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

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, May 10, 2021

Fifty Years of Music • Ram, Paul McCartney & Songs for Beginners, Graham Nash

Both Ram and Songs for Beginners hold a special place in my heart as I purchased both albums in 1971. It was also a time where Paul McCartney and Graham Nash were without a band.

Last year, friend Paul Hobbs and I took on a 'What If' scenario if both The Beatles and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young had stayed together as bands in 1970. 

Our first go around was A 'What if' Album: Apple Scruffs • The Beatles 1970Paul McCartney's first solo album in 1970, McCartney included several songs in our Beatle fantasy album complete with fake album cover and press release. 

Ram came out in May, 1971 with McCartney being another year removed from the Fab Four. Then and now, I just think it was so upbeat! If you were a Paul snob before and/or after The Beatles broke up, so sorry, you missed out as one of the most talented people on earth was simply having a wonderful time. Being a solo act, he was now free to create whatever he wanted to on vinyl as a happily married man with wife Linda and their newly blended family together.

As a sixteen year old, I had started a quiet depression questioning my self-worth that I didn't share with anyone. Needless to say, millions of my peers were also going through the same slow drip of life in high school, living under the roof of their parents, wanting something more. Maybe this is where the term "sophomore slump" is derived, being stuck in a place in time before your break out year would be realized. 

Summer would be coming, and with my new driver's license my friends and I would soon be heading up the coast, to the beaches and back country roads with a little bit of independence to build on. 

1971 was a great year for rock 'n' roll and Paul McCartney's Ram came at a good time to lift my spirits and put a positive tone under my small town skies. 

Songs for Beginners was part of our second 'What If' album featuring Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's solo albums from 1970-71. Song For Beginners would be Graham's masterpiece and completed our, A 'What If' Album: All In • CSNY 1970. Our fantasy title, All In was our pipe dream of CSNY committing to each other to be that great band that some were calling, "The American Beatles" after their Déjà Vu album in 1970.

Graham Nash was simply a hitmaker tunesmith in all his bands. He wrote hits for The Hollies, CS&N, CSN&Y and Crosby & Nash. 

In Songs for Beginners, Graham's hadn't lost his midas touch for writing catching hooks in most of the eleven songs on the album. This was his spotlight moment coming after his break up with Joni Mitchell and his thoughts were poured into song. I also think of this as a positive album even though the subject matter is actually a little dark. What shines through is Graham's attitude on this album, his pushing forward on both the personal and social fronts. At sixteen, his song, Be Yourself really spoke to me. 

Paul McCartney and Graham Nash, both born in England in 1942 are still making music today as solo acts. God save the Brits and their invasion to our shores in the 1960's!

Enjoy these two albums my friends.
 ram on... we can change the world!

Ram Playlist

Songs for Beginners Playlist

Monday, December 14, 2020

My Favorite Songs of 1970

1970 was an incredible year in rock 'n' roll history. Some of my favorite songs of all-time are contained in the albums above. The playlist this week is a treasure of jewels for me, some discovered in 1970, and some discovered much later.

The year was full of great music and news.

The biggest news of 1970 was the biggest band break-up that ever was as The Beatles go their separate ways and start making their own albums. Their fans never stop hoping that they will get back together.

The Beatles also released their last album, Let It Be recorded before Abbey Road and released after. 

Simon and Garfunkel also made their last album together, Bridge Over Trouble Water. The album wins 6 Grammy's and wins The Song, Record, and Album of the Year. Their fans never stop hoping that they get back together.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young make a masterpiece, Déjà Vu  and then promptly break-up for the first time, as their fans never stop hoping that they will get back together again, and again, and again...

Drugs and death also intersect in 1970, as both Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both die of overdoses just three weeks apart at the tender age of 27. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones had died the year prior in 1969 at 27, and in the following year of 1971, Jim Morrison would also die of an overdose at 27 and fuel the rock culture phenomenon of Club 27.  

