Entertainment

Music Habits Tag

My wonderful friend Kiersten over at Once Upon A Spine (you should go read her blog for some great book reviews and recommendations) tagged me for this post.

So, to start off, thank you m’lady.

As with any tag type of post, there are rules. Why are there always rules???  But here they are:

RULES:

  • Tag the creator (did that)
  • Thank the person that tagged you (did that too)
  • Answer all the questions (will do next)
  • Tag 3 other bloggers (gonna be tough…)

DO YOU DOWNLOAD SONGS OR STREAM ON APPS LIKE SPOTIFY, WINK?

I do both.  I have premium accounts on both Spotify and Pandora, plus an Amazon Prime account.  My music comes from all over. I do download some of my Spotify playlist to listen to at times. Spotify limits downloads to just over 3000 songs, and my current playlist is much longer than that, so I can’t download all of it.

WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT FAVORITE SONG?

No way I could limit myself to one favorite song. Whatever could be listed as “my favorite” will change depending on many factors. And since I’m stuck in the 60’s and 70’s (with just a little of the 80’s thrown in), all my favorites have become “classics”. Which is funny, since when I was a radio DJ (so very long ago) we called it “Album Oriented Radio” (AOR). I don’t consider myself a “classic” by any means.  But, “No Reply” is my favorite song by The Beatles, “Stars” and “As The Raven Flies” by Dan Fogelberg, “Wild World” by Yusef/Cat Stevens (his music saved me during the troublesome years of High School), “Into The Mystic”  by Van Morrison, “John Barleycorn Must Die” (Wifey® hates this song) by Traffic, and I could go on and on. I won’t go into the Blues side of things.

LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO?

“Nothing Compares 2 U” by Prince (did you know he wrote it?) is currently playing.

WHO ARE YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITES?

This list could go on and on and on…

  • The Beatles, of course
  • Dan Fogelberg
  • Yusef/Cat Stevens
  • Any combination, or solo venture, of Eric Clapton and Stevie Winwood
  • Any combination, or solo venture, of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Bruce Hornsby (with or without The Range)
  • The Hollies
  • Van Morrison
  • Joe Cocker
  • Heart
  • Joe Bonamassa (especially when teamed with Beth Hart)
  • Tedeschi/Trucks Band

HAVE YOU BEEN TO ANY CONCERTS?

Way to many to list here. Heart (three times), Linda Ronstadt, John Denver, Crosby & Nash, Blue Oyster Cult, Firefall, Alabama (when I was a country DJ).  And the list continues.

DO YOU PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS?

I play guitar (about 50 years now), both electric and acoustic, but prefer acoustic. I also play around with harmonicas. I’ve been told I have a very nice singing voice too.

DO YOU PLAY YOUR SONGS ON SHUFFLE OR CHOOSE A PLAYLIST?

I create my own playlists, then shuffle it.

NAME ONE SONG THAT YOU ALWAYS SKIP WHEN IT COMES UP ON SHUFFLE

Since I create my own playlists, this doesn’t happen often. But, like Kiersten, I will always skip “Stairway To Heaven” and anything by Skynyrd. Way too much air-time when I was younger.

DO YOU PREFER PLAYING SONGS ON SPEAKER OR LISTENING IN EAR/HEADPHONES?

Speakers when I can, but usually earbuds (so I can turn it up to 11 and not bother anyone).

IS THERE ANY POPULARLY PLAYED SONG THAT YOU DON’T LIKE?

Don’t know. I tend to avoid what passes as “music” these days (and get off my lawn, you damn whippersnappers!!!)

WHERE DO YOU USUALLY FIND NEW MUSIC?

My sons recommend artists to me now and then. Some I have added to my playlists (Shinedown, Theory of a Deadman etc..).

DO YOU LIKE SONGS BASED ON TUNES/BEAT OR LYRICS?

My hearing is basically shot. (See the headphone question) So usually the melody and counter-melody are what catches my attention. I like acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies the most.

NAME ONE SONG THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD LISTEN TO.

