Tag Archives: Willie Nelson

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.

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The Soundtrack of My Youth – 1985

7 Apr

Wow, I cannot believe that 1985 was thirty years ago. I started the year as a sophomore and ended the year as an upperclassman. For a high school kid, that makes all the difference in the world. I could not play an instrument, but I could play the radio.1985

The year began with Madonna continuing her “Like a Virgin” dominance of the charts. In fact, the entire month of January belonged to her.

In February, her song was replaced by “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. It was one of my favorites and was a big deal for a kid who really wondered what love was all about.

It was soon replaced with “Careless Whisper” by Wham! featuring George Michael. This should have been a clear signal to the other guy. George was about to be the star of the duo. I guess that is why I call him the other guy.

REO Speedwagon was up next with “Can’t Fight This Feeling”. Honestly, I never understood the fascination with this band or this song.

“One More Night” started a big year for Phil Collins. This would be the first of three Number One songs for the singer/drummer. Or, is it drummer/singer?

Phil Collins was good, but he could not hold off a bunch of stars raising money for Africa. “We Are the World” was a song, an event and a pretty good video. It was performed by USA for Africa, a group of singers who were not all from the USA. Ever wonder who took part in this project? Wonder no more. The group was made up of (in alphabetical order):

Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Hall and Oates, James Ingram, Jackie Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Michael Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Al Jarreau, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Huey Lewis and the News, Kenny Loggins, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson, Jeffrey Osborne, Steve Perry, The Pointer Sisters, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder

It stayed on top for four weeks before Madonna struck back with “Crazy for You”.

She stayed in that spot for a week and was knocked out by a song that played over the end credits of a movie. The Breakfast Club struck a chord with high school kids, and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds was the song that made this chord stick.

Wham! returned with “Everything She Wants” and made sure “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” would have to be remembered because, after one week, it was a thing of the past.

Then, one of my favorite 1980s groups hit the Number One spot. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears was, in my opinion, the best song of the year.

Unfortunately, it was soon replaced by the overrated Bryan Adams with “Heaven”.

“Sussudio” by Phil Collins made sure that Bryan Adams went away. Although, I still have not figured out who or what Sussudio is supposed to be.

James Bond could save the world, but he could also put a theme song at the top of the carts. “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran held the Number One spot for two weeks. They did it despite being connected to Roger Moore, one of my least favorite 007s.

Paul Young and “Everytime You Go Away” accomplished what no villain could. He defeated James Bond. However, he did not hold on for long.

Tears for Fears returned with “Shout”, which was not as good as their previous hit. I have no idea how it stayed at the top longer than the other one.

I admit that the 1980s were cheesy. That cheesiness was defined by Huey Lewis and the News, a group that hit Number One with “The Power of Love”.

Unfortunately for Huey, the Brat Pack would not be denied. They drove Simple Minds to the top. Now, they did the same thing for John Parr. “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” was the theme song for the movie with the same name.

The fire was doused by one of the greatest videos of the 1980s. “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits provided a regular person’s view of music superstardom. The video was early computerization at its best. The song was Number One for three weeks and was followed by a string of one-week wonders.

“Oh Sheila” by Ready for the World started the trend. That was followed by “Take On Me” by a-ha, a song that was driven by its awesome video.

Whitney Houston had a Number One song with “Saving All My Love for You” and was followed by Stevie Wonder with “Part-Time Lover”. It looks as if those songs have two different philosophies.

Another theme song reached the peak of the charts. “Miami Vice Theme” by Jan Hammer was an instrumental that took the country by storm. Of course, Miami Vice also took the country by storm and influenced 1980s lifestyle and fashion. This is where I should admit that I have never seen an episode of Miami Vice. I may be a product of the 1980s, but I still have television taste. Give me The Equalizer and The A-Team anytime.

Jefferson Airplane? Jefferson Starship? Starship? They need to make up their minds. Anyway, Starship had a hit called “We Built This City”.

The year could not end without another Phil Collins hit. However, “Separate Lives” was a duet with Marilyn Martin.

Another typical 1980s group replaced the work of Phil and Marilyn. “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister held the top position for two weeks. However, the year ended with the return of Lionel Richie and “Say You, Say Me”.

Did you have any favorites that did not reach Number One? Let me know.

 

 

 

 

My iPod Has Issues – Prophets and Movie Makers

2 Jan

Wow, I cannot believe that it is 2015. That means it has been eighteen years since Snake Plissken defeated Isaac Hayes and escaped from New York with the first American president with a British accent.Plissken

I tell my students that if they are going to start their own religion and make a prediction about the end of the world, then they should make the date sometime in the distant future. When the end does not come, they will no longer be around for the disappointment. There is not much worse than a prophet who misses the set apocalyptic date.

