Tag Archives: George Harrison

September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 Sep

SEPTEMBER REFLECTIONS

Komorebi isSunlightFilterLeaves.Sept2014.stouttraveladventure Japanese for “the sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees” from Lost in Translation, a collection of words without English counterparts … NYC’s CultureAID will prepare arts organizations for another Hurricane Sandy-like emergency … A newly discovered extinct swamp animal is named Jagger’s Water Nymph because its mouth structure is “a highly innervated muzzle with mobile and tactile lips.” … San Francisco’s Spoke Art Gallery pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s Kubrick.TracieChing.Sept2014glorious films with eye-catching artworks … Metallica made the Guinness World Records as the first rock band to perform on all seven continents … To celebrate the NY Philharmonic’s Opening Night Gala, the Empire State Building again glowed red … Hakuna Matata! Broadway’s The Lion King has the most box office total of any work in any media in entertainment history … New jukebox musical, Piece of My Heart, tells the story of Bert Berns who wrote Twist and Shout, Hang On Sloopy, and oh yeah, Piece of My HeartNY Film Festival’s celebration of the wit, intelligence, and strong women characters of Joseph Mankiewicz’s films includes All About Eve and A Letter to Three Wives … Opening night at the Met Opera saw the return of James Levine leading the orchestra in a spirited and updated Le Nozze di Figaro. Bravo, Maestro! … George Harrison’s The Apple Years 1968-75 box set of his first six albums, digitally remastered from analog masters. Also an all-star tribute concert George Fest benefits the Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund … KeithRichards.GusBook.Sept2014Also new Beatles Mono Vinyl box set … lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Robert Plant’s 10th solo album inspired by blues, bluegrass, West African and world music, is “a kaleidoscope of sound, color, and friendship” … Introduced to music by granddad Theodore Augustus “Gus” Dupree, Keith Richards wrote Gus & Me, a children’s book with pen-and-ink illustrations by daughter Theodora … We lost Bob Crewe. You know his songs, the Four Seasons hits, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Rag Doll, and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You … Also, Joe Sample, the Crusaders pianist, played funk, pop, dance, jazz, rock. “Unfortunately, in this country, there’s a lot of prejudice against the various forms of music. The jazz people hate the blues, the blues people hate rock, and the rock people hate jazz. But how can anyone hate music?” So true … And Bruce Springsteen turns 65. Born to run and still driving, searchin’, boppin’, and making magic. Happy birthday, Boss.

CAN WE TALK?

Who JoanRivers.9.5.14.CherEltonPeeWeewere Joan Rivers’ first guests on her Late Show Starring Joan Rivers? Cher, Pee-Wee Herman, and Elton John. Cool? Very … “I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” … Words to live by from a person who was always relevant, who always spoke the truth, and who was always funny. Amen.Joan+RUNDMC.Sept2014

As RUN-DMC’s agent, I booked them on the Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, where they performed Walk This Way in October 1986. And yes, Joan rapped with my guys: “Well, have you heard, I’m the first and number one, Not the best, not the worst, cause my name is Run, And I’m second cause I reckon that you want to see, An emcee like D inside the place to be, And have you heard he is third and his name is Jay.” And Joan raps: “I’m Mama Joan and I’m here to say, I got my own show and I’m here to stay!”

FUNNY + INFLUENTIAL = COSBY

“My father established our Cosby.Sept2014relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, ‘You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don’t make no difference to me, I’ll make another one look just like you.’” … In Cosby: His Life and Times (Simon & Schuster, September 2014), Mark Whitaker, longtime Newsweek editor and TV news executive, reveals the man we all think we know. Still travelling to do shows more than 30 weeks each year, Bill Cosby is a celebrity without entourage who carries his own bags and says hello to everyone. Mark will make you believe that the man we invited into our homes every week, the man who made us laugh at our own foibles, this groundbreaking comedian, is the approachable man we thought he was. Thank you Mark.

WE CAN HELP

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund pSweetRelief.Sept2014rovides financial assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Donations help pay for an artist’s medical expenses, housing, food, utilities, clothing, transportation, programs, and counseling.jmj-foundation.Sept2014

Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, RUN-DMC’s DJ, died October 30, 2002. The Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music provides funding and resources to support free public school music education programs. Donate to continue Jay’s legacy of creativity, positivity and community support.

Bruce.Magic.Sept2014

Soundtrack to this Issue is
Radio Nowhere by Bruce Springsteen
From the album, Magic ©2007

C’mon, sing along:
I was driving through the misty rain
Searchin’ for a mystery train
Boppin’ through the wild blue
Tryin’ to make a connection with you

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Sun through leaves pic: Stout Travel Adventure
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World: By Ella Frances Sanders (Ten Speed Press, September 2014)
Jagger’s Water Nymph quote: Journal of Paleontology (September 2014)
Kubrick pic: Tracie Ching
Robert Plant quote: from Amazon editorial review
Joe Sample quote: Los Angeles Times (1985)
RUN-DMC and Joan Rivers rap: Jam Master Jay: The Heart of Hip-Hop by David Thigpen
Cosby: His Life and Times: Simon & Schuster (September 2014)
Radio Nowhere lyrics: © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

July Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

31 Jul

A WHOLE LOTTA MUSIC IN JULY

She is loved! Linda Ronstadt received the National Medal of Arts at the White House from President Obama, who revealed, “I had aLindaRonstadt.NatlMedalOfArts.July2014.cr-use little crush on her back in the day.” … Yet another award, the Library of Congress George Gershwin Prize for Popular Song was given to Billy Joel … The irony of it all. The George Harrison Tree got infested by, yeah, beetles … Newly restored, A Hard Day’s Night plays in theaters 50 years on, pretty good soundtrack … Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers released Hypnotic EyeEric Clapton saw to an all-star tribute album, The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Joining him are Mark Knopfler, Tom Petty, and Willie Nelson … The NY Philharmonic’s Star Spangled Celebration for July 4 … Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors series presented a memorial concert for Pete Seeger, Toshi Reagon’s Deep Roots of Rock and Roll, and the premier of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World … The positively upbeat Jason Mraz released YES! … Love the piano? Mannes held their annual summer keyboard festival …  JasonMrazYES.July2014.poster.crJames Taylor and Renee Fleming performed Tanglewood’s opening night  with the Boston Symphony Orchestra … Music Vault is Wolfgang’s Vault’s YouTube page of 13,000 performance clips and full concerts. Now you can watch the Who at Tanglewood in 1970 … Summertime means Peter Frampton with the Doobie Brothers, Aerosmith, Crosby Stills and Nash, and Yes on tour … Finally, Tommy Ramone, the last Ramone, has joined the band to play Blitzkrieg Bop in rock ‘n roll heaven. “We started auditioning drummers, but they just couldn’t grasp the concept of the band – the speed and simplicity.” And that’s how Tommy became their drummer. “Hey ho, let’s go!”

WEIRD AL RULES


“I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, I’m on the bleeding edge of marketing, this is going to be a business model that will change the world.’” Remember Eat It? Weird Al Yankovic finally made it to #1 on the Billboard album chart with Mandatory Fun. The King of Parody’s online video campaign went viral crazy, especially with the songs Tacky and Word Crimes, which yours truly wrote about (see Blog post: Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes” Ain’t No Crime!). “I read your email, It’s quite apparent, Your grammar’s errant, You’re incoherent.”

WE CAN HELP DOGS!

ElayneBoosler.omg-im-adopted.July2014

“My friend has two dogs, a Shi Tzu and a Shar Pei. She named them Fluff and Fold.” Elayne Boosler’s (yeah, that Elayne Boosler!) Tails of Joy raises funds for rescue organizations, gives “Little Guy Grants” daily on a most needed basis, helps with pet emergencies, works for the passing and enforcing of anti-cruelty laws, and rescues animals. Learn more at the Tails of Joy website. Staffed entirely by volunteers, 100% of every donation is dedicated to animal welfare!

Barknado.ASPCA.July2014

Sign the ASPCA’s pledge vowing to make pet adoption your first option. “The only way to stop is to adopt it!”

Broadwaybarkscalendar.July2014

Broadway Barks held their annual dog and cat adoption event to benefit NYC animal shelters and adoption agencies, featuring Broadway stars like Zach Braff and Audra McDonald and hosted by founders Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters. Their fabulous 2014 Calendar is out now!

LindaRonstadt.AsylumRecordspic.July2014
Soundtrack to this Issue is

When Will I Be Loved? by Linda Ronstadt

C’mon, sing along:

I’ve been made blue, I’ve been lied to
When will I be loved?
I’ve been turned down, I’ve been pushed round
When will I be loved?

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Linda Ronstadt National Medal of Arts pic: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Tommy Ramone quote: Noisecreep, 2011
Weird Al pic: still from Tacky video
Word Crimes lyrics: from the album, Mandatory Fun (2014)
Linda Ronstadt pic: Asylum Records
When Will I Be Loved? lyrics: Phil Everly © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Beatles Arrive in America 50 Years Ago

7 Feb

Fifty years ago today on February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at JFK airport – and music, culture, life was never the same! But before they got off the plane, they were worried: would anyone even care?

“We heard that our records were selling well in America,” said George, “but it wasn’t until we stepped off the plane … Seeing thousands of kids there to meet us made us realize just how popular we were there.”

I Wanna Hold Your Hand was at the top of the Billboard chart and stayed there for 7 weeks. And tickets for The Beatles’ first, live Ed Sullivan Show broadcast in New York City went on sale and sold out. John, Paul, George and Ringo were instantly embraced and adored – becoming influential cultural icons – then, still, and forever.

Fifty years later, Paul and Ringo are still putting out albums and still performing. So, what does 50 years mean to Ringo?

“We’re still out there doing what we love to do and that is to play.”

Beatles.decal

 

Source:
George quote: Time, February 7, 2014
Ringo quote: CBS This Morning, February 7, 2014

November Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

29 Nov

NOVEMBER = GRATITUDE + LIGHT

Love.pic.11.28.13

From mourning to morning…The light was sure to come…And it came with the support from friends and colleagues…Cards, calls, emails, visits, Facebook and LinkedIn messages, blog post comments, a special prayer, deli dinners, lemon bars, wines, carrot cake, flowers, plants, hugs, dog kisses (from Ethan) and pics (from Bogey), chocolate babka, and latkes…With heartfelt gratitude to you all…And with best wishes for you at this auspicious time of Thanksgiving and Chanukah…Let there be love. Let there be light. Let there be life.

