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 237

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.

Time for another cautionary rock & roll tale. This one belongs to Gram Parsons who was born Ingram Cecil Connor III in Florida on Nov 5, 1946. He overcame a tough childhood (both parents were alcoholics, which led to his father’s suicide when Parsons was 12 & his mother’s from cirrhosis when he was in high school). He quit Harvard University in 1965 after one semester to pursue music, a talent he acquired when he learned how to play the piano as a child.

By the late 1960’s he met Chris Hillman of The Byrds & contributed to the band’s 1968 album, “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo”. It is considered to be one of the earliest country rock records due in large part to Parson’s influence of what he called “Cosmic American Music”. Then he & Hillman formed The Flying Burrito Brothers and continued with that sound.

It was also around this time that Parsons met The Rolling Stones and became fast friends with Keith Richards. The friendship centered around music and drugs, but the latter began to dominate Parsons life and career. By 1971 he had been dismissed from the Burrito Brothers & was all but kicked out of Richards house (and life) by his girlfriend and allegedly Mick Jagger as well. That is when Parsons started his solo work with a young female singer named Emmylou Harris, who provided harmony vocals for all his songs, including today’s pick.

It was written around 1960 with the original version credited to The Everly Brothers in 1961 followed by Roy Orbison’s rendition later the same year. But for the younger crowd, the more well known version of this song was released in 1974 by the band, Nazareth. That was my favorite rendition until I heard Parsons’. Since it is basically a duet with Harris, it highlights the sadness of the lyrics as if they were singing about their own heartbreak to each other. The slower tempo and stripped down musical arrangement only adds to the desolate feeling of the song. It is truly beautiful.

So is the version Richards performed with Norah Jones at the 2004 tribute concert for his old friend, who covered “Wild Horses” with the Burrito Brothers in 1970 for their second album. Parsons died in 1973 from a drug overdose at the age of 26. His second and final solo album, “Grievous Angel”, was released a year after he died and features today’s track.

Some fools think
Of happiness, blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves, I guess
They’re not foolin’ me
“.

Gram Parsons

Harris and Parsons

Top: Gram Parsons circa 1972. Bottom: Emmylou Harris & Parsons circa 1972. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Gram Parsons featuring Emmylou Harris: “Love Hurts” (1974, written by Boudleaux Bryant).

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

Stay well.