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"love feels good when it sits right down
puts it feet up on a table
and sends a bowl around
ain't nobody gonna see eye to eye
with a girl who's only gonna stand collarbone high
rain's gonna come in fair-sized drips
we're gonna go to heaven wearing paper hat ships..."

"Rollerskate Skinny" - Old 97's

My first rock'n'roll memory dates back to my days as a five or six year old, stuck at a train crossing, my father blasting the radion as it played "Hey Jude," swaying his head side-to-side and yelling, at the top of his lungs, "na, na, na, na na na na, na, na, na."

Of course there was immediate concern he'd damaged me, my Nana's exalted one, with this display of vulgarity; my virgin ears and all, and anyway, my dad could do no right with my Nana at point, hell, he could have shit out a bowl full of fifty-ounce gold nuggets for the family to spend as they pleased and she woulda complained that they didn't smell good enough.

But of course I survived, forty years later my ears still seem to work fine, but then again, maybe that's where I got fucked up good and proper, once and for all.

Dear Old Dad tried to do the right thing, not much longer than the Hey Jude episode. He got into - gasp with me - classical music by about 1975 or so.

Soon enough, rock'n'roll was nowhere to be found in the family sedan (a light green Ford Fairlane, for the record). Not that there was very much rock'n'roll to be found on the radio back then; there were the stations playing the bland shit that passed as rock back then, and there was a station or two playing top-40, which I absolutely loved, in secret of course. I would have died to save the lives of the Bee-Gees at that point,

Anyway, Dad may have had no compunction about smoking Garcia Y Vega cigars for hours on end with only his window open a crack, but goddamit, he wasn't gonna raise no rock'n'roll Philistines. We'd all drive around, choking on cigar smoke and getting all edju-ma-cated on the smooth sounds on WMHT-FM, 89.1 on your FM dial.

&&&

He and my mom took me and one of my sisters on up to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center one mid-70's August night to see the Philadelphia Orchesta. My Dad was a smart guy, he had a Ph.D. and all, and we all sort of took out cues from him; if he thought it was good, we thought it was good, and if he thought it was stupid, we all thought it was stupid.

So we went up there and sat under the summer sky and watched the Philly masters tear it up, as it were. It sounded OK, it was fun, I mean, it was a warm summer's night and we'd gotten to escape the projects for a few hours to listen to some music, so I felt good about life.

On our way out we ran into the local high school principal and his wife and their daughter, and we all got to discussing the show.

For some reason, I guess because as like a nine-year old or so I felt a deep-seated need to say whatever the fuck came into my head, I said something like, yeah, well, it was good but I still would rather see Fleetwood Mac.

Well, in certain spots of the SPAC lawn area I swear you can feel the cold chill that broke out between us after I said that.

The principal's daughter protested, saying that a rcok band could not withstand a power outtage. She really thought she had me, and I suppose she did, but, never one to quit when I was behind, I dug in my heels and launched into a full-throated defense of my preferences, saying that Fleetwood Mac was perfectly capaable of laying down a set using only acoustic instruments.

My folks clearly wanted me to shut the fuck up, and so did the principal, his wife, and his daughter. But I felt backed into a corner; I knew rock'n'roll mattered more than the scribblings of a bunch of old dead European guys, and hey hey, my my, I was gonna let everyone know my ten-year old ass was right.

&&&

I switched schools after seventh grade, and musically, at first at least, that was as bad as the conversation with the principal's daughter. I came in thinking Donna Summer was the shit, and my new classmates thought she was some sort of bad joke. They didn't wanna hear about no hot, hot, hot love, they wanted to hear about what the Classic Rockers of the day had to say; Roger Waters was regarded as a profit and the fine folks of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and Bad Company were seen as some sort of geniuses, as assinine as that latter thought sounds to sensible folks of modern times.

I tried, I did, to like what everyone else did, yeah, baby, ELP and Zep, rock on. But secretly, I fucking hated it. Brain Salad Surgery, are you fucking kidding me?

I felt lost, I knew I had to leave Top-40 and disco behind, I mean, shit, they were burning disco records in baseball stadiums at that point, but I figured, secretly of course, that they could take their classic, or progressive, or whatever they called it, up their collective assholes.

