Showing posts with label Paul Hobbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Hobbs. Show all posts

Monday, July 01, 2024

The Fab Four, Sixty Years On and an August 14th Connection

With a little help from my friends, I saw the Beatles tribute band, The Fab Four  for now a second time at Humphreys Concerts By The Bay this past Friday. Mary Kit and I invited some very close OG Santa Maria friends to visit us in San Diego: Ken and Vicki Forman, Ron Zieman, and Paul and Jane Hobbs. We topped the visit off with this concert. However, Paul and Jane couldn't make the trip and concert at the last minute. 

Now, if there was anyone more fitting to go to a Beatle tribute band concert, it would be Paul. As a 9 year old lad from Santa Maria, CA, who upon first hearing The Beatles in 1964, went on to put his heart and soul into becoming a professional musician. The Beatles sonic influence on him continues to this day.

So what do with Paul's and Jane's two tickets? I immediately thought of my grandson, Brendan who is a big Beatles fan... and 9 years old. 

Brendan, Shawna and, hey Grandude
Not only that... Maybe there's something more than a coincidence that Paul and Brendan are born exactly sixty years apart to the day! Paul born, August 14th 1954, and Brendan August 14, 2014.

Seeing the Fab Four would be Brendan's first live concert. My daughter Shawna who also loves The Beatles would be the natural choice to use the second ticket.

So Paul's unfortunate hand at missing a little San Diego vacation and Beatles with his buds, turns into a wonderful moment for three generations of McIntosh Beatle fans.

Life sometimes brings a sad song, and then it's just making it better.

Paul and Brendan I love you both.
Let's just keep the cosmic forces working together for all of us!
This eclectic Beatle playlist is for the both of you.

p.s. Brendan loved the show! His favorite Beatle song, Let it Be.

Monday, August 14, 2023

A Birthday Playlist

Here's a Happy Birthday shout out to lifelong friend and Beatles fan,
Paul Hobbs!

A Happy Birthday to my grandsons, Brendan and Drew who also love The Beatles and share this birthday date with Paul. I guess if you were born on August 14th, you were destined to be a Beatles fan.

Since Paul is also such a huge friend to Monday Monday Music™ with many contributions to my blogs over the years, I thought I'd put together some of Paul's favorite songs together in a playlist. Directly below the playlist, you'll find an embedded Spotify playlist Paul put together several years ago of his, Top 100. I of course have lifted many of the songs from that list here, but he don't mind.

Enjoy my friends!

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, 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, July 11, 2022

Songs That Piss People Off • No. 1

Songs That Piss People Off: No. 1 is a satirical album I dreamed up one day back in 2020 during the lockdown phase of the pandemic. My state of mind at the time was to put together 12 song titles with the ability to piss off or even get a laugh from my readers depending on their personal or political perspectives. My goal was to be an equal opportunity offender where I would be successful with at least one title pushing one of your buttons. Hell, several of these titles pushed my own buttons when they came into my head.

This blog has just been sitting in my drafts folder and for some reason I decided to pull the publish trigger and just let this one fly. Actually, I know why I picked this week is because this shit just doesn't seem to go away. Many of these titles are simply ongoing themes of life in America that I could have coined yesterday. 

Anyway, I had fun designing the album jacket and you can only imagine what my "Number 2" album cover is going to look like.

Here's the titles with no explanations or apologies. 
  1. People And Their F***ing Dogs
  2. Defund Stupid Liberal Slogans
  3. Old Lady Shopping Cart Blocking Aisle 2 Blues
  4. Fascist Patriot Games (beat you with my American flag)
  5. Your Precious Coffee
  6. A Million Inconveniences
  7. The Ballad of Joe Manchin (feat. Kyrsten Sinema)
  8. So You Want To Be A Smelly Cat Indie Star
  9. "I'm not a racist, but" (feat. Pika Krackr)
  10. Semi-automatic Thoughts & Prayers
  11. The Hunchbacks of iPhone Fame
  12. The Baptists Converted Me... to an Atheist
Note- If I didn't piss you off this round, I hope to do better next time.

