Let’s Take A Moment Day 411

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?

May blog 2021

(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.

I was raised in a home with a very progressive grandmother. However, that did not mean she was open to everything. And while I was fully immersed in my teenage music addiction, she stepped in with the kiss of death: censorship.

Two albums prompted this course of action. The first was by my great musical love, Eric Clapton. The first time I put “Slowhand” on the stereo, she questioned why I would listen to someone exalting the benefits of “Cocaine”. I thought telling her he did not write the song would be enough to ease her mind. It only begged the question “Was he too high to write it?”

I skipped to the next song which was “Wonderful Tonight”. No problem. But when I was singing along to track three (“Lay Down Sally”), once again she became irritated. She demanded I turn off a song that was clearly “suggestive”. And let me just add that when your 65 year old grandmother uses a word like that, it conjures up images that are horrifying. From that point on, I listened to Clapton in my room alone.

Not long after that debacle I was starting to explore Neil Young’s rock side so I borrowed a copy of his second solo album from a friend. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. which was released 52 years ago today on May 1, 1969 featured the song, “Down By The River”. Admittedly, I found the subject matter disturbing. A man singing about killing the woman he loved was not the stuff songs were made of in my world. But I got completely swept up in Young’s mesmerizing guitar riffs until my grandmother’s screams snapped me out of my musical reverie.

A conversation about whether or not I was using drugs ensued followed by who was more disturbed-a person who expressed such a terrifying thought in a song or the person (read: me) who listened to it. Thinking I was helping the situation, I pointed out to my grandmother that when Young referred to shooting his “baby”, it was not his child but rather his girlfriend. It did not take long for me to see that only made things a million times worse.

Threats of taking my records away & removing the stereo from the house were mentioned as was a lecture from my father when he got home about how my musical choices could be harmful to my five year old brother. The phrase “Too bad military schools do not accept girls” was also batted around. My grandmother monitored my listening choices for the next several weeks which consisted mostly of my Bruce Springsteen records that she enjoyed as much as I did. Soon life took over and another crisis emerged so my indiscretion eventually became old news.

But my love for Neil Young never subsided and today’s song from that same album became my favorite track from the record. And at least this tune does not conjure up memories of the brief period in my life when my house turned into a deleted scene from the movie “Footloose”.

Ten silver saxes
A bass with a bow
The drummer relaxes
And waits between shows
“.

Neil Young

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Young: “Cinnamon Girl” (1969, written by Neil Young).

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 406

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?

May 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 this day in 1978 one of my all time favorite music docs was released. “The Last Waltz”, a film about The Band’s farewell concert directed by eminent director Martin Scorsese, was released on April 26, 1978. This was the movie that let me see some of my favorite artists perform for the first time including The Band themselves, Neil Young, Van Morrison, The Staple Singers, Muddy Waters and my great musical love, Eric Clapton.

He had been covering many of his favorite blues songs since Cream’s 1966 debut album and he continued the tradition in to his solo career. Today’s song was recorded live at my old stomping grounds, The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York on June 28, 1975, as part of Clapton’s 1975 live album, E.C. Was Here. But watching him perform it with one of his favorite bands in this superb film made it extra special.

You’re gonna reap just what you sow
That old saying is true
Just like you mistreat someone
Someone’s gonna mistreat you
:”.

Eric and Levon

Levon Helm on drums and Eric Clapton on guitar in a scene from 1978’s “The Last Waltz”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton & The Band” “Further On Up The Road” (From the music documentary The Last Waltz, released April 26, 1978. Recorded live on November 25, 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Originally recorded in 1976, written by Don Robey and Joe Medwick Veasey).

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 402

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?

May 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.

Today is the 70th birthday for one of my favorite blue eyed soul singers from across the pond. Paul Carrack was born on April 22, 1951 in England. Despite providing lead vocals in three bands-Ace, Mike & The Mechanics and Squeeze-he is still unbelievably underrated as a singer, songwriter and live performer.

I have been in love with him since the first time I heard “How Long” (Day 14) and followed him in all his other endeavors. He has done session worked with acclaimed artists like B.B. King, Elton John & Roxy Music & toured with superstars like Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton. In 1995 Carrack released his fifth solo album, Blue Views, which is where today’s song is from. I absolutely adore everything about this man’s incredibly beautiful soulful voice.

