What’s Stuck In My Head – 12 November

So sometime around 3 AM this morning this popped into my head and woke me up.  Not sure why, maybe it’s that stupid tropical storm that’s been threatening us on and off for the last few days.  Maybe it’s the constant back pain, or more likely the meds I’m taking for the pain that keeps me up. 

But maybe, just maybe it’s kismet that the song came to me the way the title came to Tommy James;

The title, “Crimson and Clover”, was decided before a song had been written for it. The combination of unknown meaning came to James as he was waking up, comprising his favorite color – crimson – and his favorite flower – clover.

In any case, this has always been one of favorite songs.  As a youngster the effects are what caught my attention.  But as I grew older (I still refuse to grow up) how those effects were accomplished is what kept me listening to the track.

I will admit that all I know of Tommy James and the Shondells are their singles.  I didn’t know that the album version of tis track is two minutes longer.  I’m not surprised, it never occurred to me that there would be an album as well.  Ah, the obliviousness of youth!

This track has been covered by Prince and more famously by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.  The original reached number one on 1 February 1969, Joan’s cover made it to number 7 in 1982.  Other songs that the group gave us that made it big are “I Think We’re Alone Now” covered by Tiffany and “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol.  Both of which hit number one in November of 1987.  “Crystal Blue Persuasion” is another track I always enjoyed.  I do have a bit of a psychedelia streak in me (see here, here, here, and here). 

“Crimson and Clover” entered the U.S. charts on December 14, where it stayed for 16 weeks on Billboard Hot 100 and 15 weeks on Cash Box Top 100. Following a performance of the song on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 26, it became number one on February 1, 1969, a position held for one week on Cash Box Top 100 and two weeks on both Billboard Hot 100 and Record World 100 Top Pops. Internationally, the song reached number one in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and Switzerland. It also charted in Austria, Brazil, France, Holland, Italy, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Despite this, the song did not chart in the United Kingdom.


And to even out the music spectrum, they also gave us the bubblegum “Hanky Panky”.  Mother nature may abhor a straight line, but she does enjoy balance.



P.S. I’ve got a new genealogy blog now.  The link is down below!

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Checking All The (Music) Boxes

This could go under Guitar Gods, Singer – Songwriters, or What’s Stuck In My Head.  This video checks all the good boxes on my theoretical checklists.

First, it’s one of my favorite Eric Clapton tunes that he co-wrote with Bonnie Bramlett, she being the Bonnie in Bonnie and Delany that Eric toured and recorded with.  Second, it has Peter Frampton who I’ve already featured on this here blog.  And lastly, it’s the Doobie Brothers without Michael McDonald.  I have nothing again Michael or his solo music, it’s just during his time with the Doobies, it didn’t come across right to me.  It was almost like the Doobies were his backup band.  But I do miss Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar with the band.  I guess he’s too busy doing defense work now a days.

The song and its accompanying video were recorded virtually, with Frampton and every member of the Doobie Brothers contributing their parts remotely. “Let It Rain” is a perfect choice for the Doobies and Frampton, who add a little extra instrumental oomph — especially when Frampton and Tom Johnston start trading guitar solos — but otherwise remain faithful to the original’s cathartic pop-rock charms.

Johnston tells Rolling Stone how the collaboration came together, saying: “A couple of months ago, Peter and I were going over various tunes after deciding to do a song or video together. I tossed out ‘Let It Rain’ by Eric Clapton and he loved the idea. He’s a phenomenal guitarist and a fan of Clapton’s as am I, so it seemed a great idea to take to the rest of the guys. Peter, Pat, and I took verses and solos and John played some cool pedal steel and helped us put that together with Bill Payne on piano, John Cowan on bass, and Ed Toth on drums. Also Rob Arthur who did all the video work played B3. It was a team effort! We really enjoyed working together on this with Peter.”



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Odd Thoughts

So, here’s the deal.  We have an 80-pound dog, and an 8 pound cat.  They don’t see eye to eye physically or figuratively. One thing they do have in common, is they love to lie down in the middle of the doorway or entry way all over the house.  If you try to step over them, the dog will try to stand up which makes you straddle him like riding a horse.  While the cat will freak out and run into your legs. 

Baron the dog lying on the floor.
Baron von LardAss – “I’m not blocking the walkway! Honest!”
Rashi the cat in her monorail cat pose
We call this “monorail cat”. But she does this across the doorway too.

When this happens and your foot comes in contact with the dog, you break your foot.  If your foot happens to run into the cat, you break the cat.  In either case, you’ll fall and break your hip.  Only the dog gets out of this unhurt. 

I grew up in Miami in the 60’s and 70’s.  I know hurricanes and really feel sorry for the folks in the New Orleans and Bermuda areas.  They have been getting slammed with storms this year.  Back in when we were hit with three hurricanes in six weeks.  Here in Daytona Beach area we had Charley, Frances, and Jeanne, while Ivan stayed far enough away from us, it did affect parts of the state.

But here’s what I’m seeing; “Life threatening storm surge”.  I don’t remember seeing that phrase so often in previous years.  My older brother tells me the hurricane Donna in 1960 caused a massive storm surge that flooded our yard, and we lived a good 10 miles from the coast.  I have to believe that climate change is the main reason that storms have become more frequent and stronger.

Hurricanes seem to hit so more frequently in my youth, nut not as hard.  Later, when I was grown, I always joked that if we didn’t get at least one hurricane a year we got mad because we were missing out on a hurricane party.  That’s not true of course.  Well it may be truth for some folks.

You have to understand that hurricanes are such a way life in south Florida we nicknamed the university the Hurricanes.  Their mascot is Sebastian the ibis.  Why an ibis?  Because the ibis is the last animal to leave the everglades before the storm and the first to return after the storm. 

Here’s a joke we used to say before that started using male names for storms; “Why don’t they name hurricanes after men?  Because they wouldn’t make it past the Virgin Islands!”.   Hey – it was funny when I was 10.

Genealogy isn’t rocket science.  It’s much, much harder!  I’m not necessarily saying that tongue in cheek.  Take this post from my genealogy blog.  It was so very difficult to put the dilemma in words that it may not make sense to those that do have experience in genealogy.  In short, I think I have two ladies with the same name in the wrong places. The one I have as my great grandmother may belong with the family of her cousin and vice versa.  The do have the same names and are rather close in age.  In any case, I set that problem aside and started working on Wifey’s family for a bit.

Let’s return to the cat for a moment.  For a tiny little thing, she makes one hell of a mess.  She will grab a mouthful of food then let most of it fall out of her mouth on to the floor while she chews.  She throws her head around like it’s something still alive and she has to kill it.  So know we have little kibbles all over the bathroom floor.  She also tends to splash her water out on to the floor as well.  I’m wondering if she thinks she’s a racoon and is washing her paws.  She used to splash water into her food dish and let it sit there.  Then she wouldn’t eat the mushy food.  She doesn’t like any wet food, nor will she eat any tuna, shrimp or other seafood.  She is a very weird cat.

Well, that’s all I have for now.  Here’s a semi-related video.  It’s about a dog, and it’s political.  This is election season here in the USA.  I will be so happy when all the ads stop! Thanks for reading!


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