&&&

At some point in the middle of my high school years, a guy I looked up to, he was tough and a good athlete and all that, was carrying around a cassette tape, shit, remember cassettes, anyways, on one side it had the Pretenders and on the other it had the Clash, and timidly, I asked him if I could borrow his tape. I'd heard "Brass in Pocket" and "Train in Vain" at this point, but nothing else from either band.

"Don't break it," was his answer. "And give it back to me in a couple of days."

And then I went home and put the tape in, and I played the Pretenders first, and that was one thing, it rocked my world, but at some point a day or two later I put the Clash side on, and that just blew my fucking teen-aged mind. I couldn't believe my ears. This was what I had been waiting for since that night on the lawn arguing with the principal's daughter. This was the Promised Land. "White Riot." "White Man in Hammersmith Palais." "London Calling." I remember asking my Dad what he thought of their political comment, and he sneered at me, "WHAT political comment," and though I knew he was smarter and more educated than me, I also knew he was wrong: I knew he had failed to see the point, and more importantly, I knew there was a point, and one that mattered. And there's nothing quite like knowing you know something your dad doesn't, is there?

&&&

In college, for awhile, I had a foot in both camps: I had a friend who was a diehard Springsteen fan, and another who worshipped at altar of Mark Knopler and Dire Straits, and I listened to both artists feverishly, but I also felt myself slipping into something else, something in those days we called, sometimes, "college radio" stuff. The Cure enticed me, the Smiths enthralled me: shit, what could sound better to a mucho sensitive college boy that the sounds of violins and a froggy, high-pitched voice singing, "if a ten-tonne truck, kills the both of us, to die by your side, what a heavenly way to die?"

By the late '80's I had veritably drowned in what by then was known as the "alternative" scene. I had developed especially strong hankerings for, besides the Smiths, the Replacements, the Feelies, the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Mekons, Billy Bragg, and, especially, the Waterboys.

By that time, I had developed enough self-awareness to start contemplating what my musical tastes said about me. I knew my music was a mere lifestyle choice, and that I was a good little consumer, just like everone else: only diff was I was buying shit less people bought. I knew I wasn't undermining a fucking thing, no matter how much the lyrics I listened to tried to convince me otherwise.

&&&

And now, here we are, all these years later.

I got some hard-earned, according to me, at least, wisdom. Not too many people my gen, my age, have buried - literally - a wife, as I have.

And I still need my tunes, and tonight it's something I couldn't have even imagined twenty years ago, tonight it's the Old 97's, I'm a little hurt, the hole in my heart is acting up tonight, and I need some tunes, and I got some headphones on, and there's a guitar solo screaming off in the distance, and it sounds good, real good, and, sorry, dad, I just started "Rollerskate Skinny" for the eighieth time tonight, and it's giving me something that all the classical in the world couldn't give me. I don't know what that says about me, Dad, but it is what it is: only rock'n'roll's gonna save me tonight, and I'm gonna go get another glass of wine and let the rock'n'roll music save me.

Originally posted to PapaChach on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:24 PM PST.

Also republished by An Ear for Music, Community Spotlight, and Protest Music.

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Comment Preferences

  •  change the name (8+ / 0-)

    and this one resonated:

    Krista was a rover
    from Canada she hailed
    We crossed swords in San Francisco
    We both lived to tell the tale
    I don't know now where she is
    Oh, but if I had her here
    I'd give her my love
    and a bang on the ear

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:52:47 PM PST

    •  bang on the ear (4+ / 0-)

      one of my fave songs ever, if forced to make a top ten songs of all time that would be at least under serious discussion for inclusion...and the waterboys (who, ironically, i got my dad into a couple of years back!) also ultimately gave us world party as well.

      •  World Party (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hazey

        Greatest unknown band ever!

        •  I had their first album on cassette (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PapaChach, hazey, KenBee

          Did they have any others.  Thought ship of fools was a great tune...  Can't remember anything else.

          I saw the water it's live in the late 80s in Texas with a girl who who got me deep into the pogues.

