley where nobody goes

Faithless love has found me
Thrown its chilly arms around me
Faithless love, faithless love like a river flows
from Faithless Love, JD Souther

Many rock fans may have never heard the name John David (JD) Souther, the singer-songwriter with a fantastic singing voice matched by his mastery of lyric and rhythm in crafting haunting love songs mostly made famous by other people including, the EaglesLinda Ronstadt, and James Taylor. In relation to the Eagles and Ronstadt, Souther directly participated as a songwriter or co-songwriter of some of their biggest hits, not to mention being a close friend, confidant and essential collaborator for two of the greatest acts in rock 'n' roll history.

In 2013, Souther was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and called "a principal architect of the Southern California sound and a major influence on a generation of songwriters." Wikipedia

JD Souther was born in 1945 in Detroit, grew up in Amarillo, Texas and like so many of his contemporaries moved to Los Angeles in the 1960's.  During this time, Souther was Linda Ronstadt's boyfriend and lived with her, and was also roommates or close neighbors with Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne, and Don Henley in the Hollywood hills. In 1969, Frey and Souther formed the band Longbranch Pennywhistle and released one album with the same title as both were at the forefront in creating country rock as a genre in the 1970's.

In 1972, Souther released his first solo album, John David Souther and in 1974 formed the super country rock band, Souther-Hillman-Fury Band that made two albums and broke up in 1975 as the three continued to pursue their solo careers.

JD Souther (second from left)
If you've followed the Eagles from the beginning with their first album in 1971, you've probably wondered or even wished like I did, why JD Souther was never a formal member of the band? With co-writing credits on Best of My Love, James DeanNew Kid in Town, Victim of Love, Heartache Tonight, and How Long, this guy should have been in the starting lineup. I've read that Randy Meisner the original bass player in the Eagles rejected the idea of Souther joining the group, but I think, like Jackson Browne that their solo careers were their primary focus. Also, I think Souther's life-long friendships with Henley and Frey were more important than being another chef in the Eagles kitchen.
Eagle's Desperado Back Album Cover - Photo Henry Diltz
Jackson Browne (dead guy far left)
JD Souther (dead guy far right)

I have a tendency to play- Should've Could've, but I personally think if JD Souther had been a full-time Eagle that band would have soared even higher, maybe even into the 80's? And, when Glen Frey died in 2016, I think JD should have become an Eagle and not Vince Gill. Don't get me wrong, Gill was a wonderful choice, but he is a country star and not part of the Eagles rich history like Souther. Who knows the private conversations that took place between Henley and Souther, but that's just me being a fan...

Now if you're a fan of Linda Ronstadt and who isn't, JD Souther is so much more than a former boyfriend and duet singer on some of her albums. In fact, Linda recorded ten songs by Souther, three of which are bonafide rock 'n' roll ballad classics and all-time favorites of mine- Faithless Love, Prisoner in Disguise, and Silver Blue. In this week's playlist I've included Linda's versions of these three songs with JD's stellar backup vocals on these classic tracks that never get old.

Ronstadt & Souther in the 1970's
Last Thursday, I got to see JD Souther live at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. It was a great show and I spotted Jack Tempchin (Eagles songwriter, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Already Gone) coming from backstage to sit down for the show. Souther performed solo and moved between acoustic guitar and piano to play a great setlist for the mostly boomer faithful crowd who were respectfully quiet during the songs. JD is also a great storyteller and I appreciated his setup stories between many of the songs- like the drunk Australian who was driving on the wrong side of the road and hit Souther's Lotus sports car stopped at a Stop sign. Souther had a split second to turn the car a little left so that it wasn't a straight head-on collision that probably saved his life as the fiberglass shell disintegrated around him.  He got out, staggered to a lawn as Don Henley drove up from behind a minute later. He tells Don, "Go look inside the glove box and make sure there's no cocaine," before the police showed up. There was no cocaine, but another interesting story from the high flying 1970's in the hollywood canyons.

In putting together the playlist this week, I came across an absolute gem of an album that had escaped my attention during my many years working a day job. This is Souther's 2011 album of new stripped down acoustic versions of many of his hits by to other people or his personal favorites. I've included most of the recordings in the playlist, but I highly recommend you go out and buy JD Souther Natural History immediately, it is that good my friends!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Linda Ronstadt Live in Hollywood

Linda Ronstadt is a legend. I don't really know anybody older or younger who doesn't like Linda Ronstadt. Like many males of my generation, we not only loved her beautiful voice but carried a huge crush to match.

In 1980, she was at the top of her game, a bona fide rock 'n' roll star with a succession of platinum selling albums. In April of that year, she performed a live concert at Television Center Studios in Hollywood for an upcoming HBO Special.