Bonus Track - 1,000,000 Inconveniences
At some point, I shared these titles with my buddy and guest writer for Monday Monday Music™, Paul Hobbs. Paul and I got to talking about actually writing some songs from these titles and then we settled on, A Million Inconveniences.

That whole collaboration resulted in Paul writing the lyrics and music for the song that he recorded and was featured in the Monday Monday Music blog,  A Million Inconveniences on May 9th, 2022

What was so great about working with Paul is that he encouraged me to write some lyrics of my own. I did that and he then went to work again and recorded a whole new song with the same title with my lyrics (this one with the number in the title, 1,000,000 Inconveniences).  He also wrote new music for this second perspective on the theme of a million people dying of Covid-19 during the past two years. Paul is a very special person, and anyone would be honored to be his friend and now for me, an ongoing collaborator.

I thought this might also be a good time to release this second version as Covid cases (+11%) and hospitalizations (+18) are both up again.  As this latest strain, Omicron subvariant BA.5 becomes dominant, everybody now has family and friends, all vaccinated testing positive for Covid. I'm just so thankful for the Covid-19 vaccination for all ages NOW as my youngest two grandchildren under 5 were recently able to get their first shots. 

Covid-19 is NOT going away, and probably never will. All of us will eventually get it, but again I'm so thankful we have the medical technology through vaccinations, boosters and medications like Paxlovid to greatly reduce the symptoms and not put larger numbers in the hospital as in 2020-21.

Since the May 9th blog, 17,000 more people have died from Covid-19. Deaths are down to about 300 a day in the U.S. but as in all tragedies like this, the simply phrase, "We can never forget" is still appropriate and ongoing. 

So here's our reflection after two years of the pandemic in a song. It's a sarcastic response to the naysayers, deniers, liars, selfish, and pussies who simply can't tolerate a little mask, all wrapped in the American flag with the misconception that their personal behavior trumps the collective safety and liberty of the many. Grow up and face adversity like the generations of Americans before us. Piss off.

And, what a feeling to say, "I co-wrote a song" for the first time in my life. Thank you Paul!

Monday, May 09, 2022

A Million Inconveniences

Photo Source: Vox, Who has died from Covid-19 in the US? 2/16/21 

 by Doug McIntosh & Paul Hobbs

Around January of 2021, I was thinking of different blog ideas to write about when I came upon the idea to create a concept album of satirical song titles. I'm not a musician but I thought I'd create a concept album called, Songs That Piss People Off. I ended up writing 12 song titles and then it just sat in my Blogger draft box for months. 

At some point, I shared the titles with Paul as we have collaborated on several posts together here at Monday Monday Music, as well as creating several videos together of Paul's music for Youtube.

One of my original titles for this made-up concept album was 400,000 Inconveniences because at that time that was the round number of people in the United States who had died from Covid-19. 

As time went by, that number had moved past 500,000 and was well on its way to a million.

I'll let Paul pick it up here.
As the dreaded milestone of one million Covid deaths approached Doug suggested I write a song for which he would create a video to commemorate the horrific occasion.

I started by thinking how the country’s reaction personified the Trump presidency for me. He had reinvented American exceptionalism as American spoiled brat-ism, where we treated non Americans suspiciously and refused to do anything for the common good. No one can tell me what to do. I live in the land of the free. I’m free to think only of myself. The ultimate selfishness manifested itself in refusing to wear a mask to protect against the spread of Covid. I took some time to set up this pervasive attitude before settling into the Covid prevention resistance, which was really the essence of the blog in the first place.

Here's Paul's lyrics for the song, followed by his composition and recording that I made into a still photo Youtube video.