Speaking of phenomenon, the singer-songwriters to emerge as stars in 1970 is literally on the charts. James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Carole King, Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, and Elton John all breakout with solo albums that will put them on the map and on the road for years to come. In 1970, Stevens, Morrison, John, and Badfinger each release two albums during the same year as fans cannot get enough. 

I was hooked by all these talented people and I start buying their albums whenever I could scrap up the money. My friends are doing the same, and we are all listening to each other's albums. Getting into rock concerts was going to be the next big step.

At fifteen, I'm becoming aware that two of my new heroes- James Taylor and Neil Young, are a bit like me, painfully shy to the point that it wasn't helping me move forward in life. By listening to their songs by myself in my bedroom, I began to get a sensibility for their music and what they were communicating to the world. I began to internalize their music, like millions of other kids. I start to examine who I am- my self-worth, what will I do? James and Neil didn't magically answer these questions, but they did give me a feeling, a new sense that I wasn't alone. James has this beautiful voice and yet he's always hunched over (like me), walking and talking without a lot of confidence. Neil's as quirky as hell and has this unique shaky voice and distant stare. But yet, both are opening up on a big stage in the spotlight, and becoming massively successful, folk-rock stars no less. Could I actually make something of myself? 

1970 was a new decade but still part of the 1960's, and I wanted in, to be a long-hair. Music was becoming a part of my identity and it was a cornerstone of the counter-culture. I wanted to be part of something bigger, something completely different from my parents and my conservative upbringing.

This year in the blog, I started the reoccurring monthly post of 50 Years of Music. As I reflect back over the entirety of 1970, the blog often serves as a retro-journal to myself. This year, I also caught myself playing an old game, the 'shoulda-woulda-coulda' mind game. I wished I had joined the cross-country team, I wished I had started playing tennis with my dear friend Bill DeVoe as he would eventually go on to become the number one player on the high school varsity team. I wished I hadn't quit piano lessons, and I wished that I had starting writing a journal when I was young. In retrospect, all these wishes where not a lack of opportunities presented to me, but a basic lack of self-confidence on my part. 

I would go through most of the 1970's with that general lack of confidence that slowly melted away as I began my professional career as a K-12 teacher with a variety of job assignments and experiences. Over the years, I discovered that confidence is often revealed in a couple basic ways. One, you see the overt confidence, often coupled with words over action. Second, and the confidence I tried to model from the good people around me was the purposeful actions that followed their words.

On this day, I'm thankful for my core group of friends who helped me believe in myself, and I'm thankful for the music we shared together as kids and continue to share today with old and new songs.

The playlist(s) this week are 220 songs as it is contains some of the best music I ever heard when first released 50 years ago that has endured the test of time. To quote John Lennon on the roof of Abbey Road Studios in the Let It Be film, "I would like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we've passed the audition." Yes John, your band certainly passed the audition- giving all the people you inspired to pick up musical instruments and make rock 'n' roll. Those musicians and the listening fans from all over the world are forever indebted and eternally grateful for the music of 

(Note- I just discovered this morning in publishing the blog that an embedded YouTube playlist will only display 200 videos, damnit-all. So, I have taken the last 20 videos and created a Part II Playlist and embedded below the first playlist. There's some great songs in the last group of 20, including the last song which has a lot of meaning to me.)

Merry Everything! Stay well my friends and mask-up. 

So let's now get back to where we once belonged.



Monday, December 07, 2020

Christmas Mix 2020

Christmas Mix
2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019 • 2020 • 2021 • 2022

Santa Santa, Surfin' Santa Claus
Here he comes, Here he comes
Surfin' Santa Claus
Bringin' toys for girls and boys
Surfin' Santa Claus
–Joe Lubin & Stan Stan Stenner

Sometime in the middle of the year, I usually create a YouTube Playlist called Christmas Mix for that year and just start squirreling away traditional and alternative songs that I think would make a good mix with no general theme in mind. I have one general goal with the Mix- to be a little different and always make Christmas a little more inclusive no matter one's belief system. With that said, it should be noted that a lot of great artists have made some terrible Christmas albums over the years, and a streaming playlist is one remedy to broaden the category of 'Christmas Music.'

