Let’s Take A Moment Day 468

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?

June 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 1973 while John Lennon & Yoko Ono were living in NYC, their marriage hit a rough spot. They separated for 18 months & he relocated across the country to California. Ono often referred to that time as Lennon’s “lost weekend”. But despite the state of his marriage, Lennon was incredibly busy making music during those months. He recorded two solo albums-1974’s Walls And Bridges and 1975’s Rock & Roll. He also worked with Elton John on his cover of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” & Lennon’s song, “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” (Day 246). He & Ono reconnected backstage at John’s concert in November 1974, but Lennon was not done making great music.

He collaborated with David Bowie on a cover of “Across The Universe” and today’s song. Lennon co-wrote the track, played guitar & did the backing vocals as well. It was released on June 28, 1975 and by September of that year it hit the top spot in the country for two different weeks. It was Bowie’s first #1 hit in the United States.

In October 1975 Lennon turned 35 and became a father for the second time. The following year, he received his green card after years of fighting with the U.S. government for it. He finally became a permanent resident of NYC, where Bowie had moved to the year before. They remained friends until Lennon’s death in 1980.

Fame what you like is in the limo
Fame what you get is no tomorrow
Fame what you need you have to borrow
Fame”.

Bowie Lennon

L-R: David Bowie, Yoko Ono & John Lennon backstage at the Grammys in 1975. Photo by @kwamebphoto. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

David Bowie (featuring John Lennon): “Fame” (1975, written by Carlos Alomar, David Bowie and John Lennon).

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 457

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?

June 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 a mid-week Motown break, with this one coming by way of California from 1975. There are some great cover versions of Motor City songs and today’s is one of the best by one of my favorite bands. It was originally recorded by Kim Weston in 1965 & written by the powerhouse writing team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier & Eddie Holland. Today marks Mr. Dozier’s 80th birthday and if you try for one second to imagine music without this man & his co-writers’ magnificent words & music, the silence would be deafening. Happy birthday to one of the pillars of Motown.

I’ve tried my best to be strong but I’m not able
I’m like a helpless child left in a cradle
Before you leave me leave me far behind
Let me feel happy one more time
“.

Doobies

The Doobie Brothers 1975 album, Stampede. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doobie Brothers: “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While”) (1975, 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 436

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?

May blog 2021

(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 #73 for Stephanie “Stevie” Lynn Nicks, born on May 26,1948 in Arizona. She started singing with her grandfather when she was a toddler and was in a folk band by high school. When she was a senior, she met Lindsey Buckingham & joined his band. Eventually the two recorded their own album, Buckingham Nicks, in 1973. A year later, Mick Fleetwood invited Buckingham to join the drummer’s group. Buckingham agreed on the condition he could bring his girlfriend & partner with him, so Nicks joined the band as well. Fleetwood Mac went on to great success and Nicks also enjoyed a successful solo career beginning with her 1981 album, Bella Donna.

Just before her 29th birthday on May 21, 1977 Rumours became the #1 album in the country. It was the second time that year the album was in that position. The first time was on April 2 for two straight weeks, then again from May 21-July 15 for eight straight weeks. But then in what could only be called an unexpected upset Barry Manilow Live took over the #1 spot for one week. After that Rumours went back to first place for 19 straight weeks from July 23 – December 2, until Linda Ronstadt’s Simple Dreams usurped the top position and stayed there for the rest of the year.

But Rumours was not finished ruling the chart just yet. It went back to the top spot for the first two weeks of 1978 but on January 21 a dark cloud appeared in the form of Saturday Night Fever which became the country’s top selling album for 24 straight weeks (January 21 – July 7). I always say 1978 was a great year for music. I must have blocked this out for obvious reasons. Disco was not my thing.

Today’s song is not from Rumours but it is probably Nicks’ most well known track. It was on the band’s 1975 self-titled album, the first featuring her & Buckingham, and just before the songs based on their inner band romances & breakups propelled Fleetwood Mac into the legendary group they became. Happy birthday, Stevie Nicks. Here’s to 100 more.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too
“.

Stevie Nicks

Fleetwood Mac

Top: Stevie Nicks circa 2019. Bottom: Fleetwood Mac circa 1977 (L-R): Lindsey Buckingham, Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie & John McVie. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Fleetwood Mac: “Landslide” (1975, written by Stevie Nicks).