A Million Inconveniences

It very rarely rains but
You’re keeping your front lawn green
Some tyrant city councilman’s
talking bout recycling
You’re not one for following rules
They’re just for misinformed fools

You say, Don’t inconvenience me 
I live in the land of the free

My uncle fell and hit his head
Died waiting for a hospital bed
They’re filled with anti-vaccine casualties
Preventable tragedies
If you care about your fellow man
At least wear a mask and wash your hands

You say, Don’t inconvenience me
I live in the land of the free
I live in the land of the free

You’ll lose your job before you’ll ever get the shot
Or you can wear a mask and test twice a week
But no sir you will not
You think these events are coincidence
But we just hit one million inconveniences

Yeah we live in the land of the free
Land of the free

Now they’re clogging our main arteries
Shutting down commerce between countries
Some of our brilliant politicians say
We should do this in the USA

There’s a strain on our
hard to maintain hospital system
Emergency room nurses are overworked and it’s impossible to replace them
You tried to see your father before he died
But with no vaccine they wouldn’t let you inside

You said, Don’t inconvenience me
I live in the land of the free
Hey don't you inconvenience me
I live in the land of the free
Land of the free
I live in the of the free

The timing of this blog and song comes with the fact that around 300 people a day are still dying of Covid-19, and so let's just take a moment to pause and acknowledge that a 1,000,000 people in the U.S. have now died from this virus to date. 

Take care my friends.

Monday, January 03, 2022

1/6/21: Insurrection, The 1 Year Anniversary

by Doug McIntosh and Paul Hobbs

Moment the West Front of the Capitol is flanked and breached by Trump supporters.
insurrection, an organized and usually violent act of revolt or rebellion against an established government or governing authority of a nation-state or other political entity by a group of its citizens or subjects; also, any act of engaging in such a revolt. An insurrection may facilitate or bring about a revolution, which is a radical change in the form of government or political system of a state, and it may be initiated or provoked by an act of sedition, which is an incitement to revolt or rebellion.

It's now one year later, and at least a simple majority of Americans still can't believe what we saw. Something that was so unthinkable, unbelievable, something that could never happen to OUR democracy, in our lifetime.

The January 6th act of insurrection is the culminating event in the cascade of troubling events of Donald Trump's presidency. 

Since 2015, beginning with the Trump Tower golden escalator ride that announced his candidacy (accompanied by the unauthorized use of Neil Young’s, Rockin’ in the Free World), Trump started his run at the Whitehouse with, race-baiting. 

In that kickoff speech, Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

The wannabe king used textbook fear mongering to create a divide and conquer game plan. Trump got instant credibility with a substantial core of racist citizens who have been lying in wait for a leader like Trump, to bring them back into the light of day. In Trump they got the born liar they needed to create a movement of hate as he proved amazingly effective starting with his 2011"birther" campaign against Barack Obama. Back then, we thought that was a pretty 'big lie' with the charge that President Obama had been born in Kenya, not Hawaii. Trump was just getting warmed up.

He cleverly used old political 'dirty tricks' that people of color=trouble. This strategy was used to re-energize a working class/middle class base of right-wing Americans who in their hearts of hearts, wanted to 'Make America White Again.' This is lock-step (or goose-step) with their narrow vision of what America serves to be for them, still at the front of the line.

January 6, 2021 was built on a mountain of lies that galvanized his followers into a mobilized mob. As Trump patriots, they traveled in organized groups to our nation's Capitol to fulfill Trump's biggest lie, that the 2020 Presidential Election had been stolen from him, and them. 

At the incitement speech pep rally preceding their march to the Capitol, Trump said,

"And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.

Our exciting adventures and boldest endeavors have not yet begun. My fellow Americans, for our movement, for our children, and for our beloved country.

And I say this despite all that's happened. The best is yet to come.

So we're going to, we're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I love Pennsylvania Avenue. And we're going to the Capitol, and we're going to try and give.

The Democrats are hopeless — they never vote for anything. Not even one vote. But we're going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don't need any of our help. We're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.

So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.

I want to thank you all. God bless you and God Bless America.

Thank you all for being here. This is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you."

