Wake up in the morning ten minutes late, I
hit the snooze like a Chris Brown date I
brush all my teeth, I’m driving, and I’m on my way
But I’m floored when I walk into the joint I’m
more confused than Joe Namath with a coin my
boss’ memo says starting today
I’m working 1 to 5
My hours keep on falling
Now I’m not full-time
All the creditors keep calling
Said I could keep my plan
I’m no longer a believer
My new deductible’s so high
you’d think its dad was Jeremy Bieber
Working 1 to 5
Not trying to be controversial
it’s just I’m home and I’m
watching J.G. Wentworth commercials
Say goodbye full time
and hello to under-employment
Because I’m working fewer hours
than a Flappy Bird high score
Working 1 to 5
I’m no longer out there toiling
My work schedule
is less complete than a Sochi toilet
Oh the New York Times
assures me that it’s liberating
from what it isn’t clear I guess
Working 1 to 5
Insecure and broke that’s right
Working 1 to 5
Like the Obamacare website
Working 1 to 5
It’s just a simple task
It’s like they drilled the Keystone XL pipeline
directly up my…
While I was in college I had the great fortune of meeting a young man named Micheal Murphy, Micheal was a Flamenco guitarist who had gone to Spain and studied under Paco de Lucia. Micheal, perhaps more than anyone changed the way I not only played guitar, but looked at music in general. Micheal, you see, was not only a student of Paco de Lucia, but also a huge fan the the rock group Kiss. It was not until Micheal challenged me to preform the same critical analysis of Kiss’s music that I was doing on Mozart and Bach that I liked or cared for Kiss.
As you can imagine, Micheal, being a talented enough guitarist to win a highly coveted slot as one of Paco de Lucia, was an amazing guitarist in his own right. Micheal loved heavy metal almost as much as Flamenco, and made an arrangement with me. He would teach me things that he had learned from Paco, if I would teach him what I knew about hard rock/heavy metal. I was never the talent or the student that Micheal was, though Micheal did instill in me a profound respect and love for his former teacher.
The world has lost a genuine legend in Paco de Lucia’s passing.
Islam is portrayed positively in the popular culture. In movies, Islam is shown to be a tolerant and honorable faith, while Christianity is portrayed as evil. It is almost taboo to insult Islam in the popular culture and in American society. Considering this Pro-Islamic stance of the popular culture, it shocked me that Kate parry’s new video offends Islam.
At issue, the petition says, is a pendant bearing the word “Allah,” which is worn by a man who is “burned,” pendant and all. (In the video, it appears that the man disintegrates.)
“The video is considered as highly controversial to its viewers as a result of its portrayal of blasphemy,” the petition reads, adding, “blasphemy is clearly conveyed in the video, since Katy Perry (who appears to be representing an opposition of God) engulfs the believer and the word God in flames.”
Here is the video.
I don’t think Kate Perry intentionally insulted Islam, but its a relief to see one of their symbols mocked. I don’t expect to see Islam insulted in the Popular Culture for long time to come.
In the 1960′s America had forgotten its Blues heritage but was hit by the revolution which had jolted the British pop scene. The era of Blues influenced Rock (which lead the way to Heavy Metal) in the United Kingdom was about to unfold.
Checkout the live performances by The Rolling Stones, Them, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, The Animals, The Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Led Zeppelin all inspired by American Blues records. Good interviews with Eric Burdon, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Keith Richards Brian Jones, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
Another great line up for this spectacular show from the 1970′s.
Ike & Tina Turner: Proud Mary
Barry White: Cant Get Enough Of Our Love
Sly & Family Stone: Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself
David Essex: Rock On
O’jay’s: Love Train
Marvin Gaye: Lets Get It On
Golden Earring: Radar Love
Bill Withers: Ain’t No Sunshine
James Brown: Payback
Gordon Lightfoot: Sundown
Gladys Knight & B B King: The Thrill Is Gone
Maria Muldaur: Midnight At The Oasis
Neil Sedaka: Laughter In The Rain
Redbone: Come & Get Your Love
Aerosmith: The Train Kept A Rollin
FEBRUARY 9, 1964- not a date that springs to mind when considering historic events. Though I was glued to my TV along with 73 million other Americans, I didn’t know the actual date until recently, but it could legitimately be called “The Birthday of Boomer Culture”. Deride Boomer Culture if you will, but it still resonates, even with people who’s parents are too young to remember it- I’ve seen teenagers at concerts singing along with Beatles songs, they knew the words by heart. We didn’t know it then, but everything changed on that February evening in ways we could not have imagined.
A little perspective to begin, if I may, for those of you laboring under the misfortune of youth. In 1964, World War II was as close in our national rear-view mirror as is first Iraq War is today. World War I was as close as Vietnam. World War II vets were fairly young men in their 40s and Kennedy, a WWII veteran, was considered too young for the presidency by some. We were still very much a Black and White world with wide-spread ownership of color TV still being a few years away.
We had a Sylvania Halolight black and white TV, it had a soft light surrounding the tube. Very cool stuff! (Do watch the ad at the link)
My Dad was a “Ford man”, so we had a brand new 1964 Ford Galaxy 500 in the driveway.
I was 10 years old, attending a Catholic school that was a five-minute walk from my very vanilla suburban house. Just three months earlier was November, 22, 1963, the day our first Catholic President was killed in Dallas, a day that shocked my young sensibilities and introduced profound sadness and tragic loss into my neat, idyllic and insulated child’s life. Well, that and the constant drills in school for the eventual nuclear war- I actually hoped that when it happened, it would happen on a school day because I didn’t have a desk at home to protect me.
