Let’s Take A Moment Day 206

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?

Jane Austen 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.

Today in 1987 one of my favorite musical documentaries was released. “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll” took an in-depth behind the scenes look into the life & career of “The Father Of Rock & Roll”, Chuck Berry. The film ended with clips from two all-star concerts that took place in honor of Berry’s 60th birthday in 1986 featuring Etta James, Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt and Julian Lennon. The show was organized by band leader Keith Richards with help from guitarist Robert Cray and Berry’s longtime pianist, Johnnie Johnson. The music was without a doubt phenomenal but the glimpses into Berry’s personal life including scenes with his father (who died the year the film came out), other family members and longtime friends gave more weight to Berry’s life. His 94th birth anniversary is in about a week-October 18, to be exact-so today is a celebration of that as well as the movie’s anniversary.

He was born in 1926 & raised in St. Louis, Missouri by his Baptist church deacon father & public school principal mother. Music was an early hobby for Berry who performed at his high school when he was around 15. But when he was arrested for armed robbery just before his 18th birthday, he was sent to a reformatory school until he was 21. It was there he started singing in a quartet.

Berry got married in 1948, became a father in 1950 and soon after began playing in local clubs with various bands for extra money while he worked regular jobs during the day. By 1953 he began working with Johnson’s trio, performing R&B and country music. Two years later he met blues great Muddy Waters who encouraged Berry to reach out to Chess Records president Leonard Chess. That led to Berry’s first recording for the label (and his first million seller), “Maybellene”, in 1955. Thus a legend was born.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Clapton & Richards are rehearsing today’s song with Berry and he is having trouble remembering the lyrics. It is from his second studio album for Chess Records, “One Dozen Berrys” released in 1958. The record includes three hits: “Sweet Little Sixteen”, “Rock & Roll Music” & “Reelin’ & Rockin'”. But ever since I saw the documentary, today’s track is the one I enjoy the most.

One of his biggest fans, John Lennon, said, “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.” Amen. Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry!!!

When I see those big brown eyes that’s when I take my queue
It don’t take me but a few minutes to get a message through
I talked to you, and you talked to me and we talked to one another
It don’t take us but a few minutes to understand each other
“.

Hail Hail

A concert scene from the movie featuring (L-R): Check Berry, Keith Richards & Eric Clapton performing “Wee Wee Hours”. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Chuck Berry: “It Don’t Take But A Few Minutes” (1958, written by Chuck Berry).

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 151

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?

Charlie Brown No Music No Life

(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.

As someone who loves music I owe an immense amount of gratitude to the blues.  It is the one genre of music that is the common denominator behind so many of the singers and bands I adore.  Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors and others have payed homage to the old blues singers and their songs.  Even Led Zeppelin considers their roots in that genre.  But one of my favorite bands that always honored their blues roots was The Allman Brothers Band.  They covered such classics as “Come On In My Kitchen” by Robert Johnson, “Statesboro Blues” by Blind Willie McTell and “Trouble No More” by Muddy Waters, amongst others.  But today’s song is the one I love the best because despite how many other artists performed this one, the dueling guitar playing of Duane Allman & Dickey Betts is unmatched.  Plus, Greg Allman made it his own from the first note he sang.  I absolutely adore their version of this song.

Lord, I’m foolish to be here in the first place
I know some man gonna walk in and take my place
Ain’t no way in the world, I’m going out that front door
‘Cause there’s a man down there, might be your man I don’t know“.

Allman Brothers

The Allman Brothers Band (L_R):  Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards, songwriter), Duane Allman (lead & slide guitar), Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriter), Jaimoe Johanson (drums), Butch Trucks (drums) & Berry Oakley (bass) in 1971 as photographed for the cover of their second album, Idlewild South.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.) 

The Allman Brothers Band:  “One Way Out” (1972, written by Elmore James, Marshall E. Sehorn and Sonny Boy Williamson)

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 132

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.

Today marks the 77th birthday for one of the greatest frontmen to ever strut across a stage, Mick Jagger.  He and The Rolling Stones have been making music together since 1962.  It all started when Jagger met fellow bandmate & co-songwriter, Keith Richards, and both men realized they had similar musical tastes, citing blues legend Muddy Waters & rock & roll master Chuck Berry as inspirations.  The name of their band even came from a Waters song.

