Let’s Take A Moment Day 357

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Today is birthday #75 for Randy Meisner, best known as the original bass player for The Eagles. Born March 8, 1946 in Nebraska, he started playing with a local group in 1961. By 1968 he joined the band Poco but quit just before the first album came out due to creative differences. After that he joined Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band before Meisner was hired to be in Linda Ronstadt’s backing band in 1971 which later became The Eagles.

I loved them growing up but sadly all the years of battling over the direction of the band, member firings & certain others acting more important and controlling than others have left me with mixed feelings that spill over into how I hear most of their music now. That is my struggle. But my love for Meisner, who quit the band in 1977 due in large part to all the fighting, has never waned.

Of course his vocal on 1975’s “Take It To The Limit” is phenomenal, but I have absolutely swooned over today’s song from the first time I listened to the “Hotel California” album straight through. My adoration for this track has grown even more since then and increases almost daily. Meisner’s voice is beautiful, evocative and melancholy all at once. It takes me back to my younger days while making me feel very much in awe of his talent in the present. I am grateful for this man’s talent & voice every day.

Well, it might take years to see
Through all these tears
Don’t let go
When you find it you will know”.

Randy

Randy Meisner circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Eagles: “Try And Love Again” (1976, written by Randy Meisner).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 356

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

In July 1983 Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard had a #1 hit with their version of today’s song. Emmylou Harris released her own version in 1976. I did not hear either of them until after I discovered the original 1972 version by the songwriter himself, Townes Van Zandt. He is another one of those obscure but legendary cult heroes who wrote several notable songs made famous by many artists in & out of the country genre. But he never achieved a successful performing career of his own due to his lifelong battle with mental illness and addiction.

He was born 77 years ago on March 7, 1944 in Texas. He started playing guitar by age 12 after he was inspired by an Elvis Presley TV performance. When Van Zandt was in college the first signs of alcoholism & depression emerged, leading to his bipolar diagnosis which prevented him from being accepted into the Air Force. A course of insulin therapy treatments impaired his long term memory. By 1965 he gave up a stint in law school for a career in music.

Van Zandt was writing songs steadily between 1968 and 1973 and was considered a rising country star., but that path was marred by addiction. Even so by the end of the decade he had achieved cult figure status for his poetic songs of sad tales featuring various characters and the worlds they lived in. In addition to Harris’ cover of today’s song, she also recorded his tune, “If I Needed You” as a duet with Don Williams in 1981 which became a top ten hit.

In 1990 Van Zandt toured with The Cowboy Junkies & supposedly turned down several invitations to write with Bob Dylan, who was also a fan. But despite those successes, Van Zandt’s career never moved past the dive bar circuit because of his substance abuse struggles & his ongoing mental health issues. He died in 1997 at the age of 52 from health problems related to his addictions. .

I chose a live version of today’s song because unlike the studio track, this one features a hauntingly beautiful violin accompaniment that comes in during the second verse and stays until the end of the track. It underscore the pensive mood of the music, the lyrics & the singer’s poignant tone. Happy birthday, Townes Van Zandt.

“Living on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
Your breath’s as hard as kerosene
“.

Townes

Townes Van Zandt circa 1977. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Townes Van Zandt: “Pancho & Lefty” (Recorded in Oklahoma in 1978, from the 1993 album, Rear View Mirror. Originally released in 1972, written by Townes Van Zandt).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 355

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

On March 5, 1965 “For Your Love” was released in the UK by The Yardbirds. Ironically it was that track that led to Eric Clapton’s departure from the band which he originally joined because of their blues infused music, not the pop inspired sound of that track. It was during his tenure with that group that motivated a fan to write the now famous “Clapton is god” mural.

From there he joined the super group Cream where he rose to international stardom & continued his guitar hero status. The band broke up in 1968 & Clapton played in a few other bands before starting his solo career in 1970. That led to his third induction into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame twenty-one years ago today, March 6, 2000. Clapton is the only musical artist that has this distinction. As one of my great musical loves, I am not surprised at all. I remain in awe of his talent.

Her life was like a desert flower burning in the sun
Until I found the way to love
it’s harder said than done“.

Eric

“Slowhand” himself Eric Clapton circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “Let It Rain” (1970, written by Delaney Bramlett and Eric Clapton).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 354

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Many people do not understand my obsession with the film :”Harold & Maude”. They see a movie about two odd souls who enjoy going to random funerals. I see a hilariously quirky yet poignant story. The characters are different, the kind of people who feel as if they are on the outside ;looking in. I completely relate to that.