          Fishermens blues is a desert island tune for me

          A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

          by No Exit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:13:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh yes (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PapaChach, hazey, KenBee

            Their second album, Goodbye Jumbo is really a pop masterpiece, IMHO. The follow-up, Bang! was pretty good also. The founder and pretty much sole member of the band, Karl Wallinger, had some health problems, but I understand he's back playing again. He's a great pop songwriter, very influenced by 60's and 70's stuff.

            •  goodbye jumbo (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ctami, hazey, KenBee

              also tremendous.  i could write a whole diary about listening to it in my old apartment the first time my eventual wife-to-be came to visit from england in april of 1993. years later, in 2006,  not much more than a year before she died, we saw them play  in a park at a music festival in troy ny, lauren approached a guy in the band, told him "sweet soul dream" was our wedding song, and asked them to play it. they did.

          •  fisherman's blues (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ctami, hazey, KenBee

            tremendous song from a tremendous album. one of the few i ever bought on both lp and cd. loved it in the late '80's, rediscovered it in early 2000's. after my 1st wife died (late 2007), used to sit in the living room with the three kids (who were about 1 1/2 yrs, 3 years, and 8 years at the time) and my mom and dad, who, to go sidebar for a sec, came through for me in that time of my life beyond any words i could muster...anyway, we'd listen to fisherman's blue a lot then and when "when will be married" would come on the kids would do their versions of jigs there in the living room...a small bright spot in a very, very dark time...

  •  i love this (6+ / 0-)

    hey jude's among my earliest musical recollections too. the 'rents had crosby stills and nash among the LPs too. plus a shit ton of herb alpert & the tijuana brass and neil diamond. oh! 5th dimension too.

    really a lovely read. i'm highly likely to re-visit it tomorrow with far fresher eyes. music holds deep sway with me. absolutely among my very top favorite things to think or talk about. this is a very thoughtful, very touching piece. lands in a good spot here in oakland.

    really -- well done. many thanks for it.

    "i hear you're mad about brubeck ... i like your eyes. i like him too." -donald fagen

    by homo neurotic on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:12:12 AM PST

  •  The beat goes on. (5+ / 0-)

    Kids still have a passion for it.  Sadly, I'm old enough to remember seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.  I wasn't all that impressed.  But, when Abbey Road came out a few years later I knew rock'n'roll was here to stay.  These days I prefer all the '90s alt stuff.  Throw in a bit of Tool and NIN, some Godsmack, a sprinkle of Annie Lennox, The Cranberries, Sinead.  Just a ton of great talent and great tuneage out there today!  The beat goes on.

  •  "Comfort music" Just like we have (6+ / 0-)

    comfort food. I'm older, so for me it's Dylan, and Neil Young and Van Morrison. My youngest child, in her late 20's, favors heavy metal, and it has occurred to me that this is what she will want to listen to when she is old, which seems strange, somehow...

    PapaChach, it's always good to read something from you, melancholy has no age barrier. Wishing you and your family the very best.

    •  thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeathDlr73, hazey, nellgwen

      still into neil young myself, and think st. dominic's previews is amazing - almost independence day, the album's closer, moves me beyond words no matter how often i hear it.

      •  Astral weeks is my fave... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hazey, SherwoodB, KenBee

        Followed closely by tb sheets

        A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

        by No Exit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:45:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I tried to reply to PapaChach's comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee, PapaChach

          yesterday, but it kept getting muddled.  I wanted to say, I listen to "new" stuff too and how it's easier to explore different musical genres now, freed from the radio.

          And his remark about alt country and Wilco made me think about Son Volt and a need to change my playlist.

          But mostly I was thinking about St. Dominic's Preview and Astral Weeks and wishing I had my old albums back.  I'm not a purist so it must be nostalgia...

          •  Have you listened to neutral milk hotel (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, PapaChach, hazey

            in the aeroplane over the sea.  Amazing.

            Every now and then I'll kill several hours on YouTube listening to new stuff old stuff and scratching the itch of nostalgia.

            A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

            by No Exit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:17:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks, I'd never heard of them! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PapaChach, No Exit

              I like how, except for the "recommended for you" videos based on my recent listening patterns (Joe Bonamassa/Beth Hart) and one Avett Brothers cover of In the aeroplane over the sea, it's all Neutral Milk Hotel songs, like they can't classify it with anything else.

