Flashback Friday-Patti Smith-People Have The Power

Music history inspiration for a modern day BLM movement. Patti Smith-People Have The Power

After protesting the Vietnam War and participating in pushing cultural change in the 60’s, Patti Smith (known as the ‘punk poet laureate’) and her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith collaborated in writing a song in 1988 to help bring about inspiration for different causes of that time. They were trying to build a modern day movement with the same importance of the 60’s. Their song was Patti’s lyrical work based on Fred’s basic idea…people have the power. It has the spirit of the 60’s, vibe of the late 80’s, but still stands today as a song which provides reassurance that any movement is in the hands of us all. “People Have The Power” is the lead single off of the album, Dream of Life.

 “What we wanted to do was remind the listener of their individual power, but also of the collective power of the people, how we can do anything. We wrote it consciously together to inspire people, to inspire people to come together.”-Patti Smith

I have been participating in protests for Black Lives Matter throughout the city of Atlanta. I feel the energy and the wave of change cannot be bottled up and cast aside any longer. The world is listening. Change is occurring. Change is inevitable.

Now, the BLM marches are becoming more specific in their wants. The organizers realize the power they have to create a transformative revision of modern policing in our country. It is a momentous moment. There are several serious hurdles yet to jump, but we recognize the ability to change the conversation based on the large, diverse population participating, and the final removal of the aggressive military and police presences. The voices of the protesters are being heard. I feel the power, through a few painful blisters, some emotional exhaustion, and a few bittersweet tears. I will continue to support important black voices which lead this charge. Yes, people have the power.

Change is on its way.

Patti Smith-People Have The Power

“I was dreaming in my dreaming
Of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleeping it was broken
But my dream it lingered near
In the form of shining valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry


That the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It’ s decreed the people rule

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
And bending low as if to hear
And the armies ceased advancing
Because the people had their ear
And the shepherds and the soldiers
Lay among the stars
Exchanging visions
And laying arms
To waste in the dust

In the form of shining valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power

Where there were deserts
I saw fountains
Like cream the waters rise
And we strolled there together
With none to laugh or criticize
And the leopard
And the lamb
Lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
To recall what I had found

I was dreaming in my dreaming
God knows a purer view
As I lay down into my sleeping
I commit my dream to you

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power

The power to dream to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
It’ s decreed that people rule
It’ s decreed that people rule
I believe everything we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’ s revolution
We have the power

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power

The power to dream to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
It’ s decreed that people rule
It’ s decreed that people rule

We have the power

We have the power
People have the power
We have the power”

Happy Birthday to Lionel Richie! Throwback Thursday-All Night Long

Celebrate Lionel Richie’s 70th birthday by learning about his career and the hit, All Night Long.

June 20th is a special day! Today is Lionel Richie’s 70th birthday.

Lionel Richie began his long standing successful music career as a singer and saxophonist of the Commodores in 1968. The Commodores went on to later support the super group, The Jackson 5. Eventually Richie went out on his own and scored the Number 1 hit song “Truly,” and had a succession of hits from that moment on. With Michael Jackson, he co-wrote the famous song, “We Are The World” in 1985, hoping to bring about much needed famine relief for Africa and raised a whopping 63 million dollars. More recently, Richie was asked to join the reboot team for American Idol in 2018 and also announced an epic 33-date tour across North America for the summer of 2019. The age of 70 doesn’t slow him down at all.

It is impossible to erase Lionel Richie’s 50+ years of musical influence. His biggest hit was “All Night Long,” with almost 130 million streams on Spotify from his second solo album, Can’t Slow Down released in 1983. The song is an indelible dance music pop song, tinged perfectly with a Caribbean beat. It is a wholesome, fun, and life filled song. Did you know that Richie found out, while in China participating in a Chinese idol show, they teach Chinese children the song’s lyrics in order to teach English? The inspiration for “All Night Long” was explained to Epoch Times:

“I’m one of those guys that – I don’t look for something new. I look for what people do everyday. And I noticed that, anytime I would come on vacation, everybody who can rap is on vacation doing a calypso dance. Everybody who’s singing Opera, they conform to some form of calypso or some form of reggae. So when I went back to do ‘All Night Long’ it was very simple. All I had to do was find that beat that everybody dances to when they go on vacation.”

