Radio

DJ Tips

(Granted, techniques have changed since I was a DJ, but the basic idea of keeping the music and your comments as coherent as possible is timeless)

So yesterday as I was driving home from work (in the rain of course), listening to Classic Vinyl, and they played a clip of Graham Nash saying how underappreciated Stephen Stills is as a guitar player.  And I totally agree. Stephen, with his custom tunings, is an outstanding player. I love to listen to him play.

But here’s the issue. They play a clip about a guitar player and follow it up with what, Suite: Judy Blues Eyes, or maybe Southern Cross? Nope, they played Our House. Now don’t get me wrong, Our House is a wonderful song. But it’s a piano song – a guitar is not heard.

From the Wiki:

The song originates in a domestic event that took place while Graham Nash was living with Joni Mitchell (and her two cats) in her house on Laurel Canyon (Los Angeles), after they had gone out for breakfast and had bought an inexpensive vase on Ventura Boulevard. Nash wrote the song in an hour, on Mitchell’s piano.

In October 2013, in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air”, Nash elaborated:

Well, it’s an ordinary moment. What happened is that Joni [Mitchell] and I – I don’t know whether you know anything about Los Angeles, but on Ventura Boulevard in the Valley, there’s a very famous deli called Art’s Deli. And we’d been to breakfast there. We’re going to get into Joan’s car, and we pass an antique store. And we’re looking in the window, and she saw a very beautiful vase that she wanted to buy… I persuaded her to buy this vase. It wasn’t very expensive, and we took it home. It was a very grey, kind of sleety, drizzly L.A. morning. And we got to the house in Laurel Canyon, and I said – got through the front door and I said, you know what? I’ll light a fire. Why don’t you put some flowers in that vase that you just bought? Well, she was in the garden getting flowers. That meant she was not at her piano, but I was… And an hour later ‘Our House’ was born, out of an incredibly ordinary moment that many, many people have experienced.

 

So, to get back on topic here. When you talk about a great guitar player you probably shouldn’t play a piano song right after. No matter how good that piano song is.

So here’s a live version of Suite: Judy Blue Eyes for you. Have a great Labor Day weekend for us in the USA or just a fabulous weekend everywhere else!

Peace,
B

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Not The Song I Want To Hear

music

For those just joining the party, a little history.  In a previous life, I have been a DJ. I worked at a country station, a big band station, and did mobile DJ work.  All in the early 80’s in and around Miami.

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On Crandon Park Beach.  Employee party for the T.G.I. Friday restaurant chain. With Reflections Productions.

Also in a previous life, I was a worship leader for several churches in the Daytona Beach area. I have been told that I was the “Christian Tom Petty” and that my voice was like the guy from Lady Antebellum. I take both as huge compliments.

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Long ago, in a universe far far away…

Now that we have that out-of-the-way…

What I came here to talk about today are artists/bands/songs that either make me turn up the volume or change the station.  This is not a comprehensive list and I ask for comments, both where you think I’m wrong and anything that could be added. And as I’m writing this post, Jethro Tull’s Aqua Lung is playing.  While I love this song (and the “follow-up” Locomotive Breath) Wifey® will leave the room when either play, and I’ll turn it up. So that’s a perfect kick off!

Stuff That Makes Me Change The Station

  • Anything, and I mean anything, by George Thorogood. There is just something about his whole style that I do not care for. And I love the blues in general, just not his version.
  • Along the same lines is Bruce Springsteen. But not every song, just most of them. Again it’s a style thing for me.
  • Almost anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Especially Free Bird. I will let Simple Man and Curtis Lowe play.  Growing up in Florida, they had to be the most overplayed band of my youth. Along with our next entry.
  • Led Zepplin. Again, they were like every third song on the radio. I’m so over them.

 

Stuff That Makes Me Turn Up The Volume

  • The Beatles. When my granddaughters on riding with me in my truck, we always have The Beatles channel on SiriusXM playing. But not too loud, don’t want their ears to get as bad as mine.
  • CCR.  I love John Fogerty’s style. Every one of their songs gets me rocking.
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash (with or without Young). Songs I learned to play very early. Although I could never quite get the right sound out of my guitar. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that Stephen Stills used an alternate tuning.
  • So we also need to add Neil Young as a solo artist. Wifey® doesn’t care for Mr. Young. Something about his voice. But I love his melodies, harmonies, and lyrics.
  • Just about any other “Southern Rock” band other than Skynyrd. Molly Hatchet (Especially their cover of Dreams), .38 Special, the Outlaws (High Tides and Green Grass), Marshall Tucker Band.
  • The Allman Brothers. Sure you could place them in the “Southern Rock” category, but they play the blues more, and better than the others. Is it odd that I like their instrumental works best? Melissa, Jessica, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. Now that I’ve put that down, maybe it’s because they’re all named for women?
  • Bob Seger (except for Turn The Page, again way overplayed). But if  Main Street or Night Moves comes on, the volume goes up.
  • Eric Clapton. Doesn’t matter which band. The Yardbirds, John Mayall Blues Breakers, Cream, Derek & The Dominoes, or solo (even with Delany & Friends). His guitar soars above everything else. And that leads me to –
  • Steve Winwood. Just like Clapton, it doesn’t matter which group or solo. Spencer Davis Group (as “Little Stevie Winwood”), Traffic, Blind Faith etc, etc…
  • So lets put them together. Clapton and Winwood did a three-day gig at Madison Square Garden.  Has to be one of the best of all time. They covered each of their bands and other stuff. That cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing is my all time favorite.
  • Jimi Hendrix (oh nice segue there dude). Such an amazing guitar. Nothing else needs to be said.
  • The Monkees. Yeah, it’s bubblegum, but my very first album I was “More Of The Monkees”.  I watched the TV show every week. It was the one night I didn’t have to help with dishes! And, in my opinion, Michael Nesmith is a very talented musician. His music, both with and without The Monkees are some of my favorites.
  • Staying with the “pop” genre, let’s go with The Bangles. Great music, and easy to look at. Their cover of Simon & Garfinkle’s Hazy Shade of Winter is so much better than the original. But the video sucks.  Wifey® would add The Go-Go’s here, but they weren’t my favorite (but I do follow them on Twitter).
  •  Yes.  That’s the band there, not just some random exclamation. Such interesting melodies, not to mention Jon Anderson’s vocals! I also have several of Rick Wakeman’s solo albums. The Six Wives of Henry VIII is so out of this world, I used to blast it outside on Halloween night.
  • Heart. I have seen these ladies in concert three times. They put on a great show! I had a poster of (my wife to be – before I met Wifey®), Nancy Wilson in my bedroom.
  • The Who. Really anything by Pete Townsend. His style of blending guitar, keyboards and either his or Roger Daltry’s vocals are superb. It’s that “wall of sound” that gets me.

