Try DownPlaying This

The Beatles’ 1964 Stateside Tour involving their February 7th arrival in NYC (at the newly christened JFK International Airport) and appearance on Ed Sullivan’s nationally televised variety show (on the 9th) could not have been better timed.

Americans, still in deep mourning following the 11/22/1963 assassination of our youngest, ever, 35th President… John F. Kennedy… desperately needed a reminder that life could go on.

To all horrified by that grotesque gun violence… especially this (then) 9-year-young boy and my contemporaries… John, Paul, George and Ringo were the embodiment of youthful exuberance. While their prime-time TV debut showcased their unique interpretation of rock ’n’ roll… one eventually becoming the soundtrack of life for an entire generation… something even more significant was in play… namely… how their raucous energy / high decibel music was the perfect Rx for blowing away that lingering, pervasive, suffocating, Dealey Plaza stench.

So… why the need to rehash this nearly 56-year-old tragedy?

Because of the swamp monster, who has been masquerading as the 45th president. Even though he is alive and (physically) well… well…

Ever since the orderly transition of power to that disorderly doofus, We… America’s critical thinkers… have been mourning the 01/20/2017 death of the presidency… the death of democracy, decency, intellectualism, logic, liberty, peace and genuine patriotism… the death of joy, itself.

From that day forward… uh… better make that backward… We have been in deep mourning… in desperate need of a lifeline. But, where to go to find that?

My reader(s)… just when I had begun to suspect those DC Washington Woes had indelibly stained my mood… my entire outlook on life… a deep shade of blue… somehow… someway… on some entirely different plane of consciousness… I wound up free associating the power of music… its stain remover / curative capabilities. Lo and behold, the Fab Four came to mind.

True, I could not step into a time machine to re-witness the birth of the Beatles. But, the next best, equivalent was well within reach… my access to CDs representing JPGR’s entire, recording studio produced discography.

Last week… I decided to PB that massive, Beatles soundtrack in chronological order. No sooner had Sir Paul’s 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 counted in I Saw Her Standing There than I felt my much needed grin begin… followed, a scant nanosecond later, by my buoyant mood… those lofty spirits persisting while tracking (at a clip of one or more CDs per day) until I polished off all 13 Beatles albums plus the two Past Masters volumes. And there were a couple of bonus tracks, too… namely… Free as a Bird and Real Love (McCartney, Harrison and Starr’s 1995 collaboration / overdub of their tracks with the late Lennon’s two previously recorded vocal tracks).

Even upon completion of my musical adventure last Friday, I could still revel in the fact that this was far from over. Hence, my spending the better portion of this week listening to these bonus Beatles albums… [1] Star-Club Live! in Hamburg, Germany 1962, [2] Live at the BBC, [3] Yellow Submarine Songtrack, [4] 1! [5] Let It Be Naked / Fly on the Wall and [6] LOVE.

My parting recommendation… should you ever find yourself feeling down about anything, try taking your fave recording artist / band out for a spin. Once that smile returns to your face, I’m sure you’ll concur that the healing power of music can never be downplayed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simpson Sings of a Simpler Life (Sunday Song Series)

For Week #34 of our Sunday Songs Series, we’ll be giving a listen to Jessica Simpson’s You’re My Sunday. While crafting her lyrics, she drew upon heartfelt feelings for her soulmate… and that served as inspiration to her artful simile… i.e., her comparing his mind and soul-soothing influence over her to a Sunday (a kickback and enjoy life “day of rest”). Talking to AOL, she effusively elaborated re their relationship…

“He inspires me to be a better person. He just makes my life peaceful. In the midst of all the chaos, the gossip, the tabloids and people’s expectations of me, it’s nice to know that a guy loves you for who you are. So ‘You’re My Sunday’ is dedicated to him.”

Of course… even to the occasional Simpson listener… i.e., one unaware of that backstory… her words could also be interpreted as the Sunday Day… all by itself… arriving just in the nick of time… to rescue us all from humankind’s rat-race. However… if your sentiments are anything like mine… we’ve all been lamenting over one nearly inescapable fact of life…  namely that… in our 24/7 world… Sunday days of rest can be scarce.

Oh… how I yearn to return to my own, long lost, leisurely, small-town Sundays. In those days of yore… with few exceptions… e.g. our “Mom ’n’ Pop” grocery store… business owners and their staffs were at home… enjoying some much-earned, time off with their kinfolk. My own, typical family routine would find us attending early a.m. church services and, afterwards, discussing our Pastor’s sermon perhaps [1] while flipping thru the pages of the two Sunday newspapers we subscribed to, [2] during one of our leisurely joyrides about town, or [3] in the course of one of our sit-down suppers.

I can still, virtually, taste Mom’s to-die-for pot-roasts, loaded with browned spuds, carrots, green peppers and onions… all “swimming” in the vast sea of thick. beef gravy.

I can also vividly recall my very favorite Father G sermon… his wisdom and wit expressed during a blistering midsummer heatwave…

“Whew… it sure is hot today. But never forget there’s a place that’s even hotter! End of sermon!”

Once the KP was done, our lazy Sunday truly began winding down. Courtesy of the (then) three (yep only three) major TV networks, we were treated to primetime viewing fare inclusive of [1] the boy-and-his-beloved-dog drama Lassie, [2] the bratty sitcom Dennis the Menace, [3] a variety show MC’d by Ed Sullivan, [4] the western drama Bonanza, [5] a reality TV / viral video precursor (Alan Funt’s) Candid Camera, [6] the game show What’s My Line. and [7] the local, 11 o’clock newscast.

Now that I’ve related my own Sunday reveries, maybe you’d like to share yours? The comment section below can be your forum.

Hmm… seeing how I’ve become completely lost within my fond memories of pastoral phenomena and past repasts… how the latter has evoked hunger pangs for my breakfast… well… what better time for me to get lost… right?

In order to give you enough time to find a good hiding place (jk)… be forewarned… I’’ll be back seven days from now with another edition of our Sunday Song Series.

Hope to see you back here then… if not sooner.