“American Pie” by Don Mclean. A great story in a song. (But I totally agree with The Hokey Pokey).

I TAG:

America On Coffee

LittleFears

Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to tag 3 people.  But as Meatloaf sings “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad”. (See what I did there?)

Peace,
B

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Two More Observations

Yeah, I know.. Two posts in one day? Just who the hell does he think he is?

So on the way home tonight I saw a very funny sight. The car in front of me was a hatchback Volkswagen. I don’t know the exact model since all the identifying items had been removed, but not the big VW logo. The car had been lowered, with the usual too wide wheels and tires, and had the standard exhaust work so fond of the “street racer” types. All it really does it make it sound like Wifey’s® battery operated corkscrew. Yes, we have a battery operated corkscrew. But only for Wifey’s® wine, my craft beer has no need of a corkscrew. I do, however, have at least seven bottle openers all throughout the house and porches. Gotta be prepared you know.

So, back to the story.  On the rear window of this silly little vehicle someone (or someones) had written in the dust (I doubt anyone could see out the window it was so dirty) “Sleepy Boyz” and decorated it was four very large penises. The occupants of the vehicle seemed to be totally oblivious to the artwork. I wonder if the dirty deed was done while someone was passed out in the car.

Needless to say, I was laughing at them the whole time they were in front of me.

The second observation is once again, a personalized license plate.  But this one I actually liked. It read “NONUKES 1”. I actually hope there are more of the “No Nukes” folks out and about. That is something I can agree with.

So, in honor of “No Nukes”, here is “Plutonium Is Forever” by John Hall from the 1979 “No Nukes” concert. I have that album somewhere….

Peace,
B

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An Observation

So, this morning on the way into work, I saw a personalized license plate on a car (and we all know what I think of folks with personalized plates), that said “SORARE 2”.  I read that as “So Rare 2”. Which begs the question, if you are “So Rare” how can there be two of you? Wouldn’t that be “Kinda Rare” or “Just A Bit Rare”? I wonder how many more “So Rare” folks are hiding in plain sight.

But in reality, all I wanted to do was post a video, and I needed something to open with, so I thank the “So Rare” movement.

The video I’d like to post may just be a bit rare to some.  It’s from 1970, which was like a lifetime ago. The singer is one of my favorite female artists, Melanie. The song is “Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)”.

The song came about after Melanie was one of only three solo female artists to play the Woodstock festival. Although she was basically an unknown at the time, the crowd so enjoyed her music they lit up candles, lighters, matches, or whatever they could to show their appreciation, and that inspired this song. I especially love the opening of the song. It has, to me a least, a very Celtic feel. Plus Melanie’s voice is so cool.

So here it is;

Peace,
B

And remember, please don’t leave comments on Facebook or Twitter, please leave them below.

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A Bit Of Culture & Some Bad Theology

On Easter Sunday NBC aired “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!”. This past weekend Wifey® and I finally had a chance to watch it (thanks to the modern-day miracle of DVRs). I am quite familiar with this rock opera, having “stolen” the concept album (released in 1970) from my sister. I listened to it constantly. I could sing every part, yes, even Mary Magdalene’s  “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” (I figured if Judas reprises the song I could sing it too).

I have to admit that I am very partial to this version of the opera. With Ian Gillian (lead singer for Deep Purple) as Jesus, Murray Head as Judas, and Yvonne Elliman as Mary (this pre hookup with Eric Clapton), the power of these voices far outshines most the follow-up versions. John Legend did a very nice Jesus in this version and Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas and Sara Bareilles as Mary were exceptional.

The 1973 movie adaptation was terrible. Ted Neely, who was the understudy to Jeff Fenholt as Jesus in the original Broadway cast, just didn’t have the voice to carry the part. The 2000 movie version had cool costumes but still lacked the “power” behind the voices.