Through a friend, I was able to get a bootleg cassette tape of the entire concert and played that thing to death in my new 1980 blue Toyota truck cassette player.

The concert has now just been released, Feb. 1st as a live album (view sources here) and I have delighted in revisiting these tracks with Linda and her wonderful band including, Wendy Waldman, Kenny Edwards, Danny Kortchmar, Dan Dugmore, Billy Payne, Bob Glob, and Russ Kunkel. If you ever read album jacket covers in the 70's and 80's, these guys were on everybody's records.

Nobody could belt it out like Linda, and it's extremely emotional for me to see one of my teenage idols stopped in 2009 from singing and doing the thing she loved the most due to her Parkinson's diagnosis. Now at 72, you can catch up with her in her recent February 7th interview in Rolling Stone and on the TV show, Sunday Morning  from February 3rd.

Here is my playlist starting with the Sunday Morning interview with Linda. Then, a mix of good and poorer quality video of the concert along with the better audio tracks from the album, as sometimes the 80's tape hiss is a bit much, but I love to watch Linda perform! Enjoy my friends.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Women of Heart and Mind

50 Amazing Signs from Women’s Marches Across the Globe
As this year of 2017 wraps up in a couple of weeks, I'm going to pick up with a blog I did in January called, Our Democracy and Takin' It To The Streets. The focus was on the March, 21st Women's March across the world. In the time since, it has been quite a year through the total black hole experience of Donald Trump, and the emergence and sustainability of the #MeToo movement. Even with the dark shadow of Trump, women have emerged from behind all shadows and came to triumph and own this year.

As a man, I've become so sick and tired of male politicians, business moguls, actors and news people evoking their daughters into the public dialog either in their own defense of sexual allegations against them, or pontificating on how they are a protector of women. So, as a father of two daughters, two step-daughters and three granddaughters, I say, BULLSHIT. Men in general need to stop being hypocritical about their simultaneous protection and sexual objectification of women, and simply behave and treat ALL women with respect as equals.

My admiration of women runs deep and started young. I remember when I was probably eleven or twelve years old, I had a paper route. At the end of each month, I would go around and collect the money subscriptions door to door. On occasion, somebody would stiff me by moving out without paying me and I would lose my take as the newspaper delivery rules stated that it was my responsibility to make the collection. On one such occasion, a couple moved and didn't pay me. My mother actually tracked this couple down, took me in her car to their new location, walked with me to the door, and demanded payment when a shocked man opened the door. I'll never forgot the man's expression but better yet, my mom's smile to me on the walk back to the car with the cash in my hand.

As a teenager in the 1970's, I started listening to music as a passion. Men dominated rock 'n' roll but I began listening and buying records by women, especially women singer-songwriters. I loved Carol King, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell to name some of the greats of the day. Their perspective in song, helped shape me. If you were a guy back in the day and were into Joni Mitchell, well that didn't hurt in your conversations with girls, but more importantly, Joni made you think about things a little differently than most male songwriters.

During this month, I've watched three TV streaming shows of significance that actually inspired the writing of this post. I recommend you see all three in the weeks ahead. First on Netflix, Godless, a western that turns the "damsels in distress" thing on it's head. Second on Amazon, Good Girls Revolt, a "Mad Men" from a woman's perspective with three key female leads working at Newsweek magazine in 1969-1970. (As a side note- as you watch the opening credits, you'll see a paperboy on his bike throwing a paper somewhere towards a house. I swear to God that kid looked like/was me.) And third on Amazon, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, a housewife in the 1950s decides to become a stand-up comic. In all three shows, the women are front and center, great writing, acting and must sees for watching in the year of 2017.

In putting the playlist together for this post, I couldn't help but notice the increased level of empowerment by women singers as the decades rolled up to current times. I hope you enjoy my mix of old and newer songs performed by women of heart and mind, and if you're a guy out there, there's wisdom to be mined here toward our respect, work, and gift of women in our lives. And, a final thought, women are going to save this world, just as they have always done.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hot town summer in the city (Updated)


Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.... Yes living in the drought years, winter is spring and spring is summer. Yesterday I was watching the LA Marathon on the news and people were just literally melting in the heat. That is why the LA Marathon is scheduled for March, because logic says it's not going to be in the low 90's in March. Oh well, two songs came to me quickly in the past 72 hours. The first I'm sure you've surmised from the title, The Lovin' Spoonful's Summer in the City.



 Second up is Linda Ronstadt's Heat Wave which came to me last night while contemplating a run for this Monday morning. Well I'm keeping this short today so I can get that run in before I melt. Stay cool!