Music and the
Musically, my range of who and what I like is quite diverse, depending on my mood, state of mind, etc. In a nutshell, I enjoy GOOD music, meaning well-composed, musically creative and innovative, as well as pleasing to the ear. Anyone can take a set of instruments and make noise, but that does not necessarily make it music.
I myself am a [somewhat] musician, or at least I was. I started out playing the clarinet, but I just wasn't a good spitter (I'm a swallower) (hmm). But I found my niche with the violin and the piano.
I enjoy classical music, and by "classical" I do not mean the Beatles. Beethoven, Bach, Tchaikovsky and Mozart … However, I generally cannot sit and listen to it, but classical music is my favorite to play.
"I'm a Little Bit Country … I'm a little bit Rock n' Roll"
I grew up with Elvis Presley forced down my throat. My mom. She was a little bit rock n' roll. And Hank Williams. My oldest sister, she was a little bit cun- um, country.
Then along came the Beatles and I was bedazzled. Okay, so I was only nine years old and didn't know any better. When I grew up I realized I was that fool on the hill plodding through strawberry fields after a hard day's night.
Just take those old records off the shelf
I'll sit and listen to 'em by myself
Today's music ain 't got the same soul
I like that old time rock 'n' roll
Rock. Yeah. Led Zeppelin, Jimi, Janis. I discovered they were great distractions to my sister's long string of one-night stands that had eyes — and hands — for the kid sister with the well developed boobs at the tender age of twelve and looked — far older. They couldn't handle that obnoxious screeching stuff I called music; they were of the cowboy genre. Honky tonk sleeze and a budding flower child did not make for kindred spirits and hands soon started to stay to themselves. Okay, maybe my dog's very sharp teeth had something to do with it too.
Well, then I really DID start to like these musicians. Of course, by then I was going straight to hell, my mother pointing out the many articles that came out how everything was about sex, drugs and rock n' roll. I was really saddened to learn "Puff the Magic Dragon" was — gasp — really about a dragon and not about pot. Damn.
Highlights of the 60's
In January 1963, Whiskey A Go Go, our very first disco, opened in LA. and it's still there. Many fond memories of the Whiskey I have. I um … matured physically quite young. Funny, I never got carded until, oh, about a couple of years ago and I was well, um, over 30.
First Real Scary Rock n' Roll Experience
Going to the music store to buy the new album by John Lennon and seeing pictures of him AND Yoko Ono naked.
Dream Theater "Six Degrees of Turbulence" Tour
Most Notable Lyrics to Drive My Mother Crazy
Iron Butterfly's "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida"
(10 points for anyone who knows what those words really say — look for the answer somewhere on this page for those who don't)
OH Yeah! (Who remembers this — really?)
"Randy The Red-Eyed Hippie"
Randy the red-eyed hippie
had some very glassy eyes
and if you ever saw him
you would be so surprised.
All of the other hippies
used to laugh and call him names
they wouldn't let poor Randy
smoke and toke in any of their games
Then one smoky party night
Randy freaked them out,
he showed up with ten whole pounds
and blew their minds right out
Now all the hippies love him
as they smoke and toke with glee
Randy the red-eyed hippie
pass the freakin' joint to me.
Now … this is a bit dismaying to me.
