Let’s Take A Moment Day 350

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?

March 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 March 1, 1973 Closing Time, the debut album by Tom Waits, was released. It was not a big seller but it was well received by critics. More importantly, it introduced the world to this poetic expressive storyteller. I would not discover this brilliant man until Bruce Springsteen’s 1985 cover of “Jersey Girl” so I had the pleasure of discovering the first album & over half a dozen others all at once. I have been a Waits fan ever since and today’s song from that first album is just one reason why.

Well, the room is crowded, people everywhere
And I wonder, should I offer you a chair
Well, if you sit down with this old clown, I’ll take that frown and break it
Before the evening’s gone away, I think that we can make it
“.

Waits Closing Time

Tom Waits’ 1973 debut album. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tom Waits: “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You” (1973, written by Tom Waits).

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 301

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.

Time for another rock & roll birthday. Rod Stewart was born on January 10, 1945 in London, England making this birthday his 76th. His long and varied career started in the 1960’s as a member of a few bands including The Jeff Beck Group & The Faces before he completely focused exclusively on his solo career in the 1970’s. His first hit single “Maggie May” (see Day 242), a #1 hit for five weeks in the US in 1971, established his career and he never looked back. His music embraces soul, rock, dance, pop, Christmas and the big band genres.

I absolutely LOVE today’s song, I love the video for it, too & I love this time in Stewart’s career. This track is from his 1988 album, Out Of Order. which also featured “Forever Young”, “Lost In You” & Stewart’s cover of “Try A Little Tenderness”, a hit for Otis Redding in 1966. Stewart was well past the disco tunes, heavily immersed in his love for all things soul & doing great covers like his duet with Ronald Isley on “This Old Heart Of Mine” in 1989 followed by the Tom Waits beauty, “Downtown Train” later the same year. Rod Stewart is another voice that has followed me my whole life through a number of fantastic songs including today’s.

I don’t want you to come ’round here no more
I beg you for mercy
You don’t know how strong my weakness is
Or how much it hurts me
“.

Rod circa 2017

Rod Stewart circa 2017. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Rod Stewart: “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” (1988, written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan).

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 189

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.

Sometimes when I read comments under the videos I watch on YT I find myself swooning over a few of them. For example, on a Tom Waits video someone wrote, “(He) writes songs about wounded people with just a few drops of dream left.” That is one of my favorite descriptions of his music and probably one of the most accurate assessments of the people he writes about. I know he is an acquired taste for some, but I fell in love with his voice the first time I heard “Tom Traubert’s Blues” (see Day 92) which is on his 1976 album, “Small Change”. That record was released today in that year and even though it was his fourth studio album, Waits was just beginning to show us the depth of his story telling skills, his prowess for writing unique and gripping lyrics and the vast group of characters who take center stage in his songs.

Another album of his that I love is 1974’s “The Heart Of Saturday Night”. The songs on this record show a more tender and reflective side to this immensely talented artist, especially today’s track in which he is the focus. The way he tells his story of regret is absolutely exquisite, as is the beautiful string arrangement. To me his songs are like books I cannot put down, or when I must, I dream for the moment I can get back to the world he has created. Despite how eccentric his characters may seem, the thing they all have in common is just wanting to be noticed for who they are since perhaps the different aspects of their lives has made them somehow less noticeable. Or worse, invisible.

Those are the souls Waits zeros in on and shares with his audience. The ne’er-do-wells, the alcoholics, the hookers, the broken-hearted, the sad sacks, the angry types, the ones wondering where their lives went, the ones haunted by their choices or the ones just broken by life. Waits is their voice. And to me they are all people I want to get to know because, as the saying goes, there but for the grace of God. Waits extends a hand to each of them. And that in and of itself gives us all hope.

I never saw the mornin’ ’til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine ’til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song

I never saw the white line ’til I was leavin’ you behind
I never knew I needed you until I was caught up in a bind
I never spoke “I love you” ’til I cursed you in vain
I never felt my heart strings until I nearly went insane

I never saw the east coast until I moved to the west
I never saw the moonlight until it shone off of your breast
I never saw your heart until someone tried to steal it, steal it away
I never saw your tears until they rolled down your face

I never saw the mornin’ ’til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine ’til you turned out your love light babe
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song
“.

Tom Waits

Tom Waits circa 1976. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tom Waits: “San Diego Serenade” (1974, written by Tom Waits).

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 166

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?