People may say you’ve had your chance
And let it slip away
But hard as they try
There’s a dream that won’t die
“.

Paul Carrack

Paul Carrack circa 2000. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Paul Carrack: “Eyes Of Blue” (1995, written by Paul Carrack).

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 396

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?

May 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.

One of my favorite movies of all time is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“. I loved everything about it-the era it took place in, the beautiful city it was set in and, of course, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. Her facial & verbal expressions, her wardrobe, her apartment…..it was all fabulousness defined.. And how many times have we all wanted to run away & start our lives over again some place new, but she actually did it! Yes, it caught up with her but still, she did it!!!

I also loved the sweet look on the face of her neighbor, Paul (George Peppard) as he watched Holly playing guitar & singing from his apartment window. The lyrics of that song were written by Johnny Mercer & the music was by premier film composer Enrico Nicola Mancini, known professionally as Henry Mancini. It earned him the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1962. Born on April 16, 1924 in Ohio, he also wrote the theme to several movies including “The Pink Panther” series. His arrangement of the “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet” (a/k/a “A Time For Us”) spent two weeks at #1 in the summer of 1969. Mancini also wrote the themes to a number of television shows including “Peter Gunn”, “Newhart”, “Hotel” & Remington Steele”.

Some of my favorite artists have performed their own exceptional renditions of today’s song including Rod Stewart, Pete Yorn, and my great musical loves Elton John and Eric Clapton (with Jeff Beck). But as much as I love those, it is the movie version I come back to whenever I need to relive the beauty & the magic of the film all over again.

Two drifters off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end
Waitin’ ’round the bend
“.

Breakfast-at-Tiffanys

George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn in a scene from 1961’s classic, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Audrey Hepburn: “Moon River” (1961, music written by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer).

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 389

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?

May 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.

Many of my musical heroes predate the video channels era. Even though they embraced that new medium, performances from their earlier years were either lost or locked in some television history vault gathering dust. Then YouTube showed up and slowly over the years video clips from those early days were suddenly at hand, mostly from TV shows from eras gone by. Many of these finds were absolute gifts of gold, but one was pure platinum.

Derek & The Dominos appeared on “The Johnny Cash Show” in November 1970 & the episode aired two months later. The band was together for less than a year so the chance to see them anywhere during that time was rare enough. But the chance to see Eric Clapton between The Cream years & his solo career was just priceless. The band performed “It’s Too Late”, a 1950’s blues song they covered for their only album & it was fabulous. But it was about to get even better.

After their performance Cash came out to thank the band for their appearance. He then invited his friend & fellow Sun Records legend, Carl Perkins, to play one of his songs with them. Then he, Cash, Clapton & the rest of The Dominos played today’s track and it was nothing short of astounding. Swoon.

In September 1985 Clapton performed the song with Perkins again along with Ringo Starr during an all star concert celebrating Perkins’ career. Starr sang several of Perkins’ songs during The Beatles early days including “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” & “Honey Don’t”. Perkins, who was born 89 years ago on April 9, 1932 in Tennessee, was a huge influence on The Fab Four, especially Starr & George Harrison.

The 1985 concert ended with a rousing performance of Perkins most famous tune, “Blue Suede Shoes”. But for me, today’s song holds the top spot in my heart thanks to this one time only performance from 50 years ago. In the words of my sweet beautiful friend, Toni: “Long live the 1970’s”.

“I’m an old poor boy
And I’m a long way from home
I won’t ever be happy
Everything I do is wrong
“.

cash show 2

Perkins and co

Top (L-R): Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton and Johnny Cash, November 1970. Bottom (L-R): Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Carl Perkins and George Harrison in 1985. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Derek & The Dominos: “Matchbox” (Performed live on “The Johnny Cash Show”, taped November 1970. Airdate January 1971. Originally released in 1957, written by Carl Perkins).

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 387

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?

May 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.

Time for another mid-week Motown break. In July 1964 The Four Tops released today’s song which became their first Top 20 hit. It featured the quartet’s signature sound & harmonies enhanced by the label’s female session singers, The Andantes-Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, and Louvain Demps. Of course the track also featured the music of The Funk Brothers with a nice assist from The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Twenty-one years later in July 1985, The Tops performed at Live Aid in Philadelphia, followed by Eric Clapton. In his autobiography he admitted he was nervous to perform after them because they were legends. That is some serious & well deserved respect.