The 10 Biggest-Selling Singles of the 60's in the USA which should be subtitled: A Demonstration of the Effects of …
* "I Want To Hold Your Hand," Beatles, 1964
(I remember it was about 10 years later I could understand the words and not hear 60 million screaming females in the background)
* "The Ballad of the Green Berets," S. Sgt Barry Sadler, 1966
(Okay, I admit it! I actually LIKED this song)
* "It's Now or Never," Elvis Presley, 1960
(I can still hear my mom and sister singing along … OY)
* "Hey Jude," Beatles, 1968
(Heeeeeeeeeeeey Dude, don't be a pain … )
* "Love is Blue," Paul Mauriat, 1967
(One of the songs I played for my first piano recital; the other was Tchaikovsky, "Marche Slav" in B Flat Major)
* "Harper Valley P.T.A.," Jeannie C. Riley, 1968
(The day my mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA …)
* "I'm A Believer," Monkees 1966
(ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... DAVY!!! *squeals* It's just so not fair that Marcia Brady got kissed by Davy Jones …)
* "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," Marvin Gaye, 1968
* "Sugar Sugar," Archies,1969
(OH. MY. ^@#*#*@^! GOD. THIS is evidence that there was far too much acid in use … )
* "Honey," Bobby Goldsboro, 1968
(Mushy Mushy Mushy)
Okay, now if all that wasn't bad enough, look at the following decade:
A Selection from the Thirty Biggest-Selling Singles of the Seventies:
* "Stayin' Alive," Bee Gees
* "Shadow Dancing," Andy Gibb
(*confesses to liking this Gibb brother*)
* "Disco Lady," Johnnie Taylor
(The ingenious lyrics to this day awe me: "shake it baby shake it baby shake your thang" I always wonder what my thang was; thought only the guys had 'em)
* "Night Fever," Bee Gees
(John Travolta and that white suit … YumYumYum – okay, disco did have it's moments)
* "How Deep is Your Love," Bee Gees
(Theme song for Marilyn Chambers?)
* "Le Freak," Chic
(Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, freak out! Le Freak, C'est Chic!)
* "YMCA," Village People
(Quick now! How many of you can STILL do the arm movements?)
* "Disco Duck," Rick Dee & His Cast of Idiots
(Gotta love Rick Dee)
* "Hot Stuff," Donna Summer
(Donna Summer — tres cool)
* "I Will Survive," Gloria Gaynor
(Played this song ALL night the day my divorce was final and every year on its anniversary — and I DID Survive!)
* "Play That Funky Music," Wild Cherry
(Lay down the boogie and play that funky music til you die — OHH yeah...)
* "Shake Your Body," Jacksons
(For all you youngsters out there, this was before Michael Jackson turned into Diana Ross and dallied with little boys, and the Jacksons were still turning out some decent music.)
Alas, the biggest hit of the 70's was not a disco song, but Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life." I DOUBLE dare you to admit you liked THAT song.
Worst Songs of the 70s? There was a truckload of waste back then, so I've compiled a very short list of those I remember the most.
* ABBA: "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take a Chance on Me", "Waterloo", "Dancing Queen"
"See that girl, Watch that scene, Diggin' the dancing queen"?
(ABBA nostalgia was cute for a few seconds, but get real!!!!)
* Paul Anka: "Having My Baby"
… what a lovely way of telling me how much you love me …
(This song should have been aborted.)
* Chuck Berry: "My Ding A Ling"
… I want to play with my ding a ling
(A shame really. Chuckie finally got Number 1 with a kiddie song about his wanker.)
* Eric Carmen: "All by Myself"
(Cool enough for Greg Brady to sing. Bitchin')
* Daddy Dewdrop: "Chick a Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It)"
"Chick a Boom, Chick a Boom Boom Boom"
(Yep, definitely too much acid.)
* John Denver: "Rocky Mountain High", "Sunshine on My Shoulder", "Thank God I'm a Country Boy"
(I used to love harassing my ex-husband with the last song though, so, okay, it had it's merit.)
* Carl Douglas: "Kung Fu Fighting"
"It was as fast as lightning … In fact, it was a little bit frightening."
(Yeah. Very frightening.)
* First Class: "Beach Baby"
"Beach baby beach baby give me a chance, give me something that I can remember …"
* Leif Garrett: "I Was Made For Dancin'"
(Uh … I don't EVEN think so. )
* Albert Hammond: "It Never Rains in Southern California"
(Well, it does, actually.)
