Not “Even if it Takes a Million Years!”

As I began amassing my record collection as a Sixties era teenager, my “inner scientist” began to wonder what the life expectancy of vinyl LPs might actually be.

That’s why I started logging each album’s purchase date.

That’s how I know that I bought my copy of the Who’s Who’s Next album on this very 18th day of August… way back in 1971.

Right from the initial playback, I had become immediately, immensely impressed by songsmiths Pete Townshend and John Entwistle’s lyrical / musical sensibilities and the entire band’s mastery of their instruments. Everyone having turned in such a stellar performance… well…

To me… this day in history became akin to a “where were you when moment”. As such, I still harbor enduring, fond, vivid recollections of that long ago day.

On this Sunday afternoon, It only seemed right to recreate that moment… i.e., by playing back Who’s Next in its entirety. I carefully dusted all the grooves with a preener and then revved up my turntable. All was going well until Side 1’s closing moments when, all the sudden, the stylus encountered an ungroovy groove problem… which caused the needle to get stuck in one place.

I found myself chuckling at the irony of a how a track titled, Song Is Over, could not possibly end… not “Even if it takes a million years”. <— Attribution: Townshend lyrics from this very song.

Well… it took an LED flashlight’s brilliant beam and high powered magnifying glass to eventually track down and correct this tracking problem… yet… part of me wanted to leave this unfixed. More about that in a moment.

Keep in mind that, up until today, this particular, well cared for vinyl record had a half century’s worth of absolutely no previous tracking issues. So, how, pray tell, had that suddenly become a problem?

Keep in mind, too, that I’ve oft used “the song is over” as a metaphor to concede hopelessly irresolvable problems.

My awareness of these facts caused me to sense something far deeper than groove deep was in play.

Whether we choose to drag religion into this… or not… would you not agree that there’s a lesson to be learned from that stuck stylus, which flat-out refused to let the song end? The sweet song of a meaningful, happy, healthy life must never end.

We can only hope that all who regularly travel life’s high road will harbor such resolve within their heads and hearts… and apply such stick-to-itiveness while working towards the betterment of our global society.

 

 

 

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A DIY Lyrical Matter ~ Sunday Song Series

Being at a loss for words is not necessarily a bad thing. Obviously, it shortens awkward conversations, prevents literary works that were never meant to be… AND… to inject a bit of self-deprecating humor… it can even shut up this far too frequently, long-winded blogger… insert Oxygen seeking gasp to catch my breath…

And then there’s the case of lyric-less songs.

Naturally, it’s not my intent to either imply writer’s block was at fault or to impugn the oft limitless musicianship / talents of most composers.

Normally, going word-free is “merely” a matter of a recording artist / composer being fully aware of the inherent beauty of the instrumental… namely… of how this liberates listeners to concentrate more intently on the melody / instrumentation itself… to maybe even zone out, sufficiently, to craft our own, personal story-lines to conform to the musical mood at hand… and then, ultimately, to allow such imagery to play out in the theater of the mind.

Such is the case with our Sunday Song Series, Week #49 musical adventure…

Recording Artist: Nick Drake
Selection Title: Sunday
Genre: EZ listening
Poignant Backstory: Click Here
My Recommendation: Click onto that video PB button and chill out
My Invitation: Please return for another Sunday Song… seven days from now…

Geeze… considering this post’s word count… which now stands at 260… inclusive of the content beyond that tallying point… and minus state sales taxes, licensing / registration fees and dealer prep charges… j/k… my verbosity remains unchecked.

Hmm… looks like I just blew my original blog premise… insert Oxygen seeking gasp to catch my breath…

 

 

 

The Woodstock Nation: RIP? Or just MIA?

From August 15th thru 18th, 1969… while festival goers were reveling within their newly established Bethel, NY, Woodstock Nation… I was stuck at home… back in Michigan… stuck in my early teens, too. The only way I could’ve ever counted myself amongst Woodstock’s estimated 500,000 souls, would’ve been to run away from home, hitchhike and… upon my eventual return… REALLY face the music… a.k.a. parental repercussions / getting “grounded for life”. Bummer! <—Now, there’s a word in desperate need of carbon dating!

Mom and dad’s (understandable) protectionism… in a sense… had already been grounding me… and for doing nothing wrong, too. Over the past half century… just for fleeting moments… I’ve oft wondered. What would I have had to lose had I flown the coup for about a week? Well, here’s what I actually did lose by nearly always being the obedient son: The ability to treasure the lifelong memories of having actually been there.

Of course, even from afar, I did manage to catch this monumental music event’s sense of belonging, anyway. Funny how that sort of “buzz” was fully capable of bridging that 1000km gap. How so?

The Woodstock Nation-State was just as much
a state of mind. And in my mind, it still is.