Stuff That Doesn’t Get Turned Up, But I Don’t Change The Station

  • Cat Stevens/Yusef.  His music saved me during those tough High School years. But I have to admit, I did turn up the volume now and then.
  • Dan Fogelberg. More music that saved me after those tough High School years. I tend to like the earlier stuff better.
  • Linda Ronstadt. Hers was the other poster up in my room. Her voice was what I fell asleep to most nights.
  • John Denver. Yes, John Denver. Just something about the folksy sound I really enjoyed. Except for Grandma’s Feather Bed et al…

As you can see, I have a lot more likes than dislikes. And I’m happy that I’m no longer behind the mic and have to play stuff I don’t care for, and pretend that I enjoy it.

I’m sure you can add others to both sides of this list. I didn’t go into much of 80’s music. But there are some I enjoyed, some I didn’t, and some that are hit and miss. I didn’t go into any Beatles solo projects either.  But I’ll save that for another post…

I’ll leave you with a video of Clapton & Winwood.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Catching Up

So it’s been a while since I posted anything. So let’s catch up, shall we?

The reasons I haven’t posted are several. I had a killer head cold for about 2 weeks, that I couldn’t shake (same one I mentioned in my Celebrate Good Times (Come On)! post).  My work issued laptop died on me, and I’ve been so busy at work that when I get home and I feel like crap due to the cold, I had no desire to sit in front of any PC. When you consider how much computer time I log at work, it’s rather surprising how much I use one at home.

But not everything was bad. I bought a new SiriusXM radio for my aging truck. It’s an external device that plugs in through the aux port on the existing radio. I also stream, mostly the “Classic” (oh, how I hate that term. Can we go back to AOR please?) stations. I like SiriusXM over the local radio because the DJs don’t think they have to be funny so they can get hired and go to a larger market. SiriusXM’s market is North America. Quite a bit bigger than any terrestrial market. Plus these DJs know what they’re talking about.  I also like SiriusXM over most streaming services (Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, etc.) because they play the music the way it was recorded. One thing that always pissed me off with the various streaming services is they tend to cut apart songs the segue into each other. A classic example is Jackson Browne’s “The Load Out/Stay”. Streaming radio turns those into two separate songs. It increases the total number of songs in their library, but it totally screws up the listening experience.

My office replaced my very small Micro$oft Surface Book with a beautiful 17″ HP laptop.  This thing is a beast! An i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and this wonderful huge screen! These tired old eyes can see again!

Wifey® and I have planned, and made the deposit on, something that is on both of our bucket lists. A trip to Scotland, the land of our heritage. We’ve both did the Ancestry DNA tests. I’ve posted about this before.  Turns out both of our DNA points directly to Scotland/Ireland/Land of the Vikings. I’d like to try to find the ancestor that made the trip over the pond to settle in America before we go. But that costs money, and right now we’re trying to save, not spend so we can blow the whole wad while in Scotland.  I’m hoping the duty-free shop in the Edinburgh airport has a good selection of native scotches.  I will have a separate post(s) about the trip as things get closer, and when we are in country.

We had a wonderful dinner the other night with my brother and his wife here at my house.  I smoked three whole chickens. Not that I expected we would eat them all that night, I planned on leftovers so we (as in Wifey® and son-the-younger and myself) could make pot pies from the leftover chicken and other veggies we made that day.

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Yup, there are 3 whole chickens in there!

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We ended up with 10 pot pies of varying sizes

I confirmed something I learned the last time I smoked chicken. From now on I’m only buying leg quarters. There were 4 and a half breast quarters left, but only one leg quarter. Seem we prefer the dark meat!

And I’ve read a couple of good books too. I won’t write any reviews.  If you want book reviews, there are plenty of sites that have them (I recommend Once Upon A Spine).

I’ll leave you with a video. Has nothing to do with this post, but the opening line “Been away, haven’t seen you in a while”, fits with the theme. Plus it’s Dave Mason.  I’ve been a fan of his since his days with Traffic.

So what have you been up to?

Peace,
B

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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:

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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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