Tag Archives: Heart

A Concert Full of Pet Peeves

15 Jun

Many of you know that I am a concert fanatic. The genre of music does not really matter. I just like to hear it live. Through the years, this fanaticism has created a lot of experiences. Great concerts. Bad concerts. Great venues. Bad venues. This, by no means, makes me a concert expert. However, I know a bad one when I see one. Heck, I even wrote an open letter to Madonna about the disaster that she called a concert.

I write all of that to write the following. This week, my wife and I saw a bad concert. In fact, it hit on a bunch of our concert pet peeves.

Ann Wilson of Heart was the performer. Actually, that is what the ticket said. Ann Wilson of Heart. While that was technically true, the ticket was sort of false advertising. More on that in a minute, we have to get to the list of badness.

The “We Love You” Fans – Everyone gets excited for concerts, and this excitement grows when the performer is one of your all time favorites. I understand this. Heck, that is why I like concerts. However, I have never yelled “We Love You” to a performer.

Here is how it usually goes. A song is over. The performer takes time to talk to the audience. Then it happens. “We Love You, Ann Wilson!” Some performers respond. Some performers ignore it. I am not sure which approach is best, but Ann Wilson chose the second option. The woman behind us could not get enough, and yelled it consistently throughout the show.

What causes people to do this? Once may be fine. You are expressing your adoration. You want the performer to know how much you care and how happy you are that they chose your city for a concert. However, the continuation has to mean something else. It has to mean that the “We Love You” person wants the performer to acknowledge them. Say “I Love You, Too” and let that person know that they care just as much.

It could mean that they want a personal connection. This performer is an important part of their existence, and they want to be a part of the performer’s existence. There should be a psychological study on the “We Love You” people. No matter the psychosis, please stop yelling. Ann knows you love her. We know you love her. Guess what, none of us care. Just listen to the music.

Wait, the music. That is the next pet peeve that this concert was able to accomplish.

Play the Jukebox – Several years ago, I saw Elton John in concert. After playing a few new songs, he told the crowd not to worry. He was going to play the jukebox. He meant that he was going to play all of the old hits that made him famous. Those were the same hits that people bought tickets to hear.

I know that performers want to stay creative. They want to show people that they can still produce great stuff. However, they need to understand that people want to hear the old songs. They want the music to take them back in time. Ann Wilson does not understand this. Over a two-hour show, she sang three songs from Heart. Those songs would have gotten people out of their seats. Instead, they sat there and listened to songs that they did not want to hear. Even the “We Love You” crowd just sat in their chairs.

Here is another weird thing. She did not sing that many new songs. She sang a bunch of old songs that other people recorded. Elvis Presley. Jimi Hendrix. The Who. Buffalo Springfield. This list goes on and on. Hey Ann, if you are going to sing old songs, then you may as well sing your own. I left there thinking that she has created a glorified cover band.

Ann Wilson has a great voice, and she showed it off. However, we wanted to hear that voice sing songs like:

“Magic Man”

“Dog and Butterfly”

“Dreamboat Annie”

Other songs can be sprinkled in, but the songs that made her famous should have been at the heart (pun intended) of the show. As I wrote earlier, the ticket said Ann Wilson of Heart. It did not say Ann Wilson Who Is Trying To Separate Herself From What Made Her Famous.

Although, I did notice a trend in some of the songs she chose, and that leads me to the next pet peeve.

Politics on Stage – I go to concerts to be entertained. I go to concerts to escape the world for a while. This means escaping politics. However, Ann Wilson wanted to get political. She started talking about the political landscape and how she wanted to relieve us of our confusion. That is really not her role. Her role is to sing “Barracuda.”

Instead, she sang protest songs from the late 1960s and early 1970s and was subliminally telling us how relevant they are today.

I teach a class on the History of Rock and understand that artists have always wanted to make statements with many of their songs. However, I do not need an aging rocker telling me how I should feel about politics. I have seen Ted Nugent in concert and did not want to hear it from him. Now, I have seen Ann Wilson in concert and did not want to hear it from her.

If I want to hear about politics, then I can get on Twitter or turn on some news channel. When I go to a concert, I do not want to hear someone’s opinion that is no more important than my own. I want to hear some great music.

