Let’s Take A Moment Day 138

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.

I WANT MY MTV!!!

It was 39 years ago today that this channel premiered and music was never the same again.  A station dedicated to letting the world see the music (and the people behind it) as well as hear it was revolutionary.  The rotation began with maybe 10 videos but that did not prevent me from watching it non-stop for hours at a time.  Music videos changed the game for fans and the industry alike.  But unlike streaming that has caused artists to lose control of their own copyrighted material in addition to their earnings, MTV was a money mother lode for anyone willing to climb on board the novel concept.

At first it was newer artists that appeared frequently on the channel, but eventually everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  Some ran with the concept-Hall & Oates, Huey Lewis & The News, Billy Squier, Michael Jackson-to name a few.  Soon even my heroes were embracing the genre.  Remember a pre-“Friends” Courtney Cox’s fancy footwork with Bruce Springsteen in the “Dancing In The Dark” video?  Or watching Eric Clapton’s beautiful hands play fiery solos on his Strat while singing “Pretending” in the pouring rain?  Or an elegantly dressed Marvin Gaye extolling the benefits of “Sexual Healing”?  Videos from other 1970’s artists followed including Elton John, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood and a host of others who welcomed and embraced the new MTV audience.

Vintage clips of great musical moments were featured like the Beatles first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, performances from the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival and the 1969 Woodstock concerts as well as the live broadcast of 1985’s “Live Aid” show from both America & the U.K.  Suddenly our living rooms were front row seats to the best music had to offer.  And thanks to directors from the TV & movie industries getting in on the trend (“Dressed To Kill” director Brian De Palma was the man behind Springsteen’s first clip), by the end of the decade and into the 1990’s videos became an art form.  The “Unplugged” series introduced us to the more intimate side of live performances.  Other music stations including VH1, BET and FUSE followed, but none compared to the original and its level of cool.

If there is one song that defined the early years of the MTV phenomenon, it is today’s.  While the references to homosexuals are outdated & considered offensive in this era of acceptance, and the once ground breaking channel is merely a reality show based venue in these days of YouTube and Instagram stories, this song still has the power to instantly transport those of us who were there at the beginning to the excitement of the new medium.  And to the poor choice some people made to wear sweatbands in their videos.

Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothing and your chicks for free“.

The MTV moon man logo circa 1981 (R) and John Illsley (bass guitarist)  and Mark Knopfler (lead guitarist) of Dire Straits circa 1985.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Dire Straits:  “Money For Nothing” (1985, written by Mark Knopfler and Sting a/k/a Gordon Sumner).

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 74

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.

When Steve Winwood released his 1986 album, “Back In The High Life”, he won a whole new audience thanks to his visibility on MTV.  The record’s first single, “Higher Love”, went to the top of the charts.  I for one was already a fan of this unbelievably talented man.  I discovered him thanks to FM radio where songs from his first three bands were in constant rotation:  “Gimme Some Lovin” from The Spencer Davis Group (a band he joined when he was only 14 years old); “Dear Mr. Fantasy” & “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” with Traffic and then Blind Faith which teamed him up with powerhouses Eric Clapton on guitar and Ginger Baker on percussion.  I also adored two of Winwood’s previous solo albums, “Arc Of A Diver” (with that fabulous title track and his first solo hit, “While You See A Chance”) and “Talking Back To The Night”.

Winwood was first introduced to music from his father, a semi-professional musician in his own right.  And a few years ago, Winwood’s very gifted daughter, Lilly, reworked “Higher Love” into a beautiful ballad that her father joined her on which was used in a really touching Hershey’s commercial.  Winwood is probably one of the earliest singers to incorporate blue-eyed soul into his music, which was a cross between rock, soul, R&B, jazz and pop.  I am a huge fan of his and really enjoy his music, but I am madly in love with today’s song.  It is profound and beautiful in so many ways. It’s a prayer for all of us who are lost that we may find our way home to wherever and whatever that is.

And I ain’t done nothing wrong but I can’t find my way home“.

