Music Monday: August 29, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Happy almost 77th birthday to Sir George Ivan Morrison OBE. Born August 31, 1945 in Northern Ireland. he started performing and singing as a teenager, inspired by his father’s country, gospel & blues records. By 1964 Morrison formed the band Them who saw success with songs like “Gloria” and “Here Comes The Night”. In 1967 Van The Man went solo with his fusion of rock, blues and jazz music. That inspired and incredible sound combined with his voice & poetry gave way to songs like no others, especially on albums like Astral Weeks (1968), Moondance (1970) and Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972), just to name a few.

His fame and influence range from The Doors, Bruce Springsteen, The Band, U2, John Mellencamp, The Counting Crows, David Gray, Ray Lamontagne and so many others. After over six decades of performing, Morrison is still making new music. Earlier this year he released What’s It Gonna Take?, his 43rd studio album.

The hard part for me when listening to his music is choosing which record to start with, mainly because I will usually stay with that album for days or possibly weeks at a time. It is nearly impossible to absorb every nuance of Morrison’s voice in ten sittings, let alone one. Even all these years after first discovering this man’s music, it still surprises me with something I missed before. Today’s song, the title track from his 1973 album, falls into that category every time I hear it. It may not be as popular as some of his other songs, but for me it is one of the best vocals of his acclaimed career.

Put your money where your mouth is
Then we can get something going
In order to win you must be prepared to lose sometime
And leave one or two cards showing
“.

Van_Morrison_Website_Profile

Van Morrison circa 2010. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Van Morrison: “Hard Nose the Highway” (1973, written by Van Morrison).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: April 11, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I need to spend some extra time with the man I consider to be the greatest frontman of all time. So, a trip to the Morrison Hotel it is. Ladies & Gentlemen, The Doors.

Well I woke up this morning
And I got myself a beer
The future’s uncertain
And and the end is always near
“.

Hotel

The cover of The Doors’ 1970 album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors: “Roadhouse Blues” (1970, written by The Doors: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison).

Stay safe & well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 547

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?

blog Sept 2021

(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.

First things first: A shout out to my four favorite ladies in TV land-Dorothy, Rose, Blanche & Sophia-who were introduced to the world as “The Golden Girls” 36 years ago today on September 14, 1985. How I love these women & how I love this show (yes, present tense on both counts). They are a part of me & always will be. Thank you, Ladies, for comedic platinum.

GG

The Golden Girls circa 1986 (L-R): Estelle Getty (Sophia/Ma), Betty White (Rose), Rue McClanahan (Blanche) and Bea Arthur (center, Dorothy). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Now to the music. In September 1967 The Doors released their second album, Strange Days. Today’s song was the first single and became a Top 20 hit that year for the group. When they appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” for their one & only performance on September 17, 1967, today’s track was the first of two songs they performed. And watching Jim Morrison swagger up to that microphone is one of the reasons why he is one of the greatest frontmen of all time. That stage was his and he made sure everyone knew it. Sa-woon.

People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone
Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
Streets are uneven when you’re down
“.

Doors

The Doors circa 1967 (L-R): John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors: “People Are Strange” (Live performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” September 17, 1967. Written by Robby Krieger and Jim Morrison).

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 533

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.

We close out this month with another musical birthday. Today Van “The Man” Morrison turns 76 years young. Born August 31, 1945 in Northern Ireland, he gained his love of music from his parents. His mother was a singer and his father’s record collection educated his son in all genres of music. But it was the blues that resonated most with him. His father bought Morrison a guitar when he was 11 leading him to form his first band a year later. By the age of 17 he was touring Europe with another band but his breakthrough came in 1964 when he joined the group Them.

They charted three times including their most well known song, “Gloria”. That brought Morrison to America for the first time in 1966 on a tour that included several shows at Los Angeles’ acclaimed Whiskey A-Go-Go where he met & performed with The Doors. By 1967 Them disbanded leading to Morrison’s relocation to the US and the start of his solo career. After his song, “Brown Eyed Girl” became a Top Ten hit in the country, Van The Man was on his way.

I am such a fan of his beautiful songs & his unique interpretations of the lyrics. His evocative tone tells a story all its own separate and apart from his sublime poetry. As much as I adore his ballads, Morrison’s take-no-prisoners approach to his faster tempo songs envelopes me into each and every note. Today’s track is no exception. Happy birthday, Sir George Ivan Morrison. May you see 100 more.

And when you walk
Across the room
It makes my heart go
Boom boom boom
“.

Van

Van Morrison’s sixth studio album released in 1972. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Van Morrison: “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)” (1972, written by Van Morrison).