I did not yell my advice to the stage in between the “We Love You” shouts. However, I will give it now. Ann Wilson should understand that she will always be Ann Wilson of Heart and people purchase tickets to hear those songs. If she did, then maybe the venue would actually be full. Oh yeah, those people yelling “We Love You” would probably love you more.

Listening to the Record Machine

13 Jan

A while back, I received a cool present from my wife. She gave a turntable that belonged to her dad to me. It was awesome, and I went out to buy some records. However, there was a problem. The turntable did not come with speakers, and it is difficult to listen to records without speakers.

This Christmas, my wife doubled up on her great gift-giving abilities by getting the speakers.img_2221

We have been listening to records ever since. Some people have told us that sitting around listening to records is a sign of old age. However, we know that is not true. Sitting around listening to records now is the same as when people sat around listening to records in years past. It is cool.

In the weeks after getting the speakers, the record collection has grown to include the following.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – (pronounced ‘leh-nerd ‘skin-nerd)

The Eagles – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975

The Eagles – Hotel California

Robbie Robertson – Robbie Robertson

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold as Love

Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon

Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes – Live at the Greek

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser – Wanted! The Outlaws

Heart – Dreamboat Annie

Carole King – Tapestry

Ramin Djawadi – Game of Thrones

Here is the deal. If you want to find me, then you can find me listening to the record machine.

My iPod Has Issues – In Honor of a Fallen Friend

1 Jun

I realize that it was just the other day when I put together an iPod post. However, this one is different. Yesterday, a funeral was held for a friend of mine who died way too young. It was an inspiring service, but it was heartbreaking for everyone. His passing is a tragedy that will always be felt by those who knew him.

My iPod has a playlist of songs about God and all things heavenly. Some are spiritual. Some are secular. I share a few of them with you to honor Matt.Matt

“God and Man” by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee

“Joshua Fit De Battle of Jericho” by The Golden Gate Quartet

“Angel Band” by The Stanley Brothers

“Stairway to Heaven” by Heart

“Superstar” by Ben Vereen and Marc Pressel

“God Moving Over the Face of the Waters” by Moby

“Christo Redemptor” by Charlie Musselwhite

“Everybody Knows Elvis (Everybody Knows Jesus)” by Kate Campbell

“The Ball Game” by Sister Wynona Carr

“Lonesome Valley” by The Fairfield Four

“Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum

“New World in My View” by King Britt

“Amazing Grace” by The Beeston Pipe Band

“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan

“Why Me” by Kris Kristofferson

“Old Rugged Cross” by John Prine and Mac Wiseman

“This Train” by Sister Rosetta Tharpe

“Crying in the Chapel” by Elvis Presley

“Tell Me There’s a Heaven” by Chris Rea

“People Get Ready” by The Impressions

The Soundtrack of My Youth – 1987

14 Apr

Looking back, 1987 was a big year in the life of me. I started the year as a high school student and ended it as a college student. That is always one of life’s great transitions. However, the year was big for another reason.

That was the year I first met my wife. Of course, it was 26 years before we got married. One of these days, I will write that story.

On this day, I need to complete this soundtrack that I started. Honestly, I did not think it would take this long. Anyway, here are the Number One songs of 1987.1987

The Bangles and “Walk Like an Egyptian” remained in the Number One spot as the year began. However, they were soon replaced with “Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott. Yeah, I do not remember him, either.

After a week, he was replaced by “At This Moment” by Billy Vera and the Beaters. A little research shows that this song was greatly helped by its inclusion on Family Ties, the sitcom that made Michael J. Fox famous.

Madonna, who was creating hits like crazy, entered the Number One position with “Open Your Heart”.

However, she could not hold off the onslaught that was Bon Jovi. “Livin’ on a Prayer” was the year’s first big hit and stayed at the top for four weeks.

They were replaced by another band that personified the 1980s, Huey Lewis and the News. For one week “Jacob’s Ladder” was on everyone’s radios.

That one week at the top gave way to “Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau. Of course, that was a remake of the classic by Bill Withers.

