Thursday, January 19, 2017

Inauguration Frustration

In a little over 24 hours from when I signed, sealed and delivered this post to the GBS (Great Blog Machine), we're going to have a new head honcho here in America (gee ... didn't you hear the news??  Well, now you know, anyway ...).

Actually, from all the bickering and cat-clawing going on in Washington and beyond, this whole election has been more of a comedy than anything else.  I mean, we'd probably just as well have had Archie Bunker and Rosanne in place of Trump and Clinton.
Nonetheless, Donald Trump will become the next POTUS, and we need to accept that.
But ... but what does that mean for us, pray tell?  Are we gonna see everything collapse at our feet (or defeat on our laps)?

Naaaah ...

You see, this country is made up of you and me (oh ... and 310,999,998 other folks just like us) and, just as we've done under all the other POTUSES (or should that be POTII?) we've had, we'll continue to live, work and enjoy life.

Here's how it works: what the cable news conglomerates feed us is news that's gussied up and sensationalized to keep us glued to their programs.  When we do that, then they get better Nielsen numbers which, in turn, means more ad revenue (layman's terms: MONEY!).
In reality, before anything can really reach and affect us, the D.C. decisions have to be picked through like a ripe pecan by various bigwigs on and off the Congressional screen.  Then it goes through Congress and their yea/naysayers,
By that time, any huge tidal wave of trouble has been reduced to nothing more than a big drip.

Or should I say "by big drips"?  But we'll cover Congress some other time ...

So don't worry about the new President and all the hubbub surrounding his election.  We'll make it! We always have.  You see, we're survivors ...

because we're Americans!!



Monday, January 16, 2017

Adding New Material and ...

A NEW LOOK:  

Actually, gang, I've let the Mouse House fall into a little, er, disrepair for awhile, so I put on the old thinking cap (anything to cover up this baldness ...) and decided to add a few perks to the blog:
First, you'll be seeing things like:

THIS DAY IN ROCK:   January 15, 1969: Wanna know why The Beatles never performed again?
Well, on the 15th, George Harrison said he was quitting the band ... and didn't show up for their recording sessions for almost four days. Of course, John, Paul and Ringo pleaded with him to come back.

He finally agreed, provided ...
they give up on the idea of doing any more live performing ..

and move the filming of Let It Be to the band's new Apple studios!

ON JANUARY 16, 1988,
George saw his hit (Got My Mind) Set On You, reach the #1 position on the Billboard charts. The video also starred a stuffed squirrel, chainsaw, stag head and warthog, as well as George who sang and played guitar to the break, then gently put his instrument down, did a back flip and busted some serious dance moves (all done by a stunt double, of course)!

EXACTLY EIGHT YEARS LATER, we nearly lost two legends, when Jamaican authorities opened fire on a seaplane carrying Jimmy Buffett and U2's Bono! They mistook it for a drug trafficker's plane. Island Records producer Chris Blackwell was also on-board. Fortunately for all of us (especially the plane's passengers!), the Jamaicans missed ,and nobody was hurt.

AND ON THE SAME DAY TWO YEARS AGO:  (also qualifies as "Weird News"?) A woman had filed suit against Rick Springfield, claiming that (now, get this!!) his butt caused her lasting injuries when he fell on her during a concert over ten years earlier!  Well, the jury ruled against her - and it took only an hour for them to make that decision (and I'll bet it only took that long because they had to stop laughing ..)



Anyway, that's one part of the new material you'll be reading here.  Along with the anniversary memories, I'll be including some interesting rock music facts and other material coming up in new posts, as well as special reruns from the Chief himself, Lloyd Thaxton.

So stay tuned ...




Monday, December 26, 2016

In Lennon's Own Words ....

NOTE: While everybody's still recovering from Christmas (and I've been bogged down in other work), I thought I'd replay this "golden oldie" about how the Fab Four actually became the most celebrated band in the universe.  And who better to tell it than John Lennon himself?:

(In other words, here's the story of the rise of The Beatles, as actually written by John Lennon many years ago):

"And so it was that the John (he of Lennon ancestry) wrote upon the magic tablets of FatBoy the storied story of Beatledom (as was told by him):"

"Once upon a time there were three little boys called John, George and Paul, by name christened. They decided to get together because they were the getting together type. When they were together they wondered what for after all, what for? So all of a sudden they grew guitars and fashioned a noise.
Funnily enough, no one was interested, least of all the three little men.
So-o-o-o on discovering a fourth little even littler man called Stuart Sutcliffe running about them they said, quite 'Sonny get a bass guitar and you will be alright' and he did - but he wasn't alright because he couldn't play it. So they sat on him with comfort 'til he could play. Still there was no beat, and a kindly old man said, quote 'Thou hast not drums!' We had no drums! they coffed. So a series of drums came and went and came.