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 516

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.

One of my favorite movies of all time made its debut 30 years ago today. “The Commitments” opened in limited release on August 14, 1991. To see a film about a group of young singers and musicians coming together to celebrate the miracle that is the soul genre absolutely spoke to me. And one of the legendary singers the group admired? None other than the King Of Soul himself, Otis Redding.

The fact that he died in 1967 used to make me believe it was one of the worst years in music history. Ironically, it was probably one of the best. Why? Because it was the only one in which three of the greatest voices of all time were making music in the universe at the same time: Redding, Marvin Gaye & Jim Morrison. That year also had The Summer Of Love. I can’t call it complete paradise as there was a war going on at the time as well. But my God, was it close.

My life is such a weary thing
But in my ears, oh, this prayer just rang & rang
You keep wanting, waiting and wishing
When I know deep down that I’m not to blame
“.

Otis_Redding_low_res356

Otis Redding on stage during the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “My Lover’s Prayer” (1966, written by Otis Redding).

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 506

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 August 3, 1968 The Doors hit the #1 spot in the country for the first of two consecutive weeks with today’s song. It was the second top selling song of their short career after “Light My Fire” hit the top of the chart the year before. From the release of their self-titled debut in January 1967 to their 1971 album L.A. Woman released three months before Jim Morrison’s untimely death, The Doors were one of the most brilliant, dynamic and unstoppable forces in music.

Sidewalk crouches at her feet
Like a dog that begs for something sweet
Do you hope to make her see, you fool
Do you hope to pluck this dusky jewel
“.

Doors

The Doors circa 1968 (L-R): John Densmore, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors: “Hello I Love You” (1968, written by The Doors: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison).

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 474

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.

Fifty years. Today marks 50 years since the beautiful talented sexy swaggering poet & front man of The Doors died at age 27. Jim Morrison left this world on July 3, 1971. His death devastated his band, the music industry and those who he reached with his words. They affect me in the same profound way Marvin Gaye’s voice does. Gaye has my soul, Springsteen has my heart, Morrison has my mind. And music is my life.

James Douglas Morrison was born December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida and died less than three decades later. But his years with The Doors revolutionized music & helped put the focus back on American bands after three years of The British Invasion. From 1967 to 1971-five unimaginably short years-The Doors conquered the world & left an indelible mark on it.

But I do not wonder “what if” after their story ended with Morrison’s death. I realized a long time ago that as much as I may hate it, some people were not meant to have long lives in this world. And he was one of them. But five decades later, his music, his words, his legacy & his presence are still so incredibly powerful. That is the stuff legends are made of. And to me, he was one in every sense of the word. And probably the best front man to ever swagger on to a stage. Jim Morrison was everything.

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows
Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light
“.

jim-morrison-6

The Doors

Top: Jim Morrison circa 1967. Bottom: The Doors circa 1964 (L-R): John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Morrison and Robby Krieger. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors: “L.A. Woman” (19XX, written by The Doors: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison).

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 333

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?

Feb 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.

Stories about brothers as rivals go back to the days of Kane & Abel. That competitive existence has played out over and over in history since. And it does not just exist between blood brothers as it can happen with two men who are friends as well. But some brothers, despite their differences, do not become rivals but rather exist in a more harmonious entwined state because they admire each other’s talents. This is sometimes referred to as a bromance. One of the best examples of this is found in Greek mythology between Zeus’ sons, Apollo and Dionysus. Apollo, the god of the sun, was logical and prudent like most left brain people are. Dionysus, the god of wine & dance, was more creative and ruled by his emotions which today translates into right brain thinking.

Ray Manzarek of The Doors once said in a radio interview that he played Apollo to Jim Morrison’s Dionysus. Manzarek also referred to Morrison as his buddy, his pal, his friend and his soul mate. The man he created art with. I found it both heartbreaking and beautiful to listen to one man talk so eloquently about another man who he also referred to as his “brother”.

Manzarek was born 82 years ago on Feb 12, 1939. He met Morrison in California in the early 1960’s and by 1965 The Doors were a band. From 1967 to 1971 they conquered the music world & released six albums together before Morrison’s death on July 3, 1971. Manzarek died on May 20, 2013. After 42 years, the Apollo & Dionysus of the music world were finally reunited. The Morrison & Manzarek bromance continues.

I found an island in your arms
Country in your eyes
Arms that chain us
Eyes that lie”.

Doors

The Doors circa 1968 (L-R): Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Robby Krieger & Jim Morrison. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Doors: “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” (1967, written by The Doors: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek,& Jim Morrison).