The same can be said for people who make movies based in the future. When the established year actually hits, the movie is immediately outdated.

These are lessons to be learned for potential prophets and movie makers.

To honor those who have seen their work spoiled by the turning of the calendar, here is my playlist for the day. Prophets and movie makers may be somewhat crazy, but they are not as crazy as my iPod.

In honor of The Duke, I will start out with one of his classics.

“Theme From Shaft” by Isaac Hayes

“For Your Precious Love” by Truth Hurts

“Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson

“High Sheriff of Calhoun Parrish” by Tony Joe White

“Love and Happiness” by Al Green

“Satan’s Got To Get Along Without Me” by Buck Owens

“See No Evil” by Television

“The Theme From Route 66” by Nelson Riddle

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

“Callas Went Away” by Enigma

“Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison

“Waterloo” by Stonewall Jackson

“Red Cross Store” by Mississippi Fred McDowall

“Just A Song Before I Go” by Crosby, Stills and Nash

“Tree of Level” by The Fairfield Four

“Green Onions” by Booker T. and the MG’s

“Boogie Street” by Leonard Cohen

“American Witch” by Rob Zombie

“Don’t Bring Me Down” by The Animals

“An American Trilogy” by Elvis Presley

“Served Chilled” by Groove Armada

I hope everyone has a great 2015. Be sure to make those predictions count.

My iPod Has Issues – Heading to Hilton Head

16 Oct

It has been a busy week, and I have not been able to spend as much time blogging as I would like. The posts have been few and far between. That trend is going to continue because we are heading to Hilton Head, South Carolina over the weekend. Certainly, there will be some good stuff to write about when we return.Hilton Head

In the meantime, here are some selections from the old iPod.

“Ole Slewfoot” by BR-549

“I Won’t Mention It Again” by Ray Price

“Hello Darlin'” by Conway Twitty

“Good Times” by Chic

“In the Still of the Night” by The Five Satins

“Sweet Sixteen” by Big Joe Turner

“Miss You” by The Rolling Stones

“Baby Get Lost” by B.B. King

“You Left a Long, Long Time Ago” by Willie Nelson

“Heartbeat” by Red 7

“Children Go Where I Send Thee” by The Fairfield Four

“Steamroller Blues” by Elvis Presley

“Jezzebella” by Vintage Trouble

“I Ain’t the One” by Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter

“Baby Let’s Play House” by Arthur Gunter

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

“Too Close” by Clair Marlo

“Sirius” by The Alan Parsons Project

“Fat Albert Theme” by Dig

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica

As a famous general once said, “I shall return.”

My iPod Has Issues – The Griswold’s Go to D.C.

14 Jul

Tomorrow, my wife, my stepdaughter and I are traveling to Washington, D.C. to explore the halls of power and see a lot of cool stuff. We are doing it the old-fashioned way – by driving. Well, that is not as old-fashioned as the way Andrew Jackson went to Washington after his election, but it is old-fashioned in the terms that we are not flying.

I grew up going on road trips across the country. My wife grew up going to one place and hanging out for a while. This trip is a compromise. I get to drive, and she gets to stay in one spot for most of the time. We are also mixing in historic stuff with a foray to a beach after the D.C. adventures are finished.Griswold

Later, we will start packing the vehicle, and my mind will start focusing on getting us from here to there. For the next week, I will check-in and read blogs, but I will not be writing any. Upon our return, I am certain that there will be some good stories to share.

In the meantime, I leave you with a selection of songs from the old iPod.

“Young Americans” by David Bowie

“You Must Be Evil” by Chris Rea

“Honky Tonk Women” by The Rolling Stones

“Radar Love” by Golden Earring

“Wasted Time” by The Eagles

“Main Street” by Bob Seger

“Lay Lady Lay” by Bob Dylan

“That’s the Way of the World” by Earth, Wind and Fire

“Sandman” by America

“Let the Four Winds Blow” by Fats Domino

“Sittin’ Here Drinking” by Christine Kittrell

“Yesterday’s Wine” by Willie Nelson

“Boom Boom” by The Animals

“Wild Thing” by Jimi Hendrix

“Missing You” by John Waite

“Deadwood Mountain” by Big and Rich

“Just Pretend” by Elvis Presley

“The Lonely Man” by Tennessee Ernie Ford

“Rites” by Jan Garbarek

“The Searchers” by Sons of the Pioneers

I will catch you on the flip side.