The choreography in the “Live” version was exceptional. As was the instrumentation. The blending of the 70’s era rock with the traditional orchestra instruments may be the biggest reason this opera has stayed with me for so long.  I loved the way the electric string instruments came running in with the chorus (they go by the name of Choir! Choir! Choir!), and the violins and either a bass or cello,  were seen in several scenes on stage playing. I can’t imagine the conductor keeping all these musicians spread across the stage in time with each other. A very impressive feat.

Since this opera debuted in the 70’s its theology is a bit dated. One of the most glaring problems is that it casts Mary Magdalene as a “woman of loose morals” to put it politely.  I know there are still some folks who believe that Mary was of a questionable background. But I can’t find anything in the Bible that says she was a prostitute. All I can find is that Jesus cast seven demons out of her (if anyone has any reliable proof of this assertion, please pass it along). My thought (just my opinion), is that folks tend to combine Mary with “the woman caught in adultery” story that’s found ONLY in the gospel of John (and many modern biblical scholars claim that the story is not found in our earliest copies of the gospel. The current thought is that it was added much later by a scribe!).

The other bit of “culture and bad theology” I’d like to talk about is “Godspell”. I believe this would be a musical as opposed to a rock opera as JC Superstar is. I was lucky enough to see Godspell on stage at the Coconut Grove Playhouse way back when 1976. It was very close to the movie version. Wifey® and I have watched this musical several times at some local churches. It’s usually performed by traveling college groups and are usually very good performances.

Godspell is supposed to be based on the gospel of Matthew. And just like “JCS” it takes some liberties with the gospel. Since are both products of the 70’s, taking liberties wasn’t uncommon, especially for anything having to do with the Bible. And that doesn’t bother me at all. I do believe that the Bible is a good thing to read and understand, but then we should also read the Qur’an, and books of other religions, as well, but I do not subscribe the “inerrant” view of the Bible.

One of the major controversies of Godspell is that Jesus is wearing clown makeup. Again, not a problem with me. It doesn’t portray Jesus as a clown, he just has a clown face on. It sets him apart from the rest of the cast, just as Christians have set the historical Jesus apart from the rest of humanity.

Needless to say, both of these shows played a major part of my theology growing up. It wasn’t until much later that I came to realize just how bad their theology was. That doesn’t stop me from enjoying them though. To me, it’s just artistic license. And as long as they keep cranking out quality shows, like the Live show, I’ll keep watching them.

Have you seen either of these shows? Tell me your thoughts if you did!

Peace,
B

P.S. I went looking for a video of both of the shows on YouTube and there were too many to pick from. So it’s up to you to check them out.

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Hey! All Us Miami Folks!

So, “Back in the day” which is around 1972 or maybe even earlier (this would be the beginning of FM radio), we had three good rock n’ roll radio stations in Miami. We had WBUS “The Magic Bus” which was very “underground” at the time. Although I remember their van coming to my junior high school (what would be a middle school today) when I was in 8th grade (about 1971 – see I told you I was old). Many years later this station became WWLL “Love 94”, which was one the first “soft rock” stations. Never really cared for Love 94.

We also had WINZ-FM, or as we knew it “Zeta 4”. When this station started I remember being in the yard with my brother. We found a station that was playing music we really liked and there were no commercials! It’s a matter of business that most new stations rarely have a lot of commercial revenue when they start-up. And since WINZ-AM was a well-known and respected station in the area, they could afford to start a new “Album Oriented Radio” (now known as classic rock) station without a lot of revenue.

Doing some spring cleaning this weekend I found this:

MVIMG_20180325_173733.jpg

I wore a patch like this on many different hats over the years (and yes I almost always have a hat on).

Finally, we had the station that lasted the longest, WSHE “She’s only rock and roll”. This has to be the best radio slogan I’ve ever heard. It plainly states the entire purpose of the station.  I don’t know how long SHE lasted, as we moved away in 1982. But I do remember that’s how I heard of the pope being shot.

So, Miami folks, who remembers these stations? Add some more in the comments!

Peace,
B

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Duuu.. Duuu.. Looking Out My Back Door (Or, Oh Hail!)

