Let’s Take A Moment Day 349

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?

Feb 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.

The stories of bands throughout history seem to follow one of two paths: They fight with each other and when they fail to achieve success they break up. Or, they fight with each other, achieve great success and break up. In both instances they may reunite again after some time passed but not always. Rarely does a band stay together for too long and it is almost unheard of that one stays together for nearly six decades. That esteemed privilege belongs to The Rolling Stones.

Of course, there have been many changes to the band in those 60 years. Personnel changes, personal changes, musical direction changes, addiction issues, legal issues and so on. And the very first storm they weathered was the loss of the man who founded the band, Brian Jones.

He was born 79 years ago today on Feb 28, 1942 in England. Both of his parents played the piano and passed their love of music on to their son. Jones played in a few groups before placing an ad in 1962 for a blues band. Mick Jagger answered it & brought Keith Richards along for a rehearsal where he joined the group as well, forming the nucleus of the band Jones would name after the Muddy Waters song, “Rollin’ Stone”.

Their success began with today’s song, a cover of a Bobby Womack song which was the group’s first #1 hit in the UK in 1964. Despite the success of the record the group’s manager & producer encouraged the band to write their own songs like The Beatles were doing. Once the Jagger & Richards songwriting team started to see success, the group started moving away from the blues to more of a rock sound.

Thus began problems between Jones & the rest of the band, which when combined with his drug arrests, paternity issues, alleged mood swings and other issues led to him being fired from The Stones in June 1969. A month later, he was found dead in his swimming pool at the age of 27, drowned presumably as an involuntary result of substance abuse. A very sad ending for a man who gave us The Rolling Stones.

Well, she used to run around with every man in town
She spent all my money, playing her high class game
She put me out, it was a pity how I cried
Tables turn and now her turn to cry
“.

Stones 1964

The Rolling Stones circa 1964 (L-R): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “It’s All Over Now” (1964. written by Bobby Womack & Shirley Womack).

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 287

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?

Shakespeare 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.

At some point in the 1970’s Mick Jagger was reported to say that The Rolling Stones did not want to be singing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” when they were 40 years old. Well, this year Jagger turned 77 and so did his bandmate Keith Richards, who hit that number on December 18. Clearly they changed their minds.

The band has been together for nearly 60 years. They have been through a few personnel changes since 1962 but the core of the group-Jagger, Richards & drummer Charlie Watts-has been together since 1962. Jagger & Richards are the songwriting team that has carried them through almost six decades. And while front man Jagger’s on-stage persona & numerous affairs have kept him in the spotlight all these years, there is no denying the legend Richards is. His musicianship aside, he has survived drug abuse, the loss of a child (a son died from SIDS in 1976), the death of an original bandmate (Brian Jones), and a close friend (Gram Parsons) plus numerous other life happenings.

As for his guitar work, he has been called “the creator of “rock’s greatest single body of riffs” by Rolling Stone magazine. Think about The Stones songs and it is easy to see why: “Gimme Shelter” (Day 4), “Satisfaction”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, “Start Me Up” and today’s song are just a few examples of his remarkable gift. Of course Jagger is the singer, but on a few occasions Richards has taken the lead and he does not disappoint. That is another reason why I love today’s song so much.

Well I never kept a dollar past sunset
Always burned a hole in my pants
Never made a school mama happy
Never blew a second chance, oh no
“.

Stones 1968

Stones 2015

Top: The Rolling Stones circa 1964 (L-R): Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts (seated). Bottom: The Stones circa 2015 (L-R): Watts, Richards, Jagger and Ron Wood. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Happy” (1972, written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards).

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 222

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.

On this day in 1936 The Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman was born in London, England. In 1973 he received a #1 record to celebrate his 37th birthday when today’s song hit the top of the US charts for one week. I wonder what he will get to commemorate his 84th?

After 31 years with the Stones, he left the band in 1993 to raise three children with his third wife. He started his own band, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, and wrote scores for television and movies. He also pursued other hobbies like photography & archeology. He is featured in the 2019 documentary, “The Quiet One” that I have yet to see but I am guessing that a film on any member of the Stones is bound to be interesting.

Today’s track is another gorgeous Stones ballad that I completely adore like “Wild Horses” (Day 103). But unlike the guitar driven medley of that song, today’s pick is led by a sublime piano performance by the band’s frequent session player, Nicky Hopkins, and an unbelievably gorgeous string arrangement. Hopkins played with other bands throughout his career including The Who, The Kinks and The Rumour, amongst others. But I think he did his best work with Wyman’s old band.

Remember all those nights we cried
All the dreams were held so close
Seemed to all go up in smoke
Let me whisper in your ear
“.

Stones

The Rolling Stones In Concert, O2, London, Britain - 29 Nov 2012

Top: The Rolling Stones circa 1967 (L-R): Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman & Brian Jones. Bottom: Richards at a 2012 Stones concert where Wyman joined the band on stage. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Angie” (1973, written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards).

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 210

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.

On December 11, 1968 “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” concert was filmed as an all-star BBC television special to promote their album “Beggars Banquet”. The guests the group welcomed included fellow UK bands The Who & Jethro Tull, singer Marianne Faithful & blues musician Taj Mahal. But the really big draw in this sea of talent was a one time only performance by super group The Dirty Mac. The quartet consisted of John Lennon (from The Beatles) on rhythm guitar & vocals, Eric Clapton (from Cream) on lead guitar, Keith Richards (from The Rolling Stones) on bass & Mitch Mitchell (from The Jimi Hendrix Experience) on drums. They performed one song from The Beatles’ “White Album”. It was, without a doubt, an unbelievably magnificent performance.

That historic moment & the rest of the film did not make its premiere until October 12, 1996 (the album came out two days later). The reason for the nearly three decade delay? The Rolling Stones were unhappy with their playing & felt particularly upstaged by The Who. But that concert was the last time Brian Jones performed in public with the Stones, so for fans of the group that in and of itself makes the film worth its weight in gold. And the other acts are very good, too. But there is no denying the fact that the real star of the show & the movie is The Dirty Mac.

At the 1:03 mark of the video, Lennon, Clapton & Richards do a synchronized slide that is just too fabulous for words. And each individual performance is dazzling on its own: Lennon’s vocal is strong & raw, Clapton’s playing is incredible & the rhythm section holds it all together in their powerful hands. Plus, seeing three of them at the height of their fame while they were still so young (read: under 30) is like traveling back in time. Lennon looks exactly like his “White Album” 8×10 glossy, Clapton sans facial hair looks like a teenager you would pass in the hall of any high school in America (and sports a rarely seen onstage smile at the 2:11 mark followed by an up close glimpse of his unbelievably beautiful talented hands @ the 2:52 mark) while Richards is nearly unrecognizable in his pretty pre-drug using days. And an added bonus is that even though Lennon’s constant companion at the time, Yoko Ono, appeared on stage with the group, she quietly slipped into a black sack as “performance art” without uttering one of her infamous screams.

The concert was released 16 years ago this month on DVD and I consider it one of the most precious things I own. A “lost” film from this time period of music is an incredible gift, and one with Lennon on stage is particularly magical. To see him with a group other than The Beatles performing one of their songs before they broke up is a reminder of how much he still had to give to the world with them and on his own in the last decade of his life.

My mother was of the sky
My father was of the earth
But I am of the universe
And you know what it’s worth”.

Dirty Mac

The Dirty Mac at their one time only performance in December 1968 (L-R): Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Mitch Mitchell & Keith Richards. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Dirty Mac: “Yer Blues” (As performed at “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” concert, December 1968. Written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney).

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

Stay well.