Being from San Diego, my first idea for this year was a Surfin' Santa theme. Then I started looking for a good graphic. When I found the 'Merry Christmas 1942' graphic above it had everything I wanted, a traditional Coca-Cola® Santa surfing, and then a new thought, 1942- with all the great musicians born that year.

The class of '42 includes: Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, Brian Wilson, Carole King, Jimi Hendrix, Graham Nash, Leon Russell, Barbara Streisand, and Roger McGuinn. I've included at least one song from my short list of musical greats born that year, and if you're interested, here's a complete list of musicians and singers born in 1942. 

Also, I can't ignore the elephant in the room, the original 1942 release of Irving Berlin's White Christmas by Bing Crosby, the #1 selling single of all-time with more than 50 million sales alone. 

This is all a bit ironic for me as when I started the Christmas Mix in 2015, I tried to generally avoid the sappy standards with White Christmas being at the top of the list. For me it's like eating turkey every year at Thanksgiving since my birth. I can imagine my dad saying to my mom when I'm a baby, "Fern just put a slice in the blender, he'll be fine." Anyway, I just got to the point where I couldn't take turkey anymore, same for White Christmas.  I get this 1942 idea from the graphic and low and behold, White Christmas is released that year. So, I start reading about White Christmas, and then I read this about Bing Crosby.

According to Crosby's nephew, Howard Crosby, "I once asked Uncle Bing about the most difficult thing he ever had to do during his entertainment career… He said in December, 1944, he was in a USO show with Bob Hope and the Andrews Sisters. They did an outdoor show in northern France… he had to stand there and sing 'White Christmas' with 100,000 G.I.s in tears without breaking down himself. Of course, a lot of those boys were killed in the Battle of the Bulge a few days later." Wikipedia

Sweet Jesus, that made me cry too. So Irving and Bing, I yield the space here, thinking of all the babies born during war, and their dads fighting around the world wishing they were home with their families. 

It should also be noted that today is as Franklin Roosevelt told congress, "December 7, 1941- a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." The attack on Pearl Harbor thrust us into World War II, and changed our country overnight. White Christmas coming out the following year was a song we needed to hear as a nation and the world needed too. The lyrics, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, Just like the ones I used to know, were in 1942, as impactful as any song that's ever been recorded. The history and power of this song endures.


Then, I thought about the babies born this year in the time of coronavirus. My granddaughter was born April 17, 2020. This virus is a different kind of war, but a worthy advisory nevertheless. Somehow our country has to band together as if we are in a world war against fascism, everybody on the same page working for our victory, all together. 

As a war baby himself, Paul McCartney grew up reading the British children's comic strip and books, Rupert Bear. In 1984, Paul wrote the song, We All Stand Together, arranged and produced by George Martin and made into a short film about Rupert Bear. The song has just been released again with the animated video and included here in my playlist Mix in several versions. 

These World War II children knew a thing about banding together in a crisis and maybe a reason, they're the greatest generation of rock 'n' roll. Sir Paul was no exception, and even if this song's about frogs, you'll feel the bond, like a lot of his work. His lyrics have now come back around in 2020 and a perfect theme for this season and moving forward together during this difficult time. I also have to think this generation of children are maybe special too, and will know how to stand together when the chips are down when they are the decision-makers.

Win Or Lose, Sink Or Swim
One Thing Is Certain We'll Never Give In
Side By Side, Hand In Hand
We All Stand Together

Play The Game, Fight The Fight
But What's The Point On A Beautiful Night?
Arm In Arm, Hand In Hand
We All Stand Together

Keeping Us Warm In The Night
La La La La
Walk In The Night
You'll Get It Right

Win Or Lose, Sink Or Swim
One Thing Is Certain We'll Never Give In
Side By Side, Hand In Hand
We All Stand Together
–Paul McCartney 

This has been a rough year for many who have been laid off or lost their small business in the time of coronavirus. However, we begin this coming new year with a fresh start with great hope and energy that will carry our people and country to a better place. 

