On one of the (too many) news feeds I read, Far Out Magazine has been posting a look back at some early songs by The Beatles. The web site (linked above) covers a very wide range of music and other artsy things.
This particular track was mentioned a few days ago and although the song itself hasn’t stuck with me the way John intro’s the song has. The video has a little bit of an interview that isn’t really all that interesting. The good part starts about 50 seconds in.
So… Happy anniversary to me! Today marks the 3rd anniversary of this here silly assed blog, AND the 12th anniversary of me on Twitter, which is even more silly assed! So, I got that going for me.
But of course, that’s not what I came here to tell you about (been a while since I’ve used that line and thank you Mr. Guthrie).
For those of you that have been paying attention you may have noticed my every now and then mentioning a certain list of guitar gods. On this most auspicious day (see paragraph one above) I feel it’s time to start honoring those gods (and goddesses). As a reminder, this list has not been written down, it’s all in “me ‘ead”. As such, it is a very fluid list. Any ranking on said list is purely whimsical and is subject to change depending on my mood and/or alcohol consumption.
For those that know me best the artist I’m using to start this series off may come as a surprise. Those that have been reading this blog (and thanks to each and every one of you) know that my “top three” guitar gods, both chronologically and favoritism are Mike Nesmith, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton. I have featured each of those artists many times, so I went with someone else this time.
I guess it’s not all that surprising that my favorite songs by this gentleman are instrumental. After all, Carlos Santana doesn’t sing on his recordings. He is first and foremost a guitarist. I can’t say for sure, but I would think the name Santana, as a band, first hit me with Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen. After all the AM radio stations didn’t play tracks like Soul Sacrifice it just wasn’t radio friendly. Along with the aforementioned Soul Sacrifice, the other great instrumentals I can dig are Samba Pa Ti and Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile).
I remember the first time I heard Europa. When that track hit the stylus on my turntable everything else stopped. The sustain Carlos gets out of his guitar then followed by the machine gun like riffs just blew me away.
To see a young Carlos and band, check out the footage from Woodstock. Rumor has it that Carlos was tripping on LSD while on stage. Their set was delayed by a rain storm and Carlos was hanging out with Jerry Garcia (he of course is on the list as well) in the artist trailer and well, you can imagine what happened.
Major rock music promoter Bill Graham, a Latin Music aficionado who had been a fan of Santana from its inception, arranged for the band to appear at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival before its debut album was even released. Its set was one of the surprises of the festival, highlighted by an eleven-minute performance of a throbbing instrumental, “Soul Sacrifice”. Its inclusion in the Woodstock film and soundtrack album vastly increased the band’s popularity.
So… Yesterday we celebrated Father’s Day. Yes, we were a week late (for the USA), but this was the first time in about 4 years we’ve had both of our sons together. We are a military family. For new readers, I am a retired US Army and son-the-elder is active Army. So, we are very used to celebrating holidays that don’t match everyone else’s calendar. We really don’t give a rat’s ass. We celebrate when we want to. Get over it, we don’t care if it messes with your calendar. My son and I have dedicated over 30 years to protecting your way of life. We understand that you may not agree with either of our outlooks. But understand that we have protected your right to have a difference of opinion. If you don’t like that fact – go the fuck away. Plain and simple.
So anyway, while over-imbibing on various adult beverages, this silly assed clip came up. Between the several veterans in attendance (although this clip had nothing to do militarily with this post), all felt this was worthy of a post. It does bear to note that we are all of Scots descent, and that does bear to mind this post.
Wifey and I are just over a year since our trip to the homeland, Scotland, just in case that hasn’t jumped out at you yet. One thing that stands out for me, is that it’s funny that I have problems with TV shows with characters with any kind of accent, be it British, Scottish, Spanish, etc., I have major problems understanding the dialog. But while in country, I had no problems at all. Therefore, I blame it on TV. My ears are fine (no, not really). But still, TV sucks.
P.S. Next weekend is Granddaughter-The-Elder and Wifey’s birthdays. Just and wait and see what happens then!
Before I get into the music, let’s do a quick catch-up since it’s been awhile since my last post.
Wifey starts her new job today. She was laid off due to the coronavirus on St. Patrick’s Day (17 March for those that don’t have a calendar handy). She’s back in a law office, which is what she was doing for the last 5 years or so. And trying to claim unemployment here in #Floriduh has been a pain. But we made it work (again).
Obviously, I made it through the cardiac ablation fine. I haven’t had a follow up with the cardiologist that did the procedure yet, but I did have a follow up with my regular cardiologist and have a tele-medicine call with my family doctor tomorrow. No big warning signs have popped up, although my blood glucose is trending a bit high as well as my blood pressure. I’m blaming the blood pressure on the fact that I have had the anti-arrhythmia drugs stopped. Plus the fact that I am more than a bit overweight, which adds to both the blood pressure and glucose issues. Neither of the “problems” are serious at this time. Wifey and I are trying to maintain a better diet and now that my heart is beating normal again, we have restarted our walking in the mornings. The biggest issue I have from the procedure is the itching from where they shaved my groin for all the catheters they used. By my count I had one catheter in my right femoral vein, four in my left femoral vein and one in the left femoral artery. Even though I had stopped the Eliquis (blood thinner) two days prior to the procedure, I still bruised badly.
Other good news is that son-the-younger also has found a new job, and son-the-elder has finally made it back stateside from his Europe deployment, but back home quite yet.
Now, on to the music.
I have no clue why this is stuck in my head. I am not that big of fan of Mr. Springsteen. It is notable that the line “Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk” is what keeps repeating. Realizing of course, that “talk” rhymes with “walk”, I’m more used to hearing that guitarists strive to make their instruments “sing”. But then again, Bruce doesn’t really sing all the well either. Not that I do any better, but still. In retrospect, it’s no worse that Eric Clapton and George Harrison using the line “Then I told ‘bout our kid / Now he’s married to Mabel”. Mabel rhymes with “table” the last word of the previous verse. Artistic license as it best/worst?
I picked this version of the song simply because of Melissa Etheridge. I had a cassette tape of her first album when I was stationed in Korea. I wore that tape out. I love her voice!
P.S. I had blood work done yesterday and I just got the results. My glucose is firmly in the normal area. So disregard the above!
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.
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.
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.
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.
So in appreciation of her birthday, here is a song she absolutely hated!
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.
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.