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 416

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?

May blog 2021

(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 May 1975 Elton John released “Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy”. More importantly, on May 6, 1939, my dad was born in NYC. His favorite song by John was on that album. Today’s track is dedicated to my dad with all my love on what would have been his 82nd birthday.

I’m strangled by your
Haunted social scene
Just a pawn outplayed
By a dominating queen
“.

elton john

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John: “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” (1975, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin).

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 217

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(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 we celebrate the birthday of a brother. A Doobie Brother. Patrick Simmons was born 72 years ago today in 1948. He has been the only consistent member of the band since they first formed in California fifty years ago in 1970. He is a singer, songwriter & guitarist who wrote today’s song. It was the band’s first #1 record, hitting the top of the chart in March 1975. The song is from the band’s 1974 album which has one of the best titles for a record I ever heard, “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits”.

They performed today’s pick back in April in their “Live In Isolation” series and the ending chorus featured clips of fans singing along with them from home videos. It was a fabulous way to connect with their audience. So many of us are missing live music, one of the great casualties of this virus. But the Brothers made it happen. They hold a special place in my heart as theirs was the first concert I ever attended. I adore their music and remain completely in love with 1978’s “Minute By Minute” album to this day.

The Doobie Brothers are part of the Class of 2020 R&R HOF Inductees that did not get their official ceremony in May since it was cancelled because of the pandemic. But they should have been inducted decades ago. The band’s first album came out in 1971, making them eligible for the HOF in 1996. That is according to the Hall’s rule which makes an artist first eligible 25 years after the release of their debut album. Do the math, everyone. The Doobie Brothers have waited nearly twice that long.

The band’s page on the Hall’s website even acknowledges this (“They have been a mainstay in the rock & roll landscape for nearly five decades”) yet offers no apology nor explanation for the delay. But do not get me started on that place since John Coltrane, Bad Company, Warren Zevon, Pat Benatar, Jim Croce & Tina Turner (as a solo artist) are also still waiting to get in. But Abba was inducted 10 years ago. Completely ridiculous.

Simmons is being inducted with fellow Brothers Tom Johnston, John McFee, John Hartman, Michael Hossack (1946-2012), Tiran Porter, Keith Knudsen (1948-2005), Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Michael McDonald, who rejoined the group last year (yay!!!). The live ceremony has been revamped to “an exclusive special” to air on HBO & HBO MAX on November 7. In any case it will be a nice belated birthday gift for Simmons.

Well, I built me a raft and she’s ready for floatin’
Ol’ Mississippi, she’s callin’ my name
Catfish are jumpin’, that paddle wheel thumpin’
Black water keeps rollin’ on past just the same
“.

Doobies minute picture 1978

Top: The Doobie Brothers in 1978 (L-R, top to bottom): John Hartman, Patrick Simmons, Michael McDonald, Keith Knudsen, Jeff Skunk” Baxter & Tiran Porter. Bottom: The Brothers circa 2020: Simmons, Tom Johnston, John McFee & McDonald. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Doobie-Brothers-Clay-Patrick-McBride

The Doobie Brothers: “Black Water” (1974, written by Patrick Simmons).

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 201

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.

Three days into October and already we have our first rock & roll birthday of the month. This one belongs to guitarist & singer Lindsey Buckingham, formerly of Fleetwood Mac, who turns 71 today. I have loved his music since I first discovered that band and the fact that he was oh-so-easy-on-the-eyes was just a plus. As the only guitarist & male vocalist for the band, it was his sound that made their music instantly recognizable throughout the 1970’s & 1980’s.

If you know the back story to the album, “Rumours” then you know he was romantically involved with bandmate Stevie Nicks until they began working on that record. They met in high school and he invited her to join the band he was in at the time. Five years later, they left the band and started dating. In 1973 they released a record together but it did not sell. However, Mick Fleetwood heard one of those songs and was intrigued by the guitar work. He eventually met Buckingham and in 1974 invited him to join Fleetwood Mac. But Buckingham said he & Nicks were a team so he would only take the job if she was hired, too. Fleetwood agreed and the team became part of the band. Nicks wrote the lyrics to her songs, but it was Buckingham who provided all the arrangements, so he was as responsible for the sound of her songs as she was.