In good times or bad, music has alway been central to Christmas time as it can take us to a place, the want for peace, comfort and joy, to dream the dream. My Christmas Mix is always a kitchen sink of tunes but I tried to find some songs this year that have that spirit of people needing people to get us through anything if we stick together. 

I like to also think my Christmas Mix might even spark an interesting conversation around the Christmas dinner table, or distanced smartphone video call this year-  
  • Why does Uncle Dave (an atheist) love gospel music?
  • Is eggnog still a thing? Why can't I just have a White Russian?
  • Do you care if someone says, "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas?" Who gives a rat's ass in 2021? And who really cares about gay people marrying? Oh yeah... those people.
  • Winter Soltice and Christmas, Spring Equinox and Easter, is that timing just a big coincidence? "Hey Uncle Dave, grandma says 'Pagan' is a bad word?"
  • Beyoncé, Queen B? Sorry their's only one Queen and that's Retha, period.
  • Why does mom always tear up when Carol of the Bells comes on? 
Here's wishing you and your family a Happy Christmas and better days this New Year as we give thanks for the good people around us, no matter our beliefs.

Stay well my friends, and mask-up. We all stand together.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy, and now Peter and Jeremy

Photo of James Taylor & Peter Asher at the
Sweet Baby James photo shoot by Henry Diltz
Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog called,  Sweet Baby James and 50 Years Down the Road

While writing that blog, I had also began to read a book by James Taylor's original manager and the producer of Sweet Baby James, Peter Asher.

Thanks to Paul Hobbs 
for the book loan

The book is titled, The Beatles from A to Zed and is simply a wonderful journey through the alphabet with everything Beatles, plus more interesting sidebar stories including: Peter's direct experiences with the Beatles, his days in Peter and Gordon, and life in the music business. If you're a Beatle fan, this is a must and a very fun read indeed. The book got me interested in Peter Asher and I began to look into his life and professional career as a musician and record producer.

Some early facts about Peter Asher and his one degree of separation-
  • Peter's father was a doctor and his mother was a professional musician and Oboe teacher, who once taught a young lad named, George Martin (the future producer of The Beatles).
  • Peter went to the prestigious Westminster School in London where he met his future band mate, Gordon Waller whose father was also a doctor.
  • Peter was a child actor along with sister Jane Asher, a life-long actress. 
  • At seventeen, Jane had an opportunity to interview the Beatles in April, 1963 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and began a five-year relationship with Paul McCartney. In December 1963, McCartney took up residence at Asher's family Wimpole Street town house and stayed there until the couple moved into McCartney's own home located in St John's Wood in 1966. McCartney wrote several Beatles songs inspired by her, including "And I Love Her", "You Won't See Me", "I'm Looking Through You", "We Can Work It Out", and "Here, There and Everywhere." Wikipedia
  • At the Asher's Wimpole St. home, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in the front basement room, while McCartney wrote the tune to "Yesterday" in a box room at the top of the house. Wikipedia
  • Paul McCartney and Jane Asher
  • For two years, Peter's and Paul's bedrooms were right next to each other at the top of the house, and Peter as a young musician himself had constant direct access to one of the greatest singer-songwriter's of all-time. I guess I could go on about Jane's and Paul's access... what were her parents thinking?
Anyway, John and Paul were constantly writing new songs and always revisiting and even workshopping older songs they wrote before the Beatles formed in 1960. One such song, A World Without Love was written by Paul when he was sixteen but John could never get past the first line, Please lock me away without cracking up with laughter.

Peter Asher and Gordon Waller
As John rejected A World Without Love as a Beatles song, an astute Peter Asher asked Paul if he could have the "orphan" song for his newly signed band, Peter and Gordon. Peter even persisted Paul to write the bridge of the still uncompleted song. Paul finished the song and gave it to Peter and Gordon who took it to their first recording sessions for EMI Records. Least to say, the rest is history as the song went all the way to #1 on the UK and American Billboard Charts in 1964 and launched Peter and Gordon as a worldwide duo.

