Let’s Take A Moment Day 445

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.

On June 1, 1978 Bruce Springsteen released Darkness On The Edge Of Town. It was the follow up to his masterpiece, Born To Run & the second album with his new manager Jon Landau. For those of you who may not know, he was a rock critic who saw The Boss live in 1974 prompting Landau to write the now famous quote: “I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen”.

Life would change exponentially for both men after the release of Born In The U.S.A. on June 4, 1984. It was an enormous smash, yielding seven Top Ten hits & catapulted Springsteen to a level of stardom few had ever seen. But the seriousness of the songs was overshadowed by the videos, a catch 22 common in the early days of the MTV era.

The lead off single, “Dancing In The Dark”, was a tale of self-loathing & internal angst. But that message was lost by both the song’s upbeat tempo and the glitzy performance video as well. And the title track, a commentary on the plight of Vietnam veterans who struggled to find their way back, became an anthem of patriotism & national pride. The clips in the video showing Springsteen dressed in red, white & blue punching his fist in the air during the chorus only aided that misconception.

But ultimately that album was like every Springsteen record before & after. It was about struggling, disappointed disenfranchised people looking for a way to escape their sad reality. And for those chasing the promise of the American dream, only to discover it is just the pursuit of happiness that is guaranteed in our country’s declaration, not the actual achievement of it. And as Springsteen sang in an outtake song from the Darkness album sessions, “When the promise is broken you go on living, but it steals something from down in your soul”. His words are heartbreaking. raw & sublime, just like life.

Today’s song is in that tradition, albeit at a faster tempo. It’s all about wanting to shut the door & hide from the outside world & let love keep you safe. Who has not felt like that more than once in their lives, especially in the last 12 months? And the fact that the singer is asking his partner for help & not expecting her to read his mind? Well, swoon.

I loved this song so much I got not one but two sets of special license plates in tribute to it. However once road rage became part of the vernacular, I reluctantly gave them up. But I still have one……..framed. Yes, I am that girl. A Boss fan.

Now promise me baby
You won’t let them find us
Hold me in your arms
Let’s let our love blind us
“.

Cover

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bruce Springsteen: “Cover Me” (1984, 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 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 209

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.

Another rock & roll birthday is on the books today, this one belonging to Daryl Hall who turns 74 today. He & John Oates were signed to Atlantic Records by the esteemed founder of the label, Ahmet Ertegun, in 1972. They went on to become the number one selling musical duo of all time. And huge MTV stars in their day as well.

According to the bio on their website, the duo had six #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart between the mid 1970’s to the mid 1980’s including “Rich Girl” (also #1 on the R&B chart), “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (also #1 R&B), “Maneater” and today’s track which was #1 for two weeks in December 1984. All those songs came from their six consecutive multi-platinum albums which also included five top 10 singles: “Sara Smile,” “One on One,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Say It Isn’t So” and “Method of Modern Love”. Hall also wrote “Every Time You Go Away” which was a #1 song in 1985 for singer Paul Young.

I was at one of his shows at the Pier in NYC when Hall made a surprise appearance and sang the song with him. I have seen Hall & Oates in concert twice and both times they did phenomenal covers of great R&B songs like Sly & The Family Stone’s “Hot Fun In The Summertime”, Billy Paul’s “Me & Mrs. Jones” & The Stylistics’ “You Are Everything”. Hall is a master of blue eyed soul, one of the best this country ever produced.

Since 2007 I have been watching & loving Hall’s free web show, “Live From Daryl’s House”, where he & his fellow famous musician friends (and several new artists) perform some of their favorite songs together. The program originally aired from Hall’s home studio in Millerton, NY but a few years ago he opened “Daryl’s House Restaurant & Live Music Club” in nearby Pawling which is the new broadcast spot for the show. He converted the place himself because one of his other passions is restoring historic homes as seen on another show of his-“Daryl’s Restoration Over-Hall”-on the DIY network. If I find out he owns a pug or a bulldog I just may have to declare him to be the perfect man. Except for The Boss, of course. 🙂

Reaching out for something to hold
Looking for a love where the climate is cold
Manic moves and drowsy dreams
Living in the middle between the two extremes
“.

Hall and Oates 1984

Hall_&_Oates circa 2010

Top: Daryl Hall (L) & John Oates (R) circa 1984. Bottom: The duo circa 2010. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Hall & Oates: “Out Of Touch” (1984, written by Daryl Hall & John Oates).

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 183

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.

September 8 marked the 73rd birth anniversary of The Car’s co-founder, singer & bassist, Benjamin Orr. And while I do not normally like to acknowledge the date we lose an artist as I prefer to focus on their life & music, because today marks one year since fellow co-founder, lead singer & rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek died, I decided a tribute to both was in order.