“Some say it’s a sign of weakness
For a man to beg
Then weak I’d rather be
If it means having you to keep”.

Four-Tops

The Four Tops circa 1967 (L-R): Renaldo Benson, Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir and Lawrence Payton. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Four Tops: “Baby I Need Your Loving” (1964, written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland).

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 384

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?

Easter

(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.

Happy Easter to all who celebrate. With this holiday arriving a little earlier this year than others, it is coinciding with other events that occurred around this date. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 53 years ago in 1968. Blues great Muddy Waters was born April 4, 1915 and was a huge influence on Eric Clapton. He shared his love of the blues with The Band, especially lead singer & keyboardist Richard Manuel, who was born on April 3, 1943.

Sadly he died by suicide in 1986 leaving Clapton devastated. He wrote today’s song in honor of Manuel the same year & included it on the album, August. But it took on even more power in 1996 when Clapton performed it live with legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti and The East London Gospel Choir. I think it is a beautiful way to officially end this season of Lent.

When my hands no longer play
My voice is still I fade away
Holy Mother then I’ll be
Lying in safe within your arms
“.

Clapton and Pavarotti

Eric Clapton (L) and Luciano Pavarotti in 1996. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “Holy Mother” (1986, written by Stephen Bishop and Eric Clapton).

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 379

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.

In 1990 “Saturday Night Live” celebrated its 15th year on the air. I had been watching it for at least a decade by then and was amazed I could still be so thoroughly entertained by the cast & their guests week after week. One of my favorite episodes of that anniversary year took place on March 24, 1990. That is when my great musical love Eric Clapton appeared as the special guest for not two but three songs.

He spent the rest of that week in NYC to celebrate his 45th birthday on March 30th. Today he celebrates his 76th and while he may not be in NYC for this one, I am marking the occasion with one of the songs he sang on SNL over 30 years ago. Happy birthday to guitarist extraordinaire, singer, songwriter, icon & legend, Eric Clapton.

The mountain gets steeper, the hole you dig is gettin’ deeper
You better reach and pull yourself out
No one’s ever gonna love you the way that I love you
I never want to see you doin’ without
“.

Clapton

Eric Clapton on “Saturday Night Live” from March 1990. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “No Alibis” (1989, written by Jerry Lynn Williams).

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 355

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.

On March 5, 1965 “For Your Love” was released in the UK by The Yardbirds. Ironically it was that track that led to Eric Clapton’s departure from the band which he originally joined because of their blues infused music, not the pop inspired sound of that track. It was during his tenure with that group that motivated a fan to write the now famous “Clapton is god” mural.

From there he joined the super group Cream where he rose to international stardom & continued his guitar hero status. The band broke up in 1968 & Clapton played in a few other bands before starting his solo career in 1970. That led to his third induction into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame twenty-one years ago today, March 6, 2000. Clapton is the only musical artist that has this distinction. As one of my great musical loves, I am not surprised at all. I remain in awe of his talent.

Her life was like a desert flower burning in the sun
Until I found the way to love
it’s harder said than done“.

Eric

“Slowhand” himself Eric Clapton circa 1974. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “Let It Rain” (1970, written by Delaney Bramlett and Eric Clapton).

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 337

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.

On February 14, 1970 today’s song hit the top spot for the first of two consecutive weeks. I do not think anyone played funk music like Sly & The Family Stone. Twenty years later when I saw Eric Clapton on the “Journeyman” tour, he played a sample of today’s song when he introduced his band. It was an unexpected twist to an already great show & a fabulous tribute from one groundbreaking musician to another. And it made me adore Clapton even more which I did not think was possible.

Dance to the music
All night long
Everyday people
Sing a simple song
“.

Sly Fa,ily Stone

Sly and the Family Stone circa 1970 (L-R): Rose Stone, Larry Graham, Sly Stone, Freddie Stone, Greg Errico, Jerry Martini (seated) and Cynthia Robinson. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Sly & The Family Stone: “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” (1969, written by Sly Stone).

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

Stay well.