Let’s Take A Moment Day 130

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.

If I had to pick a secondary soundtrack to my teenage years, Steely Dan would be at the top of that list.  I enjoyed their music a lot, but they always seemed to be in my peripheral view rather than my focus.  I am not sure why, perhaps because I was in sensory overload with my primary focus on Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Elton & Bernie, Motown/soul music and The Beatles.  But there was no mistaking Steely Dan’s musical talent and knack for songwriting.

The band was founded in 1972 by Walter Becker (backing vocals & guitars) and Donald Fagen (lead vocals & keyboards).  Their 1972 debut album, “Can’t Buy A Thrill”, produced three of their most well known songs, “Do It Again”, “Reelin’ In The Years” and today’s song, which unlike most of the band’s tunes, did not feature Fagen on lead vocal but rather David Palmer who was in the group from 1972-1973.  Other hits from the group include “My Old School”, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” (their highest charting song which hit #4 in 1974), “Aja”, “Peg”, “Deacon Blues”, “Josie” and “Hey Nineteen”.  By 1974 after the release of their third album, “Pretzel Logic” Fagen & Becker decided to stop touring and continue exclusively as a studio band until 1981 when they took a 20 year hiatus from recording.

Over the years a few well known musicians were in the band including two future Doobie Brothers, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter & Michael McDonald.  Guest musicians included Marc Knopfler of Dire Straits, Steve Porcaro of Toto, Larry Carlton & Rick Derringer on guitar, David Sanborn on saxophone and Jim Gordon on drums.  Becker passed away in 2017, leaving Fagen as the sole surviving core member.  But what a legacy of music both men gave us.

Steely Dan’s 1972 debut album and core members Walter Becker (L) and Donald Fagen (R).  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Steely Dan:  “Dirty Work” (1972, written by Donald Fagan and Walter Becker).

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 112

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.

Elton John began releasing records in 1968.  Despite having several number one songs in America throughout the 1970’s & 1980’s, he did not have a solo number one record in the U.K. until June 23, 1990 when today’s song hit the top spot there (oddly enough in America this song only reached number 18).  A week later, John appeared at the outdoor concert in Knebworth, England to perform that song (along with “Sad Songs Say So Much”).  There were several artists appearing at the show that day, but when John sang it was alongside Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and one of my great musical loves, Eric Clapton.  He and John have been friends for years and in 1992 they recorded “Runaway Train” together for the soundtrack of Lethal Weapon 3.

During John’s song at Knebworth, there is some playful joking going on between him & Clapton, and at the 2:55 mark of of the video, he succeeds at making John laugh.  And judging by the enormous grin on Clapton’s face he could not have been more pleased with himself.  It was one of those rare wonderful surprise moments that happen so unexpectedly in life, and luckily the cameras were rolling so fans like me could enjoy it 30 years later.  This is one of my all time favorite John songs, made soooo much better by this jocular interaction between two old friends.  I also cannot help but swoon big time over how beautiful Clapton looked (his very best, in my opinion) which was only heightened by his gorgeous pink Versace suit.  And luckily it did not clash with John’s bleach blond hair  🙂

Elton Eric

Elton John & Eric Clapton at Knebworth June 30, 1990.  Courtesy:  Getty Images.

Elton John (with Eric Clapton & Mark Knopfler):  “Sacrifice” (June 30, 1990 at The Knebworth Concert, Knebworth England.  Written by Elton John & 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 51

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 have been my dad’s 81st birthday.  One of the great tragedies of my life is that he died too young at 72.  Another is that he thought that Bruce Springsteen was the voice behind the songs from the “Eddie & the Cruisers” movie (wrong, it was John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band).  So everytime “On The Dark Side” came on the radio, my dad would tell me how much he liked Bruce.  Ugh.  I fell in love with Mr. Springsteen when I was 12 years old, needless to say while I was living in my father’s house.  Before I left for college six years later I must have played the “Born To Run” album 29 million times, give or take.  Yet, my dad still believed John Cafferty sounded like my hero.  No offense to him, but come on now!!!  Cafferty is no Springsteen.  Who is?