Last week, Paul sent me an audio track of a song he had written about the insurrection titled, Can't Believe What I saw. Paul says, "In this song I reflected on the images of these angry people, many dressed in costumes, firing each other up and violently smashing their way into the Capitol building through policemen, glass and wood. I reflected on the effect it had on those of us watching it unfold. Innocent bystanders who can only watch the horror of the day shown over and over, so we can never forget. And we should never forget."

Then, we worked together on making this YouTube video of Paul's song that we would like to share with you now.


In the year following the attack on the Capitol (to stop the certification process of President Biden's election victory), many lies and blatant denials of the attack continue to shape Trump's subservient Republican Party. My father's Republican Party is in fact dead. It's now solely Trump's party with a host of sycophant Republicans destroying all remnants of the 'compassionate conservative' GOP (Grand Old Party). My new name for the GOP is, Trump’s OFF (Old Fart Fascists).
Trump's OFF Republicans have abandoned any bipartisan efforts to investigate the events of January 6th, much less focus on our nation's critical issues such as: Covid-19, infrastructure, climate change, health care, abortion, immigration, and voting rights, just to name a few. 

Trump has done his unbalanced best to divide us as a nation of diverse free thinking Americans. He has successfully unbalanced the Supreme Court to support conservative-christian causes and manipulated many faith-based Americans. Being raised in a conservative Baptist household, it is particularly interesting to me to see how the Christian right so easily admires Trump's (and Putin's) 'one way' authoritarian brand of government to further their own ideological causes. The far right has long mastered the political art of converging issues such as anti-abortion with second amendment gun culture, and now, vaccinations and masks with their perceived loss of liberty. It's actually crazy... smart, as a means to an end, but I don't remember an anti-polio-vaxxed Jesus packing a Thompson machine gun in my Sunday school classes in the 1960's.

Turning back the clock to the 1950's – before progressive civil rights, social, and environmental movements – is Trump's long game. He gives the conservative and Christian right-wing their pet project issues in exchange for their complete support as to when and how he can form a totalitarian government to consolidate his power. It's still truly amazing that millions of Christians support this well-documented amoral creature who are so complicit in their complete admiration of this malignant narcissist. It's just another red flag in a sea of red flags that our democracy is much more fragile and in serious peril than anyone would have imagined before the 2016 election. 

Mussolini and Trump
Trump's demonstration of that power is his famous 2016 statement, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters." If you don't recognize that Mussolini-like puff of the chest and turn of the head metaphor, you haven't been paying attention to his out in the open fascist movement, cloaked in the American flag. Paul says, "Trump is the architect of the whole demoralizing journey our democracy has embarked upon. We can’t forget him. We owe it all to him. He has opened the Pandora’s box that now haunts our dreams."

Peter Stager, is accused of beating a
Capitol police officer with an American flag.
Just one year ago, thousands of Trump supporters tried to overthrow our democracy, in the name of democracy. In the irony of all ironies, a Trump supporter is captured on video beating a police officer with an American flag attached to a flagpole.

The events of January 6, 2021 will not be swept under the carpet by Trump's political cronies, or his enraged Americans thinking their liberty is being taken from them by people of color, liberals, atheists, vaccinations, whoever or whatever.

As we start this new year and move to the 2022 mid-term elections, the next iteration of the insurrection is already happening leading to the 2024 general election. However, this next phase is going to be non-violent in what election experts are calling, a 'slow-motion insurrection.' Trump's GOP is evolving, its fascist focus now turns towards controlling local, county, and state election boards starting in the battleground States that Biden won in 2020. But make no mistake, the long game to dismantle our democracy will be a national effort to control elections in all fifty States. If you are reading this and saying, "that will never happen in America," please be mindful and alert no matter your political stripes. 

The very people who attacked the Capitol last year are represented and backed by millions of people in this country who are fed up with our democracy because they feel it no longer works for them. The large  social/political chip on their shoulder has progressed for many into rage. Trump's supporters separate themselves from our Union, calling only his followers, "patriots" and claim the American flag as their own. With Trump's presidency they are emboldened. They feel they have an 'us vs them' large window of opportunity to smash through – to create a new nationalist government that looks after America's traditional Christian majority interests and beliefs as their nation, under their God. 

