From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Joe Cocker: You Were So Beautiful

Just the other day I was going through some music and came across "High Time We Went" by Joe Cocker. I started thinking about him, and the fact that no one who watched him perform in the 60s thought he would live to see the 70s. Kinda like Keith Richards. Then yesterday driving home, I had my tunes hooked up to the car stereo and "Up Where We Belong" came on the shuffle. I said to myself, if he ever tours again, I need to see him live, something I have never done.

Sadly it seems, I won't get that chance. Word is coming out the Joe has died, possibly from lung cancer. I guess his spirit was bouncing around in my brain so I could get some thoughts together about him.

I've written about Joe before: "Always with a Little Help From His Friends," where I mentioned that he was one of the greatest vocal interpreters of our time. He was. The man could cover a ballad, or a rocker with equal greatness and intensity. And yes, when he was younger, his stage presence was intense. From Woodstock to Mad Dogs and Englishmen to late night talk shows, to the music shows of the era, Joe Cocker made everyone take notice as he gyrated around the stage with his crazed eyes and tie-dyed shirts. But man could he sing.

His "best of" list is absurd in it's length: "The Letter," "With A Little Help From My Friends," "Delta Lady," "You Can Leave Your Hat On," "You Are So Beautiful," "Unchain My Heart," "Feelin' Alright," "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window," "Cry Me A River," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "Hitchcock Railway," and on and on. No one, no one, covered songs with such beautiful passion.

This has been one really bad year in the number of great musicians we have lost. Several have been hard to accept, all have been upsetting. At 70, Joe Cocker lived longer than a lot of others from his generation, but I was still hoping there were more songs to sing.

Easy Journey Joe.

and because...hell yeah more cowbell.

See you on the other side Joe.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Turning Back the Pages

It's my birthday.

Not long ago I saw a wonderful piece of wisdom online somewhere, and we all know the internet is the true source of all wisdom, don't we?

It was a quote something to the effect of "Never complain about growing old because so many people never have the chance." Deep, profound, or far out, as my generation once said. And I agree, except not today, Sorry, today is my day to piss and moan and bitch to high heaven because this isn't just any birthday, Nope, this one really bites because I've turned another decade. Trust me, the last one was a walk in the park compared to this one. It's not pretty and there's nothing good about it as far as I can tell, except that I'm still actually here.

Today I am 60. Sixty. 6-fucking-0. Two years away from Social Security eligibility. A whole bunch of years away from middle-age.

I had a conversation with the Drum Mama a week or so ago about whether to actually mention how old I was in my birthday post. This is important to both of us because as I have mentioned before, she is three months younger than I am, so her time is soon gonna come. In the end we both agreed, fuck it. If you don't own it now, you never will.

So here's what I think about turning sixty. Are they any great things about it? Hell no.

But being alive for this long means I have seen and experienced some wild and crazy stuff. Not all good and not all bad. I'm still having a blast and doing things I never thought would be possible. I also see friends and family leave the table at an alarming rate. And this is why we drink.

Technology has been astounding. Music has definitely gone downhill.

The music. Yes. I was seventeen when I saw my first live show. So for the musical portion of this post let's go back to that first show. February 5, 1972 at The Capitol Theatre in Passaic NJ. Brewer and Shipley of "One Toke Over The Line" fame, opened up for The Byrds. Cost of the ticket: $5.50. Experience: Priceless.

I'll thank Mr. Dylan for the song and remember that "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

Here's to a new decade.

"Crimson flames tied through my ears
Throwin' high and mighty traps
Countless fire and flaming road
Using ideas as my maps
"We'll meet on edges, soon," said I
Proud 'neath heated brow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now"