This past week, I thought the A World Without Love lyrics quite appropriate for our #StayatHome times even though they were written by a young Paul McCartney about waiting for a true love to finally show herself.

Please lock me away
And don't allow the day
Here inside where I hide
With my loneliness

I don't care what they say I won't stay
In a world without love

Now another thing that struck me when viewing the color video of A World Without Love is that Peter Asher is the spitting image model of Mike Myers' Austin Powers character. I am of course not the first to make this observation, but I want you to play the song here and pay attention as the camera zooms in on Peter at the 0:27 - 0:37 mark. You'll see exactly what I'm talking about- Peter's expression with mop top, Buddy Holly glasses and teeth... Yeah Baby!

Peter's close relationship with Paul McCartney proved invaluable as Peter and Gordon recorded several songs written by McCartney but credited to Lennon–McCartney. Those hits included "A World Without Love" (US & UK #1), "Nobody I Know" (US #12; UK #10), "I Don't Want To See You Again" (US #16, but not a hit in the UK), and "Woman." With "Woman", McCartney used the pseudonym Bernard Webb to see whether he could have a hit song without his name attached. First pressings of the US Capitol single listed the composer as "A. Smith". The song reached #14 in the US and #28 on the UK Singles Chart in 1966. Wikipedia

Phil and Don Everly
As duo groups in the 1960's started popping up such as Simon and Garfunkel, Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy, not to mention such bands as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Hollies, and Bee Gees- all getting their harmonic inspiration from the well of The Everly Brothers. For Peter and Gordon, it's very interesting to hear two very different singing voices come together to make their harmony work so well. Needless to say, without the Everly Brothers, the evolution of harmony in the early to mid-sixties for singing duo's and bands just wouldn't have been the same.

Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde
Chad and Jeremy is another interesting duo from England as they too rode the British Invasion to America with a number of hits from 1962 - 1968.

The duo had a string of hits in the US, including "Willow Weep for Me", "Before and After", and their biggest hit, "A Summer Song". Wikipedia

For Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy, the 60's wave ended as both groups disbanded in 1968. For Peter Asher, his life changed in 1968 as he briefly worked as the A&R (Artists & Repertoire) Director for Apple Records where he signed James Taylor to his first record contract and then moved to the United States to manage and produce James and later, Linda Ronstadt. Peter went on to produce many acts, and in 1995-2002 was Senior Vice-President for Sony Music Entertainment.

Peter and Gordon, 2005
But what attracted me to write this article and playlist this week was Peter Asher's reunion with Gordon Waller in 2005, first playing benefits, Beatlefest, and then doing clubs together. Sadly, this ended in 2009 when Gordon Waller died of a heart attack at 64 years old.
Chad and Jeremy, 2005

As for Chad and Jeremy, Chad Stuart continued to work in the music industry while Jeremy Clyde became a film and stage actor. In the early 1980s, the duo reunited to record a new album and perform concerts, including a multi-band British Invasion nostalgia tour. After another long period of separation, in the early 2000s Chad & Jeremy began performing again and developed a semi-regular schedule of touring for many years. Wikipedia

Peter and Jeremy, 2020
Incidentally, both Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy often played venues together as all were life-long friends.

In 2018, Chad Stuart retired from performing and low and behold, Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde started performing together as, Peter and Jeremy. That kind of takes us full circle as I would like to present a mix playlist of Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy, and Peter and Jeremy this week in both older and more recent videos. Make sure to watch the last two videos with a bit of fun commentary by Peter and Jeremy. Enjoy my friends!

Note- I also want to give a big shoutout to jarichards99youtube (subscribe here) who does a fantastic job of taking old music videos and creating a Digitally ReProcessed ReCut Video and STEREO ReMix.HiQ Hybrid = Live Video Performance PLUS Studio Quality Sound.

Monday, January 06, 2020

When I'm Sixty-Four... some reflective thoughts

When I'm Sixty-Four

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door
Will you still need me,
will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four

You'll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more

Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four
–Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney wrote When I'm Sixty-Four when he was sixteen years old in the 1950's. It's an idyllic projection that he actually lived with wife Linda if not for her early death from cancer. It is also an early expression of love experienced in his own family upbringing and tapped into as a budding genius storyteller.

