Musings from Pops

Musings from Pops … how about some Gimme Shelter

I’ve heard of the Eels but don’t have anything by them.  Will listen to your link as soon as I get my computer speakers running again.

On the way home from lunch I was listening to Gimme Shelter by the Stones.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned it but in case I haven’t, the verse sung by Merry Clayton (right out of the guitar solo) is to die for.  The way her voice cracks in two places……………………….orgasmic.  Speaking of Merry, if you haven’t seen a very, very good documentary called “Twenty Feet From Stardom” you need to .  Merry is in it along with many other unsung backup singers from the 60s (most notably Darlene Love who I understand just issued a solo album recently).  Very, very good movie about that aspect of the business.

Love you my man.  Oh, one more thing I love about music.  Yesterday I heard a song on the radio and immediately thought “that’s Humble Pie, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard it”.  Well no, onion breath, that’s the Faces (who I mostly missed back in the 60s until Rod Stewart joined them along with Ron Wood).  But I immediately knew why I made the mistake.  The late, great Steve Marriott was the leader and prime vocalist of both the original Faces and later, Humble Pie (with Peter Frampton), so, as usual, the vocals are the deciding sound.

Tell Lady Beth, Rumor and the little one (he/she, gay or straight) hello.   Love you.


Fire – I love this song

Speaking of Carl Palmer:  Check out “Fire” by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown;  pretty big hit in 1969 although Arthur was more of a weird novelty act.  Anyway that’s Carl on the drums right before he joined Emerson and Lake.  I believe Carl was also with a band called Atomic Rooster although after all these years I can’t say I’ve ever listened to a thing by them.  Greg Lake had a pretty good run with King Crimson (Robert Fripp’s band)  Fripp is a great guitarist and Lake’s vocal style is instantly recognizable.

Speaking of music, had a great time in Holdrege last night with Al Stewart and Dave Nachmanoff.  Two very good guitarists and of course, Stewart is a master lyricist.  Nice intimate setting with a lot of banter and explanation of song meanings.  Very, very nice.

Love you my main man and tell Lady Beth, Rumor and the little one hello.


The PERFECT song

I reserve the right to change my mind, but as of now, the PERFECT song of my lifetime is:

Carry On/Questions by CSNY, the opening track of their Deja Vu album.

Summer 1970, just back from Africa, not quite headed to Lincoln to go to college.

The center bridge harmonies:  “Carry on, love is coming, love is coming to us all” is the SOUND of Woodstock, free concerts in Golden Gate Park and all things hippie.

THEN, comes the bass line, the ethereal organ and lead guitar as we bridge between “Carry On” and “Questions”…….probably the most perfect instrumental interlude in rock history.

AAAHHHHHHH, I’m there Dude.

Love you and tell Lady Beth hell.


The power of music on our memory

I need to send these when I think of them so I make sure I remember them.

1. Good Times, Rolling Stones, on the Out of Our Heads album.  The song was originally done by the great Sam Cooke but, of course this Stones’ version was the first I ever heard in 1965 when this album came out.  I was 12 and you don’t get a more funky, mellow song than this.  Clearly the Stones started as lovers of American R& B and if I didn’t know that in 1965, I sure felt it.

2.. The power of music on our memory.   Paul McCartney issues the album RAM in May of 1971 which is his second solo album (most of us while listening are still hoping the Beatles aren’t serious about breaking up).  That same summer my mom is driving a dark green 1971 Olds 88 which, while not a Cadillac, is still a very luxurious car with great blue and green soft dash lights at night.  I can remember squiring your mother around the DC area that summer and borrowing Mom’s car was a real treat.  Anyhow, whenever I hear Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (as I did earlier this week), I am right back in that car in the summer of 1971.  It never ceases to amaze me how music does that.

3. A GREAT album that I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned:  Pictures At An Exhibition by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.  NOT the various live versions they’ve done but the actual album (which may actually have been live even though it sounds studio).  In any event, it’s something (like Tommy by the Who) that has to be listened to from start to finish (so set aside 40 minutes before you start listening).  Great, great musicianship, voice of Greg Lake, wonderful lyrics on the songs that HAVE lyrics and many, many mood and style changes as you go through it.

LOVE YOU and Lady Beth (and Rumor).   Stay safe and tell me what you think… LOVE YOU GUYS.


Music Part 2, May 18, 2015

Great, poignant song based on a true story:

“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot. If you’ve never heard it, just sit back, savor and listen to the lyrics take you to the stormy waves of Lake Superior. Having been to Chicago you know the Great Lakes are mini-oceans.

Love you my MAIN MAN.


Music, May 18, 2015

So on my way home for lunch today I got revved up by a song that used to open Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s concerts: “Hoedown”; when the last note plays if you aren’t fired up for the rest of the concert you may as well go home. Got me thinking what other opening numbers really stand out? I recalled seeing Grand Funk Railroad on October 28, 1971 at Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln (which BTW I think they recently tore down unless I dreamed it) and they opened with “Footstompin Music”………WOW, again you don’t calm down for days after they open with that.