Hey, Nashville! Be a Real Music City and Build an Amphitheater

17 May

Last night, we went to a concert. That seems to be a theme for us since I am a concert addict. This one had three awesome act – The Devil Makes Three, Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson. Before the show, I had planned on a post about the show and the crowd. Instead, this post is about the venue.

It is called the Woods Amphitheater and has a semi-appropriate name. The woods part is accurate. Basically, they went into the middle of the woods and put up a stage. As far as I could see, that was the only major structure around.

While calling it an amphitheater is technically correct, it is a stretch of the definition. The reserved seats were folding chairs. There were a few concession stands. There were no permanent restroom facilities. My wife refused to drink anything in the fear that she might have to use the portable ones.

After spending too much time in a concession line, I said that I would not come back if Elvis rose from the dead for one last show. And, I am a huge Elvis fan.

In short, I was disappointed with the setup. A stage with folding chairs is advertised as a major concert venue. Look, the owners are not worried about what I think. The concert was sold out, and I am sure they are making plenty of money. However, the city of Nashville should be worried. It bills itself as Music City, but it does not have a real outdoor amphitheater where people can enjoy major acts in the outdoors. There is no excuse.

On top of that, we used to have a great once called Starwood.Starwood

Last night, I started thinking about Starwood and how cool it was. You could buy reserved seats under a cover. They were actually bolted to the floor. If you wanted to bring a blanket and sit on the grass hill behind the seats, then you could do that, too. The best place to sit depended on who was performing.

Starwood was the place where I got kicked out of a Metallica concert. Actually, my buddy got kicked out, and I had to go with him.

Starwood was the place where Robert and I walked into the middle of a knife fight at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

Starwood was the place where I saw The Eagles on their first reunion tour. They opened up by playing the entire Hotel California album.

A lot of people have some great memories of what happened on the stage and in the crowd at Starwood.

As I sat in the wannabe amphitheater, I tried to think of the people I saw perform at the real amphitheater. This is not a complete list, but some of the concerts are hazy.

The aforementioned Metallica, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Eagles in addition to:

KISS. Judas Priest. Hootie and the Blowfish. Edwin McCain. ZZ Top. Rod Stewart. Chicago. Elton John. Ted Nugent. Crosby, Stills and Nash. Motley Crue. John Fogerty. Rob Zombie. Velvet Revolver. Ozzie Osbourne. Alan Jackson. John Mellencamp. Jimmy Buffett. Def Leppard. Marshall Tucker Band. Meatloaf. Dave Matthews Band. Blues Traveler. Earth, Wind and Fire.

I have no idea how many more there are, but it is a bunch.

Starwood was not one of the all-time great concert locations, but it was better than what we have now. Nashville is a great place to listen to all kinds of live music. It has the Ryman Auditorium, which is legendary. It has an arena and a stadium for the huge shows. There are small places, like the Bluebird Cafe, scattered around town where great musicians perform every night. Heck, Dave Grohl did a surprise show there this week.

However, Nashville’s music scene will not be complete until it gets a real amphitheater.

 

My iPod Has Issues – Reunited and It Feels So Good Edition

18 Mar

As you have read, I spent a few days with my parents in northwest Mississippi. At the same time, my wife and stepdaughter were in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We all had great times, but I missed them. I hope that they missed me. Heck, even Daisy Dog was somewhere completely different.Peaches

Now, the family is back together, and I do not want to spend a lot of time holed up in my office. With that in mind, I am going to take the easy way out and dig into the depths of my iPod. Remember how it goes. I put it on shuffle and list the first 20 songs that play.

“Angry Cockroaches” by Tito and Tarantula

“Round Midnight” by Thelonious Monk

“Sing Me Back Home” by Merle Haggard

“Sons and Daughters” by The Neville Brothers

“You Left a Long, Long Time Ago” by Willie Nelson

“Escape on Horseback” by Ennio Morricone

“The Jack” by AC/DC

“I Put a Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

“Melt Down” by Albert Collins

“Get Back” by The Beatles

“Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean” by Ruth Brown

“Sleeping Bag” by ZZ Top

“Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” by Dean Martin

“You Are Too Beautiful” by Curtis Stigers

“Too Close” by Clair Marlo

“Nobody Knows Me” by Lyle Lovett

“Cortez the Killer” by Neil Young

“Joy” by Apollo 100

“What Do You Want From Me” by Pink Floyd

Now, back to the family reunion.