              I also have spent too much time on YouTube doing the new stuff old stuff thing, especially when there's real world, off the internet stuff I'm trying to avoid.  Not always a good habit...

            •  oh my (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              No Exit, hazey

              aeroplane over the sea.

              truly, one of the very best albums ever made. i went through a couple of periods in my life where i listened to it daily, sometimes multiple times a day, for months on end.

              "she will feed you
              tomatoes
              and radio wire..." - that last song on the album KILLS me...

              ooof. may have to bust it out tonight.

  •  First album was "Diver Down" by Van Halen (6+ / 0-)

    Ok, so I'm younger. I cranked that sucker on a Fisher Price phonograph. To this day, "Secrets" still brings memories of my first real girlfriend; ironically, the only cure is to hear the song to feel better.

    Now with a 2 year old, I have make sure he knows the old and new stuff...and try to avoid rap.

    Peace and condolences.

    "I am not just a strange dude; I am a SUPER strange dude!" - Super Grover 2.0

    by DeathDlr73 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:43:58 AM PST

    •  There's some rap I like (like some of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeathDlr73, nellgwen

      original early stuff) but it (along with MTV) has destroyed rock n roll. No sooner had we gotten rid of disco and the pretentious dance beats, along comes rap to control the airwaves for the next 30 years. It would be one thing if it had evolved into something fresh and new but is it really any different than 1985? Maybe I'm getting too old but I kind of miss the days when bands had, like, actual drummers and guitar players...

      There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.

      by frankzappatista on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:20:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  my very first album (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeathDlr73, hazey, HeyMikey, nellgwen

      hotel california. played the thing til it warped.

      i went through a vh stage early in high school..."ain't talkin' bout love...my love is rotten to the core..." - loved the riff on that one...

      •  My best friend brought her (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, PapaChach, hazey

        Hotel California album over to my house the day she bought it and said, "Listen to this, this is so good it sounds just like Hendrix."
           Her boyfriend and I exchanged glances and scratched our heads and said, "No it doesn't. It's very good but it doesn't sound like Hendrix."
           But to her credit The Eagles were at one time touring with Jethro Tull and as you do if you are in that position you absorb the sounds that surround you so the riff from Hotel California came straight from a Jethro Tull's We Used to Know, from Stand Up.
           Or some people may say the riffs are eerily similar.
           Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
           As in, after this therefore because of this.

            Also as the case with Spirit's Taurus and Stairway To Heaven.
            Also as in Stairway To Heaven and Eric Clapton's Let It Grow from 461 Ocean Boulevard.

           It's all on the sub-conscience level in my opinion.

            But to your credit Fleetwood Mac started out their life as a sort of an English blues influenced band. There is a rare album called Fleetwood Mac in Chicago where they record blues jams at the Chess studio in 1969.
            That album was the Peter Green era. Everything they did had that bluesy feel.
             After Peter Green left they branched out in a different way with Bob Welch and Christine McVie.
             One of the best songs from that time was Hypnotized from Mystery To Me.

            It's the same kind of story
            that seems to come
            down from long ago
            Two friends having coffee together
            when something flies
            by their window
            It might be out on that lawn
            Which is wide, at least
            half of a playing field
            Because there's no explaining
            what your imagination
            can make you see and feel

            Seems like a dream
            Got me hypnotized...

            It's a great diary. Feel free to expand more go more in depth with your memories.
            It reminds me of a diary I wrote about Led Zeppelin.

        "Too much. There's too much fucking perspective now." David St. Hubbins

        by nellgwen on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 10:53:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  still discovering how great Peter Green was (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PapaChach, nellgwen, hazey

          then, and seems to be still playing well.

              stuff I thought was Beck or Clapton or or or..finally get the youtube's that sometimes inform me more than the dam album I couldn't even find to buy..grrr, yay!

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:25:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary.. (7+ / 0-)

    My first memories of top 40 radio was when they actually played some good stuff.  Beatles, Stones, Stevie Wonder, Kinks, etc.

