Let’s Take A Moment Day 182

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?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

Before we get to the music, let me offer a quick shout out to my girls-Dorothy, Rose, Blanche & Sophia. “The Golden Girls” pilot aired 35 years ago today on NBC and its four leading ladies made growing older look fun, feisty and fabulous. They also became my surrogate mothers who gave me sage advice about life, love, loss & laughter. I will adore them for all of eternity.

the-golden-girls

The cast of “The Golden Girls: Top (L-R): Rue McClanahan as Blanche, Bea Arthur as Dorothy. Bottom (L-R): Estelle Getty as Sophia & Betty White as Rose. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today is also the birth anniversary for guitarist Paul Kossoff who was born 70 years ago today in England. If you think you do not know who he was, I have three words for you: “All Right Now”. Yes, he was the guitarist for the band, Free, who had a massive hit in 1970 with that iconic song. And one listen to that track, led by Paul Rodgers electrifying vocals and Kossoff’s unbelievably fiery & intense riffs, it was clear even upon its release that this song would achieve legendary status. Rounding out the group was the astonishing rhythm section featuring Andy Fraser on bass and Simon Kirke on drums. If there was ever a tune to qualify as a perfect song, it would be this one. I have been absolutely fanatical about this track from the first time I heard it 100 years ago, and that obsession continues to this day. And probably always will. I just cannot hear it enough.

Kossoff’s musical training started at age nine when he began classical guitar lessons. But at age 15 he saw a live performance by Eric Clapton with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers so Kossoff changed his musical direction to a more blues/rock inspired sound. By 1968 he met the other band members to form Free. They broke up temporarily in 1971 but reformed a year later, only to disband permanently in 1973. Kossoff struggled with depression & drug addiction which was only exacerbated by the break-up of the band. He died in 1976 at age 25 from a pulmonary embolism. But his staggering performance stands out on one of the greatest rock anthems of all time.

There she stood in the street
Smiling from her head to her feet
I said hey, what is this
Now baby, maybe she’s in need of a kiss
“.

Paul Kossoff

free

Top: Paul Kossoff circa 1974. Bottom: Free circa 1970 (L-R): Andy Fraser, Paul Rodgers, Kossoff & Simon Kirke. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Free: “All Right Now” ( 1970, written by Andy Fraser and Paul 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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 85

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?

Kerouac

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

Although Moton’s premier songwriting team, Holland–Dozier–Holland, left the label in 1967, it did not stop them from writing and producing great songs.  They just had to do it under an alias since there was a lawsuit pending.  They also were still in contact with the label’s house band, The Funk Brothers, who played on today’s song recreating the winning combination achieved on so many of the Motor City hits.  All that was needed was a singer.  The songwriters offered the song to Freda Payne and she took it to number 3 in 1970.  The string interlude arrangement @ 1:37 is one of my all time favorites ever.  It just kicked this song to the next level from great to absolutely glorious.  I have reveled in the beauty of this song from the first time I heard it, and fall more in love with each listen.

Freda Payne
 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Freda Payne:  “Band Of Gold” (1970, written by Edythe Wayne and Ron Dunbar).

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 81

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?

Kerouac

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

For those of you who do not know the history of George Harrison and Eric Clapton, allow me to fill you in.  The two met in the mid 1960’s while Harrison was a Beatle and Clapton was in the Yardbirds.  They became closer friends as the decade progressed.  Clapton went on to join the band Cream in 1966, and wrote the song “Badge” with Harrison.  Clapton also played lead guitar on”While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that Harrison wrote for “The White Album”.  The two men stayed friends after the Beatles broke up, and Clapton played at Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in NYC in August 1971.

While all this friendship and music was going on, Clapton began to have very strong feelings for Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd.  According to her autobiography and his, along with statements he has made over the years, she spurned his advances in 1970 leading him to write many songs about her on the album, “Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs”, while he was a member of the band, Derek & The Dominos.  He said it also led to his heroin addiction that he would not recover from until approximately 1973.  A year later Boyd finally decided to leave Harrison because of his repeated infidelities & go to Clapton.  They were married in 1979 and Harrison harbored no ill will toward the new couple and the three remained friends.  Say it with me:  wow.

Clapton & Boyd’s love story was short-lived, however, and the two divorced in 1989.  But Boyd cemented her place in rock history as one incredible muse.  She inspired Harrison to write several love songs while he was with The Beatles including “Something”, “If I Needed Someone” and “For You Blue”.  Clapton wrote “Layla”, “Wonderful Tonight” and today’s song for her.  Let’s say it again:  wow.   I love all the music included here, but Clapton’s vocal expression of romantic pain & agony in today’s song is remarkable.  Plus I really adore the song’s title, which Clapton said came from Boyd asking him to buy a certain pair of blue jeans for her from America when he went there for a tour.  Whether you like Clapton or not, you have to admit it is one hell of a story.  And he is one hell of a musician.  Wait, how could you NOT like Clapton???

Bell bottom blues, you made me cry
I don’t want to lose this feeling
And if I could choose a place to die
It would be in your arms“.

Top:  Derek & The Dominos ((L–R: Jim Gordon (drums), Carl Radle (bass), Bobby Whitlock (keyboards & vocals) & Eric Clapton (guitar & vocals).  Bottom:  Clapton circa 1975.  Right:  Pattie Boyd & George Harrison circa 1966.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Derek and the Dominos:  “Bell Bottom Blues” (1970, written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock).