Speaking of music, my I-Pod won’t synch up with I-tunes (first time I’ve tried since we messed around with it). Unless you can figure something out I may have to “restore I-Pod” (which I assume means erasing it) and then downloading everything all over again. No hurry though, I’m about 800 songs behind updating it so I haven’t felt the need for awhile and can wait (maybe even until you’re here).

Love you and tell Mommy, I mean, Lady Beth, hello.


Stephen Stills and Neil Young

OK, because I listened to the radio today………….

Imagine, Christmas, 1968 and another care package of music has arrived from my sister back in the good ole’ USA.

One of the albums is a compilation by ATCO called “Super Groups”. Two songs are by a band called “Buffalo Springfield”……………………..”Mr. Soul” and “Bluebird”, two of my favorite songs to this day because I played the shit out of everything my sister sent me in the wasteland. I had seen Buffalo Springfield on a TV show one time before I left the States and only remembered that one of the guitarists was wearing a white cowboy hat (Stephen Stills). I’ll be that cowboy guy is why there’s a banjo (banjo????? WTF?????) at the end of “Bluebird”. See, back then without the Internet we didn’t know who any of them were so imagine listening to those songs for the first time and not having any clue that “Mr. Soul” features Neil Young and “Bluebird” is the baby of Stephen Stills? It’s just damn good music (even with that banjo!)

And while checking out THAT good music, give a listen to the long version (19 minutes?) of “Get Ready” by Rare Earth.

Love you MY MAIN MAN…….say hi to Lady Beth.


The Beatles, and the “BIG BANG.”

Well, here it is, 50 (FIFTY!!!) years since February 9, 1964 (also a Sunday).

I was 10 years old, the country was still in the dark throes of the Kennedy assassination last Thanksgiving (dark and depressed in other words), Dad had just had his 45th birthday two days ago and I was in a 5th/6th grade split class at Layton Hall elementary school in Fairfax, Virginia. (Either they were the smart 5th graders or WE were the dumb 6th graders, I still don’t know).

Anyhow, all week long, CBS had been advertising that something called the “Beatles” would be on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday night. Now my family always watched the Ed Sullivan Show no matter who was on and then we’d watch “Bonanza” (on NBC) and I would go to bed. There were only 3 channels back then (CBS, NBC and the poor sister ABC) (Channels 9 WTOP, 4 WOR and 7 WMAL respectively in the Washington D.C. area). On Saturday night on ABC was another variety show we all watched called “Hollywood Palace” and on February 8, 1964 one of the guests was “The Beatles” which actually was Jim Henson’s crew before Sesame Street and anything called the Muppets with 4 “muppets” dressed up like the Beatles and doing, I presume a Beatles song” (think “Animal” of the the Muppets with dark hair and less of it (that would come later) but still WAAAAAYYYYY more than Mom and Dad were comfortable with). So having seen the “Beatles” on Saturday night, there was no great anticipation in the Jorgensen household for Sunday night (excited or fearful depending on whether you were the child or parents)……..what’s the big deal????? As you can tell even though I was 10 I had basically never heard music on the radio unless I was running around bothering my big sister and her dates and that brings me to my next point and probably the significance of all of this………..

What Steven Van Zandt calls the “BIG BANG” of Rock ’n Roll happened on the night of February 9. 1964. Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and others had opened the door and let us hear it………the Beatles KICKED IT wide open and changed the entire cultural world!!!!!!! Literally, overnight (certainly that week of February 10, 1964) everybody in my generation woke up. A girl named Nancy in my class came to school by the second day (I think it was the first) with a “Beatle” haircut……Dennis Gibson showed up that week with “Beatle” boots, a “Beatle” haircut and by that summer I remember walking a few block to his house listening to him (on guitar) and his band playing in his garage (yes, there is reality behind the term “garage band” because many, many of them started in their garages after February 1964). Over the next several months everyone I knew got a guitar (acoustic or electric), myself included,( although I didn’t learn very much on it), when I had never seen a guitar in person before then; and for me, personally, while I have a few snippets of memories before that night, it’s like I can remember every day after that night. I started following baseball that Spring of 1964 (and you know how that has been), I bought my first record album (I’m sure by the next afternoon), “Meet the Beatles” followed by “The Beatles Second Album” a few weeks later (purchased at Kroger’s at Kamp Washington shopping center) (and you know how the record albums, CDs have gone), started listening to music on the radio, etc, etc, my own personal “BIG BANG”. OMG from the opening notes it was absolute magic sitting on the black and white tiled floor of our basement watching the Ed Sullivan Show with Mom and Dad. If you had asked me then, I probably would have bet that I wouldn’t be there on the 50th anniversary cause I would be 60 and Mom and Dad aren’t even 60 now…….that’s REAL old!!! I love remembering it though, and talking about it because Mom and Dad are still in that world.

Well, I could probably go on and on (some or all of you probably think I already have) but if you want a taste of what I’m talking about be sure and watch CBS tonight as they have a 50th anniversary special about that night. If you want to “kind of” feel what I do look on U-Tube for Tom Hanks’ (he’s almost exactly my age) introduction of the Dave Clark Five (the next British band on Ed Sullivan during the British invasion) to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago, he said what I would have said exactly if I was famous.

Love you all, please watch and I hope you enjoy. That combination of factors and societal events will never happen again………sort of like the “BIG BANG” which started all of this.