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.

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.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 14

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

Santa and two of his reindeer join us today.  Ho ho ho!!!

Day 14.jpg

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Last Monday night the Rainforest Fund 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert took place at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.  The night featured an array of outstanding musical guests like James Taylor, Debbie Harry, the reunited Eurythmics and John Mellencamp who sang with my favorite guy and personal hero, Bruce Springsteen.  They sang “Pink Houses” and “Glory Days” together in what Rolling Stone dubbed “a rare heartland-rock summit”.  Another interesting fact about that night?  I WAS NOT THERE!!! 

It wasn’t like I did not know about the show.  I keep up with Bruce’s appearances, of course.  But the ticket prices were insanely high, and I do not have to spend that kind of money when I go to see a four hour plus show by Bruce and his ever loyal E Street Band.  That is a much better investment for my money.  Here’s to the hope that the rumors of a 2020 tour are true!!!     

So if you are not following where this is going, today’s Christmas song (and two bonus tracks) are courtesy of the Bossman.  The video is from Springsteen’s own YouTube channel.  The performance was held at The Carousel Building in Asbury Park, and since it dates back to 2010 the Big Man, Clarence Clemons, is in it.  An early Christmas gift courtesy of the Boss.

bruce

Bruce Springsteen (original source unknown).  

Bruce Springsteen:   “Blue Christmas”  (2010, recorded live at The Carousel in Asbury Park, NJ and written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson circa 1948).

Bruce Springsteen:  “Merry Christmas Baby” (live performance from “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” circa mid to late 1990’s,.  That time frame means the entire E Street Band is there, before the deaths of Danny Federici in 2008 and Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons in 2011.  O’Brien joined the band on guitar.  The best view of him comes @ 4:33 after the other big man, Santa himself, makes an appearance.  Springsteen and his band were frequent guests since the E Street drummer, Max Weinberg, led O’Brien’s house band, The Max Weinberg 7.  Written by Johnny Moore and Lou Baxter in 1947).

Bruce Springsteen:  “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (1975, written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie circa 1934)

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, happy listening!!!