They met while each was playing music in different bands in the 1960’s in Cleveland after Ocasek dropped out of college. Orr eventually joined his band and soon the two men became a duo. They spent the next several years playing wherever they could until Ocasek moved to Massachusetts with his second wife around 1971. The next year he joined a folk duo, convinced Orr to join them to form the band, Milk Wood (after the Dylan Thomas play, “Under The Milkwood”). They released one record together in 1973 on Paramount Records, “How’s The Weather?” The album did not sell and the trio broke up. But Ocasek and Orr worked together on several projects, meeting the other three members of The Cars along the way: Greg Hawkes on keyboards, David Robinson on drums and Elliot Easton on lead guitar. Together they burst on to the music scene with their debut eponymous album in 1978

I enjoyed their sound enough to pay attention when their songs came on the radio, even though I was not a fan of new wave or synth-rock, as they became known for. The one song in particular that I could not get enough of was “Good Times Roll”. It had such a seductive opening guitar riff aided by a fabulous drum beat.and a funky synthesiser line. It remained my favorite song of the group’s until today’s song came out six years later.

Written by Ocasek but sung by Orr, I have swooned over this tune since my first listen to it. His vocal is subtle yet strong, direct yet in a private language only the person he is singing to would understand. And since 1984 was prime MTV territory, a very unique and somewhat heartbreaking video came out to accompany the song. It was directed by actor Timothy Hutton, featured a somber looking Orr, an 18 year old model named Paulina Porizkova and introduced her to her future husband, Ocasek.

The band broke up by the end of the 1980’s. Orr died of cancer in 2000. Ocasek’s song “Silver” from his 2005 album, “Nexterday”, is in honor of Orr. In 2018 the remaining band members reunited to perform at their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Ocasek died a year later. The Cars made many memorable songs and videos together, but this one will be my favorite forever.

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home
Tonight

The_Cars

The Cars in 1984. L–R: Benjamin Orr, Greg Hawkes, David Robinson, Ric Ocasek, and Elliot Easton. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Cars: “Drive” ( 1984, written by Ric Ocasek).

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 141

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?

Charlie Brown No Music No Life

(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.

On this date in 1984 Prince’s album, “Purple Rain” hit #1.  Remarkably it held that spot for 24 straight weeks until Jan 18, 1985.  Released less than two months earlier on June 25 and a month before the release of the movie by the same name on July 27, it was his first album to hit the top spot.  It was also the first time Prince credited his band, The Revolution, with assisting in the composing, arrangement and  production of a record.

The movie went on to gross 72 million dollars.  The first single from the album, “When Doves Cry”, went to #1 for five weeks straight (July 7-Aug. 10) and became the biggest song of 1984.  (Not so fun fact:  That song kept Bruce Springsteen’s single, “Dancing In The Dark” out of the top spot, leaving it in the #2 spot for three weeks before it fell to #3 on July 28.  Poor Bruce 😦  But his “Born In The USA” album would knock “Purple Rain” out of the #1 spot on Jan 19, 1985, ending its 24 week reign in that position).

By September 1984 the next single, “Let’s Go Crazy” hit #1 for two consecutive weeks.  Ultimately two more singles would be released:  the title track which peaked at #2 (and is my favorite song for a multitude of reasons but especially because of the exquisite string arrangement) and “I Would Die 4 U” which made it to #8.  The soundtrack was so popular even Sophia from “The Golden Girls” was heard singing along to the title track in the show’s first season.  I love that Prince and that show are their own pop culture reference!!!

Some of you might remember that it was this album that eventually lead to the formation of the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) in 1985 by Tipper Gore and friends.  That was due to the sexually charged lyrics on the song, “Darling Nikki” that Gore heard when her 11 year old daughter was playing this record.  The group demanded that any music with questionable lyrics or subject matters (i.e. sex, drugs, violence and references to the occult) be sold with warning labels on them.  But even with the controversy (or perhaps because of it), the record would go on to sell over 25 million copies.  For most music lovers and Prince fans around the world, this album remains his masterpiece and I agree.  No offense towards him intended, but does anyone else but me believe he got the idea for the song from hearing the line in America’s “Ventura Highway” that goes:  “Sorry boy, but I’ve been hit by purple rain”?  🙂

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you
Laughing in the purple rain“.

Prince
 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Prince:  “Purple Rain” (1984, written by Prince).

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 87

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.

Today’s song probably should have been posted on Day 1.  Yet, here on Day 87 it seems more fitting than ever.  For anyone looking for a new mantra, here you go.  From one of NYC’s biggest fans.

Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed
Strange days indeed.”