The film also has a great soundtrack courtesy of one of the 1970’s most cherished and remarkable singer-songwriters. Today’s tune is just one brilliant example featured in the film. He wrote it when he was about 21 and fighting tuberculosis, which he was told was going to end his life. That started a spiritual awakening in him that helped him fight his way back, to health. This song is one of many he wrote during that time. I worship this track-the vocal, the music, the lyrics. I believe it is one of his absolute best.

Trouble
Oh trouble, move away
I have seen your face
And it’s too much for me today”.

Harold and Maude

Cat S

Top: Maude (Ruth Gordon) and Harold (Bud Cort) at one of their daily funerals from the 1971 cult classic film. Bottom: Cat Stevens n/k/a Yusuf circa 1970. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Cat Stevens (n/k/a) Yusuf: “Trouble” (1970, written by Cat Stevens).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 353

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

By 1984 MTV was an enormous part of the music scene. Anyone who wrote it off as a fad at its inception in 1981 could no longer deny the massive medium it had become. Around that time some of the old school hold outs from earlier music decades decided to embrace the video era. But there was one participant who completely surprised me and that was Lou Reed.

The only thing I knew about him when I was in high school was that he was the voice behind 1972’s “Walk In The Wild Side”, an FM radio staple. But once I got to college, a friend introduced me to Reed’s ground breaking band, The Velvet Underground. They were considered a rock band with an avant-garde approach that put them in the middle of NYC’s subculture in the mid 1960’s. This was due in part to their sound, their manager, artist Andy Warhol & the band’s frequent collaborations with German singer Nico. Reed’s most famous songs with the band, “Sweet Jane” and “Rock and Roll” helped push him to try more creative sounds that he would continue to do in his solo career after he left the Underground in 1970.

Before the Underground, Reed co-wrote a song in protest of the popularity of dance songs called “The Ostrich”. Fast forward to April 1984 when he released the album, New Sensations. Not only did he make a video for today’s song, which was the album’s first single, but he also released a 7″ and 12″ single of the track as well. Despite the fact that it can easily pass as a dance song, I fell completely in love with it & the video from the first time I saw it on MTV. And the music by the man born Lewis Allen Reed 79 years ago on March 2, 1942 in Brooklyn, NY remains one of the coolest parts of my world.

You broke my heart and you made me cry
You said that I couldn’t dance
But now I’m back to let you know
That I can really make romance
“.

L Reed

Lou Reed circa 1990. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Lou Reed: “I Love You, Suzanne” (1984, written by Lou Reed.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 352

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Time for our first mid-week Motown break for March. Today’s song was a #4 hit in 1963 for Martha & The Vandellas and then a #5 hit in 1975 for Linda Ronstadt. But like most Holland-Dozier-Holland composed gems, it shines in any decade.

Sometimes I stare in space
Tears all over my face
I can’t explain it, don’t understand it
I’ain’t never felt like this before
“.

Martha R

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Martha & The Vandellas: “Heatwave” (1963, written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 351

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

The Carpenters have the distinction of being one of the greatest duos of all time thanks to the talents of siblings Richard and Karen Carpenter. Their sound was distinctive thanks to Richard’s knack for song writing, his ear for pop melodies punctuated by layered arrangements that highlighted the absolute beauty of his sister’s voice. Karen was born on March 2, 1950 in New Haven, CT. Her family relocated to Downey, CA in 1963 to help Richard, a musician from childhood, pursue a career in music.

Karen went through a few instruments before deciding on the drums, making her one of the first female percussionists to rise to prominence. By 1965 they were playing as a jazz trio with an upright bass player. After he departed the siblings continued together. In 1969 they signed to A&M Records after label co-founder Herb Alpert heard their demo. Karen was 19 years old and it was her vocal tracks that would help make the duo achieve the international success that followed.

It began with a cover of The Beatles song, “Ticket To Ride” followed by the song that launched their career, “Close To You”, written by the iconic songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It went to #1 for four consecutive weeks in the summer of 1970. After that a slew of hits followed, including today’s song, which was a #2 hit in 1971.

Alpert was the one who convinced the duo to record their first #1 song. In a 2011 interview he gave to “CBS Sunday Morning” he spoke about Karen, who died in 1983 from complications related to an eating disorder. He said, “She never realized how great she was. She never really accepted the fact that she really had it”. Alpert also got choked up thinking of her, because even though nearly 30 years had passed since Karen’s death, he still found her loss incomprehensible. I think that pretty much sums up how all her fans feel.

