Showing posts with label The Rolling Stones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Rolling Stones. Show all posts

Monday, May 23, 2022

Fifty Years of Music • May, 1972

In America you get food to eat
Won't have to run through the jungle
And scuff up your feet
You just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day
It's great to be an American
–Sail Away, Randy Newman

So I was wondering when the streak would end?

Meaning, what month would I only have three albums to showcase as the header for this month fifty years ago. Typically, I can have between 6 and 10 albums that I feel are worthy as whole albums. Was this the month where the rock 'n' roll well started to lose water?

In 1972, The 60's were officially dead, not to mention Jimi, Janis, and Jim. The Beatles were no more. The Beach Boys were done, Bob Dylan was where? The original Byrds had long flown, Neil Young was embarking on making non-selling solo albums, CS&N were toast, Motown took the last train for the coast...

Yet, The Rolling Stones make their critically received Exile On Main St., an album I would appreciate much later but I'm sure for many, a 'stay calm and rock on' moment... we still have the Stones. Elton John has moved from the new kid in town into being a huge superstar, and Randy Newman ascends into 'American Treasure' songwriter status even though many people will only know him for his much later, Toy Story movie score.

These three albums are for me a perfect moment in rock 'n' roll time. 

The Stones are the 60's past but in 1972 are still making great rock 'n' roll and white boy blues. In the 70's, The Rolling Stones cement their 'best rock 'n' roll band of all time' title in that they are the band who lived for another day, then year, and as it's turned out decades... 60 years baby! 

After Brian Jones death in 1969, The Stones have only had two new members, guitarist Mick Taylor who lasted 5 years (1969-74) because he probably thought he'd be dead in another 5 years, and his replacement, Ronnie Wood (1975-present). The line up of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood would remain the same until Charlie's death last year. And, they're still a band today adding all-star drummer Steve Jordan recently. Of all the bands in the world, nobody can deny their greatness and appreciate their sheer longevity in an industry that chews up bands and spits them out as sport. Not to mention most bands tendency to self-destruct once money, drugs and fame enter the picture. Long live The Rolling Stones.

Elton John represents the transition to 1970's rock 'n' roll. He with David Bowie become huge stars. In an odd way, Elton replaces Neil Young for me. Elton with Bernie Taupin are fantastic songwriters. He is also a great singer and entertainer, basically the whole package. Loggins & Messina replace the whole sorted mess with Crosby, Stills & Nash, then Young, then not any of them. James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Carol King and Linda Ronstadt continue to rise as great solo artists, and another big band is about to break out in my 50 years feature next month, the Eagles.

In 1972, Randy Newman is both the past and the present. He's steeped into an early 20th century songwriting style, becoming a timeless artist with a quirky voice who writes songs like Mark Twain wrote books. More importantly, he's a songwriter's songwriter. His influence with his peers and now a couple of generations is unmeasurable. Over the years he's had a few non-movie based hits, Short People and I Love LA come to mind, but I'll take songs like Dayton, Ohio - 1903. If there's one person to take in this week on the playlist, take him in, you've got a friend in Randy Newman.

Enjoy the playlist my friends.

Here is the YouTube Music app which is great for listening to this playlist on your phone. Click on the text link below. 
https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE7OYmYUxGQeRLTCJxMbhXWlFYSS5PZRS&feature=share

Monday, May 02, 2022

Circling Back Around

photo source - flickr

We were ring-around-the-rosy children
They were circles around the sun
Never give up, never slow down
Never grow old, never, ever die young
–James Taylor

2020 was as they say, "A bad year." 

In 2014, I retired from being a teacher as I was with the same school district for thirty-five years. At the time, I couldn't believe that it had actually gone by so fast. My friend Mark Hunter says, "Life is a roll of toilet paper, it starts out slow but at some point that paper roll seems to quickly get smaller and smaller."

As a teacher in a large urban school district, I actually had quite a number of different jobs. My goals as I shifted from special education to general education never included being an administrator. I found that managing other adults was something to avoid and generally gravitated to work that was more project-based. I spend many years mastering the art of lateral movement in a large bureaucracy and discovered how to thrive in the world of grants, or what is often called, "soft money." As a resource teacher, I learned to live close to a money stream where I could personally make change and be a positive difference in students and other teachers lives.