Bruce 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 1964 Roy Orbison, nicknamed The Caruso Of Rock, released today’s track.  It would go on to become his signature song.  It hit #1 for three weeks in the fall of that year and it is a true rock & roll classic.  If you need to be reminded of this man’s genius and how effortless he made his music look, I suggest you watch “Roy Orbison & Friends:  A Black & White Night” from 1988 to see him perform with several of his fans including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello. k.d. lang and J.D. Souther.  It is a great concert.

Many artists have covered this song.  Some not so good, some not so bad.  One of the best I think is by Chris Isaak who recorded his cover for the album, “Beyond The Sun”.  But nothing beats the original.  Mercy!

I guess I’ll go on home, it’s late
There’ll be tomorrow night, but wait
What do I see?
Is she walkin’ back to me?

Roy

Roy Orbison photographed on April 13, 1967.  John Hercock/Central Press/Getty Images.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Roy Orbison:  “Oh, Pretty Woman” (1964, written by Bill Dees and Roy Orbison).

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 142

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.

One of my favorite years for music was 1978.  New albums like Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”, Eric Clapton’s “Backless”, Van Morrison’s “Wavelength”, Neil Young’s “Comes A Time”, Blondie’s “Parallel Lines”, Tom Waits’ “Blue Valentine” , Boston’s “Don’t Look Back”, “Easter” by The Patti Smith Group and The Rolling Stones’ “Some Girls” were released.  And it is from the Stones record that we arrive at today’s song which hit #1 on this day in 1978.

It only stayed in the top spot for a week, but as the lead single from the record, it helped the album get to #1 as well for two weeks that summer.  The song features a great sax solo and one of the best bass lines I ever heard.  And despite  the fact that  I am not much of a dancer, I could not help moving along with the infectious beat of the record.  The band was divided over whether or not it was an actual disco song, but eventually they released their first extended 12″ inch remix soon after the record topped the charts.  I prefer the original mix of this song, which is one of my favorites ever by this band.

Some Girls

   (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones:  “Miss You” (1978, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).

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 104

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.

In September 1998 I watched the pilot episode of “Will & Grace”.  As much as I liked the two title characters, I fell head over heels in love with their friends, Jack & Karen, played by Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally.  Their chemistry was remarkable and their onscreen antics were like none I had ever seen before on network television.  For the eight years of the show’s original run, I followed Mullally on the talk show circuit where I discovered her beautiful singing voice.  She has put out a number of CD’s over the years and one included one of my favorite songs by Tom Waits (see Day 92).  I saw her perform it on “The Late Show With David Letterman” in 2002 and she was fabulous.  The last verse has some of the most beautiful lyrics I have ever heard:

“In a land there’s a town, and in that town there’s a house
And in that house there’s a woman
And in that woman there’s a heart I love
I’m gonna take it with me when I go.”

Megan

(Image courtesy of meganmullally.net.)

Megan Mullally:  “Take It With Me” (2002, written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan).

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 92

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 Bruce Springsteen released his live album, “1975-1985”, the last song on the three CD set was “Jersey Girl”.  I would have sworn on everything I had that he wrote it.  But when I checked the credits, there appeared a different name:  Tom Waits.  I was shocked it was not a Springsteen original and curious to learn as much as I could about the songwriter.  Like The Boss, Waits was inspired by Bob Dylan.  Waits first album (“Closing Time”) came out in 1973 to critical acclaim and garnered him an underground following.  He collaborated with his then girlfriend Bette Midler on the 1977 song, “I Never Talk To Strangers”.  By 1980 he moved from a jazz sound to one featuring blues, rock and experimental/alternative sounds.  His 1985 release, “Rain Dogs” includes the song “Downtown Train” which was a hit for Rod Stewart in 1989.

Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill’s character on “Modern Family”) described Waits’ rough gravelly voice as ugly and beautiful at the same time.  To me it is just beautiful, like a rusty patina on an old metal sign.  It adds such a strong tone to today’s song which is another one of those hauntingly beautiful numbers thanks to that voice, an absolutely resplendent string arrangement and his talent for storytelling using colorful, expressive & detailed lyrics.  I am grateful to Springsteen for so many things, and introducing me to this poet of a man is one of them.

And it’s a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on
An old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers
The night watchman flame keepers and goodnight, Mathilda too.”

Tom Waits

Tom Waits circa 1985.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tom Waits:  “Tom Traubert’s Blues” (1976, written by Tom Waits).

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

Stay well.