The Woodstock state of mind does transcend the music, too. From my perspective, it is to believe in enriching society with essential liberty, peace, love, tolerance, equality, inclusiveness, diversity, ecological sensitivity and fiscal sobriety.

But, to transition back to the music… ultimately… I did finally get to hear a portion of what I had missed, thanks to [1] the tireless, audio engineers, who had kept the onsite tape recorders rolling, [2] Cotillion / Atlantic Records for releasing these performances as a 139 minute duration, vinyl triple album on May 11, 1970, and [3] the progressive rock, FM radio DJs, who kept on playing these LPs in heavy rotation. BTW, as a young teen, my parents would not permit me view the R-rated Woodstock motion picture so, to me, this festival had remained heard but not seen.

Eventually, in a manner of speaking, I did get to “time travel” for a virtual visit to Bethel, too! This was courtesy of a local band performing at one of my high school’s Friday night dances. These four musicians covered… no it was much more than that… these showmen had all faithfully recreated Sly & The Family Stone’s Woodstock performance of I Want To Take You Higher. Their frontman’s spirited pep-talk adeptly mimicked / echoed Sly Stone’s style / sentiments. And that energized / encouraged us to shed our inhibitions… to participate in a hip, sing-along where we repeatedly sang / chanted “I want to take you higher”, while enthusiastically, joyously, rhythmically waving our peace sign, gesturing hands high in the air!

Oh, how both the times and crowd mentality have changed these past fifty years. How so?

• Instead of upraised arms to revel in our freedom, lately, within the political arena, we’ve been witnessing arms upraised in thinly veiled salutes to fascism.

• Instead of the index and middle fingered gesture of benevolence / peace… lately, nearly everywhere we look… absent the index finger… this becomes the gesture of malevolence / hatred. And, far worse, within ubiquitous pop up war zones, the index fingers too frequently get routinely repurposed as trigger fingers.

• Instead of chants that take us to a higher plane of existence, currently, rallies become the venue for rowdy crowds to chant “campaign slogans” such as  “Send them back!”, “Send her back!” and “Lock her up!”

But… it’d be a bummer to end this post on such a sad note… especially on the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock.

“I want to take you higher” was / still is Sly Stone’s goal… and mine too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing in the E Major Leagues

Shortly after awakening, I found myself greeting the dawn of the new day seated at the piano. In a Lennon / McCartney mood, my mini recital… performed before a backyard audience of birds and bunnies… began with All My Loving.

Unexpectedly… along about mid-piece… I began wandering off onto the musical road less traveled… i.e., by transitioning an excerpt from another E Major, Fab Four composition… and then another and another and another… at which point, I “brought it all home” by polishing off the All My Loving selection.

Medley Working Titles:
A 5-Movement Fab-4 Mini Symphony in E Major
The Beatles in E Major

Total Tracking / “Travel” Time:
5 minutes

Lennon / McCartney Compositions:
All My Loving
Nowhere Man
With a Little Help From My Friends
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
Please Please Me

My Gratitude and Kudos to:
YouTube Piano Virtuoso Ryan(692)

Seeing how I had made this all come together so effortlessly, I began to suspect that my playing All My Loving just prior to last night’s golden slumbers had been of great help. It’s now my belief that… at some point during one of last night’s REM stages… I wound up experimenting with the juxtapositions of these five compositions… perhaps even playing out these abridged passages and perfecting their transition points on the keyboard of the subconscious mind.

Hence, my heightened belief in the positive power of creative dreaming.

While my own application of this phenomenon has been music-specific, there’s little doubt in my mind that what we all learn, while playing upon the REM field of dreams, can be applied, more generally, to many other areas of our lives.

“So long ago”, the late John Lennon, in his song, #9 Dream, lyrically posed two questions. Based on last night’s experience, I believe my answers to be valid…

“Was it in a dream?” My emphatic YES!
“Was it just a dream?” NOPE! There’s no such thing as “just a dream”!

 

 

 

Opera Meet Rock / Rock Meet Opera ~ Vid(s) of the Day

If you’ve ever admired the considerable vocal talents of Evanescence’s Amy Lee…

Guess what? You’re already an opera fan. Think Lee is the only one who can successfully belt out and merge her operatic lightening with thundering rock?

Guess again! For our proof, let’s welcome Cristina Ramos to the stage in our above Vid of the Day.

If you’re here only for the Vid of the Day, blog over. I thank you for clicking by.

However… if you’d like to view a bonus Vid of the Day, featuring Amy Lee’s emotion driven, hard rockin’ performance…

If you’re now content with hearing out both vids, blog over. I thank you, again, for your visit.