    I moved on from there to the 70s rock bands like Zep, Aerosmith, Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rush, etc.  I'm older now, but I still love my 70s and 80s rock bands.

    "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around..."

    by cgvjelly on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 09:59:50 AM PST

  •  Heh (6+ / 0-)
    yeah, well, it was good but I still would rather see Fleetwood Mac.
    Fleetwood Mac rocked my world when I was a kid. How could anything so mellow be so cool? For my money Lindsey Buckingham is the most underrated guitarist out there. But wow they had a lot of great guitarists in that band didn't they? Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, and Bob Welch is another underrated gem.

    One of my favorite memories when I was a kid was sneaking off with one of my buddies to watch "hippie softball" in the mid seventies. There was always this van backed up to the backstop cranking Fleetwood Mac, the vibes were awesome.

    There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.

    by frankzappatista on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:09:09 AM PST

  •  Separated at birth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PapaChach, hazey, milkbone

    Will you be my best friend? ;)

    Great diary. Thanks for sharing. Change a few details...and it's my diary too!

    Got my own musical education squatting in the hall in the mid-70s outside my brothers' bedroom as they cranked their punk import LPs that all their friends said were stupid. I knew different first time I heard Johnny Rotten snarl. Nothing would ever be the same again after that.

    I remember a few years after falling in love with The Clash, laying on my bed and hearing The Minutemen's "History Lesson - Part II" on the radio. And starting to cry, because I knew that at least a couple people in the world understood.

    "Punk rock changed our lives."

    And The Clash were my first "punk" band too, on a C90 my brother made for me, Television on the flipside.

    Thanks for the mention of the Mekons and The Feelies. Just good to know someone else loves 'em too. They are the glue at the heart of my marriage; my wife and I fell in love to the songs of the Mekons, The Feelies, Alex Chilton, Jonathan Richman, Husker Du, Robyn Hitchcock, Tiny Lights...and other wonderful artists.

    Rock on,

    J. aka gomonkeygo

  •  Got tickets for the Old 97s (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PapaChach, wozzlecat, hazey

    opening for the Drive-by Truckers a couple of nights before my birthday. That album (Satellite Rides) has a bunch of all-time classic songs.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:55:53 AM PST

  •  agree with 90%! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PapaChach, hazey, No Exit, nellgwen

    not a Smiths fan, though.

    And I prefer the middle Fleetwod Mac era. Otherwise, yeah.

    I've seen enough politics to realize it's all a fraud. There's more truth in music than there'll ever be in politics.

    •  Recc'd for the point about more truth in music (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shahryar, PapaChach, hazey

      But you should give the smiths another chance.  Have you listened to louder than bombs?

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:50:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Still love it . . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PapaChach, hazey, Shahryar, rocksout, BusyinCA

    At 58, my perspective is a bit different, but I have come to the same conclusion, I think.

    I started with the Beatles and Stones, but quickly moved on to deeper stuff - like The Band, Traffic, Hendrix, The Who, etc.  I have often opined that the 60's were so good that they continued for some distance into the 70's.  (I will admit to preferring early Fleetwood Mac to the Buckingham/Nicks version - check out their Black Magic Woman, before Santana did his, or Oh Well or Albatross to understand.)  Managed to see Pink Floyd back when Meddle was released and was able to see Springsteen from about 5 feet away - for $1 (and kind of by accident) - soon after the release of the Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.  Maybe college in Austin cemented the music thing?

    I wasn't enamored of disco - it seemed that the producers (like Georgio Moroder) had taken over from musicianship and passion.  So I was happy when the 70's music ended early and bands like the Ramones, Television, Blondie, Talking Heads, the Pretenders, Tom Petty and the Clash (long live Joe Strummer! - at least in memory) appeared.

    While rap and hip-hop haven't really caught my fancy (though some chill or drum and bass stuff finds a way to my iPod- check out Emancipator), I seem to still find great tunes.  A few years back, I took my son to see Green Day (I had bought America Idiot when it was released) and since then have made it to the Fillmore with him twice to see Blitzen Trapper.  The Decembrists, Lydia Loveless, The National, Molotov Jukebox, and yes, Old 97's are on the iPod too.  