Suddenly, in Scotland, touring with Johnny Gentle, the group (called the Beatles called) discovered they had not a very nice sound - because they had no amplifiers. They got some.

Many people ask what are Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles, how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision - a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them 'From this day on you are Beatles with an 'A'. Thank you, mister man, they said, thanking him.

And then a man with a beard cut off said - will you go to Germany (Hamburg) and play mighty rock for the peasants for money? And we said we would play mighty anything for money.


But before we could go we had to grow a drummer, so we grew one in West Derby in a club called Some Casbah and his trouble was Pete Best. we called 'Hello Pete, come off to Germany!' 'Yes!' Zooooom. After a few months, Peter and Paul (who is called McArtrey, son of Jim McArtrey, his father) lit a Kino (cinema) and the German police said 'Bad Beatles, you must go home and light your English cinemas'.
Zooooom, half a group. But before even this, the Gestapo had taken my friend little George Harrison (of speke) away because he was only twelve and too young to vote in Germany; but after two months in England he grew eighteen and the Gestapoes said 'you can come'.
So suddenly all back in Liverpool Village were many groups playing in grey suits and Jim said 'Why have you no grey suits?' 'We don't like them, Jim' we said, speaking to Jim.

After playing in the clubs a bit, everyone said 'Go to Germany!' So we are. Zooooom Stuart gone. Zoom zoom John (of Woolton) George (of Speke) Peter and Paul zoom zoom. All of them gone. Thank you club members, from John anf George (what are friends)."


Gee ... does anybody have an idea of what happened next??

Actually, what we're lookin' at, yardbirds, is exactly what real rock 'n roll (y'know, just for once, I'd like to hear Elmer Fudd say those words!) is all about: ENTHUSIASM! Ya can't imagine John sittin' back in some fancy, cushioned chair, pipe in hand and a cuppa Earl Grey beside him, pondering "What shall I include to properly convey the evolution of blahblahblah?"

Nope. John Lennon (he who gave up WInstons for another brand. Should I speak of what is was? OOOONo!) just had fun with it ... energized it ... made it interesting. Those traits, combined with the musical ones I've given over the past few posts and John's bit of "history" above, came together, right then, over him, to form the greatest band the world has ever known:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lessons Learned from Lennon

It's sad, really ...

I just heard a reporter say, "It only took a few shots from a madman's gun to destroy the dream of John Lennon".

Is he kidding??

Look ... while we all remember that fateful Monday night in December, 1980, we also realize that, though Chapman killed the man who was Legend, he completely missed the legacy ... one that lives on to this day. And lessons that we learned thanks to Lennon's short life:

From the Fab Four's pre-fame days, we learned the value of perseverance -- don't give up on your dream, your goal -- ever! Oh, you might have to tweak them a little to get what you want, but, if it's an honorable goal, don't give up!

From his days as a Beatle, we learned to make our own kind of music. Okay, maybe it doesn't sit well with some hard-nosers -- but, if it's honorable, if it makes a point -- and if it's you, go ahead and play it, no matter what you do in life.
We've learned to develop a sense of impish humor. After all, it is LIFE we live -- so show it. I don't know of anyone who was harmed by Lennon's wit ...

He also showed us to be honest, even if it costs you a little. He said (and rightly at the time) that The Beatles were "more popular than Christ", and society bristled. Beatle bonfires were everywhere -- and even a faux assassination "prank" occurred during their show in Memphis, Tenn. in 1966. But, as we all know, John recovered from that (as did Paul, George and Ringo) and created a new and exciting chapter in rock music with the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club album. They only became greater ...

While he had his troubles in the Seventies, he also taught us to speak up -- become an activist for change! Sure, he got Nixon's attention -- but he also inspired young people from around the world to stand up and be counted -- and not back down!