However… if you’d like to check out my (hopefully) amusing Highway to Hell short story… inspired by AC/DC the band that inspired Ramos… I now present…

The Highway To Hell: The BackStory

Ever since Day-1 of Grand Dragon Donny’s reckless regime, he took a fancy to impulsively flipping off all laws… inclusive of the speed limit. His bellowed, little boy, “WHEEEE” could be heard echoing up and down 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, while he lead footed it… tooled about carelessly and careened America downhill…

down…

down…

down…

down…

down…

down…

down the Highway to Hell…

WHEEEE!

Citizens all across the American fatherland and all across the globe had little choice but to be Donny’s captive passengers. As such, they soon found themselves on the final approach of a crash landing at the Hellmouth. Yet, while still multiple kilometers / miles above, they became eyewitness to Donny’s bailing out sans parachute! Even though driver-less, nobody seemed to notice the diff.

They could now virtually smell the stench of sulfur and feel its lung constricting capabilities bowling them over… see the fire and brimstone’s blinding glow and feel its searing heat… hear the ceaseless snorting and roaring of the beast, too! OMG, that beast wasn’t even Satan!

They soon realized that the stampeding in circles, snorting and roaring, fire-breathing Grand Dragon Donny’s multiple layers of jiggly fat had helped him make a soft landing just outside the Gates of Hell. Boing… Boing… Boing… Boing… Boing… 

Many incredulous passengers thought aloud in unison, “Just how the Hell could he have ever survived his yuge dive? Someone pointed out, “Are we really sure that he did? It’s entirely possible that… just like Donny’s income tax returns… he’s likely been effectively hiding his dual (American and Hadean) citizenship status / his undead condition.”

Everyone became dumbstruck while watching a totally pissed off Satan emerge. He stomped his hoofs and gruffly bellowed, “Damn it Donny, what the HELL are you doing down here… AGAIN? You know how much I loathe you. Hear me now! Hell shall forever be too good for an ornery cuss like you. I flat-out refuse to let you in! In fact, I intend to build a steep WALL just to ensure you never set your hoofs in the netherworld. And don’t you DARE roll your eyes at me. I’ve caught wind of your plot for a hostile takeover of Hell! How DARE you collude with bad Vlad to oust me! Why… with a snap of my fingers… I could built that wall! As Satan droned in high decibels, “Let there be WALL”, lo and behold the WALL materialized out of thin sulfurous air!

Dejected and jealous, Grand Dragon Donny lamented, “Geeze why can’t I do that along the Mexican border?” followed by his glum, woe-is-me whining, “What the Hell am I supposed to do now? I’m F’d!” With a devil may care leer, he suddenly snapped out of his funk to gleefully concede, “Oh well, I guess I’ll be summering back in DC. My hostile takeover of America could still be fun!”

And that said, stay tuned for Chapter 2.

I mean I could go on and on… but… my dear readers… I really need to purge my mind of this unnerving, unpresidential tale… as well as clear my lungs of the virtual sulfur congestion.

You might even hear my virtual hack… hack… hack… hack… hack… hack (j/k)
 (j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k)

Oh God… I’m dying…. (j/k)
 (j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k)… hack… hack… hack… hack… 
 somebody please call 9-1-1! (j/k)
 (j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k) 
(j/k)

In reality… that sulfur didn’t affect me in the least…

That clearly established… and lungs reasonably clear… blog over!

 

 

 

A Trump Devotee Wake Up Call ~ 1 Quick Limerick #091

 

There is no defense for Trump, don’t you dare try,
From immigrant moms’ arms, their babies he’ll pry,
Where’s your moral outrage?
re these tykes who he’ll cage,
The immigrant kids he torments till they cry!

Alternate Line #5: Some immigrant kids he torments, till they die!

 

 

 

My From the Heart Thanks

 

I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks and welcome aboard to 22 of my WordPress neighbors who, over the course of this summertime (wintertime if you dwell south of the equator), have started following my blog.

I’d also like to wholeheartedly thank, once more, my neighbors, who’ve been paying me virtual visits throughout all the years I’ve been dwelling within this wonderful WordPress community.

My further gratitude to all who’ve been deeming my content likeable and, at times, even comment worthy.

While I’d find it preferable to express such sentiments by connecting to you in an individual manner…

I must also deal with realities, which make it medically unwise for me… actually for any of us… to remain sedentary for prolonged online visits.

And visits can run far longer than expected, too, because I am oft battling daily connection problems… perpetrated by an ISP that feels little commitment to living up to the “P” part of that acronym. Funny how there’s no connection problem when they “provide” me their monthly bill (ha-ha… I think).

Although online related complications can limit me… dictate what I cannot do… it’s my can-do spirit that will never limit my commitment to blogging out informative, useful and, maybe, even entertaining content that will live up to and may, someday, even exceed your expectations.

Since I cannot say this enough… once more… my from the heart thanks to you all.