All this comes as the Republican Party has become more aligned behind Trump, who has made denial of the 2020 results a litmus test for his support. Trump has praised the Jan. 6 rioters and backed primaries aimed at purging lawmakers who have crossed him. Sixteen GOP governors have signed laws making it more difficult to vote. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed that two-thirds of Republicans do not believe Democrat Joe Biden was legitimately elected as president.

The result, experts say, is that another baseless challenge to an election has become more likely, not less.

“It’s not clear that the Republican Party is willing to accept defeat anymore,” said Steven Levitsky, a Harvard political scientist and co-author of the book “How Democracies Die.” “The party itself has become an anti-democratic force.”

American democracy has been flawed and manipulated by both parties since its inception. Millions of Americans — Black people, women, Native Americans and others — have been excluded from the process. Both Republicans and Democrats have written laws rigging the rules in their favor.

This time, experts argue, is different: Never in the country’s modern history has a a major party sought to turn the administration of elections into an explicitly partisan act.
Nicholas Riccardi, AP News

Now, when you have time this week, Paul and I would encourage you to watch the following 40 minute video below, Day of Rage: How Trump Supporters Took the U.S. Capitol. This video was written and edited by a group of New York Times reporters who spent six months putting together the chronological order of the events of January 6th. It is important to note that most of the video taken on 1/6/21 was shot by Trump supporters themselves. This footage is all real. There are no Antifa actors borrowed from the fake moon landing Hollywood movie set. We can never forget what happened on that day, or be suckered by Trump's political hacks that this was just a normal "tourist" day at the Capitol. We believe what we saw.

Also, heed a Trump supporter's comment at the end of this video to a group of police officers on the line on January 6th, "The patriots are coming back y'all. Hopefully y'all be on our side when that happens."

Note - For some reason, the NY Times starts their video somewhere in the
8:00 mark (in the Chrome Browser).
 Just slide the play bar back left to 0:00 to start.


Monday, October 19, 2020

The Senate A Silent Majority, and the #WrongSideOfHistory

 Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog titled, Save The Country, 50 Years Later and the #WrongSideOfHistory based on Laura Nyro's 1969 song, Save The Country. I made the graphic above, and then updated it for the 2020 election. The song, Save The Country spoke to me historically as I got to comparing the times of the Nixon and Trump administrations. In retrospect, Nixon was a peashooter compared to Trump's cannon of lies and corruption as Tricky Dick's got nothing on the Swamp Creature.

Senators Howard Baker (R) and Sam Ervin (D) 
during the 1973 Watergate Hearings

So like many of you, I grew up during the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration, and Watergate. In high school, Nixon and the threat of our democracy were being played out live on television and talked about in my history classes including, the Senate hearings headed by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina. I remember being told, "We are living in historic times."

So here, almost a half century later from a teenager living during the shady Nixon years to now, a retired teacher living in the Trump years of chaos. From my perspective, historically Trump is our biggest threat to democracy since World War II. I tell people, "We are living in historic times." Years from now, people like my grandchildren will ask older Americans, "Did you vote for Donald Trump?"

I have no doubt that my grandchildren will learn in school and life that Trump threatened our democratic practices and policies domestically as well as with our trusted foreign allies. My grandchildren will also learn about the current Republication senators who abandoned their conservative principles and character for what? These senators have stood in lock step with Trump and have sacrificed their political party for one man, who wants to be an autocrat

The dictator and the wanna-be, Mussolini and Trump. | CC

In 1973, bipartisan Republication and Democrat senators came together to cause Nixon's resignation before he was going to be impeached in the Senate. That group of senators during the Nixon years are remembered to this day for doing the right thing. 

The present Senate majority (fifty-three) Republican senators have simply been, SILENT. 

