Tuesday’s Theme Music

Ah, an old favorite, from about fifty years ago. Here’s Humble Pie with a 1972 cover of Jr Walker’s “Road Runner”. It speaks to being on the road yesterday, and then doing some hard hiking.



Saturday’s Theme Music

I read that The Beatles’ album, Abbey Road, was released fifty years ago. It’s not a surprise; it came out when I was thirteen, and I’m sixty-three. The math was straightforward. It’s more astonishing not for time’s passing — hey, that happens every day — but for the shifts that it signaled in pop music, the world’s ever-changing politics and alliances, and the monstrous technological surge recorded during that fifty years.

I won’t say it was all peace and love in 1969 because it sure as hell wasn’t. Older people were lamenting the youth, and the youth was out to change the establishment. Major civil rights advances had been achieved. Bottled water existed but wasn’t the ubiquitous commodity that it is today. Corporations were gaining power but we hadn’t yet witnessed the emergence of the super-CEOs of now, compensated and treated like they’re dictators of small countries. The U.S.S.R. and Warsaw Pact countries, and Communist China – the P.R.C. – dominated movies and novels as the U.S.A.’s greatest threat. Computers were still big machines and novelties. VCRs, DVD players, cell phones were all creeping over the future’s horizon.

History update completed, when I contemplated the release of Abbey Road, the song that popped into my stream was “Oh! Darling”. I like its bluesy sensibilities and active bass so I thought I’d push it on you.

Sunday’s Theme Music

We went to a spotlight performance the other night. As an elderly community of retired professionals in their sixties to nineties thrive around here, performances are often geared toward their preferences and memories. The spotlight performances are among those, featuring music from 1960s era “girl-bands”, the Motown sound, the Eagles, and the current offering focusing on the Mamas and Papas. They’re a lot of fun but they fire up neurons from that era, as more of that period’s music flooded my stream this morning.

“Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire was playing as irritation with our current government sent me into new spasms of frustration. Then along came a song by a group called Thunderclap Newman has been on loop. I always liked the name, Thunderclap Newman. Goes right up there with Moby Grape, Psychedelic Furs and Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Thunderclap Newman’s song, “Something in the Air” is streaming in my head. Word association started it. First, “Eve of Destruction” lyrics bobbed along the stream:

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’
I’m sittin’ here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation

And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

Read more: Barry Mcguire – Eve Of Destruction Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Ah, the rhyming. But the song’s sentiment plays as true for 2019 as it did for 1965 regarding governments’ ineptitude, human respect, frustration at the pace of change, and constant war. We stay on the eve of destruction, don’t we?

Lock up the streets and houses
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here,

h/t to Genius.com

I always enjoyed Newman’s piano solo in this song. I have a vivid memory of smoking hash and listening to this song again and again when I was sixteen and my Dad was away.

So, that’s my Sunday theme music, Thunderclap’s 1969 song, “Something in the Air”.


Monday’s Theme Music

Today’s choice arrived in the stream because of a chance encounter with a friend.

I’m retired military, 1974 – 1995. He was in the Army for almost five years. Most of that time was in Vietnam. May, 1969, was his one year anniversary of being in country. It was a bloody year for him. He lost many friends. He was also nineteen.

We guessed that it was just a juxtaposition of insights that brought about the darkness dragging him down this weekend. This is twenty nineteen, which kicked off the memory of being nineteen, when he was in Vietnam fifty years ago. It’s probably because of Memorial Day, and the many men walking around with Vietnam Vet hats on their heads, and the television shows talking about different military campaigns. It could be his sense of mortality. He’s getting older, as he reminded me.

He never cried when he spoke but he did a lot of sniffing, some quick eye wipes, and sometimes coped with a trembling voice with some deep breaths. Vietnam offered some hairy days, and he was grateful to have survived without too much damage, get home, go to college under the GI Bill, marry, and have a family.

After we shook hands and went our separate ways, and I was walking under the lush green trees, past beautiful beds of colorful flowers as cars rolled by and people pursued their celebrations of Memorial Day, I started streaming an old favorite song.

