Author: brucelcampbell

Quiet Time

I apologize for the lack of posts as of late, but I am just overwhelmed with everything that is going on. Between the coronavirus, the riots, and being back in the hospital with cardiac issues, I’m not sure where I am most days. Plus, I have to back in the hospital on Tuesday for a cardiac catheter ablation procedure. Not really looking forward to the procedure but hoping that it will stop the A-Fib I’ve been dealing with for about 5 years now.  We’ll see.

So, dear readers, please keep safe and healthy.

Peace,
B

#BlackLivesMatter

A Quick Thought On Memorial Day

This is a repost of last year’s Memorial Day post. I don’t think I could say it any better.

While it’s never wrong to thank a veteran for his or her service, that is not what today is for. Save that for Veteran’s Day. Today we remember the ones who never got to take off the uniform, those that never came home, the ones that paid that ultimate sacrifice. So we do not “celebrate” Memorial Day, we respect what it stands for. Now granted I will have my cookout and drink several adult beverages, after all, it is an extra day off of work. But in the back of my mind, and hopefully yours too, we will remember our brothers and sisters of all branches of the military and hope that their sacrifice wasn’t in vain. As an Army retiree and the proud father of a soldier, today weighs heavily on me and my family, I am so very grateful for those that served before me and after me. So lift a glass of whatever beverage you choose, and thank those we can only remember, those who fell on the battlefields the world over. And pray that the wars will end, and peace will reign. Amen.

Peace,
B

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Retired Army

Lest We Forget, 50 Years On

4 May 1970 members of the Ohio Army National Guard opened fire on unarmed student demonstrators at Kent State University, Ohio.

I am not going to lay the blame for this tragedy on any person or origination. Events like this are never simply the responsibility of a single entity. While there may be a single source for the idea, whether it be a book, a person, or an ideology, there were bad decisions on both sides.

I believe the students at Kent State, who had a history of protests (which was their right!), up against the National Guard troops who were mostly young guys as well. The 60’s and early 70’s were a very tough time for America. And I sadly see some of the same ideologies coming back.

I had a graphic arts teacher in 1971 that was a member of that class at Kent State. He brought in the year book from 1970. Where the pictures should have been for the four students that were killed, were just black boxes.

In total, four students were killed, and nine wounded. This image has been forever burned in my mind.

May it never happens again. Anywhere.

Peace,
B

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Happy Birthday Mom!

Me dear ol’ mum would have turned 99 today!

Not exactly sure of the date for this picture, but my best guess is mid to late 1960’s.

Mom always told us she was born in a little town called Fork in South Carolina. Fork has now been swallowed by Marion, and mom said it disappeared long before it could have been annexed by another city. Her birth certificate is a bit hard to read, but it seems to say County of Dillion, Township either Hillsland or Millsland. It also gives her middle name spelled May and not Mae as she told us.

Good luck with the handwriting!
Geneva Mae Campbell, 1 May 1912 – 23 November 2001

So in appreciation of her birthday, here is a song she absolutely hated!

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 26 April

Coronavirus Edition Part 6

Not too long ago (I can’t really remember exactly when – the days here in self-isolation just blend together), I watched the ZZ Top documentary on Netflix.  A very enjoyable show it was.  It gives a good background on how they got started and had bit and pieces of lots of their music scattered throughout the show, as well as the band playing live.

One line that stuck with me, but I can’t remember who said it (not a band member), was “ZZ Top took the blues and turned it into party music”.  That’s a very true statement.  It goes right along with front man Billy F. Gibbons’ reply when asked why fans still come to see them play live; (paraphrasing here) “I don’t know.  We’re just the same three guys playing the same three chords”. 

I hope they keep those same I-VI-V chords going!

This song has been stuck in my head off and on since I watched that show.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 24 April

Coronavirus Edition Part 5

So just yesterday, or maybe the day before, or was it last week, son-the-younger hit me up with one of his questions. It was a very good question. 

Would Jimi Hendrix be just as famous if he had had a lead singer?”

In my (not so humble) opinion, no he would not have been as famous.  Generally speaking only the front man of the band get’s the headlines. Without “googling” it, name the lead guitar player for The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, or The Animals.  See?  Not that easy.  (Robby Krieger (The Doors), Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane), and The Animals was a trick question, they had more guitarists wander in and out you’d have to read the Wikipedia page for all the names).

Not that Jimi didn’t deserve his fame.  He was a brilliant musician, and is a member of my “Guitar Gods” list (I really, really need to actually put that list in writing).  My thought was since he died so young (a founding member of the 27 Club), he would not have had enough time to get out of the shadow of a really good front man.  Of course, we’ll never know.  Feel free to leave your response to the question as a comment!

