Music Monday: August 15, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.

It was 57 years ago today that The Beatles made history in New York for the second time in two years. On August 15, 1965 the band played their now famous concert at Shea Stadium. It was the first time a musical group held a show in that type of venue in the United States. The Fab Four performed 12 songs-eight originals, four covers-during their 30 minute set in front of a sold out crowd of nearly 56,000 fans. Most of that crowd were young girls screaming so hysterically they drowned out the music, including today’s song.

I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to witness the kind of history The Beatles made on their first trip to America in February 1964, let alone the monumental concert nearly six decades ago. But I relived it vicariously through Sally Draper when she screamed & jumped for joy after her father, Don, told her he was taking her to the concert. That episode of “Mad Men” (S4 E10) aired 45 years after “The First Play At Shea”, but what a way to let those of us who missed Beatlemania experience a piece of that magic.

Thank you John, Paul, George & Ringo for EVERYTHING.

You tell lies
Thinking I can’t see
You can’t cry
‘Cause you’re laughing at me
“.

Beatles Shea

The Fab Four on stage in Shea Stadium in 1965 (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “I’m Down” (1965, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: April 18, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

On April 18, 1970 today’s song hit the #1 spot in the country for the second week in a row. It is the title song from The Beatles last album which remains my favorite of theirs to this day. I was lucky enough to see the movie by the same name dozens of time one summer when it was on a loop on a movie channel. I was too young to realize The Fab Four were fighting but not to realize I was witnessing the greatest band of all time rehearsing some of their final songs in a studio together. And that rooftop scene needs no further accolades from me. The performance speaks for itself over five decades later.

I still have yet to see Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” documentary released nearly six months ago for a more in-depth take on that movie. That is not because I do not think it will be a great watch. I have no doubt it is stunning. It is about The Beatles, after all. I am procrastinating because I am worried it might take away some of the magic from my first look at that moment in time. It was such a turning point in my life to see the band that changed everything so up close & personal, sharing their process with the world. It left an indelible mark on my life & the direction of my musical choices every day since.

As the band’s final album was growing in popularity in the world, the news that The Beatles broke up the same month also altered the landscape of the universe. The phenomenal ride those four lads from Liverpool took us on had ended. That devastating news in early 1970 changed the world as much as their first appearance did on that glorious Sunday night just six years earlier on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964.

And when the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer
Let it be
“.

Beatles

 

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Let It Be” (1970, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: March 7, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Last month singer/songwriter/pianist Gary Brooker died at the age of 76 in England. If you do not know his name, I am quite sure you knew his voice. He was the co-founder & lead singer of Procol Harum, so it is his glorious vocal that is front & center on their iconic 1967 hit. I have adored this song forever and it is featured in three of my favorite movies of all time: “The Big Chill”, “The Commitments” and “Pirate Radio” as the last song on the airwaves of “The Boat That Rocked”.

Brooker was also one of the composers of today’s phenomenal song, but he also played with several other artists, most notably for George Harrison (on 1971’s All Things Must Pass), Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Bill Wyman. Brooker also appeared in the 1996 film adaptation of “Evita”. But for me, nothing else he ever did would compare to his pensive melodic delivery of some of the greatest sing along lyrics ever written or recorded.

The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray
“.

1967 Procol

with Ringo

Top: Gary Brooker (pictured front left) with Procol Harum in 1967. Bottom: (Pictured left) with Ringo Starr circa 1999. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967, written by Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher and Keith Reid).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: February 7, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

On February 7. 1964 The Beatles arrived in America for the very first time. Two days later they made their historic appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. After their first song that night, as I have written before, the world changed into a brand new color called John, Paul, George & Ringo. The rest of the hues, along with music, life & Sunday nights from that point on, would never be the same ever again. And for this I and the 73 million viewers who tuned in that night are eternally grateful. Today’s song is from The Fab Four’s first movie, released five months after that landmark evening.

It’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been workin’ like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night
I should be sleepin’ like a log
“.

Feb 7

The Beatles arriving in New York during their first trip to America on February 7, 1964. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

Stay safe and well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 517

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 this day last year (Day 152), we celebrated the 55th anniversary of The Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert which took place August 15, 1965. That means today marks 56 years since that momentous occasion. So we will celebrate again.

The clips from the show are rarely up on YouTube because of copyright laws (BBC Television owns the film rights to the concert they released a year later). So even though today’s song was on the set list that night over five decades ago, the video I chose is of the group performing it in their movie, “Help“.

It was released four days before their historic concert and a year after their first big screen smash, “A Hard Day’s Night“. What a bland uninspired and sad color this world would be without John, Paul, George & Ringo in it, Thank you for everything, boys, especially the first play at Shea.

She said that living with me
Is bringing her down yeah
For she would never be free
When I was around
“.

Beatles Shea

The Fab Four on stage at Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965 (L-R): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Ticket To Ride” (1965, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

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 514

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.