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 64

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?

Peanuts music

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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 marks what should be my parent’s 58th wedding anniversary.  This song is for them.

Bread

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bread:  “Make It With You” (1970, written by David Gates).

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 55

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?

Peanuts music

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

If you watch “This Is Us” then you know that the woman behind today’s song is one of the stars of the show, yet she is not a member of the cast.  She is who young Rebecca yearned to be and who older Rebecca listened to on vinyl at the record store before driving to Laurel Canyon with Kevin to find the former home of her idol, Joni Mitchell.  It is hard to believe that she was only in her twenties when she wrote songs like “Both Sides Now” and today’s pick.  She had such an incredible insight into life at such an early age.  I know she is incredibly gifted, but I also wonder if some of her awareness came from her experience with giving a child up for adoption when she was 21 years old.  They reunited 32 years later and have been in each other’s lives ever since.

As for my comprehension about life, there are three things I know for sure:  One, Jungleland is the most beautiful song I ever heard.  Two, life is not fair and three, it goes by impossibly fast.  Devastatingly fast.  Tragically fast.  One minute we are playing games as kids, the next we are graduating from high school,  One day our mothers are taking care of us and the next we are taking care of them.  Or they are gone.  That is why I think today’s song is perfect for this particular Sunday.

Mothers-Day

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Happy Mother’s Day to all.  And for those of us mourning our mothers or the other women who ever cared for us in any way, may we find peace and comfort in our great fortune to have known such spectacular women.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.

Joni

        (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Joni Mitchell:  “The Circle Game” (1970, written by Joni Mitchell).

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

Stay well.

Lets Take A Moment Day 30

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?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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 am someone with a highly repetitive nature.  I can listen to a song I adore for days at a time and watch the same show or movie I love for weeks without getting bored.  Sometimes I watch something so many times I am afraid I will need an intervention to stop.  One movie I have been watching a lot recently is 2001’s “Saving Silverman”.  I knew nothing about it the first time I caught it on a movie channel except that Jack Black was in it, and that was all I needed to know.  I had fallen in love with him after I saw “High Fidelity” and “School of Rock” because not only is he good singer/musician, but he is also hilarious.

What I did not know about “Silverman” was that at the heart of the movie, Black and two of his buddies are in a Neil Diamond cover band.  I love that man, too, so I was thrilled to see him make an appearance at the end of the movie when the guys in the cover band not only meet their hero, but also sing with him onstage at one of his shows as well.  Diamond is very funny in the film and even quotes lines from his own songs.

I grew up listening to his music, but then again who didn’t?  From the Monkees to “Shrek” to a variety of artists covering his songs (Chris Isaak with “Solitary Man”, UB40 with “Red Red Wine” & Urge Overkill with “Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon”) to his movie debut (in “The Jazz Singer”) to his E.T. inspired song (“Heartlight”) to the Boston Red Sox adopting “Sweet Caroline” as their unofficial official anthem, to Diamond’s reworking of that song in an Instagram post by changing the words from “touching hands” to “washing hands”  to match our new normal, Diamond is omnipresent.  Basically if you have been alive in the last 50 years there is no way you cannot know who this unbelievably talented artist is.  He has won every award and accolade out there and is undoubtedly one of America’s greatest songwriters of all time.

With so many fabulous enduring songs to choose from, it is hard to pick just one as my favorite.  I sort of shuffle them around depending on my mood so that what I am listening to at the time determines what I like best at the moment.  Right now I have rediscovered how much I love the string arrangement introduced in the second verse of today;s song.  It underscores Diamond’s voice beautifully and increases the happy feel of the song, at least it does for me.  It was his first number one record in America and put him on the music charts in several countries around the world as well.  The lyrics are fabulous, too.  I am proud to bow at the altar of the Diamond.

Hitchin’ on a twilight train
Ain’t nothing there that I care to take along
Maybe a song
To sing when I want“.

Neil Diamond

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Diamond:  “Cracklin’ Rosie” (1970, written by Neil Diamond).

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 25

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?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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 first time I listened to “The Last Waltz” album, it was an overload to my senses.  A magnificent overload.  So many artists that I adored-Eric Clapton, The Band, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, to name a few-were on it, so I had no idea who to listen to first.  Or should I just play it from start to finish, I wondered.  Given my impatient nature, I started with a few of the songs I loved most before letting the album play in its entirety.  And that is when I heard today’s song for the first time by Van “The Man” Morrison.  And I sa-woooooned.

How could I not?  A master of blue eyed soul with clear infusions of jazz, folk and the blues, he delivered a performance in an intense and expressive manner interpreting his own lyrics as only the writer could.  Within days I went out and bought his “Moondance” album and wore it out within the week.  After that I purchased two more-“St. Dominic’s Preview” & “Astral Weeks”-and before I knew it a month went by and all I had listened to were his songs.  And that is by no means a complaint.  My love for him only intensified a few years later when I finally saw his performance & the rest of the concert movie on cable.  I love so many of Morrison;s songs, but this one remains my favorite, especially because the lyrics speak right to my heart:

Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio
Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know it’s got soul“.

Van

Van Morrison in 2014 (Image from vanmorrison.com.  Original source unknown.)

Van Morrison:  “Caravan” (1970, written by Van Morrison).

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

Stay well.