What I’ve got they used to call the blues
Nothin’ is really wrong
Feelin’ like I don’t belong
“.

Carpenters-Horizon-Cover

Karen and Richard Carpenter circa 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Carpenters: “Rainy Days & Mondays” (1971, written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 350

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

On March 1, 1973 Closing Time, the debut album by Tom Waits, was released. It was not a big seller but it was well received by critics. More importantly, it introduced the world to this poetic expressive storyteller. I would not discover this brilliant man until Bruce Springsteen’s 1985 cover of “Jersey Girl” so I had the pleasure of discovering the first album & over half a dozen others all at once. I have been a Waits fan ever since and today’s song from that first album is just one reason why.

Well, the room is crowded, people everywhere
And I wonder, should I offer you a chair
Well, if you sit down with this old clown, I’ll take that frown and break it
Before the evening’s gone away, I think that we can make it
“.

Waits Closing Time

Tom Waits’ 1973 debut album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tom Waits: “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You” (1973, written by Tom Waits).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 349

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Feb 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

The stories of bands throughout history seem to follow one of two paths: They fight with each other and when they fail to achieve success they break up. Or, they fight with each other, achieve great success and break up. In both instances they may reunite again after some time passed but not always. Rarely does a band stay together for too long and it is almost unheard of that one stays together for nearly six decades. That esteemed privilege belongs to The Rolling Stones.

Of course, there have been many changes to the band in those 60 years. Personnel changes, personal changes, musical direction changes, addiction issues, legal issues and so on. And the very first storm they weathered was the loss of the man who founded the band, Brian Jones.

He was born 79 years ago today on Feb 28, 1942 in England. Both of his parents played the piano and passed their love of music on to their son. Jones played in a few groups before placing an ad in 1962 for a blues band. Mick Jagger answered it & brought Keith Richards along for a rehearsal where he joined the group as well, forming the nucleus of the band Jones would name after the Muddy Waters song, “Rollin’ Stone”.

Their success began with today’s song, a cover of a Bobby Womack song which was the group’s first #1 hit in the UK in 1964. Despite the success of the record the group’s manager & producer encouraged the band to write their own songs like The Beatles were doing. Once the Jagger & Richards songwriting team started to see success, the group started moving away from the blues to more of a rock sound.

Thus began problems between Jones & the rest of the band, which when combined with his drug arrests, paternity issues, alleged mood swings and other issues led to him being fired from The Stones in June 1969. A month later, he was found dead in his swimming pool at the age of 27, drowned presumably as an involuntary result of substance abuse. A very sad ending for a man who gave us The Rolling Stones.

Well, she used to run around with every man in town
She spent all my money, playing her high class game
She put me out, it was a pity how I cried
Tables turn and now her turn to cry
“.

Stones 1964

The Rolling Stones circa 1964 (L-R): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “It’s All Over Now” (1964. written by Bobby Womack & Shirley Womack).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 348

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Feb 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

I swore off musical documentaries a while back, but in November I stumbled upon “Janis: Little Girl Blue” on Hulu. I decided to watch it despite only liking a few of Janis Joplin’s songs as I found others a bit too overpowering for me. The film was well done and I learned a few things I did not know about her life, mostly that she did not fit in with her peers, especially at school. She seemed to be a bit of a loner even after music became what drew people to her and vice versa.

Fifty years ago today-February 27, 1971-her second & final solo album Pearl hit the #1 spot on the albums chart for the first of nine weeks. Today’s track is from her debut record released in 1969. The film ended with this song and man, I was in awe. It is gorgeous. The arrangement, especially the guitar & the strings, combined with Joplin’s interpretation of the lyrics, is just heartbreaking and entrancing at the same time. Had I decided not to watch the film I probably never would have discovered this diamond of a tune. It is a Rogers & Hart song that dates back to 1935 from the musical, “Jumbo”. This track has been recorded dozens of times by a variety of artists from Rosemary Clooney to Sam Cooke to The Carpenters and more. But only one person sang it with the feeling and intensity Joplin did.

And I know how you feel
And I know you ain’t got no reason to go on
And I know you feel that you must be through
Oh honey, go on and sit right back down
“.

Janis-Joplin

Janis Joplin circa 1970. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Janis Joplin: “Little Girl Blue” (1969, written by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.