Silent to act as Trump almost provoked a war with North Korea. Silent to act on any meaningful legislation like rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. Silent to act by watching immigrant children locked in cages at the southern border. Silent to act on the President's attempt to use a foreign power to influence our election. Silent to act on a world-wide pandemic with over 8 million U.S. cases and over 220,000 American deaths (so far). I could go on...

These majority senators have been silent in their duty and are utterly complicit in allowing Donald Trump's lies, high crimes and misdemeanors to go unchecked day after day, for four years. Oh, they did one thing, pass a huge tax cut to the top 1% of rich Americans!

There's a great hashtag for these people and it's called, #WrongSideOfHistory. Back in January, after the Senate turned back the House's impeachment vote against Trump, Jimmy Kimmel tweeted, "This is what the wrong side of history looks like," and used the collage of the fifty-one senator majority at the time below.

Ben Sasse
Now fast-forward to Nebraska's Senator Ben Sasse (R) this past week. He participates in an 11th hour confessional town hall phone call with his constitutes trying to play both ends of the game to keep his Senate seat in his re-election bid. Sasse seems to have suddenly found a conscience (maybe thinking of his grandchildren in the future) by looking to slam Trump and possibly save his reputation and seat of power. Here's a short read in the NY Times about his Town Hall titled, Slamming Trump, G.O.P. Senator Warns of a ‘Republican Blood Bath.’ Sorry Ben, you can't be silent for four years and now start talking truth about Trump. You're always going to be stuck with the #WrongSideOfHistory senator gang and here's hoping you go down with the rest of this sinking ship. Even your buddies Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and even ol' Moscow Mitch made statements this past week distancing themselves from the President before his potential loss (Fearing a ‘Blood Bath,’ Republican Senators Begin to Edge Away From Trump).

Last week, my good friend Paul Hobbs sent me an audio file of a song that he had just completed, The Senate A Silent Majority. I loved it! He asked me to make a video of the song that he could post on his YouTube Channel. I made it by largely using Kimmel's graphic above, I don't think Jimmy will mind. 

So now enjoy Paul's wonderful new song, and then share it with a friend.

Okay America, time to VOTE and 'fire' the game show host President along with his boot-licking senators that do nothing to help our country and its hard working people. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal lawyer for ten years is correct, to paraphrase he says, more than anything Trump is a 'con man' just out to enrich himself. Come on people, save democracy, save the country, and let's all get back to the future and leave Trump's sorry ass 'make America white again' shit show behind.

Stay well and stay strong friends. The next couple of weeks and possibly through November are going to be a Dumpty ride with this notorious foul-mouthed fat-shamin' old man and the irony of the things he says, he is.

Note- Here's a good site to track both the Senate Republication (23) and Democrat (12) seats up for re-election, 2020 Senate Race Ratings

Monday, July 27, 2020

50 Years of Music • July, 1970

See resent crash lower right corner
Source -
July 1970, at 15 I'm still too young to drive, but I've got friend Gary Hill a few years older who could borrow the family station wagon and we are off to the beach or getting our kicks on Route 166. I remember going out to the towering bridge on 166 east of Santa Maria, CA where we used to walk directly underneath the bridge girders on a narrow wood  plank and single steel cable rail walkway (most likely used for maintenance work). One time, Paul Hobbs and I started on one end of the bridge and Jeff McCarthy and Gary started on the other. We raced towards the middle, gracefully passing each other on the single plank using the cable rail and then sped to the other end. The first group back up on the road were the winners. Jeff and Gary beat us handily. Just a few years later, I drove out to that same bridge to do the walk under the bridge, and I was terrified. Yes, good ol' terror can actually keep you alive!

In my research this week for albums released in July, 1970 three strong albums perked up my memory listening to these albums fifty years ago.

Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) made five albums from 1968-1970 and were one of my wife's favorite bands during that period. When Cosmo's Factory was released in July of 1970, it could have been called, John Fogerty's Hit Factory for the sheer number of hits from that album alone. CCR is often called, swamp rock even though the band was from the San Francisco Bay Area and not the south. CCR never got the 'cool' brand like other Bay area bands like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, or Quicksilver Messenger Service, and some rock 'n' roll critics dismissed them. But for me, CCR was pure 'three cords and the truth' that differed from the live jam groups of that era. My personal taste today reverts back to the CCR sound and think they actually hold up better fifty years later than many bands from the 60's and 70's. I often think of CCR and Booker T. and the MG's in the same breathe, simple tunes that just hook you for life. I will also say, that John Fogerty didn't write pop drivel lyrics, he covered social injustice topics and the Vietnam War like few other hit making bands of that era. A couple years ago, I got tickets to see John Fogerty in Las Vegas a day after seeing (and being a bit disappointed with) a very famous act the night before. John Fogerty made my trip and I will say, "he blew that room away."

The James Gang rides again is the second album by the band James Gang as everybody gets introduced to Joe Walsh and his mastery of electric guitar through the hit Funk #49. Listening to this album after so many years, I was thinking maybe there are a couple more good songs here besides Funk #49. Well this album also holds up very well after fifty years, and I found several more to make the playlist this week.

1970 found the band Traffic together again after Steve Winwood had left the band in 1969 to form Blind Faith with Eric Clapton. When Clapton left Blind Faith after their first album and tour, Winwood then planned to make a solo album in 1970. After bringing in Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood to work on the solo project, he decided to scrub that and get Traffic back together again with the boys and thus, John Barleycorn Must Die was born and released in July. Listening to the entire album again was a treat, and as I have said many times in this blog, just another quality album purchased by my friend Ron Zieman and consumed by our young ears from his portable record player in his bedroom.

This week's playlist is formed by the three albums with a song from each album and then interjected with a July 1970 song by The Doors, Yes, Humble Pie, The Stooges, and Fairport Convention. Then, I finish it off with the rest of Cosmo's Factory, because I'm just diggin' CCR today!

Enjoy, and stay well my friends.

The Santa Maria Riverbed, just before you reach Route 166 heading north on the 101.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Performing@Home In The Time of Coronavirus: Volume I

Sara Bareilles trouble-shooting
her Instagram Live broadcast
Professional performers such as actors, dancers, comedians and musicians spend a great deal of their life in auditoriums, bars, cafes, studios, theaters, and various venues on the road away from their home, family, and friends. As a fan, I miss seeing them all perform live on stage!

As you watch artists video themselves during this pandemic, they work hard to keep a brave face and carry on, but those faces are challenged, missing the audience's oxygen combined with their talent to spark magic and illuminate an amplified space.

So in our current world-wide pandemic that has us all @home more than we could have ever imagined; artists working before a large sitting audience will in fact be one of the last groups of professionals to get back to work in the world.

However, digital technology's ease of use has been a shining light during these times @home. In the past couple of years, the combination of consumer: smartphones, laptops, digital audio and video compression, conferencing apps and 5G Internet speed make this pandemic a bit more bearable... than just a bear.

Late Night with Seth Meyers, my favorite pandemic TV show shot from Seth's attic
with his 8G Band performing from their homes.
Here's a great article about Late Night with Seth Myers in Verge by Andrew Marino that shows all of us average bears how to create our very own homegrown production studio.

THE GADGETS LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS USES TO KEEP THE SHOW RUNNING FROM HOME: Consumer electronics have replaced studios during the pandemic

This past week, I searched across YouTube and found live performances of self-made videos by a wide group of performers all shot from home starting in the lockdown madness of March to now.

I start with a Sara Bareilles phone video on Instagram that was the spark for this blog (p.s. I love Sara Bareilles).

I also want to thank my friend Paul Hobbs for sending me a a video from his garage this week, a song, California written in high school (back in the Pleistocene Era) with our dear friend Paul Tognazzini.

On a side note- you'll also notice some of our famous artists have a little bit more home technology than the average bear.

Enjoy and stay well my friends!

Monday, May 18, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • April-May • 2020

A YEAR of #NewMusicMondays  

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.


Monday, April 27, 2020

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

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                   March & Oct. 1970
    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)