While he was with the group Buckingham released his first solo record in 1981 and pursued a few more musical collaborations outside the band until he decided to leave the group in 1987. He reunited with them once in 1992 where they played “Don’t Stop” for Bill Clinton’s inauguration ceremony. But it was not until 1997 that Buckingham would rejoin the group as a full time member, restoring the band’s classic line-up. That year they released a live album, “The Dance”. It debuted at #1 on the album chart, sold one million copies in two months and eventually over six million copies worldwide.

Over the next 20 years he made music with the group while he continued to work on solo & outside projects. That included an album with Christine McVie in 2017. But in January of 2018 Nicks took issue with Buckingham’s alleged “disrespectful behavior towards her” whatever she perceived that to be & gave the band an ultimatum: she wanted him out or she would quit. He was let go, so he filed a lawsuit against the band that was eventually settled. Buckingham revealed in an interview soon after his dismissal that he received a note from McVie stating she did not want him out of the band.

Groups breaking up and members being fired are all part of the rock & roll game. But honestly there should be a statute of limitations in place to prevent what happened to Buckingham because if you have been a part of a band for nearly 35 years, another member should not be allowed to have you fired due to a diva moment. Especially the member who made it possible for you to join the group in the first place. But at least Buckingham’s personal life is solid, as he has been happily married to the mother of his three grown children since 2000. And his talent as a musician is undeniable. As much as I love his contributions to “Rumours”, today’s song was my first introduction to Buckingham and it remains one of my favorites, on any day of the week.

But you know it’s true
You only want me when I get over you
First you love me, then you get on down the line
But I don’t mind, I don’t mind
“.

Fleetwood Mac Portrait

Lindsay

Top: Fleetwood Mac in 1975 (L-R): John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood & Lindsey Buckingham. Bottom: Buckingham circa 2017. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Fleetwood Mac: “Monday Morning” (1975, written by Lindsey Buckingham).

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 162

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?

Bruce 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.

I have not yet finished celebrating the recording anniversary of the “Layla” album (see Day 159) only to find an even bigger milestone upon me.  Forty-five years ago today-August 25, 1975-another album that changed my life was released.  Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” is my heart.  It claimed it when I was 12 years old and has never let go.  He was 25 when it came out, and a year younger when he wrote lines like “You’re scared and you’re  thinking we ain’t that young anymore”. from “Thunder Road”.  He explained why in 2005 on VH1’a “Storytellers”:  “These songs were written in 1974, which is only two years after the end of the Vietnam War and nobody was that young anymore”.

On the same show he said this album was “his big invitation to his audience, to himself, to anybody that was interested to a long earthly journey. Hopefully in the company of someone you love, people you love and in search of a home you can feel a part of.”  So glad I went along for the ride. It was like taking the road less traveled and realizing it was the best one after all.  I will love Bruce forever.  He is home to me.

In an interview on BBC Television in 2016, Springsteen said he spent six months writing this album & six months recording it and as it went on it developed into this very big piece of music.  That is putting it mildly.  Today’s song is one of two on the album that does not feature a sax solo by The Big Man.  As much as I love to hear his signature sound, his absence is barely noticeable in this exquisite symphony.  This song is another one of Springsteen’s cinematic masterpieces that is like a six hour mini-series disguised as a six minute song.  It features colorful characters, dark imagery & tells the story of betrayed friendships in an absolutely heartbreaking way.  Every part of the song is a work of art, but if one instrument stands out, it is Roy Bittan’s piano.  His playing is astonishing.  As The Bossman has been for me virtually all of my life.  Swoon.

Blame it on the lies that killed us, blame it on the truth that ran us down
You can blame it all on me Terry, it don’t matter to me now
When the breakdown hit at midnight there was nothing left to say
But I hated him and I hated you when you went away“.

BTR 1

One of the pictures taken by Eric Meola during the “Born To Run” photo session in 1975.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen:  “Backstreets” (1975, written by Bruce Springsteen).

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 122

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?

Thoreau 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.