If Clapton is god, then Winwood is lord and saviour.

Blind_Faith_(1969)

Blind Faith circa 1969 L-R:  Steve Winwood, Ric Grech, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Steve Winwood

 Steve Winwood circa 1986.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blind Faith:  “Can’t Find My Way Home” (1969, written by Stevie Winwood).

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

Stay well.

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!!

Were you as sad as I was at the passing of Harper Lee?  Her beautiful novel and the movie based on it are two of my favorite things EVER, and arguably two of our country’s greatest treasures.  The scene where Scout takes Boo Radley’s hand as he is “petting” Jem brings me to tears every time I see it.  What a world it would be if all lawyers were as fair and as rational as Atticus Finch.  Rest in peace, Ms. Lee, & thank you for sharing your childhood with us.

Harper Lee 1861     To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee in 1961 (Source:  Donald Uhrbrock/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images) & Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in a still from the film “To Kill A Mockingbird” (Universal Studios 1962).

Friday I had to drive an hour into the country for a work related meeting, so I had the chance to see some open farm land up close, complete with some very beautiful brown cows.  Some days I feel like life on a farm would be heavenly. Friday was one of those days 🙂

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So last weekend, we had subzero temperatures.  This weekend?  Over 50 degrees both Saturday and Sunday (see below for proof).  Crazy!!!  I know a lot of people and many bloggers have spring fever, but I am not ready for the change of seasons yet.  I am one of those square pegs who enjoys winter, and with the first day of spring still a month away, I am not looking ahead just yet.  But I must admit a deep breath of that spring like air felt heavenly.  And I do need to dig at a really packed estate sale soon so that is the one part of spring I cannot wait for!!!  I was shut out AGAIN this weekend 😦  !!!

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Saturday’s and Sunday’s temperatures readings!!!

Saturday marked the anniversary of Ansel Adams birth.  He is one of my favorite artists and one of the reasons why I am so enamored with black & white photography.  When I grow up, I hope I am lucky enough to be a photographer and an environmentalist, too.  Here is one of my most loved pictures by him:

Ansel Adams 1948

Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain, Yosemite Valley c. 1948 (Source:  The Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust).  

As much as I love his landscapes of nature, I am equally in love with his lessor known works of buildings and city pictures.  I discovered them over a decade ago when a local museum had a show featuring the work Adams did for Kodak when they first released the Polaroid camera and asked him for his opinion on it.  The exhibit lead me to look more into Adams life, where I discovered pictures he took of some Los Angeles streets when he was on assignment for Fortune Magazine in 1940.  Talk about vintage beauty!!!  Swoon!!!

ansel-adams-the-pup

Ocean Front Promenade, Santa Monica Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library and drkrm Gallery

Ocean Front Promenade, Santa Monica Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library and drkrm Gallery.

There will be an exhibit of his work in Cooperstown, NY later this year which I plan to attend.  To find out if any of Ansel Adams exhibits are coming to your area, check the schedule here.

Sunday I was looking forward to a nice day of being lazy and relaxing and maybe some unpacking. None of those things happened.  I worked, did some food shopping (my least favorite chore EVER) and then some more work at home via paperwork.  Maybe next weekend I can relax at some local sales!!!  And perhaps get my groceries delivered 🙂  ???  But as usual my travels took me along some scenic routes, which always makes me happy.  I think even bare trees are pretty.  Nature is nature.

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I do have two music related thoughts to share:  So happy for Ed Sheeran on his “Song of the Year” Grammy Award for my favorite song of 2015, “Thinking Out Loud” (kudos also to Amy Wadge who co-wrote the tune with him, as the award is for the composers).  And one of my favorite singers of all time, Steve Winwood, has a daughter named Lilly who is also a singer and she inherited her father’s talent for blue eyed soul.  They harmonize beautifully together for a new version of “Higher Love” which they recorded for the latest Hershey’s ad.  The only thing missing from the heartfelt and touching commercial is a puppy!!!

So, how did you spend your weekend?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!