    Lately I have also had some soul revival going on, old Stax & Motown meeting newer purveyors, like Mayer Hawthorne or Lee Fields and the Expressions.  And I have been digging into old Cosimo Matassa studio stuff (Fats Domino, Little Richard, Dave Bartholomew, etc.) too, finding that junction where jazz morphed into R&B and then into rock 'n roll.

    The thing is, no one should become too locked into one era (too many people from my generation think the "classic rock" is the be all, end all and don't listen to new artists) - keep supporting the music . . . and it will continue to support and reward you.  (Sorry for your loss.)

    When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

    by foolrex on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:06:35 AM PST

  •  Let the music take me away (5+ / 0-)

    Peter Bagge did a series of comic books about a barely functional suburban family, the Bradleys, that centered on a teenager named Buddy.

    In the story I'm thinking of, Buddy is having a bad day. He's hassled at school and he gets into it with his mother at home, finishing up in a shouting match and a door-slamming exit into his room.

    He drags out his headphones and puts a record on the turntable. It's a new record, loaned to him by a friendly clerk at his favorite record store with the promise, "You'll like this one."

    We see him listening to the album.

    "Hey," he finally says in the end panel to the story, "this is pretty cool."

    There are days when I feel like Buddy. The job hunt is still stuck in neutral, the Republicans still have too much power, the five-year-old has just discovered the wire cutters and decided to practice on my mouse cable, and all I want to do is park on the bed, plug in the headphones, put on "A New World Record" or "Led Zeppelin IV" or "Dreamboat Annie" or some other old friend, crank up the volume and just for a few minutes, let the music take me away.

    If you can't say anything nice about the GOP, please post here more often.

    by Omir the Storyteller on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:12:07 AM PST

  •  for me it really started with (10+ / 0-)

    good old Ray Charles and the Raylettes doing "What'd I Say", the music that finally broke my skinny teen-age white boy ass loose and learned to dance. 1962.

    Yeah, I heard Dylan in 1962 and fell hard for that, too,  and the earliest of the Beatles and Stones?  I can sing them all still.  

    The deepest imprinting came at THE Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (yes, THE EKAAT) where the Dead fried all my over-dosed circuits for life. 1965, or was it 1966?

    But my decade plus of rustication, living without electricity or even a radio, late 60s - late 70s, left me permanently  behind on keeping up with all the developments and evolutions since.

    I'm pretty careful about listening to certain music these days,  as I invariably start crying as it all wells up in the memory storms.

    PapaChach,  it is good to hear from you and to get the sense that time is slowly doing its healing thing for you.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:23:26 PM PST

    •  I've read Tom Wolfe's account of EAKAT (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hazey, SherwoodB, PapaChach, KenBee

      And others.  

      Loved the dead and was lucky enough to see them a few times in the early mid 90s.

      I'm very jealous of you...  I'd give a lot to have been there.  

      The closest I've come is probably some all night raves at burning man...

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:57:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great article! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PapaChach, hazey

    I worked as a stage-hand at SPAC during the 70's. Great times. Keep livin' the dream!!

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:33:42 PM PST

  •  Nice Diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PapaChach, hazey

    If you like the Old97's and Westerberg check out Ryan Adam's "Cardinology"... hella good album.. also type "avatar sessions" into you tube for some terrific live in the studio stuff~

  •  Rock on, Garth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PapaChach, SherwoodB, nellgwen

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:58:38 PM PST

  •  The transistor radio. (7+ / 0-)

    When rock was only on AM. I was born in '56, so my earliest recollections are folk music and torch songs with the occasional rock tune. I have a brother two years older and my cousins across the street were 2, 4 and 6 years older.
    I remember when there came a new group to american airplay. The Beatles belting out "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There".
    Tommy James and the Shondells sang "My Baby Does the Hanky Panky" and Tommy Roe sang "Sweet Pea". The Stones painted it black. And we all sang along.
    I remember my cousin Kenny bringing over the latest Beatles album in 1967: Sargeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He was raving about it. Then he put it on and my 11-year-old self thought, "What the heck?!? What happened to the Beatles?!?" It took me a while to catch up.