So when I retired from my day job, I was looking to carry that semi-independent streak into being my own boss and start my own educational consulting business with a focus in K-12 learning spaces. I basically worked with vendors who sold furniture and technology to schools where we created new learning spaces from older, traditional learning spaces.

This all went along pretty well for a few years. Then in 2019, business really started slowing down for me, and then the pandemic hit in 2020 to completely finish it off. I folded my tent thinking, "I guess this is it, I'm never going to create a new learning space again." 

Sting sings, If You Love Somebody Set Them Free. I don't think I gave up, but that song kept playing in my head, and I resolved to thinking that if I just let the business go, to set it free, that maybe someday it or something else like it, would come back around to me.

After two years, I'm tanned and I'm rested. Bye-bye Covid, I'm ready to go see some rock 'n' roll.

Then I get a call from Dean Smith who is the CEO of his own small business called, D&D Integrated Solutions. Dean and I first met sometime in the 1990's when he was selling security locks for desktop computers. When I started as a consultant, Dean's business had expanded to technology integration and then expanded into being a K-12 furniture dealer as well.  As a consultant from 2015-2019, we did a half-dozen fun learning spaces together. But I had plans. I was always looking for something bigger, working with bigger vendors, doing bigger projects. Well you know...

So in March, Dean offers me a job in his business to be a Learning Environment Designer. He actually let me create my own title and as you can probably tell from that comment, I'm delighted to have it, not to mention the freedom to collaborate with his team and school districts, again. Thank you Dean!

This past week, I wrote the first in what I'm hoping will be many blogs for D&D. In an irony of all ironies with respect to my Monday Monday Music™ blog, I got paid to write a blog. How sweet is that!

If you're interested, here is the link to my D&D blog post titled, Learning Environments: Macro to Micro

I'm thinking, "2022 is a good year, so far... Stop it Doug, 2022 is already a good year!"

Here's a few songs swimming around my head that express my emotion with all this... I may add more as they come to me.

Enjoy my friends!

Monday, March 28, 2022

List Your FAV FIVE: Rolling Stones Songs

FAV FIVE Series

Songs • Albums • Singer-songwriters • Rock 'n' Roll Bands • Guitar Players 
Beatles Songs • Bob Dylan Songs • Rolling Stones Songs • Neil Young Songs


Let's keep the ball rolling with the FAV FIVE Series by moving from the recent readership participation of creating a group Beatles playlist, and last week, The Bob Dylan playlist. 

This week, your assignment should you choose to accept it- 
LIST Your FAV FIVE: Rolling Stones Songs

You will make your list in the Comments section at the end of the blog post below. 

So to begin, let's start at the end. The big idea is for all of us to create a Monday Monday Music™ Readers: The Rolling Stones Songs Playlist.

I'll start the playlist with my favorite five Rolling Stones songs and then, as readers leave me their five in the Comments section below, we will grow the playlist together. Note- I'm sure we will have duplicates which is great, but I will only include a song once in the YouTube playlist as I receive the lists.

Songs must be original Rolling Stone compositions recorded by the band themselves. So, no covers from other artists doing Stones songs, which is another whole blog in itself that I will do someday. 

So here's my five (at this moment) to kick this thing off.
  1. Ruby Tuesday
  2. Gimme Shelter
  3. Get Off Of My Cloud
  4. Paint It Black
  5. Let's Spend The Night Together
Now if you want a little help in making your list, here's a great resource.
Also, here's the same little tutorial I made for The Beatles list.
  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the blog to the Comment section. Number and name your songs 1-5.
  2. Comment as: If you're logged into your computer, tablet or smartphone with a Gmail (Google) account, pick the first selection. I would recommend using the Chrome browser.
    Or, pick Name/URL, write your name and leave URL blank,
    Or, if you pick Anonymous, just write your first and last name in the Comments box itself.
  3. Hit the Publish button, and I'll list your five songs in the post here (if you provided your first and last name), and then I will mix your list in the Youtube playlist.
  4. One last thing, if someone else has picked one of your favorite 5 already, still include it in your list. It may reveal a clear winner that in the end needs to sit at the top of the playlist.
Thanks in advance for playing along and come back later in the week to listen to OUR growing playlist!


Monday, April 12, 2021

Fifty Years of Music • Sticky Fingers


Opting for the above promo photo shoot for the Rolling Stones 1971 album, Sticky Fingers is probably the better decision than blowing up the Andy Warhol designed album cover.