(With apologies to CCR)

So I have training in Orlando all this week. For the locals, that means I-4 both ways. Prayers and good wishes are accepted.

Today, the first day of spring we had a nasty storm come through. And as usually happens, it hits Orlando before it hits Daytona. So I’m in class and the storm moves through dropping about marble sized hail. But it clears by the time I get out of class. No problems the entire time on I-4.

But as soon as I get off the interstate it starts to rain. But I can deal with rain. I even managed to get home before it started racing hard. Then out of nowhere I hear what sounds like branches falling on the roof. It wasn’t branches, it was good sized hail.

Hard to see through the screen, but I wasn’t going out there!

Peace,

B

The Year Was 1977

Yes, that was a lifetime ago. I’ll bet some of you reading this were not alive. There may even a possibility that your parents weren’t around then.

My best friend from my junior year of high school, even until now, is Maurice (I’ll leave the last names out to protect the guilty). Maurice and I, or Mo as he goes by now (which is funny since I have a niece named Melissa that also goes by Mo – guess it’s a unisex thing), used to sit and dream big dreams. And we were very seldom under the influence of anything other than, to quote Zonker Harris of “Doonesbury”, “Just getting high on life and America”.  Oh, you probably don’t know anything of “Doonesbury”, here’s a quick tutorial.

One of our dreams was to open a gym in Austin Texas. Mo was very much into bodybuilding, me not so much. When I left for basic training, October of 1976, I stood 5′ 10″ tall and weighed 119 lbs provided I had eaten a large meal beforehand. Mo, on the other hand, stood about 6′ 2″, and had to weigh about 225, maybe 250. And it was all solid muscle. My niece’s little girlfriends (we’re talking 8th graders here, and we are both around 20), loved it when Mo came to the house to visit. Much fawning and adoration went his way.

But to get back to the story. We made up a corporation “The Body Shop” that would be the parent company of all our other businesses. He would have his gym, and I would have my music recording studio and publishing company. Of course, none of this ever happened, nor did we really expect it too. It was just a way to waste time during the day before going out to drink.

Our only other pastime was “The Great Search For The Blue Nehi”. But that’ll be another post. (And Frodo has nothing on our search).

This weekend, instead of going to the St. Augustine Celtic Music Festival like we had planned, instead Wifey® and I cleaned out the closet of what used to my home office. It’s now the bedroom our granddaughter-the-younger. She is 6 years old, so I guess it’s about time we cleaned it out so she has a place to hang her dresses. Of course, my Awia quadrophonic reel-to-reel tape deck, my dual cassette dubbing deck, my turntable and my 4 channel mixing board are still in the closet, simply because I have no other place to put them. I still need to find a place for all my old music books.

I’m sure you’re asking “just where is this story going”? Well, this something I found while cleaning out the closest, buried in the middle of my music books as well.

S&H

I know this very hard to read.. transcription to follow

Some notes: Mo has always liked to try out different names. In this note, he uses “Hezikiah”. He once tried to set up a “New Persona” using the name Merlyn Cully Cross, which he found in a book and was rather taken with. I think he only managed to get a library card with that name. I have had the nickname “Skeeter” for as long as I can remember. Also, there should be a “G Clef” (for you music people between the “Skeet” and “Music”, but apparently this WordPress editor doesn’t have that).

The transcription;

Recorded by “The Foolish Brothers Band” on the “Would You Believe This?” album: “Late For My Own Funeral”.

(c) 1977 SkeetMusic, rights for the world administered by S&H Music, Austin, Tx.

(P) 1977 S&H Music, a division of The Body Shop, Inc., Austin, Tx.

Note: Although this has been copyrighted in July of 1977 and recorded in August of 1977, as of August of 1979 it has not been released due to the fact that “The Foolish Brothers Band” cannot get a major recording company to finance their “Would You Believe This?” label.

The Foolish Brothers Band is (are);

Skeeter: Lead Vocals; Lead & Rhythm Electric Guitars; Acoustic 6 & 12 string guitars; Acoustic guitar body; Various & sundry things lying around the room that make noise; foul words.