He taught us about the importance of dads being as involved in raising their children as the moms are (his five years as "househusband" to help raise Sean); how to finally beat an addiction (preferring -- behind Yoko's back, he would jest -- chocolate to cocaine); and how to change for, reconcile with and truly love your spouse!

John was truly a "Working Class Hero" -- an Everyman who'd made his mark on the world with fame given by millions of fans, and paid them back with the ultimate compliment -- by becoming one of them rather than another untouchable celebrity darling ...



Thursday, November 24, 2016

HAPPY EVERYBODY, THANKSGIVING ... or something ...

Had a little trouble getting to this blog's edit page, so everything's running just a little behind. But, since it's Thanksgiving and just now was able to get onboard again, I just wanted to share this with you. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYBODY!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It's Gotta Be Said ...


Well, looks like someone’s finally decided to study it:

According to a recent research by extra-marital dating site IllicitEncounters.co.uk (geez … they’ll have anything on this internet these days!) sex and rock’n’roll really do go hand in hand.

Basically, it says that rock fans are more likely to … er, “step out” on their partners (somehow, I’m faintly hearin’ the strains of Paul Revere and the Raiders’ Steppin’ Out ...). A poll of their 310,000-strong membership showed that 37% of their male and female, er, philanderers called rock their favorite genre of music.

In comparison, 20% of them dig pop and R&B,
19% favor dance music (how could you if Lawrence Welk is runnin’ through yer mind?  You’d be asleep before ya even tried …) and
17% are fans of blues and jazz.

And (get this!) three percent said their favorite was … Christian or Gospel music!

“This shouldn’t come as a surprise, really.” says site representative Sarah Hartley. “Rock music has been associated with sex since the 50s. Lots of prominent rock stars - Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry - oozed sex appeal.

“Many of our members in in their late 30s/early 40s, so would have grown up listening to pioneering bands like Aerosmith, Blondie, AC/DC and Fleetwood Mac. This may explain why so many of them are rock music fans.” (obviously, she was a child of the '70s)

Suuuuuuuure … blame it on the music, why dontcha?
Anyone ever hear of that little word "hormones?" 
Hey … get some married dudes with money in a dimly-lit bar late at night, half-crocked, with some very well-endowed young floosies who are equally drunk, and it wouldn’t matter if they were listenin’ to cats throwin' up hairballs — someone’s gonna end up … er, wellll … you know the answer …

Now, since this research was done, there's been a new format introduced to listeners (though I hesitate to call it "music").  Filled with autotunes and synthesizers to enhance the voice or fake an instrument, and with "sampling" to make the whole recording process cheaper and quicker, this "techno" nonsense is about as legit as Ben Franklin's pic on a one-dollar bill.  It's still just worth pennies.

Enhanced presentation.  Fake parts.  Cheaper and quicker.
Sounds like those "young floosies" I mentioned ...
Wonder what kind of music they listen to?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Baby-Boomer Blamin'

EDITOR'S NOTE: We'll return to SOUND EFFECTS - the true history of rock in the next post. For now, let's take a breather and do some ciphering:

Didja read in the USA Today™ where some of the other generations -- fore and aft -- are blaming the "baby boomers" (aka "us") for the problems we're having in the world??

According to a recent Gallup Poll of 1,011 adults who were reached by phone (I ask you: have you ever been contacted by these number-crunchers? Thought so. Neither have I ...), 39% say we've made things worse for our kids; 37% say we're "selfish" and 41% say we're too idealistic.

But, wait a minute: Isn't that the same as saying a Yugo (remember those? The cars that shoulda been called Itmightgo? The ones who come with replacement hamsters for the motor?) failed because "after all, it's a ... (nose stuck up in the air) CAAAAAR!!"?

Let's take a closer look at the stats, okay?:

Ummm ... didja notice that this graph came from the same source as the article that dissed us?? And, somehow, it seems the graph reflects the positive we've accomplished!

Gee ... for a generation that witnessed the assassinations of JFK, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., caused the political unrest that changed a country's thought-processes, saw men walk on the moon, risked the draft into the Vietnam War, fought in the War as well as fought against it in anti-war protests, brought civil, environmental, women's, youth voting and other rights to the forefront, saw President Nixon's resignation, went to Woodstock and similar music festivals, rocked to the sounds that changed music history, from The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, I think, all-in-all, we've done pretty good, Mousers. So hold your heads up proudly and ...

stay tuned ...