There is not much left to say about a band that has been around nearly 60 years.  They have played with all their heroes, released 25 albums here in the states (23 in the U.K.), had countless hit songs and continue to tour as recently as 2019.  I love so many of their songs but really love the covers they have done of their favorite blues numbers.  When the Stones closed out the American leg of the Steel Wheels Tour in December 1989, the show was broadcast via a pay per view concert from NJ that featured guest stars like Axl Rose & Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’Roses, blues legend John Lee Hooker & Eric Clapton, who joined the Stones on stage for today’s song.  He absolutely slayed it with two unbelievably sublime guitar solos (and did so while looking breathtakingly gorgeous), with the second one featuring a call and response exchange with Jagger and his harmonica.  As The Stones song goes, it’s only rock & roll, but I like it.

Processed with MOLDIV

Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones (R) congratulates Eric Clapton (L) on a job well done after the guitarist played two scathing solos for the band in Atlantic City, NJ December 1989.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones featuring Eric Clapton:  “Little Red Rooster” (recorded live in Atlantic City, NJ in December 1989.  Originally released in 1964, written by Willie Dixon).

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 88

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?

Kerouac

(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.

I have always been interested in finding out what kind of music inspired and influenced the artists I listen to.  Bruce Springsteen led me to Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.  The Beatles led me to Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins.  Otis Redding led me to Sam Cooke and gospel music.  And Eric Clapton led me to many of the blues greats like Muddy Waters and B.B. King, with the latter becoming a favorite of mine.

He has collaborated with so many singers I love including Clapton (on the 2000 release “Riding With The King”), Elton John (on the song “Rock the House”) and Van Morrison (on the song “Early In The Morning”).  King also recorded a song with U2 (“When Love Comes to Town”).  But when I listen to him, my go to is his 1969 album, “Completely Well” because it has today’s classic on it.  He recorded another version of this song with Clapton for 2005’s “B.B. King & Friends: 80” with a fabulous string arrangement that is now my second favorite.  But nothing beats the original.

BB King     (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

B.B. King:  “The Thrill Is Gone” (1969, written by Rick Darnell and Roy Hawkins).

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 80

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?

Kerouac

(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.

When the first Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1986, several notable people speculated that eventually everyone would get in.  Not true.  While many of those inducted in the last few years have me shaking my head (Abba, really???) so does the absence of Bad Company.  They are an unbelievably great band and have one of the greatest lead singers to ever take center stage:  Paul Rodgers.

I fell head over heels in love with his magnificently powerful soulful voice the first time I heard him sing “All Right Now”, a monumental tune he co-wrote for his first band, Free.  But his years with the band he co-founded, Bad Co., solidified his reputation as a great singer-songwriter.  From “Can’t Get Enough”, “Simple Man”, “Running With The Pack”, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, “Shooting Star” and so many others, Rodgers has penned many of the group’s biggest hits.  He also plays guitar, piano & keyboards.  Rodgers’ talent and the band’s musicianship are undeniable which helped them become a powerhouse group in the 1970’s.  Yet despite being eligible for induction into the HOF since 1999 (25 years after their debut album came out in 1974), Bad Co. has yet to be voted in.  And for the life of me I cannot understand why.  (The HOF has also snubbed Tina Turner, Warren Zevon, John Coltrane and Todd Rundgren.  But I digress).

Bad Co 3

Bad Company circa 1974 (L-R):  Boz Burrell, Mick Ralphs, Paul Rodgers & Simon Kirke. 
(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Let’s not forget that Rodgers also had a five year stint touring with Queen beginning in 2004.  He was also in a band with Jimmy Page in the 1980’s (The Firm) and made tribute records to two of his musical heroes, Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters, the latter of which earned him a Grammy nomination.  Not to be overlooked, the other members of Bad Co. have great resumes as well:  guitarist and group co-founder Mick Ralphs, who has written or co-written many of the group’s songs (including “Can’t Get Enough” & “Feel Like Makin’ Love”), was once a member of Mott The Hoople (best known for “All The Young Dudes”) & has toured with David Gilmour; bassist & songwriter Boz Burrell, who was also a member of King Crimson and drummer & songwriter Simon Kirke, who was also in Free and toured with Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band.

I consider all of their albums my favorites for different reasons, but when you name one after a Jack Kerouac novel (1979’s “Desolation Angels”) I think it takes center stage (no pun intended).  And who doesn’t need a fantasy to escape to right now more than ever?

 

 (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bad Company:  “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” (1979, written by Paul Rodgers).

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

Stay well.