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 307

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 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.

Before today’s song, I want to wish the happiest of birthdays to a most spectacular “Golden Girl”, Betty White. This legend of radio, TV & film turns 99 today & has been entertaining the world for 82 years. I was lucky enough to meet her in May 2011 when she came to Barnes & Noble in Lake Grove, NY to sign copies of her book, “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)“.

She was an absolute delight. I was in complete awe, told her meeting her was like meeting one of the Beatles which made her laugh. But when I told her she & the other three Golden Girls were like my surrogate mothers from their very first episode she smiled and squeezed my hand. It was one of the most cherished moments of my life. Keep rocking, Betty. You are loved, worshiped & revered. And an absolute riot!!!

Betty White

Betty White in May 2011 in Lake Grove, NY. (credit: Me!!!)

Music nightclubs have been around forever, but for the music I love, some of the best saw the 1960’s & 1970’s as the peak of their success. The Troubador in West Hollywood, CA introduced artists like Elton John, Tom Waits & James Taylor. The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA hosted Cream, The Grateful Dead & blues greats Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. At NYC’s Fillmore East Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and The Allman Brothers (who recorded their first live record there in 1971, At Fillmore East) appeared. Max’s Kansas City was a favorite hangout spot for John Lennon when he first moved to NYC, Deborah Harry was a waitress there and artists like The Velvet Underground & David Bowie performed there. Two other NYC clubs-The Bottom Line & CBGB’s hosted Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Linda Ronstadt & Van Morrison at the former and Patti Smith, Blondie, The Talking Heads and other punk/new wave artists at the latter.

Another West Hollywood club, The Whiskey-A-Go-Go, opened January 11, 1964 and quickly became one of the top music venues for up & coming artists. Two of my favorites-The Doors & Otis Redding-were featured there and it helped put them on their respective musical maps. For Redding especially this was a huge moment in his early career as it led to the recording of his live album, In Person at the Whisky a Go Go. It was recorded during his three shows in April 1966 but not released until October 1968, nearly a year after his death. A second release, Good to Me: Live at the Whisky a Go Go, Vol. 2, was released in 1993.

The shows at the club took place a year before Redding’s mainstream success thanks to his rousing performance at The Monterey Pop Festival in the summer of 1967. It included today’s song which was first recorded in 1932 but Redding’s version 34 years later took on a whole new style due in part to the producer, soul legend Isaac Hayes. Booker T & The M.G.’s played on the record & with Redding in person at the Monterey show. Redding’s complete five song set from the concert along with Jimi Hendrix’s performances were released on the 1970 album, Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Redding’s are included on a few of his posthumous releases plus you can also find the videos on YouTube. Today’s song was his last number of the night and it is nothing short of spectacular.

It’s not just sentimental no, no, no
She has her grief and care, yeah, yeah, yeah
But the soft words they are spoke so gentle, yeah
It makes it easier, easier to bear”.

Otis at Monterey

Otis Redding on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. Alan Jackson (back) was the drummer that night with the band Booker T & The MG’s. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Otis Redding: “Try A Little Tenderness” (Live performance at The Monterey Pop Festival in June, 1967. Originally recorded in 1966. Written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Henry MacGregor “Harry” Woods).

I only own the rights to the Betty White picture, nothing else. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 294

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 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 1967 the world was introduced to the genius & the beauty of Jim Morrison courtesy of The Doors. On January 4, 1967 their self-titled debut album was released. It contained a few of the songs they would become famous for including “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”, “The Crystal Ship”, “The End” & today’s track. The album also contained a cover of an old blues song written by Willie Dixon & Howlin’ Wolf, “Back Door Man”. The Doors’ love for this genre of music would play a significant role in their career, especially in their live performances.

Today’s tune was the band’s first #1 song (their second was “Hello I Love You” in 1968). It was an edited version of the album’s nearly seven minute track that stayed at the top of the chart for three weeks in the summer of 1967. That September The Doors made their only appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to perform today’s pick which led to the host banning them for life after failing to follow the censor’s request to change a line of the song (See Day 145). But the band’s phenomenal success continued and soon they were featured on other variety shows on network television. Even as we approach the 50 year mark of Morrison’s death this July, the legacy he left behind in less than five years with The Doors continues in earnest. And Happy Birthday to Robby Krieger who turns 75 on January 8.

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher
“.

the-doors album

The Doors

Top: The Doors debut album from 1967. Bottom: The Doors 1967 publicity photo (L-R(: Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger & Ray Manzarek. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Doors: “Light My Fire” (1967, written by The Doors: John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison).

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

Stay well.