The dance party video was was produced by former Monkee and TV video pioneer Michael Nesmith, and directed by Bob Rafelson – who co-created The Monkees back in the 1960s. It was also celebrated as one of the first multiracial videos to appear on MTV.

Listen and may you fiesta forever!

“Well, my friends, the time has come
Raise the roof and have some fun
Throw away the work to be done
Let the music play on
Everybody sing, everybody dance
Lose yourself in wild romance, we going to
Parti’, karamu’, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along
We’re going to parti’, karamu’, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing alongAll night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), ooh yeah (all night)People dancing all in the street
See the rhythm all in their feet
Life is good, wild and sweet
Let the music play on
Feel it in your heart and feel it in your soul
Let the music take control, we going to
Parti’, liming, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing my songAll night long (all night) oh (all night)
All night long (all night) yeah (all night)
All night long (all night) yeah (all night)
All night long (all night) (all night)Yeah, once you get started you can’t sit down
Come join the fun, it’s a merry-go-round
Everyone’s dancing their troubles away
Come join our party, see how we playTom bo li de say de moi ya, yeah, jambo jumbo
Way to parti’ o we goin’ oh, jambali
Tom bo li de say de moi ya, yeah, jumbo jumboOh, oh, oh, oh, yes
We’re gonna have a party, yeah, ugh
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), yeah (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night)Everyone you meet, they’re jamming in the street, all night long (all night)
Yeah, I said, everyone you meet, they’re jamming in the street (all night)
All night long (all night)
Feel good, feel good (all night)”

Flashback Friday-Simon and Garfunkel-The 59th Street Bridge Song versus H.R. Pufnstuf

Did you know Paul Simon sued the cult classic creators of H.R. Pufnstuf for their intro song due to its similarity to The 59th Street Bridge Song? Listen and learn…

Do you remember the crazy hit cartoon HR Pufnstuf? It was a cult children’s show winner for 1969’s Saturday morning television. It was generally about good versus evil with life sized puppets and a boy stranded on their island. Did you know Paul Simon sued Sid and Marty Krofft because the opening tune for the cartoon closely resembled their hit tune “The 59th Street Bridge Song” or also lovingly known as “Feelin’ Groovy”. He won and they gave him credit at the end of the show.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s song was released on their 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. At only 1:44, it was short but syrupy sweet. The 59th street bridge is the Queensborough bridge in New York City, and even in 1966, when I assume life was a bit less complicated, Simon penned,

“Slow down you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last…”

The Simon and Garfunkel song sings in my mind often when I need a jolt of joy. It is an ear worm of a tune, that stays embedded in my mind for long periods of time. Fair warning…

I admit I watched H. R. Pufnstuf but wasn’t really a huge fan. It always seemed to be a rerun. It only showed for one season and only 17 shows, but they kept replaying the show for years. Looking back, it was a weirdly creepy show, but I was little at the time, and was simply happy to have control of the TV on Saturday mornings. Sid and Marty Krofft funded the first season themselves, but didn’t have enough money to have a second season, so it was scrapped. I didn’t realize the connection with smoking marijuana (Puf-N-Stuf). But looking back, I find the reference plausible due to the crazy plots and the disturbing characters. Although here is what was said in a 2005 interview with USA Today,

Marty Krofft said, “No drugs involved. You can’t do drugs when you’re making shows. Maybe after, but not during. We’re bizarre, that’s all.” 

I am posting both songs for you to check out.

Here’s wishing that you might slow down this weekend, enjoy family, friends, and whatever weather mother nature sends your way. Stay Groovy!

Simon and Garfunkel-The 59th Street Bridge Song

H. R. Pufnstuf-Intro

Let me know what you think about the comparison. Was Simon right about the connection? Do you remember the cartoon? Were you a fan of the show?

