Music Monday: October 4, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the blog for this week’s Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

During quarantine I discovered a fantastic series on Hulu. “Luther” was originally a Starz show that ran from 2010-2019. It featured the unbelievably sexy Idris Elba in the title role as a cop struggling with all the darkness of his job & the ballast it brought to his personal life. Set in the UK, it was clear early on that music was one of the stars of this incredibly well written & well produced series.

Someone bts was clearly a Slowhand fan as one episode featured a character who lived above a vacuum store named “Clapton’s” while another featured a woman named after one of his most famous tunes, “Layla”.

Other songs & artists were featured as well including jazz queen Nina Simone’s great cover of The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, Robert Plant with “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down”, Roxy Music with “Love Is The Drug”, Dusty Springfield with “I Only Want To Be With You”, Alabama Shakes with “Boys & Girls” and the fabulous track that closed out Season 3.

It is by American duo The Black Keys comprised of vocalist & guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. Featured on their 2010 album, Brothers, it was originally a Top 20 hit in 1968 for soul singer Jerry Butler who co-wrote it with future Philadelphia Soul legends, Gamble & Huff.

The cover version may have been released more than forty years after the original but The Black Keys gave it such an old school feel I was sure it was some obscure R&B Top 40 hit from the 1970’s that managed to elude me. It is just that evocative, rich & incredibly soulful. Any artist that can do that to a song is one I am happy to add to my playlist.

Do you see these tears in my eyes
There’s no use in lyin’, ’cause I really cried
You think you are gonna take me
And put me on the shelf
I’d rather die than see you
With somebody else”.

Black Keys

Drummer Patrick Carney (L) and vocalist & guitarist Dan Auerbach (R) of The Black Keys. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Black Keys: “Never Gonna Give You Up” (2010, written by Jerry Butler, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff).

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 524

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?

Aug 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 Day 389 I shared a clip of Derek & The Dominos on “The Johnny Cash Show” which aired in January 1971. It was filmed two months earlier and featured the host & his guests singing a completely sublime version of “Matchbox” together with the song’s writer, Carl Perkins. But before that glorious moment, the group performed today’s pick from their only album released in November 1970. The studio sessions for that record, Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs began 51 years ago on August 22, 1970.

Eric Clapton first met the other Dominos-pianist & singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon-in 1969. They were part of the band for the American duo Delaney & Bonnie who toured with Blind Faith that year. After the break-up of his group Clapton continued playing with the duo & their band which was rebilled as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Even George Harrison joined then for a few shows. But in the spring of 1970 Delaney started firing members of the group who demanded raises including the future Dominos. .

They reunited with Clapton during the studio sessions for Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album. After that Clapton & Whitlock began serious talks about forming a band and recruited Radle & Gordon as the rhythm section. The group flew to Florida to work with engineer Tom Dowd who Clapton knew from his time in Cream. Dowd took the band to see The Allman Brothers in concert, leading to Clapton’s meeting with Duane Allman. He ended up working with the group in the studio & played on all but three of the tracks on the Layla album. It was released three months later and it is one of my favorite records of all time.

And I wonder does she know
When she left me it hurt me so
I need your love baby please don’t make me wait
Tell me it’s not too late
“.

eric & bobby

Gordon and Radle

Top: Bobby Whitlock on piano and Eric Clapton on guitar during Derek & The Dominos appearance on “The Johnny Cash Show” in January 1971. Bottom: The rhythm section of the band: drummer Jim Gordon and bassist Carl Radle. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Derek & The Dominos: “It’s Too Late” (Performed live on “The Johnny Cash Show”, taped November 1970. Airdate January 1971. Originally released in 1970, written by Chuck Willis).

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 521

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?

Aug 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 August 10, 1968, Cream’s third album, Wheels Of Fire, hit the #1 spot in America. Twenty nine years earlier, the universe was introduced to the band’s drummer, Ginger Baker. Born Peter Edward Baker in England on August 19, 1939 he received his nickname courtesy of his red hair.

At the age of 15 he started playing drums. After his work with Blues Incorporated and The Graham Bond Organization (both of which included his future Cream bandmate Jack Bruce), Baker was hailed as “rock’s first superstar drummer” for his fusion of jazz, world & African rhythms along with his unconventional use of two bass drums in his set instead of one.

He & Bruce formed Cream with guitarist Eric Clapton in 1966. Four studio albums in four years highlighted by concert after concert of improvised gold, the men made history together as the world’s first supergroup. Today’s song is from their 1966 debut album, Fresh Cream. More than 50 years later, it still lives up to its name.

Feel when I dance with you
We move like the sea
You, you’re all I want to know
“.

Ginger

Cream 2

Top: Ginger Baker circa 1968 behind his customized two bass drum set. Bottom: Cream circa 1968 (L-R): Eric Clapton, Baker and Jack Bruce. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Cream: “I Feel Free” (1966, written by Peter Brown and Jack Bruce).

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 511

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?

Aug 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.

Less than a year after the release of George Harrison’s 1970 masterpiece, All Things Must Pass, he became the first artist to organize & perform at a charity concert (in relatable terms it was like a miniature version of Live Aid), On August 1, 1971, The Concert For Bangladesh was held at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

Harrison had become good friends with musician Ravi Shankar after The Beatles first trip to India in the mid 1960’s. The Quiet Beatle became fascinated and enveloped not just by the music & the culture of that country but the spiritual mysticism of it as well. So when Shankar told Harrison about the suffering of the refugees from the Bangladesh Liberation War, he wanted to help.