The “Vanilla House”
Upon reflection, the JFK assassination was the first step in growing up. It connected me to the world at-large, for the first time, as I related to what these people were talking about on the TV.
As to music, my recollections at that age consisted of the “Big Band” stuff that my parents played on the phonograph and, for some reason, Eydie Gorme singing “Blame It on the Bossanova” on the car radio, a popular song of the day. In my memory, it seems as if it was playing incessantly. I’d heard people talking about Elvis, but my parents were too old for that “Rock ‘n’ Roll noise” as they called it, so I didn’t hear much of it. I’d sometimes see “American Bandstand” on the TV, but they were all older kids and the music just didn’t click for me.
We all watched the “Ed Sullivan Show” on Sunday nights, though. It was a family tradition in our house, as it was for many families of the day. It was what was known then as a “variety show” with acts as varied as comedians, ventriloquists, jugglers, musicians, singers, dancers and, of course, Topo Gigio.
That was about this time that small, hand-held “transistor radios” had become the “must have” gadgets of the day. Actually, it was the FIRST of all the “must have gadgets”that would follow. A technology born in the burgeoning space program, these little radios, for the first time, allowed people to listen to the radio without being in a building or a car. It was one of the modern miracles of the early 60s, to be able to walk down the street, with an earplug in one ear, listening to the radio! I had one. It was the first of the many gadgets I would by, and still buy, over the course of my life. I don’t recall what I listed to, it didn’t matter, the magic of that radio was enough. But that was about to change.
I can’t recall when I first heard of the Beatles, but I’d assume it was from the giggling little girls at school. They were the first, and the boys followed. A female cousin was wild about the lads but, I must admit, I was skeptical (even before I even knew the definition of the word). I then started hearing about these Beatles on my transistor radio, what we now know as “the buzz” was unmistakable. ”Beatlemania” was soon sweeping the nation as “Beatle boots” and “Beatle wigs” appeared in stores as fashion was being transformed for the next half-century, and beyond. It was literally impossible to turn on a radio or TV without hearing about the Beatles. By the time they arrived in New York, America was eager to surrender to their new British invaders.
But it all began in earnest on a Sunday evening as four young men from Liverpool forever altered the course of popular music, and popular culture, with this broadcast on February 9, 1964:
It would be a nice touch if I could say that, at that very moment, I felt the Earth shake and I was immediately transformed. It didn’t, and I wasn’t. The truth is, it opened a door, but an important door. The appeal of the Beatles, for me, sprung from well-written, yet simple songs, with which I felt an irrepressible urge to sing along while I was listening. There was an indescribable, yet unmistakable familiarity that I felt and still feel. I felt that they were singing for me. They were the right band, at the right time in my young life, with easily digestible music that sated my newly acquired taste for music.
The Beatles grew and matured quickly, as did we and our tastes. The difference between a 10 year-old and a 15 year-old is enormous, much like the cultural differences between 1964 and 1969 and the Beatles provided a soundtrack for that growth. Each successive album signaled a departure from the last as they pioneered the development of popular music from “catchy ditties” and Rock ‘n’ Roll to recording art, blending technology and diverse musical elements as on display on the album “Rubber Soul” and everything that would come after. In August, 1966, the Beatles performed their last “official” live concert in San Francisco, preferring to spend their energies in the recording studio such as “Revolver”, the seminal “Sgt. Pepper’s”, along with “Magical Mystery Tour”, “The White Album” and “Abbey Road”.
As revolutionary as they were, the career of the Beatles was remarkably short. In 1969, they performed together live for the last time atop their studios in London, chronicled in the 1970 film and album “Let it be”:
And it was over. When looking at the clip from 1964 juxtaposed with that from 1969, it looks like decades had transpired rather than a mere five years. Upon reflection, it felt like that, as well.
They all went on to successful solo careers but The Beatles were always more than just a collection of parts, it was musical serendipity tailored for its age.
Practically speaking, that period of time we call “the 60s” largely ended on that rooftop in London in 1969, though the afterglow continued until the dawn of Disco. It was, however, born on a flickering black and white screen on that February evening in 1964 and I feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced it.
The Midnight Special Series used to be on NBC on Friday nights at midnight in the 1970s. There was always a few artists featured per episode. Usually each artist got a couple of songs, with commercial breaks between each song, and as I recall, the show was an hour long. Comedians were also featured on most episodes and Wolfman Jack was the show’s host. There was a time in the 1970′s and most of the 1980′s when you could turn on any radio station and hear great music such as this any time.
Listen to the Music (Doobie Brothers), Will It Go Round in Circles (Billy Preston), Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce) Neither One of Us Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye (Gladys Knight & the Pips), Bang a Gong (Get It On) (T Rex), Your Mama Don’t Dance (Loggins & Messina), Long Long Time (Linda Ronstadt), Hold Your Head Up (Argent), Delta Dawn (Helen Reddy), Reelin’ in the Years (Steely Dan), I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash), Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts), Danny’s Song (Anne Murray), Cisco Kid (War), Frankenstein (Edgar Winter Group).
Thanks to a couple of Norwegian musicians, a lot of people have become obsessed with one question: What does the fox say? It turns out that foxes “say” lots of different things depending on the situation, and if you think the song is weird, just wait ’til you hear the real thing.
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