John-Lennon
(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

John Lennon:  “Nobody Told Me” (1984, written by 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 84

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.

Original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood has said that John Waite wrote today’s song about her.  I do not know if that is true, but we really should thank whomever he wrote it about because that heartache gave us one of the best broken heart songs out there.  And one of the best videos of 1984,

And there’s a storm that’s raging
Through my frozen heart tonight
And I ain’t missing you at all
Since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you
No matter what my friends say.”

John_Waite_-_Missing_You

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

John Waite:  “Missing You” (1984, written by John Waite, Mark Leonard and Charles Sandford).

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

Stay well.

A Clean Slate

Hello, Everybody!!!  Happy New Year!!!  Welcome 2019.

Don’t you just love the start of a new year?  It’s like seeing the world as a pristine canvas, similar to the way we see our neighborhood after the first snowfall of the year:  clean, fresh, pretty, still, pure.  And all you want to do is go outside and take in a ginormous cleansing breathe.  Or is that just me???

Vermont pinterest.jpg

Beautiful scene of Vermont in winter from Pinterest (original source unknown).

Of course, there will always be the unresolved problems and issues that carry over, and the baggage we all lug around with us is forever present.  But for a moment the new year feels inspiring, hopeful and exciting.  Our calendars are more empty than cluttered.  There are trips and vacations to plan, new three day weekends to enjoy, birthday celebrations to attend, days to relax all by ourselves, concerts or plays to see, road trips to take, estate sales to go to and vintage decor to swoon over.  These are the things I try to focus on more than setting myself up for failure with a bunch of ineffectual resolutions.  They just discourage me because all I do is picture myself failing again.  On the other hand, music is what has always inspired me.  And 2019 will not be any different.  So to begin this new year, I am giving myself some motivation.  And yes, I am talking about The Boss.  And two songs by him are always better than one…..unless that one song is “Jungleland”, of course.

For my first choice, a picked a song he wrote because of the change in his romantic life.  However, it also extended to the rest of his world and and how he needed to stop waiting for the future to change things but rather put the focus and work in to the now.  Great advice for all of us who forget the present is today and needs our time, our attention and our love.  Read:  me.

“Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin’ away
Yeah just sittin’ around waitin’ for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin’ away
I’m tired of waitin’ for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin’ round the bend”

But it’s a sad man my friend who’s livin’ in his own skin
And can’t stand the company
Every fool’s got a reason for feelin’ sorry for himself
And turning his heart to stone”

“These are better days baby
These are better days it true
These are better days
There’s better days shining through”

bruce

Bruce Springsteen:  “Better Days” (1992).

The next song is probably one of his most famous after “Born To Run” and by far his most well known video.  It was his first performance one and featured a woman who went on to become a “friend”.  It is a huge part of his live show-he stills pulls an audience member (or two or three, including some from his own family) on stage to dance with him-while the crowd sings “oh-oh-oh’s” in between the lines of the last verse of the song, and we go home with the chorus stuck in our heads.  I heard it on the radio on New Year’s Eve and it brought me back to the first few times I heard the song and felt incredibly inspired by his lyrics.  And, of course, The Boss is right-everything takes a spark to ignite.  Even ourselves, sometimes.  A point especially good to remember with the clean slate of a new year right in front of us.

I ain’t nothing but tired
Man I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help
You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark“.
bruce and his mom 2012
Bruce Springsteen and his mother, Adele, after dancing together on stage in 2012 (Photo by Kris Noyes/NJ.com).

Bruce Springsteen:  “Dancing In The Dark” (1984).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

All the best in 2019, Everyone!!!

Until next time, happy listening!!!

 

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 4

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

robin

(original source unknown)

Once upon a time, there was an era when music was not about reality shows, auto-tune,  lip-syncing or selling a perfume line.  There was a time when music had a conscience.  No, I am not referring to the 1960’s.  I am referring to the 1980’s.

Despite being known as the “Me Decade”, it was also the decade of music trying to save, or at the very least, help the world.  USA For Africa, Live Aid, Farm Aid, the Human Rights Now! Tour in benefit of Amnesty International, Artists United Against Apartheid (Sun City), etc.  Total aside-Who could forget the video for the latter in which Bruce Springsteen is singing arm in arm with David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations?  SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!  But I digress.

Band Aid 1984

(original source unknown)

The one that started all those relief songs was Band Aid which was formed in 1984 by Irish musician Bob Geldoff of the Boomtown Rats.  Not long after participating in the recording of this song, U2’s Bono went to Ethiopia to see the conditions for himself and has been on a crusade to save the world ever since.  Over 30 years is one heck of a commitment.

Band Aid:  “Do they Know it’s Christmas?”

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!