There were actually two concerts held that day-an afternoon show as well as an evening performance. Many of Harrison’s friends joined him to aid the cause including Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Billy Preston & Bob Dylan. John Lennon & Paul McCartney were invited, and there were rumors Lennon agreed to play, but ultimately neither he nor McCartney appeared.

Harrison performed today’s song with Starr on drums, Clapton on guitar & Russell on piano & vocals. It is one of my favorites from All Things but there is something incredibly special about the live version. Harrison’s voice is strong with a slight grit to it, yet powerful & it blended incredibly well with Russell’s. Both are highlighted by the group of soul singers who were part of the show as well. It is one fabulous performance.

Watch out now
Take care, beware the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night
Beware of sadness
“.

rehearsal

(L-R): George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Leon Russell at rehearsals for The Concert For Bangladesh, 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

George Harrison with Leon Russell: “Beware Of Darkness” (Recorded live at The Concert For Bangladesh on August I, 1971. Originally released in 1970. Written by George Harrison).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.7

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 501

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

Tomorrow marks the 98th birth anniversary for a man who introduced us to some of the greatest artists in music history. Ahmet Ertegun, president and co-founder of Atlantic Records, was born on July 31, 1923 in Istanbul, Turkey. He was the man who launched the careers of John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Aretha Franklin, to name a few.

I cannot imagine my life or this world without the likes of Redding, Clapton or Franklin, let alone the rest of that group. But to choose a way to salute the man we remember today comes down to one word: genius. And no one comes closer to that word than Ray Charles. Thank you, Ahmet Ertegun, for bringing us some of the most profound music of the 20th century.

She saves her loving, just for me
Always loves me, so tenderly
I got a woman, way over town
She’s good to me, oh yeah
“.

Ray 1956

Ray 2002

Top (L-R): Ray Charles and Ahmet Ertegun circa 1956. Bottom (L-R): Charles and Ertegun circa 2002. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ray Charles: “I Got A Woman” (1954, written by Ray Charles and Renald Richard)

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 Tale A Moment Day 498

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?

Tom Petty music quote

(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.

Fifty five years ago the first supergroup was born. Former Yardbird Eric Clapton joined forces with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce from the Graham Bond Organization to form the band Cream on July 16, 1966. They would stay together for only three years mostly due to the incessant fighting between Baker and Bruce.

But in that time they released four albums together and redefined what live music sounded like. Those performances consisted of the band playing what they felt rather than what they were supposed to. Today’s song is a perfect example of that improvisational magic. They took an old blues song, fused it together with their own sound and turned it into nothing short of sheer excellence.

Going down to Rosedale
Take my rider by my side
You can still barrelhouse, baby
On the riverside
“.

Cream 1

cream 3

Top: Cream’s 1968 album Wheels Of Fire. Bottom: Cream circa 1968 (L-R): Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Cream: “Crossroads” (1968, written by Eric Clapton and Robert Johnson).

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 462

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?

June 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 the 1970’s Eric Clapton’s long time back-up singer, Marcy Levy, co-wrote a few songs with him, including today’s pick. She can be heard on many of his hits like “Wonderful Tonight” (Day 86), “Promises” (Day 124), “I Shot The Sheriff” (Day 154) and “The Core”. Levy was born June 21, 1952 in Michigan. She worked with many other artists as well throughout her career until she decided to focus on her own music & band. Today she turns 69 years young. Happy birthday, Marcy. May you enjoy 100 more!

Sun ain’t nearly on the rise
We still got the moon and stars above
Underneath the velvet skies, love is all that matters
Won’t you stay with me? Don’t you ever leave
“.

Eric Marcy 1975

Eric Marcy 2018

Top: Eric Clapton and Marcy Levy circa 1975. Bottom: Clapton and Levy circa 2018. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “Lay Down Sally” (1977, written by Eric Clapton, Marcy Levy and George Terry).

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 424

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.

Today’s song has one of the most recognizable opening guitar riffs in music history. And it was written & played by my great musical love, Eric Clapton, when he was in the band, Cream. But it was the group’s bassist, Jack Bruce, who wrote the majority of their music while the lyrics were written by poet & lyricist Pete Brown. Bruce, born 78 years ago on May 14, 1943 in Scotland, came from a musical family. When he was a teenager he attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (n/k/a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) on a scholarship to study musical composition & the cello.

By the mid 1960’s he met both Clapton & percussionist Ginger Baker and the three men formed Cream in 1966. Because all three came from other successful groups (Baker from The Graham Bond Organisation where he met Bruce who was in John Mayhall & The Bluesbreakers where he met Clapton who was in The Yardbirds), Cream was hailed as the first supergroup. They released four albums in the less than four years they were together, but their music changed live performances & improvisational jam sessions forever. It was also where Clapton developed his voice under the mentorship of Bruce.

The band broke up in 1969 as Clapton wanted to go in a different more streamlined form of music but also because the incessant fighting between Bruce & Baker got to be too much. They reunited in 1993 for their Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony & again in 2005 for seven shows-four at The Royal Albert Hall in England & three at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Bruce passed away in 2014 due to liver disease despite receiving a transplant about a decade earlier. Baker died in 2019, but both men remain musical legends for their time in Cream & their other contributions to rock history.

I’m with you my love
The light’s shining through on you
Yes, I’m with you my love
It’s the morning and just we two
“.

Cream 1967

Cream

Top: Cream circa 1968 (L-R): Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton. Bottom: Cream circa 1993: Clapton, Baker and Bruce. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Cream: “Sunshine Of Your Love” (1967, written by Pete Brown, Jack Bruce 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 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.