Hezikiah: Background Vocals; Lead & Rhythm electic guitars; Acoustic 6 & 2 string guitars; Acoustic guitar body; Anything else lying about the room that makes noises; Dirty language

R.M; D.M; P.B; M.W; K.W; T.W; A.S; L.S; (“The Get Outtahere Choir”); funny little noises in the background

So there you have. A little piece of nostalgia from my misspent youth.  Hope you enjoyed this. I know finding this little scrap of paper gave me great joy, and hopefully, you got a kick out of it too.

And Mo, we definitely need to get together again real soon. Love ya man!

Peace,
B

Main Street

Thursday night I didn’t feel like reading, I watch very little TV, and my favorite show, The X-Files Wifey® will not watch. But that’s okay, as I don’t like most of the shows she watches. So on nights like this, I usually put in my ear buds and blast my 60’s or 70’s music one level below “make your ears bleed”.  After years of playing bands, being a DJ, and all the Army days with lots of explosions and such, my ears are pretty much goners.

music

I know I’ve used this meme before, but I love it!

I was also very fond of the old JBL poster, “Blown Away”.

 

blown_away

They made a second version of this where the gentleman catches the martini before it blows away. Great marketing.

 

But, I digress as usual. I was deep into about my 5th beer that night when one of my favorite songs of Bob Seger came on. Main Street. It reminded me of days long past when I used to frequent a little strip club. My best friend and I would go, have some beer, and watch the girls. I was so jealous that he could start up a conversation with any of the dancers, while I just drank my beer and said next to nothing. There really wasn’t any one girl in particular that caught my eye. I found them all very attractive, or maybe seductive would be a better word. We rarely stayed until closing time, so there was no standing and watching them leave like the song says. But the feeling is very close. And there was no way I could have asked any of the ladies “out on a date”, hell I could barely look them in the eye when they came around the table.Well, that’s my story.

Don’t know why I’m putting this out there, other than to play the video for the song again.  So here it is.

Peace,
B

Bike Week ’18

Today the 77th annual Daytona Beach Bike Week starts. Originally this event was nothing more than a small dirt bike race. It has now ballooned into a 10-day event (I hesitate to call it a festival) that floods our local streets with upwards of 250,000 motorcycle “enthusiasts”.  We get everything from the rich doctors and lawyers riding their $100,000 custom bikes (which only come out of the garage for this event – they’re not even ridden into town, the bikes are usually in a toy-hauler to protect them from the elements – or they just rent them), to some very serious biker types (not exactly Hell’s Angels or Outlaws, or at least if they are gang members they’re smart enough to remove their colors before coming into town). Usually, the majority of the bikers are your everyday rider that goes out on weekends and when the weather is nice kind of folks.

But that doesn’t make them your regular tourist. Remember, Daytona is tourist income based town. We have four major events every year that keep the revenue up. Two bike events, and two NASCAR race events. Everybody that I know that works in the hospitality or food industry (both of my sons, one ex-daughter-in-law, and one current girlfriend) will tell you that they’d rather have bikers over race fans any day.

Race fans, which will number in the 75,000 to 100,000 range depending on which race week we’re talking about, don’t seem to understand that a small town like Daytona cannot handle that many people at the same time. Our restaurants will have waiting times of two hours or more, run out of certain high demand items (i.e. snow crabs), and just generally be a miserable place to be. Us locals tend to stay at home during these times.

Bikers, on the other hand, have no problem waiting for a place to eat. They just go grab a beer a hang out in the parking lots when there’s no room anywhere else. Most restaurants will have one or more “Beer Tubs” in the parking lot with pretty girls in short shorts and crop tops selling beer (usually at the same price as usual – quantity is king).

When we first came to Daytona (1997), most the bike week festivities took place just a mile or two up the street from our apartment. So other than the Harley’s gunning up and down the road outside the windows making it impossible to listen to the TV, it was no big deal to walk up to the “party area” have some fun and walk home.