By 1971, 'The Stones' weren't holding anything back with the new album title and cover photo, and were certainly living up to the band's shortened name. 

As iconic as the Sticky Fingers cover was with its functional zipper the bad boys of rock had just left their record label Decca and Mick wanted a new logo for their own record label.

A London artist, John Pasche who had done some poster work for the band, created the lips and tongue logo over a weekend for 50 pounds (around $76). The logo was first introduced as the inside cover sleeve of Sticky Fingers and has now gone on to be the band's logo for fifty years. The tongue and lips graphic is in fact the most famous of all band logos, if not one of the most recognized icons used on t-shirts and promotion products around the world.

The logo pictured above was used to commemorate the band's 50 Year Anniversary in 2012, and works well here for the 50th year of Sticky Fingers, a masterful album full of hits with new bandmate Mick Taylor aboard for his first full-time studio Stone's album.

Here's the complete Sticky Fingers with a couple alternate tracks including my mix from the Sticky Fingers Deluxe and Super Deluxe Editions of live tracks in 1971 as your must listen to playlist this week to get you rolling.

Enjoy my friends, stay well, and zip-up!

Monday, September 28, 2020

50 Years of Music • September, 1970

Repipe came in through the bathroom walls
September, 2020 finds me in my (almost) 50 year old house and she's starting to show her age. The past several months have been, "Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling" as the ol' copper pipes sounded like a jackhammer when we turned the water on. This condition in the plumbing biz is actually called, "water hammer" or as the plumber called it, "Hammer Time."

This past month has been a scene right out of Beetlejuice as the walls would rattle and the downstairs bathroom floor tiles were getting warmer and warmer. It finally dawned on me, "Dear I believe we've sprung a hot water leak underneath the concrete slab."

Well, After consulting my old buddy and contractor, Ron Zieman he guided me to go with a complete "Pex" repipe of the entire house. A repipe, cuts off the copper lines leading under the slab and are replaced with the Pex pipe rerouted within all of the walls and ceiling. Why, because you don't have to tear out the floor and slab to fix one leak, and then do it all over again somewhere else in the house and keep rolling the dice.

Anyway, the repipe and drywall jobs went great and I just have to repaint the exterior stucco by the kitchen, the kitchen, downstairs bedroom, laundry room and this downstairs bath just completed yesterday to the missus specifications.

The really cool thing now is we have new shower and bath fixtures in both bathrooms with great water pressure throughout the house, and you don't have to worry about flushing the toilet in the downstairs bathroom and scalding the person taking a shower in the upstairs bathroom anymore!

I still found time this week to musically go back in time to 1970 where 'they' came up with the brilliant idea to put the plumbing system underneath the concrete foundation.

Music wise September, 1970 was a great month with releases from: The Byrds, The Rolling Stones (Live also featuring B.B. King and Ike and Tina Turner), Billy Preston, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, The Allman Brothers Band, Seals and Crofts, Jesus Christ Superstar, Glen Campbell, Santana, Johnny Winter, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and James Brown.

So, I now got a new playlist to whistle while I work. Enjoy my friends, register to VOTE, and stay well.


Monday, September 07, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • July-August • 2020

The Listener
A YEAR of #NewMusicMondays  
Recently, I've had a couple of people ask me what my blog is about. The short answer is I write about rock 'n' roll. Since 2015, it's a passion where I developed a process over time that I compare to fishing. I cast my digital fishing pole into the river of musical streams.

To create a blog, I always start at the end. The end is the playlist, the second part of the blog. I spend the most time on any blog making the playlist because it's the heartbeat, the music itself that motivates me to organize a group of songs and then write about them.

The actual first part of the blog, the writing is always the hardest part. Sometimes like this week, I don't have much to say about the songs because it's new music that I don't have experiences to tie them to, other than I like the songs I've caught. Sometimes, I wonder how many people actually listen to an entire playlist that I've created? I'm guessing a handful. I like to think my playlists communicate a message- the songs selected and their linear order, an iteration with its own rhythm and if explored, probably reveals more about me than the writing of the blog.

I have two kinds of playlists. One, songs compiled from my youth in long-term memory, and two, songs compiled from recent times and often experienced as fun short-term memories.

