sixty four

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I got Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for Christmas in 1967 and listened to it for the first time in my room with the door closed. I was blown away with the creativity of the 1960s’ greatest band, probably the most creative force in rock and roll history.

In those days 1984 was in the far distant future, an awful time when televisions that never turned off would monitor our every word and action, and government agencies would be hard at work rewriting history for people with attention spans so short they believed whatever it was the agencies wanted them to believe.

In those days 2001 was almost unimaginable except for a very weirdly wonderful movie that would be released the next spring.

In those days today was so very, very far away, and I was younger than you are today, unless you’re younger than 14.

And now, here is that day that seemed so distant, here is the birthday they sang about.

And now, I wonder …

Will you still need me,

Will you still feed me,

now?

+ + + + +

What do you need from me, anyway? I have put food on the table for 40-odd years by telling you about what’s happening around us – literally, as a news guy, figuratively, as a commentator and an author and once upon a time as a hobbyist singer-songwriter.

What do you need from me now?

Really. I’m asking.

Find the comment section below and fire away.

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Every one of us has all we need

a-life-of-ease

As you may suspect if you are aware of my life circumstances (and I have not kept it secret), there are moments when I feel a tad out of my comfort zone. I felt one of those moments coming on as I walked out into an unusually not-cold morning.

I poked a button or two to call up some random music, and as often happens, the very first words I heard were what I needed to hear.

Every one of us has all we need:

Sky of blue, sea of green …

Never mind the next line (and if you are not familiar with the song, all the better). This is wisdom. When life tosses you a curve ball, remember that you have been equipped with all you need to knock it out of the park.

You have all you need. Take inventory, decide what you want to do, and go do it.

It really is that simple: Every one of us has all we need.

10 albums that left a lasting impact on teen w.p.

There is a thing going around Facebook: List 10 albums that made a lasting impression on you as a teenager but only one per band/artist. Don’t take too long and don’t think too hard.

OK, I can do that, although I almost forgot I was still a teenager the first year and a half of college; otherwise I was drawing a blank. Probably thinking too hard.

In the order they occurred to me, not a ranking:

1. Sgt. Pepper – Beatles
2. Ladies of the Canyon – Joni Mitchell
3. On the Threshold of a Dream – Moody Blues
4. Bayou Country – Creedence Clearwater Revival
5. Lazarus – Lazarus
6. Cellophane Symphony – Tommy James & the Shondells
7. Headquarters – The Monkees
8. Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
9. Judee Sill – Judee Sill
10. Kongos – John Kongos

And of all those albums, the track that started buzzing through my head as I compiled the list was this one. I bought the album based solely on the radio play of “Proud Mary” at that moment in time plus a magazine article I’d read with John Fogerty describing their musical mission. By the end of this first track I was a diehard fan.

I should go through the list and do a post on some of those more obscure titles. Got any favorites from your own teenage years?

Tom Petty: To Find a Friend


I was listening to the Wildflowers album by Tom Petty back in the 1990s when, of course, I first heard this song.

A random thought occurred to me: If The Beatles were still together, this is the kind of song they would be playing. I had no idea why I had that thought.

I glanced at the liner notes and looked over the personnel for the recording of this song.

Drums: Ringo Starr.

Huh.

I guess drummers do have their own recognizable style, which I heard without knowing. That is my only explanation for the random thought.