Guess who comes next. You would be wrong if you said Jefferson Airplane. You would be wrong if you said Jefferson Starship. You would be right if you said Starship. They had a bunch of hits for a band who could not figure out what to call themselves. Anyway, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” made it to Number One.

Thankfully, they were dispatched by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” hit Number One and announced to the world that the other guy from Wham! was no longer around.

A memorable 1980s song came next. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” made girls swoon and made Cutting Crew famous.

A little band called U2 and a song called “With or Without You” stayed Number One for three weeks. Then, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Kim Wilde went wild.

That was followed by Atlantic Starr with “Always” and Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with “Head to Toe”.

That is when Whitney Houston returned to the top with “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”. That is when the Wilson sisters, otherwise known as Heart, told everyone that they were “Alone”.

Who took their place? Axel Foley. Well, that is not totally accurate. “Shakedown” by Bob Seger was spotlighted in Beverly Hills Cop II. Of course, that movie starred Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley.

After one week, the power of U2 surged to the top. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” were their second Number One of the year.

Then, Madonna had another Number One with “Who’s That Girl”. It looks like a trend was developing among the 1980s superstars. They kept making their way to the top. I guess that is why they are superstars.

Another remake, “La Bamba”, made it to Number One for Los Lobos. The Ritchie Valens song returned with a movie that reminded everyone who he was and what happened to him.

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson returned to Number One with “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”. However, he had help. It was a duet with Siedah Garrett.

Whitney Houston had a big year that continued with “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”.

Then, we get to a real band. Whitesnake was one of my favorites. Hair Metal. How can you beat that? Anyway, “Here I Go Again” broke through all of the pop and brought some guitars to the scene. I saw them while they were touring for this album. It was an awesome experience. I guess I could write about it at some point.

For some reason, they were replaced by “Lost in Emotion” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. Obviously, the general public had no taste.

Michael Jackson came back with “Bad”. However he was not bad enough to hold off a singer who could have only made it in the 1980s. Tiffany remade “I Think We’re Alone Now”, which was more famously recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells. I have to admit that I had a big crush on Tiffany. Of course, I did not care about her singing.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Another old song by Tommy James and the Shondells hit Number One. I wonder if anyone noticed. This time, it was “Mony Mony” as sung by Billy Idol.

The lovebird duet by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes came next. “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life) was featured in Dirty Dancing. In 1987, every girl wanted to travel back to the 1960s and vacation in the Catskills. It was sickening.

Belinda Carlisle hit big with “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”. However, the end of the year ended with George Michael completely burying what was left of Wham! “Faith” announced him established him as a hit-making solo artist.

There you have it. The years of 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 were my time in high school, and the songs in these posts were the Number One hits of my formative years. I still like some of them, but, thankfully, my musical taste was not completely destroyed.

 

 

 

 

The Soundtrack of My Youth – 1986

12 Apr

The summer of 1986 felt different from those that came before. It was between my junior and senior years of high school, and I sensed that one part of my life was going away and making room for a new one. If other people get that feeling, then I guess it would come the summer after graduation. However, the transition would then be complete.

The summer of 1986 was my last as a high schooler. I did the same things. Only, it felt like I was doing them for the last time under mantle of teenager with no responsibilities.

With all that begin written, what was the soundtrack of 1986?1986

January hit the calendar, and “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie was still at the top. It would be followed by twenty-nine other songs. That, dear readers, is a lot of turnover.

For four weeks, Dionne and Friends dominated with “That’s What Friends Are For”. Obviously, Dionne was Dionne Warwick. Friends included Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

Dionne was knocked from the top of the charts by her cousin, Whitney Houston, who sang “How Will I Know”.

Next, “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister claimed Number One and stayed there for a couple of weeks.

Jefferson Airplane, er, Jefferson Starship, er, Starship hit the summit with “Sara”. They did not stay there long. It could be that no one ever figured out who recorded the song.

That opened the door for “These Dreams” by Heart. However, the could not hold off the juggernaut that dominated pop culture in March and April. “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco zoomed the trop and had people asking, “Who is this Amadeus dude?”