    When I was 13 and started going to dances, we danced to The Chambers Bros' "Time Has Come Today", The Grass Roots' "Midnight Confession", Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" and the more ambitious bands taking a shot at Hendrix' "(Let Me Stand Next to Your) Fire". And EVERYBODY played "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" so their drummers could work it out.
    The first albums I got were Monkees, but the first I bought with my own cash were Three Dog Night, Cream's "Fresh Cream", Iron Butterfly's "Ball", and Hendrix' "Are You Experienced".  
    I picked up on the Allman Brothers, the Doors- all the usual suspects. In my 20s, as a bachelor, I mentioned to my younger brother that I wanted to develop an appreciation for Classical music but didn't know where to start. He asked his friend, a pianist who is working on his 2nd broadway play at this time and won tonies for his first. He picked out some composers and pieces he knew I'd recognize and I built my knowledge and appreciation from there.
    Beethoven's 3rd, Haydn's Surprise Symphony, Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. I made my way into Bach's Brandenburgs, Mussorgsky, Berlioz, Bizet, Vivaldi...

    Then I thought, "Why not Jazz?" I'd already come to appreciate the blues as it crossed all genres and liked the music Steely Dan was putting out, so my tastes had been whetted.

    Now I listen to a LOT of different music. Every decade had its masters. When Gentle Giant faded from the scene, Peter Gabriel was just getting started.

    Lately, bands like Tedeschi Trucks capture my interest. Time to go home.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:05:11 PM PST

  •  My wife & I: first date: Ramones, Agora Ballroom-- (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yella dawg, hazey, PapaChach, SherwoodB

    --Atlanta, 1981.

    Another great diary!

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:38:57 PM PST

  •  Taste in music evolves, but oddly stays the same (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazey, PapaChach, SherwoodB, nellgwen

    My choices in music have changed over the years.  First concert I ever saw was a Big Brother (before Janis went solo) / Bonnie, Delaney & Friends, and Canned Heat triple bill.  So much good music was made back then.

    The Boss, Neil Young, and Zep still rock my world.  I recently got a copy of Zep's "Celebration Day", and was truly surprised at how fresh it sounded for a live set. Also have a new-found respect for how John Paul Jones (and to a lesser extent, John Bonham) really, really was the heart and soul of Zep.  He's so musically versitile.

    I've moved into new-agey / world music somewhat, and have always - ALWAYS - loved jazz.  Was surprised to hear on NPR yesterday that Columbia just released a 3 disc Miles Davis set from the quartet's 1969 European tour, just pre-Bitches Brew.  Supposed to be really, really good.

    Nice trip down memory lane.  Thanks!

    "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

    by Richard Cranium on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:32:14 PM PST

    •  I love miles in all his incarnations (6+ / 0-)

      But I especially love the spirit and funkiness of his early 70s experimentations... The man ALWAYS had an eye for talent.  The list of musicians who got an enormous boost from playing with miles is a mile long... :)

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:03:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, when they listed the musicians... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No Exit, hazey, SherwoodB, PapaChach, KenBee

        who were part of the ensemble during the 1969 European tour, it was like a who's who of jazz / electro funk greats in their own right.  I'm an old Weather Report junkie, and even I didn't realize that Wayne Shorter played in Miles' ensemble on that tour until I heard the NPR story.

        "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

        by Richard Cranium on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:42:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you read his autobiography? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PapaChach, hazey

          He writes like he plays...

          A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

          by No Exit on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:03:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  All I wanted one year for my birthay (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazey, PapaChach, KenBee

    and I could not have been over 9 was an album by Elvis.  I have a sister 5 years older and she liked that new singer and so did my Mama.   I got The Loving You album.  Very first album I ever owned.   First song I recall hearing was Keep a knockin but you can't come in.   Little Richard.

    As I stood next to the old Philco Radio, Mother asked could I not be still and I replied at a very young age.  I try Mama but my foot won't let me.   I later loved The Eagles , The Bee Gees, some of the Beatles, The Beachboys, the Carpenters and if it had a rock and roll beat I was all for it.  I am an oldies lover that was new in my youth.  I absoluely was in love with this by Liberace.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:05:05 AM PST

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