Before you go thinking that this is a Hendrix post, read on.

The next (semi) logical step in our conversation was who else fit in this category.  We threw lots of names around.  Naturally, the whole discussion started looking for a rabbit hole.  As we were on our second Tequila drink (not sure exactly what we were drinking, something from son-the-younger’s warped mind) it didn’t take long to find said rabbit hole. 

We ended up discussing front men that really couldn’t sing.  Sometime during the course of the back and forth of throwing out names and laughing, I mentioned Roger McGuinn.  Since Earth Day and Arbor Day is right around now, this song has been getting a bit more airplay.  And when I played it for the boy, he had never heard it.  But we both agreed that Roger is not a singer.  A great song writer and guitar player, but we’ll leave it at that.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 18 April

Coronavirus Edition Part 4

Reading the news now-a-days makes it seem like we are living in a world without love.  This enforced isolation/quarantine is definitely messing with people’s heads. I have not seen any weird, outrageous, or cruel acts here in #Floriduh, which is surprising when you consider how moronic our “governor” is.  I won’t go into that here; I don’t want to spoil my good mood.

How are you dealing with all this time stuck somewhere?  For those that know me, it’s not surprising that for me it’s food and booze.  Son-the-younger and his girls are doing their best to cook up new things for us.  Of course, they’re focusing on the sweets, which I don’t eat too much.

My problem is different.  There are not enough salty snacks in the house.  My cardiologist may think that’s a good thing, but he is dead wrong.

But, our little pation garden is doing well. So we have that going for us!

Here’s one of only two songs credited to Lennon & McCartney to reach number one that are not Beatles recordings.  The other is Elton John’s cover of Lucy In The Sky.

Peter (of Peter and Gordon) and Paul McCartney are childhood friends.  And Paul was engaged to Peter’s sister, Jane. Of course, when Jane walked in on Paul in bed with another woman, the engagement was terminated.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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16 April 1746

Is that a date that brings up any images in your mind?  For fans of Outlander it should, as well as for the Scots and those (like me) of Scottish decent.

Well over two and a half centuries after the event, the Battle of Culloden, fought on 16 April 1746, still means many things to many people. To Scottish expatriates, no matter how many times removed, it is an emotional touchstone to their Scottish identity and commonly regarded as the opening act of the epic tragedy of the Highland Clearances; to those with nationalist inclinations it is held up as an example of England’s terrible maltreatment of its northern neighbour; to Unionists it is seen as the final gasp of a divisive movement hell-bent on returning Britain to monarchical despotism; to romantics it marks the end of one of those great lost causes, pitching the Highland underdog against the might of the Hanoverian war machine.

Culloden; The History and Archealogy of the Last Clan Battle – Tony Pollard 2009
Plaque on the cairn on the battlefield

Wifey and I were able to visit the battlefield in May of 2019.  Here are a few pictures we took while there.  For a battle of only 40 minutes or so, the effects were devastating on the Scots way of life.  I will not even attempt to write about the whys and wherefores of this event.  Many folks have studied and written about this battle with more knowledge than I; they can carry the day. 

Some sources for you;

Wikipedia (I use this resource simply because it is available in so many languages. Not for its accuracy.)

Culloden: why truth about battle for Britain lay hidden for three centuries

National Trust for Scotland

If you wish to read my posts from our trip to Scotland, start here. Or jump to our visit to the Culloden Battlefield. It was a very emotional day for me, epsecially as i poured out a dram of whisky at the Clan Campbell marker.

This lovely tune may (or may not) have been written about the battle, I’ll let you decide.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 12 April

Coronavirus Edition Part 3

Here’s one you may not know. I had mostly forgotten about it until Alton Brown mentioned it on an episode of his YouTube show Quarantine Quitchen. I immediately went to find a video of it.

Sadly this single didn’t chart, but it was the “B” side to Run Straight Down which made it to #30 in 1989. The late Mr. Zevon is not on my “Guitar God” list. I guess I’ll have make another list for him. Yeah, he’ll rank very high on my singer/songwriter list.

I picked this video because it also has Neil Young who played on the original, and it’s live!

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 10 April

Coronavirus Edition Part 2

I had to do the grocery shopping the other day. We’re doing our best to not go too often, but as I’ve mentioned before the shelves are so low of everything it requires multiple trips over several days to get everything we need. I have gone from having to feed just me and Wifey (with son-the-younger on his days off) to feeding all three of us plus the wee bonnie lasses. From two to five mouths.

While our liquor store will deliver to us, the grocery store we prefer does not offer delivery nor pickup.  So, one of us has to go shopping.

And that leads me to today’s song.  Most folks that were shopping along with me were very good about maintaining that social distance.  But not all.

I think Sting says it best.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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