Paul would sing the song in early Beatle gigs at clubs between sets, or when some equipment broke down and the band had to stop for a bit. The song was recorded in 1966 for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album when Paul's father was sixty-four. Another fun fact, Paul's kids surprised him on his own sixty-fourth birthday with their recording of the song with altered lyrics. But the ironic fact that stands out for me was that when Paul was sixty-four, he had separated from second wife Heather Mills and later divorced, or as the English say, "a fine kettle of fish."

This past year I turned sixty-four, and as I write this (on January 2) it's my lovely wife, Mary Kit's sixty-fourth birthday! On this day, we'll be living Birthday greetings bottle of wine.

Life is such a mixed bag. When you reach sixty-four years of age, you've lived through some fantastic, good, bad and even ugly times.

Here's a 2020 random ying yang stream of thoughts to my wonderful wife and extended to anyone who's hit the sixty-four mark and beyond.

You're Sixty-Four (+)

Empathy supersedes sympathy.

You used to be the youngest person at a meeting. 

"Until death do us part" has probably been officially said to you at least a couple of times by a minister or justice of the peace. Also, there were less people there the second time.

Ya go ahead and put it off, no rush.

In the 1950's or early 60's your mom or dad had to hit the breaks and then put out their arm to stop you from flying from the back seat and into the front dashboard or glass.

Grandchildren on your knee

'Surreal' is such an overused word by people who are being interviewed on TV.
The experience was NO dream or fantasy, shit gets real!

Some of your heroes in youth turns out were not heroes at all,
some even went to prison, some need to be.

You shout, "Putin pinko commie asset" at the TV,
while some old fart suddenly loves the Russians.

You get together with friends and talk about 'aches and pains' like it's an art form.

Insurance commercials must be banned from television. 
You miss The Marlboro Man in sweeping vistas and the theme song- 
(Elmer Bernstein's score for The Magnificent Seven "dum, da-da dum")
–minus the cigarettes.

Every summer we can rent a cottage

You now have a personal trainer.
No no, not a real person but a free iPhone runner's app with the synthesized female dominatrix voice, yelling, "faster faster!"

No regrets.

Remember rushing to finish writing assignments in school. Finishing was the only reward.
At some point editing became a friend, and the process a life-long reward.

The circle of life possibly now has you looking after your parents.
Work to keep the bond with your siblings and family strong.
In twenty or so years from now, you'll be where your parents were.

Pop quiz - Beemans, Blackjack, Clove - What are they?

Get off the concrete and asphalt and walk or run in nature.

You've been involved in a major accident, and lived to tell about it.

You don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about you. Anyone.

You watched the first SNL live.
44 years later, Eddie Murphy on SNL made you laugh through every sketch.

The Rolling Stone's recent No Filter Tour is the best name ever for a rock 'n' roll tour.

"Those kids are just standing on our lawn?"

Team Tortoise - slow and steady for the long run.

Tears now come like rain.

"Everyday is Saturday, and if not Saturday, Sunday."
(thanks Jimmer for that one)

At some point, you thought Don Henley was writing about you.

You can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, hold that hand.

Up at 4:20am for no reason on God's green earth.
If you're up because you have to go to your day job, hang in there,
there's a light at the end of the tunnel; or as Mary Kit would say-
"There's a light at the end of the tunnel as long as it's not a gorilla with a flashlight."

You're a close friend to your children.

John Lennon sang, "love is real." He should have added, "but sometimes illusive."

You've had a major medical condition, and you're still here.

Ok, when does the wisdom thing kick in?

A smiling child yells, "Grandma" or "Grandpa" and they are looking at you.
The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well 
is that they have a common enemy. –Sam Levenson (thanks Bill for that one)

Life's a three act play.
The third act just started right after you got up to go to the bathroom.

Someone has taken credit for your work.