But then Daytona did it’s usual (got greedy and/or stupid). They had already driven the Spring Break TV shows away, we still do get some college kids, but not like it used to be when MTV would be here every year. Now they set their sights on Bike Week. Daytona Harley Davidson (the area where everything happened just up the road from us) used to rent the big grassy area across from the Harley shop really cheap. I’ve heard anything from $1000 to as cheap as $1, so I don’t know for sure. But I do know that city raised the “rent” to $10,000. So, the guy that owned the Harley dealership closed that shop and moved north to an unincorporated area of the county. He built a huge complex. Not only his new Harley Shop but a hotel, restaurants, a truck shop, even a motorcycle mechanic school. The area is called Destination Daytona (even though it’s not within the city limits). There is also a nice covered open-air concert pavilion.

One other area that the bikers still go is Main Street. Yes, Daytona really has a Main Street, although it’s only on the beachside, once you cross the bridge it’s Fairview Ave. The city engineers loved to play with street names back in the day. This place gets packed. It’s lined with bars and clubs on both sides. You’ll see every type of motorcycle you can think of parked along the road, all nice and neatly backed in. The crowds are worse than Disney on the 4th of July (and I’ve been to Disney on the 4th, it’s freaking crazy).  About every 100 feet you’ll find a “Beer Tub” as I describe above, except the prices are a bit higher on Main Street.

And the people! You’ll see so much leather you think the Village People are performing. Men and women in chaps (and there’s no telling what some of the women are or aren’t wearing under the chaps). Leather jackets or vests all over the place. It’s a bit scary to see what appears to be a gynecologist or a real estate broker wearing all leather, drinking a Mich Ultra, while talking to the tax accountant, also wearing leather chaps, a leather vest with a very clean Harley patch (only worn once a year) and also drinking a Mich Ultra, probably raspberry flavored. While their rented Harley’s sit out at the curb. Best patch I’ve ever seen during a bike week event said: “$10,000 and 10,000 miles doesn’t make you a biker!”

Standing right next to them will be the Euro bikers. We get many from Europe that come over for this event. They will have the BMWs and Triumphs parked out front. They are easy to recognize, as they will be considerably younger, and have the Kevlar padded road suits instead of leather. Oh, they’ll be drinking Grolsch or Stella Artois (which I think is Belgium for Budweiser).

The official website for the event is: http://officialbikeweek.com/ (Not real original is it?). Sometimes a location will have a webcam streaming, so look for those if you’d like.

And in case you’re wondering, no I do not ride. Like most things in life, I’m simply a voyeur. I’ve only been on a motorcycle once in my entire life when I was about 8.  Just doesn’t appeal to me, nor do jet skis, four-wheelers or any of that ilk.  Oh well.

And I’m not complaining about the events or the bikers. I thoroughly enjoy bike week. The weather is usually beautiful (but, it does tend to rain the first weekend – very odd that’s it’s always that one weekend). I get to see some beautiful bikes as I go to and from work and sometimes so very attractive ladies on those bikes. I no longer attend any of the free concerts or other events, but we do not hesitate to go out for dinner during bike week like we do on race weeks. The bikers are much more fun.

“I’d rather laugh with the sinners than  cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun.” ~ Billy Joel – Only The Good Die Young

Peace,
B

P.S. If you do a Google Image search for “Daytona Bike Week” you *may* want to turn “safe search” on depending on who may be looking over your shoulder (children/boss/small furry animals/etc…). You’ve been warned.

Hopefully…

We’re supposed to go to a Gordon Lightfoot concert tonight. I realize that most of you have no idea who Gordon Lightfoot is. But if you’re a fan of ’60’s and ’70’s folk music like I am, then you know his music very well.

I’m hoping this will break me out of my funk. But only time will tell.  Maybe I’ll post a review of the concert tomorrow. If I feel up to it.

Here’s one of Gord’s best songs for you. And it was one of my dad’s favorite songs too.

Peace,
B

P.S. Does anyone watch any of this videos I post?