* Terry Jacks: "Seasons in the Sun"
"We had joy, we had fun … but the stars we could reach were just starfish on the beach."
(Sappy. Sappy. Sappy.)
* Michael Jackson: "Ben"
(My best friend in the world is a rat. Now THAT is just wrong …)
* Kiss: "I Was Made For Loving You".
(Their extremely sad attempt at disco.)
* Looking Glass: "Brandy"
"You're a fine girl … What a good wife you would be."
(But she hung out at a bar full of sailors. Hm.)
* Maria Maldaur: "Midnight at the Oasis"
(One word: YUCK!!!)
* C.W. McCall: "Convoy"
"Eleven long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse micro-bus."
(Good for a laugh, but this was my ex-husband's revenge for "Thank God I'm a Country Boy".)
* Melanie: "Brand New Key"
* New Seekers: "Look What They've Done to My Song"
* Nigel Olsson: "Dancin' Shoes"
(You really would think Elton's very sexy drummer would know more about dancin'.)
* Donny Osmond: "Go Away Little Girl", "Puppy Love", "The 12th of Never"
* Marie Osmond: "Paper Roses"
* The Osmonds: "Down by the Lazy River", "One Bad Apple"
(Egads!! … this is what they tried to pit against the Jacksons? I lumped all things Osmond together because, well … yeah … )
* Rolling Stones: "Angie"
(Fact! Keith would nod off when they did this live.)
* Carly Simon and James Taylor: "Mockingbird"
(I think the 70s were the year for kiddie songs … Carly and James had so much other better stuff)
* Starland Vocal Band: "Afternoon Delight"
"Started out this morning feeling so polite"
(" … so I'll curtsy before I bang your brains out until tonight")
* Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond: "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"
"You don't sing me love songs …"
(BAH! Even cheesy lounge acts won't sink to this schmutz.)
* Donna Summer: "MacArthur's Park"
(Love Donna, but egads, wasn't Richard Harris bad enough?)
* R. Dean Taylor: "Indiana Wants Me"
("Lord I can't go back there …)"
* Vanity Fair: "Hitchin' a Ride"
("Ride, Ride, Ride, Hitchin' a Ride")
Some Rock n' Roll Humor for you. If you don't understand it, please don't ask me to explain, because you still wouldn't understand it.
The Flip-side of Forever
by Frank Mullen III
To: St. Peter
From: Director of Internal Investigation
Re: Problems in Rock 'n Roll Heaven
As I sit here in the front row of the auditorium, it is difficult to remember how peaceful Rock 'n Roll Heaven was when it was first created as an abode for Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper following their fatal plane crash in 1959. After a brief period of shared billing, these three artists became involved in a battle for the spotlight. As a consequence, Buddy has been on stage, singing 'Peggy Sue' in those geeky horn-rimmed glasses for close to half a century now, while simultaneously, the Big Bopper is droning his way through 'Chantilly Lace.' Time has not mellowed the effect of 'Ooh, Baby, you knoooww what I like!' On the rare occasion that either of them takes a short break, the lights come up on Richie Valens, who dives headfirst into 'Ba-da,-ba-da, La Bamba.' You'd think that after all this time, he'd learn the words. Woodstock was more organized than this.
From its inception, it was never clear whether Rock 'n Roll Heaven was intended as a private club for the original residents, or whether membership was open to every three-chord guitar player who died in an airplane accident. Aircraft of the early '60s tended to get where they were going, so the issue never came up. But in 1967, Otis Redding died in an air crash, forcing the admissions committee to address entrance requirements.
Two camps emerged. The Emotionalists, who couldn't tell blues from bubble gum, cared less about the mode of a performer's death than the quantity of tears shed by inconsolable fans. In opposition, the Purists decried the corruption of rhythm and blues into the caterwauling of bouffant-headed girl-groups and adolescent beach bums, and they became entrenched in their insistence on tragic death by aerial misfortune.