The long-term playlists are often like fishing in a familiar fishing hole, you just cast your line with bait and wait, and then you catch that big song from long ago and just slowly reel it in.

The new songs have an exciting element of the unknown, you're fishing with a lure, casting out and quickly reeling it in with only your shiny lure staring back at you. But every now and then you catch a fresh new song, a keeper for a week, or one that actually becomes a long-term favorite.

In this metaphor, the bait or lure is my musical sense, my personal preferences to beat, rhythm, melody, vocals, lyrics, and the musical instruments used, and then categorized as an artist's musical sound, style, and/or genre.

In the past several weeks of putting this #NewMusic playlist together, I have been examining my musical taste in both my old and new likes, and my recent dislikes that stereotype most pop music today by assuming every young person must have an electronic pulse sound in the song in order for them to buy it.

Now, take my 'digital lure fishing' method to catching songs and it's something like 'speed dating' where couples sit for a minute, talk, the bell sounds, and then you move onto the next table. I cast my 30 second lure- listen to the intro, does it grab me, or skip to the second quarter, continue to listen or skip to the third quarter, continue to listen, or it's one and done with that song. This may sound cold, but my method gives a lot of artists and bands I have never heard of a fighting chance with my musical 'Crap-O-Meter.'

So, it's a lot like fishing, mostly misses but a few wonderful hits too. This week I discovered new favs for the first time- Josh Ritter, Kathleen Edwards and the band, Travis as well as new material from recent favorites as The Killers, Black Pumas, and The Lemon Twigs. Also, a couple of new old songs from The Rolling Stones, Green Day, and Prince.

My hope is that you're saying, "Cool thanks for sharing this new music." Or,
"Seriously Doug, you mean you have never heard of Travis until last week, and you call yourself a music blogger?"

Enjoy my friends and stay well out there.


Monday, August 24, 2020

List Your FAV FIVE: Rock 'n' Roll Bands

 

Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, and country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954. 

In the earliest rock and roll styles, either the piano or saxophone was typically the lead instrument, but these instruments were generally replaced or supplemented by guitar in the middle to late 1950s. The beat is essentially a dance rhythm with an accentuated backbeat, which is almost always provided by a snare drum. Classic rock and roll is usually played with one or two electric guitars (one lead, one rhythm), a double bass (string bass) or after the mid-1950s an electric bass guitar, and a drum kit. Wikipedia

A rock band or pop band is a small musical ensemble that performs rock musicpop music, or a related genre. Wikipedia

I start this installment with the question, "Would you consider Simon and Garfunkel a rock band?"

To answer that question for the purposes of this blog, I'm going to say, "Yes and no."

Yes, because the duo embodies the above definitions with their blending of folk and rock 'n' roll genres.

And no, in the sense of rock 'n' roll moving in the mid-1960's to a more electric 'rock' sound.

In the blog today, I want to emphasize bands using electric guitars, electric bass, drums, keyboards and technology connected to large amplified speakers as the primary instruments used across a group's repertoire. Sure Simon and Garfunkel recorded songs like A Hazy Shade of Winter, but the rock-oriented beat of that song is more the exception than the rule to their catalog of music. Or, in my clumsy way of saying they had 'less rock and more roll' and boy did their music roll. (Note- Simon and Garfunkel were voted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.)

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
Okay, what about individuals like Eric Clapton who was in so many terrific bands across his career, but also did a significant number of 'solo' rock albums. Here I'm going to say, "No" just pick one or more or these bands he was in.
I want this to be a focus on a two or more member rock-oriented ensemble. Okay, what about bands that have a front person identified by name but also have that critical collaborative ensemble that makes them a rock band? Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band quickly come to mind, because all the bandmates in those two bands became famous in their own right over time, so that's a big, "Yes."

My wife Mary Kit is going to bring up Elton John again, so is Elton John a band? I'm going to say, "Yes" because I'll have hell to pay if I said "No," but I'm going to say "yes" because Elton John wasn't ever in another famous band other than his own, and Elton had a life-long collaboration with his bandmates Nigel Olson, Davey Johnston and Dee Murray (RIP) who helped create the rocking Elton John sound. How 'bout Elton John and the Jets? Anyway, I'm not going to veto solo acts from anyone's list like Dylan, Bowie, or Prince, but first think of 'electric-ensemble bands' and their fascinating band names for your favorites list this week.