Elderly people who lived through World War II now have to watch some news report of some dumb ass kids at some picture ceremony giving white supremacist signs and the Hitler salute.

You watch young children play and think what a wonderful world!

You can't prove or disprove that there is a God,
but at some point in adulthood you realized that rock 'n' roll saved your life.

Vaping is... hilarious to watch.

You've lived to see Science in the USA treated like it's astrology.

Every hit song that you've ever loved on the radio has been turned into a TV commercial.

Friends have died.

In the 20th century, you thought recycling was the answer.
Today only 9% of the world's plastic is actually recycled.

The 'blended family' is now just, family.

You grew up wanting to stay at the Disneyland Hotel. You've done that.

As Billy Joel said, "We didn't start the fire." Our children think we did.
Greta Thunberg knows we did.

You've made When I'm Sixty-Four your new ringtone or ringback tone. This will last for only a few weeks before you go back to a standard iPhone tone.

Fuck cancer.

Giving exceeds receiving.

Back in the day, you've woken up on a friends dirty carpet with all your clothes on, and now wouldn't dare sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag. Camping!

Somewhere long ago you actually paid 25 cents for a gallon of gas.

You go to Las Vegas to see The Beatles' Love at the Mirage,
 like it's a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Be a light for someone.

Roger Daltrey now hates people smoking dope at Who concerts.
Times change, but The Who still sounds fantastic live.

John F. Kennedy was assassinated, you were told at school by your teacher.
You cried- if not at school, some place where no one could see you.

Keto smeto - I'm not giving up pizza!

You've held her hair back, or you've rubbed his back...
while bending over the toilet and hurling Boone's Farm and Cheetos.

Opportunity and choice are the greatest gifts you can give a young person.

I miss it when someone doesn't initiate and say, "good morning" when you pass and you're the only person around. Or you initiate, "good morning" and they ignore you and just walk on by.

We shall scrimp and save

You don't put your head under water at the pool or ocean, c'mon man!

The weight is always there, it hangs like a dark cloud, but dammit you're really happy.

The maturation of hair loss on the top of head to then sprout like spring weeds in your nose and ears is just a cruel joke.

Create, express you passions.

A New Year's resolution is just a cheap setup for a fail. Actions not words win the day.

Houdini said that the hardest thing for him was to get out of bed. You love your bed.

Email title in my Inbox- Domino's Stuffed Cheesy Bread is calling your name.
"hey, Fat Ass."

You're on your third impeachment, however experience tells you this one is completely different. You realize we are living in an epic historical period in our government while many seem oblivious to the challenge to our democracy. You're watching and talking to people of reason, stay vilangent.

Got to have a current project going. After that... onto the next project.

Listen to music like you did in your 20's.

Pay-per-view turned out pretty well. You never realized there would be so many good stories coming out of your flat panel television.

Will you still need me, will you still feed me

You're in a position where you don't have to work with assholes.
 If you are, at least you have an exit strategy.

You've had injuries and walked down that lonesome road all by yourself.
You've eaten orange slices with 7,000 people after the finish line.

A long time ago, a friend put a condom under the faucet
and filled it like a water balloon to show you it wouldn't explode.
BTW, have you seen those water balloon kits for kids at Costco, pure genius!

You know religion, you know spirituality.

Think of retirement as a set of retread tires, 
you've got new tread on old tires for the road ahead.

Walking is one of the essential keys of life- walk, walk, walk.

Your spouse says at the restaurant,"Don't tell them it's my birthday."
Mine for evermore

Your grandchildren play the song below on Alexia to you over FaceTime
while singing and dancing.

Monday, December 24, 2018

My Favorite Songs of 2018

In 2018, I've made the time to listen to a lot of new albums. For me, listening to new records for the first time is like mining. In any type of mining, you spend most of your time digging and shifting. In the digs for new music, I'm trying to hear the golden songs that first hook my attention, and then work on my head and heart. 

As AM/FM radio is a wasteland in San Diego except for NPR (including NPR Music), and Jazz 88.3, Amazon Music and YouTube are now my go to digging. I'll also mention the podcasts- WTF with Marc Maron and the Americana Music Show as great resources for expanding my search for fresh songs and learning about the musicians behind the music . 