Eventually, a touching moment occurred that is still remembered by those who were there. When debate reached the heights of acrimony and personal slander, someone put Otis Redding's 'Try A Little Tenderness' on the turntable. By the time the rhythm section kicked in, tears were flowing, everybody was hugging each other, and an agreement was reached: artistry and grief would be the primary consideration for admission, but special preference would be given to those who suffered aeronautical demise. Otis was welcomed, and in 1973, after another fatal crash, Jim Croce was admitted, despite 'Time In A Bottle.'
But compromise endures no longer in Eternity than it does in less permanent climes. The Emotionalists became particularly unhappy with this system of special preference for airplane death that gave Ricky Nelson the keys to the kingdom, but left John Lennon waiting on standby. It was no comfort to them to hear the Purists insist, 'A plane crash is a plane crash.'
Which is exactly what Dino Martin said in 1987. He demanded entry, and the committee was once again at war. Both sides agreed that Dino, Desi and Billyís contributions to rock 'n roll could fit in a Pez dispenser, but Dino's death had overtones of nobility--he had become an Air National Guard pilot, and had gone down with his jet. The Purists were swept up in a patriotic fever, while the Emotionalists uncharacteristically responded by playing the No-talent Card.
After bitter infighting, the committee decided that Martinís would be the last case of aeronautical demise to make the cut. Death by airplane crash would henceforth become a cause of complete disqualification from entrance to Rock 'n Roll Heaven.
Immediately, Marvin Gaye appealed his earlier rejection. His 1984 death had been singularly tragic--on the day before his birthday, his father had shot him. Clearly, most families would have simply jumped out from behind the furniture and yelled 'Surprise!'
Gaye was admitted, and his success threw open the floodgates to scores of big names who had earlier been turned down. Every Jimi, Janis and Elvis got the star treatment, and it was Standing Room Only in the aisles of Rock 'n Roll Heaven. Then, the unforseen occurred: the British Invasion.
The virtual elimination of admissions standards allowed entrance to any lisping Brit with flyaway hair, dental problems and a hit record. In addition to Beatles, Rock 'n Roll Heaven is now crawling with Yardbirds, Who's and Rolling Stones. Speaking of which, is Mick Jagger dead yet? I saw him on Letterman last night, and I didn't think he'd make it through the last commercial.
The result of this immigration has not been celestial harmony, and there is not likely to be a reunion of deceased Beatles anytime soon. George Harrison is still not speaking to John Lennon, but then, Lennon is rarely seen anymore. With a cluelessness that eluded him in life, he roams the heavenly byways, smiling beatifically at Angels and Archangels alike, blessing them and suggesting that they 'give peace a chance.
The backstage area is now crawling with suicides, heart attacks and idiots who forgot to use the turn signal. The clumsiest of oafs merits a Passport to Immortality – everyone is aware that Sonny Bono is here not because he can sing, but because he can't ski.
The complete debasement of this once-placid Land Of Rest is experienced when one steps into the Ladies' Lunchroom, where the lowest, crudest aspects of Rock 'n Roll Heaven are on display. The visitor finds himself thrust into a raging food-fight among Shirelles, Supremes and Shangri-las; Mama Cass stomps from table to table, scarfing down everybodyís else's chow--the babe is big – while Janis tosses f-words like hand grenades into the melee. Poor Karen Carpenter is down to about eleven pounds now, crying because the Singing Nun won't stop with the French vibrato . She has a point – eventually, 'Domanica, nica, nica' is no better than 'Ba-da, ba-da, La Bamba.'
Rock 'n Roll Heaven is bursting at the seams of its sequined jumpsuit, and standards for residency need to be established, and quickly. It is no secret that Neil Sedaka is turning sixty-five and could walk in at any time, sit down at the piano and start whining 'Come-a come-a down, dooby-doo, down, down' with that Gomer Pyle smirk on his face. Neither is Petula Clark getting any younger – the thought of the two of them alternating sets is not causing Peace in the Valley.