I am not sure if today’s song is considered PC or not anymore given the whole cancel culture climate we are in. I do not mean to offend if it is. I just hear it as a great track by one of my favorite bands. And in honor of Garth Hudson’s 84th birthday earlier this month I want to share it. He was born on August 2, 1937 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and he was the only member of that fabulous band who did not contribute vocals. He was too busy as a multi-instrumentalist to add that to his resume. He contributed keyboards, saxophone and accordion playing to the group which helped define their sound from day one.

Robbie Robertson may have been the principal songwriter for The Band, but he alone could not have given life to those songs in the phenomenal way the five men did as an ensemble. He & Hudson, who has been working as a solo artist for the last two decades, are the only living members left from this incredible group. I think it is so sad the other three have missed so much. But together they reached the likes of Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Elton John & many others who were completely inspired by what The Band created as a whole. That is one impressive fan base. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for Garth Hudson.

Now I don’t mind chopping wood
And I don’t care if the money’s no good
You take what you need
And you leave the rest
“.

Garth 1971

The Band 1970

Top: Garth Hudson circa 1971. Bottom: The Band circa 1970 (L-R): Rick Danko, Hudson, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson and Richard Manuel. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Band: “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (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 released in 1969, written by Robbie Robertson).

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 510

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 this day in 1969 The Beatles took the iconic photograph that would become the cover of their final studio album. It was August 8, 1969 when The Fab Four walked in stride at the crosswalk outside Abbey Road studios, which they used as the title to their last record, released the following month.

Around the same time three years earlier, the group released Revolver. It was hailed as an innovative gem & marked significant growth in the four men as musicians and songwriters. George Harrison bemoaned one of the trappings of success with his song “Taxman”. John Lennon added a psychedelic feel to “Tomorrow Never Knows” while allowing Harrison a chance to experiment with a backwards lead guitar part on the glorious “I’m Only Sleeping” (Day 178).

But for me it was two of McCartney’s songs that I found most beautiful. The first, “Here There and Everywhere” was said to be inspired by Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows”. And today’s track featured one of my favorite instruments ever, the French horn, which I fell in love with because of this song. It was yet another example of how The Beatles took some very scenic routes to make their legendary music.

And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years
“.

Abbey

Revolver_(album_cover)

Top: An unused picture from the Abbey Road photo shoot with The Beatles walking in reverse from the photo which was chosen for the record. Bottom: The group’s 1966 release. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Beatles: “For No One” (1966, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

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 492

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.

John Lennon & Paul McCartney met as teenagers 64 years ago in Liverpool, England in July 1957. Both were from the same city, both had already lost their mothers, both wanted to play music & eventually both were in the same band. They became songwriting partners, their group morphed into The Beatles which turned into that whole redefining music & culture thing and they all became legends. But that is where the similarities ended.

One listen to the songs they co-wrote together and it was obvious which one was the primary songwriter. And it had nothing to do with who was on lead vocal. Lennon’s music was deeper, spiritual, insightful & intellectual. McCartney had his moments with that approach as well, as evidenced on songs like “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude” to name two.

But McCartney was a master at catchy tunes, pop lyrics & storytelling. If there was one album that showcased both men’s’ distinct qualities, it was 1968’s showpiece, The White Album. And like most of The Beatles records, I found myself completely enthralled with Lennon’s songs, especially today’s pick.

The sun is up the sky is blue
It’s beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence
Won’t you come out to play
“.

The Beatles

The Beatles circa 1969 (L-R): John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Dear Prudence” (1968, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

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 478

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.

On July 6, 1964 The Beatles first movie, “A Hard Day’s Night” made its premiere in London. A year later on July 29, 1965, their second movie “Help” was released. But neither of those movies or the band itself would exist if it were not for the event that took place on July 7, 1940. For it was on that day that Ringo Starr (real name Richard Starkey) was born.

Of course, the other three Beatles were needed as well. But Starr was the oldest; therefore, his birth put it all in motion, despite being the last member to join the band. Every year on his birthday for many years now, Starr issues the following statement on his social media platforms:

I’m inviting everyone who wants to join the peace and love celebration for my birthday at noon your time wherever you are, 7-7-21 – you can post it, you can say it, you can even think it – but it would be really cool if you go “Peace and Love” at noon on my birthday – so let’s spread peace and love on my birthday – c’mon everybody!”

So if you are a fan of his-or a fan of peace & love-or both, then why not join him on this request? If nothing else, it will take you out of whatever situation you are in at that time, clear your mind and bring you good energy. And while you are thinking those happy thoughts, join me for a little underwater ride. Here’s to 100 more very happy birthdays to you, Ringo!!! Peace & love forever times infinity plus eternity!!!

“In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines”.

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr circa 2014. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles (in honor of Ringo Starr’s birthday): “Yellow Submarine” (1966, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney).

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

Stay well.