So last week and this week her (non-desperate) theme is the 60's. Lots of great music came from that era, I know, I was there. My influences began with the Beatles, worked through Simon & Garfunkel, throw in some Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, Janis, Joni, Judy, Dusty, Rascals, Supremes and a shit-load of other British groups. I sucked it all in: rock, soul, calypso, and all those folk singers who wrote great lyrics.
Coming up with five songs to create a feel for the 60's is damn near impossible, but them's the rules. So, in no particular order are my five selections.
In 1972, I went to my first live show. It was the Byrds at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ. It was a life-changing experience, so to not have the Byrds as my first choice would be just wrong. Several songs were contenders and one will probably make the cut when the Mixed Tape moves to the 70's next week. But for the 60's I'll take a song written by another influence, Bob Dylan.
"My Back Pages"
Then there were the Jersey Boys. No, not the Four Seasons, although their music was indeed part of the soundtrack of those early years. And even though they all weren't really from Jersey, one of them lived a few blocks away from me and that was about as cool as it got. Talking about the Rascals. sure. Now talk about trying to pick one song, I could pick ten. I'll choose one I've used in a blog a while back because it has everything a hit song should have and... it's freakin' great.
"I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore"
Grace Slick. As I've said before, she was my idol and that explains so much about me. She fronted a band, she had attitude, she was tough, she said "motherfucker" on an album. Yes she did. The first time I heard "Somebody To Love," I was all in. But Jefferson Airplane were much more than "Somebody" and "White Rabbit." Have a listen to Marty Balin's vocal on "Today," it's breathtaking in its simplicity and beauty. For the Mixed Tape entry though, I'll dance with the girl who brought me.
"Somebody To Love"
For me, there is no way any soundtrack from the 60's could not include the Beatles. Ah, but which song? When the Beatles movies came out, we would take the bus into Passaic and spend the day at the movie theater. Back then there were three regular theaters and then the Capitol which was a porno theater at that point. Anyway, they ran the movies non-stop and you could sit there all day and watch it over and over. And that's just what we would do. Probably four times. So those movies were part of my soundtrack and "Help" had the more fun music. My Beatles selection is one where we would trade off who would sing lead and who would sing backup, either way we had a blast.
"Eight Days A Week"
The last song is not rock, pop or soul. Damn I didn't include any Motown. Rather it's one which is a little bittersweet for me this week. My Dad played a little guitar and a little harmonica. When I was really little, I can remember him singing this to me. It has always held a special place in my heart and my soul. This weekend will be my first Father's Day without him and I miss him. So for him, a little taste of calypso with Harry Belafonte..
Thanks Jen, so much fun.