Prince and the Revolution were able to conquer the one hit wonder with “Kiss”, a song that is not about Gene Simmons and the gang.

“Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer had an awesome video that was supposedly inspired by Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets”.

The next Number One was supposedly inspired by T.S. Eliot. I must admit that “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys was one of my favorites.

“Went End Girls” could not stand up to the vocal force that was Whitney Houston. She had her second Number One of the year with “Greatest Love of All”.

“Greatest Love of All” could not stand up to the all around force that was Madonna. She hit the top with “Live to Tell”.

It would take two people to knock Madonna out of the box. Those two people were Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald with “On My Own”. A couple of years ago, we saw Michael McDonald in concert, and we were able to meet him before the show. You would have thought that my wife had seen the greatest person in the world. She just about freaked out.

“There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry” by Billy Ocean started a string of songs that could only hold on for a week. Next, there was “Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red. Then, there was “Invisible Touch” by Genesis.

Ironically, Genesis lost the top spot to Peter Gabriel, who used to be a member of Genesis. Honestly, I think “Sledgehammer” made it to Number One because of its video.

Peter Cetera, who had also been a member of a famous band, broke the one week chain by having “Glory of Love” stay on top for two weeks. Unfortunately for Peter, Madonna was waiting in the wings with “Papa Don’t Preach”.

Then, there was the teenage prodigy turn grownup genius named Steve Winwood. “Higher Love” took him as high up the charts as he could go.

How in the world could a group called Bananarama replace somebody like Steve Winwood? Well, they did with “Venus”. They did not stay long before being knocked into outer space by “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin.

Berlin fell to Huey Lewis and the News and “Stuck with You”. Of course, they were old news by the time Janet Jackson sang “When I Think of You”.

“True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper was special song. In fact, it was special enough that it became the theme to our Senior Night an entire year after it left the charts. How up to date were our planners?

Boston sang about “Amanda”, and The Human League sang about “Human”. I think Amanda was a human. However, I am certain that Bon Jovi thought “You Give Love a Bad Name”.

Peter Cetera came back with “The Next Time I Fall”. This time he had a partner in Amy Grant. I wonder if she was singing about Vince Gill.

“The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range hit the top in December but did not stay for long.

The year of 1986 ended with everyone wanting to do like The Bangles and “Walk Like an Egyptian”. I did not want to walk like that, but I wanted to meet The Bangles girl with the big brown eyes.

Those were the top songs of 1986. Did you have any favorites from that year?

 

 

 

My iPod Has Issues – Filling the Television Void

16 Jun

Last night, the fourth season of Game of Thrones came to an end. That means I will feel something missing over the next few Sunday nights. It is rare that I get caught up in an episodic television show. Usually, I watch sporting events or documentaries. However, I have been addicted to Game of Thrones since it first began.Game of Thrones

I, along with millions of other people, will have to wait until next year to find out what happens to our favorite characters. I reckon I could read the books to find out, but I hear that the show is deviating from the books. With that in mind, I will skip the written page and stick to the television screen. I may go back and read them once it is all over.

To fill the void, I have decided to explore the meandering mind of my iPod. For those who watch Game of Thrones, you know that a lot of crazy stuff goes on in the land of Westeros. With that in mind, it is fitting to see what crazy stuff is going on in the mind of my insane iPod.

Let us look inside and see what can be found.

“Feeling Alright?” by Traffic

“Blood and Roses” by The Smithereens

“The Ride” by David Allan Coe

“The Distance” by CAKE

“Hollywood Nights” by Bob Seger

“Strokin'” by Stacey Mitchhart

“How Forever Feels” by Kenny Chesney

“White Lightning Ballad” by Carl Bernstein

“Stairway to Heaven” by Heart

“Spill the Wine” by The Animals

“Good Golly Miss Molly” by Little Richard

“Older Women” by Ronnie McDowell

“Daniel” by Elton John

“Venus” by Bananarama

“Stand By Me” by Ben E. King

“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot

“The Grid” by Daft Punk

“Once Upon a Time in the West” by Ennio Morricone

“Gene Nobles’ Boogie” by Richard Armstrong

“Jackson” by June and Johnny Cash

Pretty crazy, huh?