Throwback Thursday-Alice Cooper-School’s Out

“School’s Out” by Alice Cooper stands the test of time and is a celebratory cheer that surpasses generations.

Some songs are timeless. “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper stands the test of time and is a celebratory cheer that surpasses generations. Released in 1972, it is now almost 50 years old!

Every year as the final bell rings at school, this song pops in my head. It reminds me of the freedom of youth and the long endless days of boredom, vacations, friends, sunshine, and romance. What promises will your summer bring? Even though I know school isn’t out forever for me, I still think of the summer months as a rejuvenating time to reignite my personal flame.

Wishing you all a productive, exciting, and restful summer! Enjoy.

Alice Cooper-School’s Out

“Well we got no choice
All the girls and boys
Makin’ all that noise

Cause they found new toys
Well we can’t salute ya

Can’t find a flag
If that don’t suit ya
That’s a drag

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils No more books
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

Well we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
My school’s been blown to pieces”

Alice Cooper, born Vincent Damon Furnier, is a singer, songwriter and actor with a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, deadly snakes, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be “The Godfather of Shock Rock”. He always felt that the band needed a gimmick to succeed and incorporated many acts to his live shows with gothic makeup and wild costumes and props.

Cooper shared the inspiration behind, “School’s Out,” “What’s the greatest three minutes of your life?”. Cooper said: “There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you’re just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you’re sitting there and it’s like a slow fuse burning. I said, ‘If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it’s going to be so big.'”

With seven band albums from 1969-1973, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame in 2011. Alice Cooper has a whopping 20 solo albums, and his latest, Paranormal, was released in 2017.

Recognized as one of the most beloved heavy metal entertainers, today Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show, Nights With Alice Cooper. Touring almost the entirety of 2019 with his latest tour, ‘Ol Black Eyes Is Back, you can catch him when he comes near you, TOUR HERE. At 71, it seems there is no slowing this guy down!

Throwback Thursday-Fleetwood Mac-Go Your Own Way

New music is proficient at this time of the year, but some of the newest songs lean on so many of the amazing treasures of the past.

Let’s explore….

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Georgia is incredibly beautiful right now, spring has sprung and flowers have pushed up through the dark cold days of winter. New music is proficient at this time of the year, but some of the newest songs lean on so many of the amazing treasures of the past.

Let’s explore….

I want to share a golden oldie that influences many musicians of today.

“Go Your Own Way” was released as Rumour’s first single from the band Fleetwood Mac in December 1976. The song was written and sung by Lindsey Buckingham, and it was the band’s first top ten hit in the United States.

With relationships breaking up within the band at the time (Lindsey Buckingham was separating from Stevie Nicks, and John and Christine McVie divorced after the Rumours Tour), the idea of ‘going your own way’ seemed to connect with what was taking place with the band members. Lindsey Buckingham was especially angry about ending his relationship with Stevie and threw shade with his line in the song, “Shacking up is all you want to do”. He also admitted that he took the idea of the song’s rhythm from The Rolling Stones, “Street Fighting Man”. Mick Fleetwood built on this concept and developed his own thing. The combination of lyrically catchy pop and serious guitar work proved to be golden.

Even though there was a crazy overplay of the song on radio at the time, due to its wild popularity back in the 70’s, it continues to stand up strongly today. “Go Your Own Way”, is an empowering song of a broken relationship and the importance of self preservation in the process.

Listen…

Fleetwood Mac-Go Your Own Way

“Loving you
Isn’t the right thing to do
How can I ever change things
That I feel
If I could
Maybe I’d give you my world
How can I
When you won’t take it from me
You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way
Tell me why
Everything turned around
Packing up
Shacking up is all you want to do
If I could
Baby, I’d give you my world
Open up
Everything’s waiting for you
You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way”

Throwback Thursday-Yes-I’ve Seen All Good People

Bubble letters and the 70’s go hand in hand, but the band, Yes, created music that is historically important and impressive.

 

 

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Bubble letters and the 70’s go hand in hand, but the band, Yes, created music that is historically important and impressive. I want to take you back to the contentious Vietnam wartime where the country was incredibly divided.