Aside from his failure to comprehend the genius of The Boss, my dad and I shared a great love of music.  Every week we listened to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 Countdown together.  When Casey would break for a commercial before he revealed the song in the top spot, my dad would always ask me to tell him what the number one song was.  He knew I knew and most weeks I did.  Music came easy to me.  All I needed was one listen to a song and I remembered the lyrics, the artist who performed it and the singer’s voice.  And I usually knew great artists from the first time I heard them sing.  One artist I instantly fell in love with was Elton John.  However, my dad did not feel the same way at first.  For some reason he did not hear the music, only saw the outlandish costumes John wore on stage that were all over the news and in the paper.  My dad felt John was distracting the audience with his appearance to cover up the fact that he had no talent.  So I only listened to those records in the privacy of my own room to keep the peace in my house.

Then one day while he was helping his best friend with a house project my dad heard two songs he fell madly in love with.  When he got home, he had a look on his face like I imagine I had on mine the first time I heard “Jungleland”.  He asked me if I had the albums with “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” and today’s song on them.  Of course I did.  After all, I knew great music when I heard it.  I was thrilled my dad finally got John, too.  He just needed to hear the music without seeing it.  A few years later my dad and I went to see John in concert at Madison Square Garden.  I think it was my dad’s way of thanking me for not saying I told you so.  And also to hear today’s song live.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  I love you.  And I hope Clarence Clemons finally taught you the difference between Bruce Springsteen and that other guy.

Elton

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elton John:  “Bennie And The Jets” (1973, written by Elton John & 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 5

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.

This Broadway’s got
It’s got a lot of songs to sing
If I knew the tunes I might join in
I’ll go my way alone
Grow my own, my own seeds shall be sown, in New York City.

Sending some extra love to New York today. The state, the city, the island, the heart. You got this.

Elton John

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Day 5:  Elton John: “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” (1972, written by Elton John & 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.

Thrifted Finds Friday

Hi, everybody.  I am happy to report I had another successful estate sale experience this week.  I found this beautiful silver salt & pepper set for $6.00.

silver s & p 1

I have not cleaned the pair yet because I wanted to share them as they were found.  I love the details on both the top and bottom of each shaker.  And I love how the tops resemble finials.

silver s & p 3

silver s & p 4

There is no label on the bottom so I do not know who the manufacturer is, but I just adore this little pair.  I love the signs of gentle wear.  They tell you this set was well loved and well used.  How pretty will they look on a table of vintage mismatched china?

silver s & p 2

Have any of you been thrfting lately?  I would love to see your finds.  Please share them with me in the comments or tag me on Facebook or Instagram.

Now for a song.

The Oscars are coming up this Sunday and I am so excited to see Elton John perform and hopefully win.  It will be soooooo well deserved for both he and his longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin.  They are nominated for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”.  Earlier this month the duo won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song and I was shocked to discover that was the first award they won together in 52 years.  How is that?????

“Rocketman” movie poster and Bernie Taupin & Elton John at last month’s Golden Globe Awards (original sources unknown).

I have been a fan of both forever and worship the music they have made together.  Some of my absolute favorites are the lesser known gems like “Skyline Pigeon“, “I Need You To Turn To” and today’s pick.  It was released in 1971 and was written as the title track to a movie that featured another beauty, “Seasons“.  I am celebrating another birthday this month and like so many of us getting older, I still do not know where my youth went.  I am reminded of it often, though, by seeing many of my high school friends on Facebook.

One of them recently posted that she was on her way to visit our old neighborhood on Long Island with her teenage daughter in tow.  In one moment I wondered how she could even have a child that age when we were just there a second ago.  The next a memory of she and I standing in the hallway of our high school came flooding back like a tsunami and I remember those years like they happened yesterday.  But other days they seem like a movie I am watching about someone else’s world, probably because I am.  Who I was then has not been around for a very long time.  Life happens to all of us, but I am glad to share those memories with people who recall them as fondly as I do, despite what we may have thought at the time.

“It seems to me a crime that we should age
These fragile times should never slip us by
A time you never can or shall erase
As friends together watch their childhood fly”  

Elton friends

Elton John:  “Friends” (1970, written by Bernie Taupin and Elton John).

Until next time, happy listening!!!