So hopefully this is all clear as mud and let the proceedings begins.

In this FAV FIVE it started like the previous episodes with a pen and paper brainstorm. This one flowed like a breeze compared to the others as I nailed the first four bands out of my head and into their final ranking order on paper. Now for number five? I said this is going to be easy as I thought of band name after band name feeling a little more doubtful as the list got longer and longer. Who to choose after The Who?

Doug's brainstorm list-

1. The Beatles
2. The Rolling Stones
3. The Who
4. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Now for that last pick.
  • The Kinks  - If I had to pick a #5 this week (1/5/22) it would be these guys.
  • The Beach Boys
  • Eagles
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Cream
  • Traffic
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • Creedance Clearwater Revival
  • The Hollies
  • The Band
  • Elton John
  • David Bowie
  • Queen
  • Yes
  • Electric Light Orchestra
  • The Moody Blues
  • The Byrds
  • Buffalo Springfield
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
  • The Allman Brothers
  • The Flying Burrito Brothers
  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
  • Chicago
  • Loggins and Messina
  • Dire Straits
  • The Bangles
  • REM
  • The Black Keys
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
  • The Jayhawks
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Gary Clark Jr.
I could have easily picked the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Byrds, CSNY or Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, but went with Loggins and Messina. Loggins and Messina was my first rock concert (Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo) in 1972 after their Sittin' In album had been released in November, 1971. They opened for The Youngbloods and blew The Youngbloods and gym audience away. (In fairness to The Youngbloods, they were actually breaking up at the time and no telling the behind the scenes circumstances.)

A couple of years later, I saw Loggins and Messina at the UCSB gym in Santa Barbara, and it is still one of the best concerts I have ever attended. I purchased all six of their studio albums from 1971-1976. Are their better bands in my list above, yes but Loggins and Messina has that special time in place element to take my #5 spot, not to mention a hell of an ensemble of supporting bandmates to see live.

Now it's your turn.
Use this direct link to the form if for some reason, it does not appear in you browser -

Looking forward to posting your list below here in the order that I receive them. Stay well my friends!

Mary Kit McIntosh's 
FAV FIVE  Rock 'n' Roll Bands
  1. Eagles
  2. Fleetwood Mac
  3. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  4. The Beatles
  5. Elton John

Paul Hobbs' 
FAV FIVE  Rock 'n' Roll Bands
  1. The Beatles
  2. The Rolling Stones
  3. The Band
  4. The Beach Boys
  5. The Who

Ron Zieman's
FAV FIVE  Rock 'n' Roll Bands
  1. The Beatles
  2. Cream
  3. The Rolling Stones
  4. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  5. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Ron Ouellette's
FAV FIVE  Rock 'n' Roll Bands
  1. The Beatles
  2. Eagles
  3. Decemberists
  4. Steely Dan
  5. The Alternate Routes


Ken Forman's
FAV FIVE  Rock 'n' Roll Bands
  1. The Beatles
  2. The Rolling Stones
  3. The Who
  4. The Band
  5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Bill DeVoe's
FAV FIVE  Rock 'n' Roll Bands
  1. The Doors
  2. The Band
  3. Dire Straits
  4. The Moody Blues
  5. Electric Light Orchestra 

Shawna McIntosh's
FAV FIVE  Rock 'n' Roll Bands
  1. Radiohead
  2. Arcade Fire
  3. Animal Collective
  4. The Beastie Boys
  5. Beach House

Monday, June 01, 2020

Dear Mr. Fantasy...

Dear Mr. Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything, take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy
–Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood






It's February 8, 2020 and Mary Kit and I are at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. We walk into the Forum Shops which is this huge indoor complex of stores and restaurants. We have dinner reservations at Trevi. Trevi is the open Italian restaurant next to the Fountain of the Gods and we have a wonderful dinner to the sound of splashing water that almost drowns out the sound of the horde of tourists around us. We are about to see Van Morrison at his sold-out residency at the Colosseum. The ceiling is a consumer's paradise with a fanciful painted sky designed to transport you to a different place, a different time... 

COVID-19 is about to be a BIG THING, we just don't know it yet as we sit down to dinner with thousands of people around us, and then later see a wonderful concert. We come back to enjoy our hotel at the MGM Signature. The Lazy River pool is closed for winter, but we'll be back in late May to enjoy it when we come to see Sting on May 27th, and Sheryl Crow on May 28th... 