Yesterday, July 15, marked another rock & roll birthday as Linda Ronstadt celebrated her 74th.  Her voice was one from two female singers that have followed me throughout my entire life-the other belonging to Aretha Franklin.  While no one can match The Queen of Soul, Ronstadt comes closer than anyone.  Her strong powerful voice, her multi-octave range, her musical diversity and her string of hits from the 1960’s through the 1990’s is what gives her that unique status.

And when I was obsessed with all things radio in 1978, she was featured in one of my favorite movies of all time, “FM” (think of a slightly darker “WKRP In Cincinnati” without Loni Anderson or that catchy theme song).  Ronstadt sang three songs in the film, “Tumbling Dice”, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” & “Love Me Tender” during a concert that was broadcast live over the radio station featured in the movie.  It was a terrific scene because she is a great singer who gave us a fabulous catalog of music to enjoy forever.  She is also the one who introduced The Eagles to the world as they originally began their careers as members of her back-up band.  But they were on their own by the time she took today’s song to number one in February 1975.

Linda Ronstadt            Linda Ronstadt circa 1972.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Linda Ronstadt:  “You’re No Good” (1974, written by Clint Ballard Jr.).

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 120

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?

Thoreau 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.

We are now at the four month mark of the pandemic.  Four months!!!  One hundred & twenty days.  And some states-namely California, Florida & Texas-are seeing a staggering increase in new cases that are breaking the records set only three months ago.  It is just too much to bear.  I am clinging tighter than ever to what makes me happy as opposed to what is going in the world right now.  And what makes me the happiest is music.

It has always been in my life and I have loved it since I was a young child.  But my intense love affair with it began the first time I heard the “Born To Run” album in its entirety.  I was compelled to buy it after hearing two songs on the radio.  One was “Backstreets” and the other is today’s pick.  I only heard half of this one that day but it was enough to show me it was a party set to music.  I may not have been invited to it, but I was welcomed in and asked to stay.  I learned about the history of the incredible band and how “The Big Man”, Clarence Clemons, came to join them.

Once I started going to Springsteen’s concerts, I discovered this was one of the highlights of the show and it led to the band’s introductions.  It also became a moment of reverence and reflection after Clemons passed away in 2011 to keep his memory and his presence very much a part of the band he meant so much to.  And to the legions of fans like me who would never forget how he & Springsteen encouraged all the women in the audience to wave back when he sang the line, “All the little pretties raise their hands”.  Sometimes it leaves such a lump in my throat when I realize I will never see that moment again in person, but I am so incredibly grateful I had the chance to do so many, many times.  And out of all the times I did see it, in addition to the hundreds of clips of this song recorded live that are all over YouTube, one of my favorite performances of this song was when he & The E Street Band performed it live at Springsteen’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on March 15, 1999 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York.  Until I attended The E Street Band’s induction ceremony in 2014, that is.

In his speech honoring his band, Springsteen expressed his regret in not insisting his band get inducted with him in 1999.  He told the story of how he and friend/E Street guitarist Steven Van Zandt fought about this but Springsteen, blaming his ego, felt he earned the right to be honored and inducted on his own.  So in 1999 the band stood by him as if nothing happened which showed incredible professionalism, loyalty and friendship on their part.  But with the deaths of band keyboardist Danny Federici in 2008 and then Clemons, Springsteen was heartbroken that they did not live to see that honor (Federici’s children and Clemons’ widow accepted on their behalfs).  Part of his speech in 2014 included these beautiful words:

“We’ve hurt one another in big & small ways but in the end we kept faith with each other.  I told a story with The E Street Band that was and is bigger than I ever could have told on my own…that is the hallmark of a rock & roll band.  The narrative you tell together is bigger than any one you could have told on your own.”

With all the lessons Springsteen has taught me through his music, that was one of the saddest.  But today’s song is still one of my all time favorites.  Now I feel expected to attend the party.  I will always love how much history I have with it and how it taught me decades after first hearing it that we all must learn to live with big regrets, even those crowned The Boss.

When that change was made uptown
And the Big Man joined the band
From the coastline to the city
All the little pretties raise their hands
I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh
When Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half.”

BTR

Born To Run album photos by Eric Meola.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

 

Bruce Springsteen:  “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” (1975, written by Bruce Springsteen).

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

Stay well.