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!!!