-------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Fantasy,

It's March 15th and Mary Kit has gotten me an early birthday present, tickets to see Livingston Taylor at Humphreys Backstage Live. This is like a supper club, and we have seats up front about 10 feet from the stage. I have never seen Livingston live and looking forward to hearing songs like, Carolina Day. What a dinner, Mary Kit wants to mention the lobster bisque, and what a wonderful show! Livingston was fantastic, very engaging with the audience as you can see from the excellent footage I shot and spliced together with my iPhone...



---------------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Fantasy,

It's March 24th and Mary Kit has gotten me another early birthday present, tickets to see Joan Osborne and The Weepies at Edmonds Center For The Arts in Washington. I have never seen Joan Osborne or the opening act The Weepies, but love both and couldn't wait to see them in this intimate 700 seat theater.

The Weepies performed one of my favorite songs, Take It From Me. I must say, the theater is a stickler about shooting video, and the usher did in fact take my phone away from me, but not before I got this...



Next up was Joan Osborne who also performed one of my favorite songs of all-time, One of Us. Now since they took my phone from me, Mary Kit put her coat in her lap and shot this very steady clip from under her coat, I must say this was great camera work, what a team! We also enjoyed our trip up to Seattle and got to have a big family get together and potluck with all of Mary Kit's kids and our grandchildren. We can't wait for our next visit... 



---------------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Fantasy,

It's May 8th and we get to see The Rolling Stones in our own backyard, just 5 minutes (a stones throw) down the road from us at Qualcomm Stadium (now called CCSomethingCreditUnion). If you remember my huge lament back in October 19, 2016, where the Stones had to cancel their concert because Mick developed 'Bad Laryngitis' at Coachella a few nights before. We had just arrived from San Diego on October 18th, got into our hotel when the news come to use via our iPhones. So now we finally got to see our rock heroes because lightening couldn't possibly strike us twice, right?

We both have never seen The Rolling Stones live before and couldn't wait to hear, You Can't Always Get What You Want. Anyway, the show was absolutely phenomenal! Here's an official 2003 clip of the song live, but it really doesn't matter because all these guys look exactly the same today, well Keith may have a few more deep wrinkles now. 



----------------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Fantasy,

It's just last week, May 27-28. Yes we are back in Las Vegas where I'm writing this blog. Man the Southwest flight was packed, but we took our Airborne Fruit Gummies before we left, so I think we're good. 

First, we saw Sting at his residency at Caesar's Palace, just like Van Morrison back in February. Boy, time flies but other than the weather being warmer, everything is always the same in Lost Wages. Hey, the Lazy River was awesome and we even got those frozen rum pool drinks. My advise is not to have three and then get into fast moving water! Lesson learned.

Sting also looks the same as he did twenty years ago, maybe there really is something to that tantric thing? The show was great, but everybody was saying, Don't Stand So Close To Me, which is also a great song of his! Anyway, before the show, Sting was hanging out at one of the pools with a thousand friends, and this was a video I took on my phone as we just happened upon this cool party!



Then on May 28th, Sheryl Crow did a benefit concert for the Sands Cares INSPIRE charity at the Venetian. It was a great show and she did one of my favorites, Every Day Is A Winding Road. I was thinking about that song today as it can be appropriate for one's interpersonal life as well as for people enduring a crisis day in and day out.

Music is always at the heart of tapping at our core emotions. I love going to these live shows and experiencing an artist's music in a concert hall with an audience all together in a common spirit of joy and happiness. It would be so sad if something happened to take that all away, even if it was only for a year, could you imagine that! I know that's a weird thought, but sure makes me want to appreciate all the things like live music that we take for granted.

Sincerely yours,
Doug and Mary Kit



References

Now for all the concerts I have missed in my life, my friend Ron Zieman was telling me about the 2009 concert tour with Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton together. Ron said it was spectacular show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That really would have been one to see, like so many others... Here's Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton performing, Dear Mr. Fantasy at the 2010 CrossRoads Guitar Festival.


Also, thanks to YouTube, the artists, and the concert goers who posted the live concert videos that I 'borrowed' for today's fantasy. Mary Kit and I hope to see all these musicians someday live in concert.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed - 50th Anniversary (2019 Remaster)

I first heard Let It Bleed on friend and childhood next door neighbor Ron Zieman's bedroom record player. I recently recall him saying, "I wore the damn thing out."

