BlogCast: The Flip Side of Valentine’s Day

Two days ago, I posted a Valentine’s Day BlogCast… my twin spin presentation of Barry White’s symphonic interpretation of Amore… aptly titled Love’s Theme… along with Linda Ronstadt’s lyrical lamentations, among them, her rendering of songwriter Eric Kaz’s superbly crafted couplet…

“Love is blind…
And it cannot find me.”

Anyway… it was along about noontime, today, when a triple play of 1960s era, instrumental selections just kept on seguing in my head. The more I thought about them, the more I felt the need to BlogCast them onto www. To put this musical set’s common thread into DJ parlance, each song title ties together the flip side of love. And, as a whole, this Sunday BlogCast bookends Friday’s program.

To get this show on the road, we’ll be giving a listen to Maestro Paul Mauriat’s full blown symphonic Love is Blue, which will lead into American Hall of Fame pianist, Floyd Cramer’s country music twinged Last Date. And speaking of a Shakespearean magnitude last date, we’ll be concluding this set with Henry Mancini’s Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet.

 

Paul Mauriat ~ Love is Blue

Floyd Cramer ~ Last Date

Henry Mancini ~ Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet

If this has all seemed a bit too blue / pessimistic to suit you, be thankful I opted not to feature the J. Geils Band blasting forth their hard driving, saturated with cynicism, raucous rocker… Love Stinks.

Speaking of thankfulness…

My shout-out to YouTubers DocReepery and NANCYFLORESSANTOS, the latter videographer responsible for both the Cramer and Mancini clips.

My gratitude, too, to all of you… i.e., for spending precious moments out of your lives here.

And that said (depending on where and when you read this), Valentine’s Day weekend is either over or will soon be so. For all who had a grand time, thank your lucky stars and be sure not to ever take your soulmate for granted. For the rest of us… well… uh… maybe things will improve by next February?

If you’ve enjoyed this BlogCast and would like to check
out past “Casts”, they are all within earshot… all neatly
archived within both my BlogCast and Music categories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories of Loves Lost

Although nowhere near as dramatic as either author William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or singer / songwriter Daniel Fogelberg’s autobiographical Same Old Lang Syne, I do have my own, personal, love lost story to share.

In my case, my “Juliet’s” father had broken us up. His rationale? Not only were we both too young but I was also from the wrong side of the tracks… his belief being that his daughter could do much better than “lowly” me.

What had made this so much more emotionally painful for us… the star-crossed lovers… was how I was… and still am… a man of good character… all of which I had amply demonstrated by respecting her father’s wishes that I stop seeing his daughter.

But… truth be told… I never really got over my feelings for her… and to this very day, I do consider our love to have been mutual, genuine and true.

Interestingly enough, we did have a reunion of sorts when… on the sly… “Juliet” had phoned me on New Year’s Eve 1972. As we talked… just for a fleeting moment… I sensed we had both been tempted to follow our hearts… but… all we wound up doing is audibly sighing while wishing each other, “Happy New Year”. I can still hear the finality of that long, long ago night’s clicking sound in my handset’s earpiece.

Considering all of those similarities between my story of love lost and Daniel’s… his Christmas Eve reunion with Jill (the decades later revealed real name of his old flame) it’s easy to see how his song resonates so well with the perpetually lingering song in my heart. Whenever I’ve ever heard it… either played on the radio or over @YouTube… I’ve also heard my audible sighs… especially as saxophonist Michael Brecker plays the Auld Lang Syne coda.

A short addendum here… I’ve never actually wanted to add this particular Fogelberg track to my vast musical library… need I even say why?

But what I do want to add here is how Dan and Jill could’ve chosen a far better place to drink their “toast to innocence” than consuming a six pack of beer within her car. If he truly had strong, lingering feelings for her at all… or even if he hadn’t… he’d have never allowed her to drive home impaired.

And considering how many states here in America have recently legalized the recreational usage of weed, no one should allow anyone to ever drive home while in that altered state of consciousness, either.

Just to clarify, I’m not some goody two shoes who’s saying it’s wrong for you to put a good buzz on… what I am saying is don’t drive if you ARE buzzed. On this New Year’s Eve… and the same goes for any other time of the year… it is far better to figuratively crash at your party host’s home than actually crash while driving home drunk or stoned. If you cannot arrange to sleep it off there, rely on your designated driver or arrange to be picked up by an Uber driver or a cabbie.

You’ll have a far better chance of arriving home safe and sound… that is unless the cab which pulls up reeks of burning rope and the song playing in the cabbie’s earbuds is Harry Chapin’s Taxi

 

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Lessons From Kent State University

For anyone old enough to have lived through the turbulent 1960s and 70s, the Kent State massacre was one of American History’s darkest, most tragic, “where were you when” moments.

For me, that “when” was early evening on this very day, May 4, 1970. That’s when, as a 16-year-young high school sophomore, I first became aware of how 29 American soldiers (members of the Ohio National Guard) had fired off approximately 67 rounds in the short span of one minute (or less) to kill 4 American students and wound 9 others.

That death toll and casualty list had been the end result of a demonstration by Kent State University college students pissed off by President Richard M. Nixon’s escalation of the Vietnam War… i.e., his invasion of neighboring Cambodia. It was during their antiwar rally that things got ugly… protestors wound up setting fire to the campus’ ROTC building and repeatedly pegging rocks at the armed troops.

Basically, what we had here was the troops overreacting… using bullets to defend themselves against stones and assessing a higher value to that charred real estate than to their own compatriots’ precious lives.

It’d be hard not to conclude that the very presence of these troops had needlessly escalated an already overly tense situation. Even Nixon’s own President’s Commission on Campus Unrest concluded (and I concur MOST EMPHATICALLY)

“The indiscriminate firing of rifles into a crowd of students and the deaths that followed were unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable.”

Students suspected of arson and assault could’ve later been arrested, charged, arraigned, tried and, if found guilty, been duly punished. In a situation such as this, troops are NEVER supposed to act in the roles of judges, juries and executioners!

Also worthy of mention is that both warring factions on this Kent State campus battlefield could’ve benefited immensely from the following wisdom.

William Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” character, Fallstaff, said…

“The better part of Valour, is Discretion; in the which better part, I haue saued my life” (oft paraphrased… “Discretion is the better part of valor.”)

Sun Tzu, author of “Art of War” opined along similar lines, thusly…

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting” and “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

The sagaciousness of some superb song composers also comes to mind…

Check out a couple of lyrical couplets…

From Stephen Stills’ “For What It’s Worth”

“There’s battle lines being drawn,

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”

From John Lennon/Paul McCartney’s “Revolution”

“But when you talk about destruction…

Don’t you know that you can count me out.”

Were not all of the above wordsmiths emphasizing the need for orderly conduct by all parties involved in any dispute… were they not all on the same page as the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment (note the qualifying word, “peaceably”)?

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Fast forwarding to our troubled present-day world… political and social unrest has only grown worse… especially since the installation of #45.

Now, more than ever, all protest movements must always be conducted peaceably. Nobody should ever give that Oval Office entity even the slightest excuse to overreact… to roll out the tanks… to order Americans troops to open fire on American citizens in a way that is equal to… or exceeds the actions taken by the Ohio National Guard in Kent State…

On this very day… May 4, 1970.