I could provide further details, but it is becoming impossible to concentrate. Jimi has begun the opening riff to 'Purple Haze,' David Seville is tinkering with an old reel-to-reel tape recorder, trying to recreate his famous Chipmunks sound, and Jim Morrison, Dennis Wilson and Elvis are arguing over whether it is more heart-wrenching to drown in a bathtub, a marina, or a pool of your own vomit.
Sir, something has to be done. I know it won't be easy, but if anyone is thinking of simply reviving the idea of special preferences for airplane crashes, I have two words of warning:
Okay okay, so who DO I like musically? Who do I listen to still? Now, see, I could fill a thousand pages with who I do like. So here goes:
Dream Theater (simply awesome) is one of my high-on-the-list of favorites, followed by bands such as AC/DC, Rush, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Scorpions, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Dio, Dokken and Queensryche, and solo artists like Pat Benatar and Janis Joplin. Still others that I musically like / still listen to include (alphabetically): Aerosmith, a-ha, A Flock Of Seagulls, Adam Ant, Alabama, Aldo Nova, Alice Cooper, Ashford & Simpson, B-52s, Bad Company, Badfinger, Bangles, Beastie Boys, Berlin, Boston, Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath, Blondie, David Bowie, Laura Branigan, Jackson Browne, the Cars, Harry Chapin, Charlie Daniels Band, Cinderella, the Clash, Cream, Jim Croce, the Cure, Morris Day, Deep Purple, Depeche Mode, Devo, Doors, Dr. Hook, Eagles, Earth, Wind & Fire, ELO, Roberta Flack, Fleetwood Mac, Foghat, Lita Ford, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Frankie Goes to Hollywood (they were funky-cool), Peter Gabriel, the Gap Band, Genesis, Georgia Satellites, Golden Earring, Grand Funk Railroad, Guess Who, Guns N' Roses, Heart, Jimi Hendrix, Hollies, Bruce Hornsby, Human League, Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Iron Butterfly, J. Geils Band, Jeff Healey Band, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Joan Jett, Eric Johnson, Howard Jones, Journey, Kajagoogoo (hides head), Kansas, Chaka Khan, Carole King, King Crimson, Kinks, Cyndi Lauper, Led Zeppelin, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Loverboy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, M (mmmm... Pop Muzik), Bob Marley, the Manhattan Transfer, Richard Marx, Michael McDonald, John Cougar Mellencamp, Men At Work, Midnight Oil, Mike and the Mechanics, Steve Miller Band, Moody Blues, Alannis Morriset, the Motels, Mötley Crüe, Willie Nelson (yes, I'm a Willie fan), Night Ranger, Nilsson, Ozzy, Robert Palmer, Peaches and Herb, Pink Floyd, the Pretenders, Prince (before he lost his name), Procol Harum, Quarterflash, Quiet Riot, Suzi Quatro, Queen, Eddie Rabbitt, Bonnie Raitt, Ramones, Ratt, R.E.M., REO Speedwagon, Rolling Stones, Mick Ronson, Linda Ronstadt, Todd Rundgren, Sade (she was just smooooooooooooooooooooooooooth), Santana, Bob Seeger, Sheila E. (Prince's best find!), Simply Red, Skid Row, Slade, Sly & the Family Stone, Smith, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Stray Cats, Styx, Survivor, T. Rex, Talking Heads, Tears For Fears, Temptations, Tesla, Three Dog Night, 'Til Tuesday, Tone-Loc, Toto, Tower of Power, the Tubes, Twisted Sister, Bonnie Tyler, U2, UB40, Vandenberg, Van Halen, Joe Walsh, Wang Chung, Warrant, Who, Winger, Kim Wilde, Yes, Frank Zappa, Warren Zevon, ZZ Top, …
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I know I missed a few … In the Garden of Eden … baby.