Fifty years later and on this spin of the digital turntable, two things stand out. One, Keith Richards playing almost all the guitar parts because Brian Jones was so far gone that the Stones had to kick him out of the band in June, 1969. Brian was found dead in his swimming pool less than one month later.

Jones and fellow guitarist Keith Richards developed a unique style of guitar play that Richards refers to as the "ancient art of weaving" where both players would play rhythm and lead parts together; Richards would carry the style on with later Stones guitarists and the sound would become a Rolling Stones trademark. Wikipedia

The second, is my respect for the craftsmanship on ALL the songs beyond the hits. The Rolling Stones idolized the Blues and the men and women who created the genre. I was listening to a live song by B.B. King on tour with the Stones the other day on Amazon. King says in the intro before the song that he wanted to thank the Stones for having him open for them, because "without the Rolling Stones you wouldn't be listening to B.B. King." Sometimes this world is just ass-backwards...

The new Let It Bleed 2019 remaster on YouTube is outstanding! Take a little holiday time on this one, but don't forget to go back to my Christmas Mix 2019 - Going Home. Baby gimme some shelter!

Our ol' pal Ron is currently visiting his father Ray in Rochester, New York. Happy Birthday Ron and Merry Christmas to you and your family and stay warm by the fire.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Eric Clapton, Part II - the long run



I start this with a sub-blog that I'll call,
'Legends with Laryngitis' thinking back to October 19, 2016. MK and I had flown into Las Vegas the day before like thousands of other Rolling Stones fans to see "the boys" at the new T-Mobile Arena. As luck would have it, Mick told reporters, "I've got bad laryngitis. I do apologize to everyone who bought tickets." You see, the Stones had just finished their gig at Desert Trip 2016 a.k.a. "Oldchella" where Mr. Jagger first picked up the tickle in the warm desert air. Unfortunately for us, that show was cancelled outright and not to be made up as the Stones were rolling along on their world tour, as I believe Foxborough, Mass. and then Germany were next up at the time.

Then, my birthday present from MK on March 25, 2017 and the Eric Clapton "short" tour at the LA Forum. Eric had just finished a two night engagement at Madison Square Garden and had developed SEVERE BRONCHITIS cancelling the LA shows and rescheduling for this past Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Well now, I'm starting to take this personally.

Next Legend, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, on August 19, 2017. Now third time's the charm as MK and I are crossing our fingers as Tom is on this massive 40th Anniversary Tour and we are praying to Clapton (is god) that the rock 'n' roll heavens can't do this laryngitis/bronchitis thing again to our bucket list plans. Well, the show happens on schedule! Tom and the Heartbreakers were absolutely fantastic and we had a wonderful time. Then a couple of days later I read this on my phone, “As Tom Petty heals from laryngitis and bronchitis, additional changes are required for the remainder of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ Bay Area & Sacramento performances. We share this news with regret, but Tom’s doctor has advised Tom to take additional days off before performing."

What the... we just made that Safco Stadium show in Seattle by the skin of our teeth! Tom did make up those shows, but as Jerry Seinfeld said to Uncle Leo-

Jerry Seinfeld: C'mon, you're lucky to have anybody.

Uncle Leo: Last week you told me I was in my prime, I should be swinging.

Jerry Seinfeld: Swinging? What are you, out of your mind? Look at you, you're disgusting. You're bald, you're paunchy, all kinds of sounds are emanating from your body twenty-four hours a day. If there's a woman that can take your presence for more than ten consecutive seconds, you should hang on to her like grim death. Which is not far off, by the way.

So as of this writing, Mick, Eric and Tom are fine (I'm sure) but their touring days are indeed numbered. But as I write that line, I'm thinking of Mick as the 'energizer bunny' and maybe I still have a shot at the Stones.

And one last thing about laryngitis, or sounding that way. I saw this past week that Bob Dylan's going back out on tour again with his "Never Ending Tour." I miss Bob's voice, maybe a lesson for young singers/musicians not to smoke and mess with the most beautiful instrument you're born with. Smoking is like the lottery. You can be rarely lucky like Eric Clapton (who wonders why he is even still alive). He kept his singing voice while smoking his whole life (not to mention the drugs and alcohol), or you can sound like Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills and Bob Dylan to name a few of my heroes after a lifetime of smoke. Sorry, the parent in me still sometimes comes out.