Here, from nineteen seventy-four, is William DeVaughn with “Be Thankful for What You Got”.


Sunday’s Theme Music

My dreams were were story dreams, basically telling of times when I seemed to live in other times and places. Some were futuristic, which were more interesting. I remember looking thinking in one dream, is this a dream, or knowledge of another life? It was fun and thrilling.

All that, on waking, took me on a walk through my characters’ happenings as I’m finishing April Showers 1921 (first draft). I’m tying final plot and action strings together. Some of it’s a little knotty.

From those musings popped the Neil Diamond 1966 song, “Solitary Man”. That song amused me because those characters don’t know that song and would never think of it, or apply it to their lives and situations.

Then, though, I sat down to drink my coffee and read the news. One story was about an alligator in Florida attacking a woman. Into my mental music stream jumped old song lyrics, “Gator got your granny. Chomp. Chomp, chomp.”

I had several things wrong with that song. I thought Jim Stafford performed it, but no, it was Tony Joe White. I thought the song’s title was “Folk Salad Annie” but it was “Polk Salad Annie”.

Geez. At least I had the year right, 1969. I decided that “Polk Salad Annie” was my choice for Sunday’s theme music.

Sorry, Neil.


Sunday’s Theme Music

I was streaming several songs this morning, including “Timothy Leary” by the Moody Blues, but looking out the window at the emerging spring day and the hopes for more pleasant weather, I selected another oldie for today’s theme.

Here’s Friends of Distinction with “Grazing In The Grass” (1969). As Harry Elston sings, “What a trip just watching as the world goes past.” Perfect for a mellow-ish Sunday.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Today’s music popped into the stream out of my dreams. An old favorite from 1969 by the Who, the song came out when I was thirteen. I was singing it to myself when I went into science class. Melissa, the girl behind me, said, “Do you like the Who?” Sure, yes, etc. Melissa invited me over to her house to listen to music.

Here’s “Pinball Wizard”. The song and memory all seem innocuous now, but it was a big deal when I was thirteen.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Nathaniel Taylor, an actor who I knew from his role as Rollo on “Sanford and Son”, passed away a few days ago. He was eighty.

Many actors, politicians, writers, and sports and rock stars have passed away throughout my lifetime, along with cats, friends, family members, and people that I didn’t know. Some of them were killed in ways that we don’t like to think about.

Nathaniel Taylor’s death was another death. We all understand that death is gonna get us. Now, what happens beyond the door that death opens, well, we don’t know. We have a lot of theories, and we think that we have intangible proof that once we die, that’s it, game over. Then again, many ancient people believed that the sun revolved around the Earth, until we learned how to prove otherwise.

The death of someone who acted on a show when I was young triggered a stream of thought about how time seems to pass and prompted me to think, wow, 1969 was fifty years ago. Ain’t that somethin’?

Not really, right? It’s as arbitrary as weather in March, 2019, predictable but still surprising. Thinking ’bout all that nonsense kindled reflections on the music from then. Pop goes the song and out came the Rolling Stones with “Honky Tonk Women”.

Seems ’bout right.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Remember the expression, sock it to me? Maybe yes, maybe no. Our culture, especially the pop side, is an ever-changing amoeba. We’ve populated our language with expressions. They catch fire, flash through, and die. Sometimes they’re distantly remembered, especially more often now, as technology aids her ability to look back and remember.

In this case, I thought of sock it to me as part of streaming “It’s Your Thing” to myself. I was singing to myself about the things I do, and the cats for the things that they do, and mentally, to my wife, in regard to the things that she does.

“It’s your thing.” We mostly address life through avenues as individual as ourselves, seeking to do our thing. Sometimes the things seem weird to others. They can’t deviate from their paths and doing their thing to acquire the freedom to understand that you’re doing your thing. If it’s not offensive and not inflicting pain on others, why do they want us all to conform and not do our thing?

So, I want to thank The Isley Brothers for doing their thing and performing this song. They were good at doing their thing, giving us some memorable funk. Sing along. Don’t worry; the words are easy to learn.

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