Let’s Take A Moment Day 480

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.

Years before Bruce Springsteen broke into the Top Twenty with one of his own tunes (“Hungry Heart” was a #5 hit in 1980/1981) other artists had successful covers with his songs: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s version of “Blinded By The Light” (Day 340) hit #1 in February 1977, Patti Smith’s version of “Because The Night” (Day 67) reached the Top 20 in 1978, the same year The Pointer Sisters released today’s song. It became a #2 hit in February 1979.

Springsteen originally recorded it during the sessions for his 1978 Darkness On The Edge Of Town album, but the song was ultimately left off the final cut. He released it in 1987 as a single. He also included a live version in his boxed set Live 1975–85 as well as an updated track in his 2010 The Promise collection. Of course nothing will ever beat his original recordings in my book. But The Pointer Sisters did The Boss proud with their sensational cover.

Well Romeo and Juliet
Samson and Delilah
Baby you can bet
A love they couldn’t deny
“.

bruce

Pointer

Top: Bruce Springsteen’s 45′ cover for “Fire”. Bottom: The Pointer Sisters 1978 album, Energy. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Pointer Sisters: “Fire” (1978, 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 211

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.

Four years ago today Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first time for an American citizen in 23 years. It put him in the same company with other great writers like Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and William Faulkner, amongst others. Dylan received this prodigious & well deserved honor “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

His road to this esteemed prize began in 1962 when he released his self titled debut album. Comparisons to one of his major influences, Woody Guthrie, were almost immediate. Dylan also drew inspiration from the blues, country music & rock & roll while he was growing up. He started playing guitar while he was in high school in Minnesota and his band covered songs by Elvis Presley & Little Richard. As much as Dylan enjoyed rock & roll music, he wanted his own music to show life in a more honest realistic way.

In 1960 he dropped out of college and soon relocated to New York City. It was there that he began performing but also where he would meet the man he called “the true voice of the American spirit”, Guthrie himself. Dylan started playing around Greenwich Village, getting great reviews for his work and playing on records by other folk singers like Carolyn Hester. It was through that collaboration that he met producer John Hammond who signed Dylan to Columbia Records. By 1962 he released his first record & legally changed his name from Robert Allen Zimmerman to Bob Dylan.

His debut album contained only two original songs but his sophomore release, “The Free Wheelin’ Bob Dylan” contained all his own material and the first of his many masterpieces, “Blowin’ In The Wind”. The record also included “I Shall Be Released”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”. His third album from 1964, “The Times They Are a-Changin'” cemented Dylan’s genius & his voice as the one to articulate the social issues of the era.

He took the world from his acoustic folk music to his electric guitar sound & introduced his back-up group, The Band, along the way. He influenced everyone from John Lennon to Joni Mitchell to Bruce Springsteen to Patti Smith to countless others. He has written some of the most iconic songs of the 1960’s & 1970’s and his profound words are what he is most revered and beloved for. The Nobel Prize is proof of what he has bestowed upon us all. To quote the many lines he is known for would take more than one blog post to list, so I will use one of my favorite verses from today’s song as an example of his immense talent. The phrase “national treasure” is overused sometimes, but if there is one person who defines the phrase perfectly, it is Bob Dylan.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now
“.

Dylan

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Bob Dylan: “My Back Pages” (1964, written by Bob Dylan).

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 67

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.

Many artists have covered Bruce Springsteen’s songs:  For Manfred Mann’s Earth Band it was “Blinded By The Light”; for The Pointer Sisters it was “Fire”; for Natalie Cole it was “Pink Cadillac”; for Gary U.S. Bonds it was “This Little Girl” to name a few.  However, Patti Smith has the distinction to have co-written a song with The Boss.  But they did not sit down and write it together.  Springsteen recorded a rough version of the song in 1977 while he was working on his “Darkness On The Edge of Town” album.  Another producer heard it and asked Springsteen if Smith could record it and he said yes.  She added some lyrics to it and recorded it the same year for her upcoming “Easter” album.  When she performed the song live for the first time at the end of that same year at CBGB’s in NYC, Springsteen joined her on stage to sing it.  After that he started playing it on his tours.  The rest is history and a fabulous song.

With love we sleep
With doubt the vicious circle
Turn and burns
Without you I cannot live
Forgive, the yearning burning
I believe it’s time, too real to feel.

Sidenote:  If you are a fan of Smith’s writing, I encourage you to read her memoir, “Just Kids”.  It is about her life in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s when she was living in Manhattan and met artist Robert Mapplethorpe.  It is a great read and she tells their story beautifully.

Patti Smith

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Patti Smith Group:  “Because The Night” (1978, written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith).

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

Stay well.