Now, let's get back to Eric and that September 13th make up show at the Fabulous Forum that MK and I just saw this past Wednesday.


Here's my smartphone shot as MK and I are seated center back, just up from the floor, thanks love. I'm using this picture to kick off Part II of Eric Clapton and if you missed my last week Monday Monday Music, here is the link to, Eric Clapton, Part I - god and hippy heaven. In Part I, I go into my youth (again?) and Clapton as the quintessential guitar god of my generation notwithstanding Jimi Hendrix, who died 47 years ago today at the young age of 27. Anyway, the show is billed as A Celebration of 50 Years of Music that goes back to Cream in 1967, and I couldn't wait to hear him do Sunshine of your Love as it's part of the setlist, and a little piece of my youth. Sadly, that didn't happen, as he cut it from the encore, but that's ok, I have it on this week's playlist from the Cream 2005 reunion at the Royal Albert Hall.

But, and I say "but" in a good way, Part II of Eric Clapton's story has a lot of acoustic guitar that he features heavily in the middle set of the show. These latest shows are actually a real blessing for the faithful as Eric's recent diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy puts a dark cloud out there. But you would never know, as technically his electric and acoustic playing were sensational and as I said, Eric still has his wonderful singing voice, if only slightly diminished in volume. For me, the highlight was Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out from the 1992 Unplugged sessions. It's a song that speaks to all of us, but for Eric, after his heroin addiction and continued struggles with alcoholism for many years, divorces, and the tragic death of his 4 year old son, Mr. Clapton did indeed live the blues. All of this is covered in the upcoming Showtime documentary, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars coming out in February, 2018.

I would agree with the NY Times review of the show in March, that the show was 'subdued.' The recent LA Times review is titled, Eric Clapton at the Forum: Was it dullness or was it bliss? I'm going to say both. If you grew up with Clapton, you felt that raw energy right there in the records, the way I feel about the opening act at last Wednesday's show, Gary Clark Jr. Gary just pulls you in with the power of his guitar and voice. This was my second time seeing Gary live, and I wanted more. For Eric, was it a great show? No, but a very good show. This was a performing goodbye and I thank him for the opportunity and bliss. And just remember back as Jack Bruce said at the end of the live Crossroads recording on Wheels of Fire, "Eric Clapton please." In this very long run, please there has been no one like him. Through rock, he became the most influential keeper of the blues for generations across the world through the airwaves and into our beating hearts.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Transistor man, transistor band

Yesterday, I get into my car to go to lunch in Balboa Park with Mary Kit and the radio is already tuned into the Dodger baseball radio station. Now I'm a long-suffering Padre fan since I moved down to San Diego in 1975, but for the last couple of days, I've been trying to savor my last moments of hearing the voice, the beautiful musical voice of Vin Scully.

My memory is transported to 1965. I'm up in my bunk-bed with my brother Steve sleeping below me. I have my hand-held Sony transistor radio (the most popular electronic communication device in history) in bed with me under the covers. I've got the single audio ear piece in my left ear, downside into the pillow facing the wall so my parents can't see the wire. I'm listening to Dodger baseball with Vin calling the play-by-play. I remember Wally Moon's at the plate, Vin's describing the count and simultaneously telling a story about Wally. Crack of the bat, Wally hits a single between the 1st and 2nd base gap as Vinny visually takes you there, Wally rounds first and comes back to the bag. My dad opens the bedroom door to check in on us. I lay perfectly still. Maybe he knows exactly what is going but doesn't say a word and quietly shuts the door.

Now, listen to Vin here at a more recent Giants vs Dodgers game. Don't watch the video, close your eyes and just listen to the master.



Now back to 1965. I'm in my front yard, laying on the grass with my metal roller skates on. I've been skating round the block several times and sweating, need a break. I've got my transistor radio with me and I'm relaxing listening to a local rock 'n roll station through the speaker. My mom calls out through the screen door that it's time for dinner. The Rolling Stones, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction comes on. I've never heard this song before, it's really good, I instantly like it. I think, I'll want to hear that one some more...

This October 19th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Mary Kit and I are going to see The Rolling Stones, (for the first time). Satisfaction, is the last encore on the set list. I think they did pretty well with that one.