War vs No War.

The youth fought for military desertion and others fought for loyalty, completion, and success. Music played an important role in the political divide. The band from England, Yes, created  a rock  tune that made many take notice and musically consider changing the narrative.

The song, “I’ve Seen All Good People” was a song broken into two parts. The first, “Your Move”, was written by lead singer Jon Anderson and the second, “All Good People” was written by bassist Chris Squire. The entire song was an impressive 6:53 time, worrying radio stations trying to play it.

On the first part, Anderson explained he was using the game of chess in the song as a metaphor for life’s spiritual challenges.

“Life is a game of strategically placed situations presented to you, and you have to learn to live with them and work with them,” he said. “Doors are open and sometimes they’re closed. It’s the idea that we are surrounded by a spirit or god or energy is in time with our understanding of who we are.”

“Move on back two squares” is a chess term meaning to retreat and rethink your position. Perhaps it references the war, or maybe it is simply tonal poetry.

Yes was also admiring what John Lennon was creating at the time. So, Yes included ‘instant karma’ in the lyrics as homage to Lennon’s song with the same name, as well as a background chorus of “give peace a chance” to musically pressure change and play on another of John Lennon’s tunes.

We can dissect the song, consider every lyric, contemplate the social impact, or simply appreciate the beauty of a classic rock song that is timeless with lyrics which may even have meaning today.

Check it out.

yes

Yes-I’ve Seen All Good People

Live version

Studio version

Throwback Thursday-Bob Dylan-Like A Rolling Stone

“How Does It Feel?” the existential question of the 60’s Listen to Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”

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“How Does It Feel?”

This is the existential question of many generations, but probably was birthed, softly massaged, and tenderly cared for in the 60’s. Before then, life was all about expectations, traditions, and history.

Feelings became an important life gauge in the 60’s. It was the era of radical thought and anti-war protest and inner-city riots. The more the youth pushed forward communicating their feelings, the more the adults pushed back.

“Like A Rolling Stone” was released in 1965 and proved to be a song in which Bob Dylan focused on affluence, power, and expressing the tragedy of its abrupt tragic ending. It made an important comparison to monetary success and the virtue of personal contentment. The connection was critical considering the times and the emphasis on expression and feelings. With one of the largest generations of youth, there were many wide-eyed, life learners paying very close attention to the music and its relation to their lives.

Profound.

Actually, “How does it feel?” in Bob Dylan’s song, “Like A Rolling Stone” is a timeless rhetorical question meant to make a point with dramatic effect. The lyrics are so clearly stated in Dylan’s voice and his unique poetic perspective.

Do you ever consider, “How do you feel?”

Perhaps today, that might be all we consider. Which makes Bob Dylan’s song,

Timeless.

Throwback Thursday-Jefferson Airplane- White Rabbit

Psychedelic rock pioneers, Jefferson Airplane rocked the sixties. Return to the time and listen to their hit song, White Rabbit

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Jefferson Airplane-White Rabbit 

Grace Slick argued that White Rabbit was about the importance of education: ‘Feed your head,’ the rousing climax to “White Rabbit”, was intended as a call to liberate brains as much as the senses.

Formed in 1965 the band, Jefferson Airplane, was a pioneer of the psychedelic rock scene. Some say they based their name on Blues singer Blind Lemon Jefferson. Others say they got it from the term for a match split apart to act as a clip for marijuana. They were the symbols of the Haight-Ashbury counterculture movement in the Sixties, and spread the San Francisco Bay area message of peace and love.

When Grace Slick replaced the original singer in Jefferson Airplane, they became an immediate hit. Her voice had all the elements of deep, dark, and wild .The echoing vocals and strong wails were her signature and she also brought the songs, “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love” from her previous San Francisco rock band, Great Society.

Jefferson Airplane was the only band to perform at the three most famous American rock festivals of the 1960s; jefferson-airplane_woodstock-768x575.jpgMonterey Pop Festival (June 16 – June 18, 1967), Woodstock Music & Art Fair (August 15-18, 1969) and Altamont Free Concert (December 6, 1969). They also headlined the first Isle of Wight Festival (August 31 & September 1, 1968)

Later, Grace Slick went on to form Jefferson Starship after bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen left Jefferson Airplane.

Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

 

Throwback Thursday-Love Songs Through The Decades

Going through decades of love songs, come by and listen to the really fun ones…..

Love songs are timeless. There are millions and millions to sift through, but I took a quick moment to listen. I popped in just a few of my favorites, and those popular in the day, to share with you all! Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Happy-Valentines-Day

1940’s

Billie Holiday-I’m Yours

1950’s

Elvis Presley-Love Me Tender

1960’s

Frank Sinatra-Fly Me To the Moon (In Other Words)

Otis Redding-Cigarettes and Coffee

1970’s

The Partridge Family-I Think I Love You

Al Green-Let’s Stay Together

Paul McCartney-My Love

Ohio Players-Love Rollercoaster

1980’s

Madness-It Must Be Love

Fat Larry’s Band-Zoom

REO Speedwagon-Keep On Loving You

U2-With Or Without You

1990’s

The Pretender’s-Stand By You

Savage Garden-Truly Madly Deeply -1997

Backstreet Boys-As Long As You Love Me (Clive’s Cut) -1997

Foo Fighters-Everlong 1997

Early 2000’s

Sade-By Your Side 2000

The Moldy Peaches-Anyone Else But You 2001

Beyonce-Crazy In Love

The White Stripes-Fell In Love With A Girl

What are your go to love songs? Inquiring minds want to know!

Throwback Thursday- The Yardbirds- For Your Love

What better way to honor romance on Valentine’s Day, than listening to a throwback love song? For Your Love, by The Yardbirds

Popping in for a friendly reminder, Valentine’s Day is only a week away. The countdown is on for all of you who make sweet gestures, give gifts, or create special experiences to express your never ending affection for your love. Valentine’s Day is a bit out of hand in my opinion, do we need a national day set aside to do that? Are you someone who boycotts the blatant consumerism push it represents? Or, are you the consummate romantic and must always celebrate love?

What better way to honor romance for Valentine’s Day, than listening to a throwback love song? For Throwback Thursday, I have to share a song which represents that giddy, heart palpitations, weak in the knees kind of love. But actually, this song represents so much more than just the heartfelt expression it conveys.

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Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, The Yardbirds, formed back in 1963, and cranked out bluesy rock and roll. Well, until Graham Gouldman (later the guitarist for 10cc) penned, “For Your Love”. This tune proved to be different from The Yardbirds earlier songs. “For Your Love” was written in a minor key, it stopped in the middle and went into a different time signature, and they added the unusual harpsichord which gave it the mysterious tone. All of these changes to their music prompted Eric Clapton to eventually leave the band.  He didn’t like the direction they were heading, and felt like they were becoming too commercial. He also had the difficult task of recreating the harpsichord sound on a 12 string guitar, when they played live. In a crazy twist of fate, Clapton was replaced by Jeff Beck, and then Beck was later replaced by Jimmy Page. The Yardbirds were the birthplace for three of the world’s greatest guitarists! Maybe not as consistent with cranking out the hits like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or The Byrds, The Yardbirds definitely carved a mark in blues, and experimental rock.

Playing in the band at the time this song was a hit was Keith Relf – lead vocal, Eric Clapton – guitar, Chris Dreja – guitar, Paul Samwell-Smith – bass and Jim McCarty – drums. For the recording they brought in Ron Prentiss – acoustic bass, Brian Auger – harpsichord and Denny Piercey – bongos. Love the bongos!

You might remember Zales used the song for their jewelry commercials…probably promoting Valentine’s giving!

Listen…

Yardbirds-For Your Love

 

BONUS! Doing a bit of research, I fell down the YouTube hole and watched and listened to lots of bands who covered this song. Humble Pie‘s rendition (jam band style) from the late 60’s is one of my favorite. It is instrumentally creative and it also features a very young Peter Frampton. Enjoy.

Humble Pie-For Your Love