Music is such a personal thing for all of us. My wife and I love each other but our tastes in music would never have been the magical online dating algorithm to make us a match. I just love it when she gently yells up the stairs to me, "Would you please put your headphones on!"

As this blog took about 15 minutes to write, the playlist (now at 100 songs) has been going on for several months now. I publish it with the hopes that you will find at least a few golden nuggets of song that maybe you have never heard before.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Paul McCartney - Egypt Station release

Photograph: MJ Kim/MPL Communications

Awhile back I did a sneak preview of Paul McCartney's new album, Egypt Station with a couple of YouTube songs released before the official September 7th release date. The highlight of that blog was my inclusion of the James Corden piece with Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke which I have included here again at the end of the playlist.

For this week's release of the album, I was able to snag every song from the new album off YouTube from various sources. Here's the album on Amazon Music if you have a subscription.

This is Sir Paul's 17th solo album that he's calling 'a concept album' but I couldn't hear the travel or any other connected themes other than love or want of. I still think its a very good album that is worthy of a start to finish listen to as we used to do back in the day. I've only seen pictures as shown above of the album cover, but Paul's really put a great deal of visual art into the vinyl album that I think many fans will love to look at and read the liner notes while listening. Here's a link to buy on Amazon.

I start this playlist with three Jimmy Fallon videos with Paul on his show promoting the album last Friday, September 7th. I always enjoy Jimmy's love for Paul that now extends across several generations of fans.

If you want to read a review of this album, just read Rob Sheffield's Rolling Stone review here, with the opening line - "Make a list of all the songwriters who were composing great tunes in 1958. Now make an overlapping list of the ones who are still writing brilliant songs in 2018. Your list reads: Paul McCartney."

So happy Monday and start (or end) your day enjoying Paul's new music and sense of humor here!

Monday, July 02, 2018

Paul McCartney - Egypt Station (peek)

Paul McCartney's new album, Egypt Station is set to be released September 7, 2018 but Sir Paul has given us several bits of new media to hold us over through the summer.

First, I saw the Carpool Karaoke with Paul for The Late Late Show with James Corden in Liverpool. I think its fabulous and the reason for creating this post.

Then, Paul has just released two songs off the album, I Don't Know and Come On to Me.

I'm still kicking myself for not seeing him at Petco Park in San Diego in 2014. These opportunities are shrinking with the greats and let that be a lesson mates to go see the band you want to see when your gut tells you to go!

Monday, February 13, 2017

My Funny (unconventional) Valentine

The original 1937 My Funny Valentine song was staged in the Broadway musical, Babes in Arms as a woman singing to a man. However, many males from Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker to Sting have sung this song, but listen to the lyrics as I don't think it plays so well in 2017. If you're going to play a tune like this to your love, I would suggest, Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel.

In this next video, you'll see my point exactly from my comments above...

Dan Hicks, the master of satirical country swing. MK played me a couple of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks albums on our first dates together in 1973 and I guess from my positive reaction, we were meant to be. Dan, you are missed!

Stephen Stills gave us all permission to not be so faithful. I guess this one came to him based on his experience with drugs, sex and rock n' roll.

But Simon and Garfunkel gave the ladies an all is fair in love with this one.

Now for some wedding musical comedy.

And, from marriage often comes the babies in the carriage.

Hey, this Valentine's myth is just getting old and the pressure that we all have to be coupled to preserve some religious plan, screw that.

Can't have enough Dan Hicks today!

Don't got it all figured out? Kacey says you're in good company.

Here's a fun love story song.

and maybe this is how the whole thing goes down in time.

Damn it Paul McCartney, you made me hum this song until I finally caved over the years and liked it! I'll let Kurt Hummel and Glee take us out with this one.

Here's My Funny (unconventional) Valentine Playlist.
Note - For some reason my Playlist would not embed in my blog this week, so I have broken them out in individual videos today.