MOVING ON TO MUSIC…

A new doc on PBS, American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train a Comin’ looked at his life and music. Oh, and those clothes. Everything about him was colorful. Loved it…Musicwood covers concerns over wood by guitar makers, environmentalists, land developers, and loggers…A third doc, 12-12-12, went backstage at the benefit concert for Mozart.WQXR.Nov2013Hurricane Sandy victims at Madison Square Garden…Over at WQXR, it’s Mozart Month. The NY Philharmonic played his Requiem with the NY Choral Artists and performs his three final Symphonies, Nos. 39, 40 and 41, broadcast live November 30…And let’s hope the Brooklyn Philharmonic finds a way out of a dire financial situation…An eight-part series on YouTube, Zirka chronicles Robert Plant’s journey in Mali and features Malian music…Y’know those wonderful 92Y events that you wish you could go to all of them? Now ya can. They opened their archives, so stream away…Dylan Fest concerts benefited Sweet Relief Musicians Fund…The Stand Up For Heroes concert at Madison Square Garden featured MusicCorps wounded warriors playing alongside Roger Waters…City Winery hosted the Guitar Mash Benefit Concert and Jam that raised money for music education programs…Jazz and Colors in Central Park with 30 acts…Are record stores back? Vinyl, too? Rough Trade NYC opened in Brooklyn, has CDs and vinyl. WFMU’s Record Fair success is a sure sign of LP love. And Record Store Day expands to Back to Black Friday after Thanksgiving Day event…The Beastie Boys handled a toy company’s use of their music with a good outcome that respects the rights of artists. “We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering…As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.”…Based on live recordings from their archives, the busy BBC released a new Beatles CD, a reissue, and a book. Thanks!…Van Morrison played NYC and has new deluxe behind the scenes CDs that include a re-mastered Moondance…Speaking of 92Y, Anthony DeCurtis talked to Lou Reed in 2006. “Lou Reed has defined so much of what contemporary music is about…my favorite conversations with him have often occurred running into him on the streets…that’s why we live in New York. So, the King of New York, Lou Reed.”…Finally, Lou Reed’s memorial at Lincoln Center was a fitting tribute, no speeches, no talking, just listening. His music speaking for him. And for us.

…AND ART + WORDS

At $58.4M, Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog (Orange) went for the highest JeffKoons.OrangePuppy.11.28.13auction price paid for a living artist…Remember Al Hirschfeld’s line drawings, caricatures of Broadway stars, that were on the cover of the Sunday NY Times arts section? His works are on view ‘til January 4 at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts. Count those NinasThe Leonard Bernstein Letters (Yale U Press) is a collection ofLeonardBernstein.Letters.NovNewsletter.11.29.13 letters he wrote and received. Those by and to Aaron Copland and Adolph Green (who called him Lennish!) reveal wit, passion, anger, humor, and above all, the immense value they placed on music…Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year is selfie…Not too late to catch The Forty Part Motet sound installation at the Cloisters, there ‘til December 8The ever topical, musical, and erudite Tom Stoppard (Arcadia and Rock ‘n’ Roll!) wrote a radio play based on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Darkside, commissioned by that busy BBC in honor of the album’s fortieth anniversary, is also on CD…Malcolm Gladwell talks about underdogs and what advantage really is in David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. He explains, “…underdogs win more often than we think because their limitations can force them to be creative.”

WE CAN HELP

PoliceDog.11.28.13

Police dogs finally get bullet-proof vests. What took so long? Although over 450 now have them, there are many more who need them across the US. A vest costs $950. Donate to: Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc.

ABOUT A BLOG

I wrote four posts about losing my precious Buddha on Yvette Perry’s Blog…And I got back to business, though still hurting, with a post about Johnny Cash’s deeply moving version of Hurt as it was used on the TV show, Person of Interest…Also posted there is this newsletter so you can easily share it with your friends. Just click on any of the share buttons below each post…And hope you follow the Blog!

GeorgeHarrison.GiveMeLove.11.28.13Soundtrack to this Issue is George Harrison’s
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lIMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

Sources:
Love pic: Robert Indiana exhibit at the Whitney through January 5, 2014
Beastie Boys quote: LA Times, November 27, 2013
Mozart pic: WQXR
Jeff Koons Balloon Dog (Orange)
outside Christie’s pic: The Pup Diary
The Leonard Bernstein Letters
pic: Yale University Press (2013)
Malcolm Gladwell
quote: 60 Minutes, Sunday, November 24, 2013
George Harrison pic: Popdose

Mourning Has Not Broken…Yet

16 Nov

I miss you so much, My Beautiful Buddha Boy. The second week of missing you did not get easier. In fact, it was harder.

I said before that sadness sucks. Mourning sucks even more. What are you supposed to do? Think? Not think? Dwell? Not dwell? Well, I did think, I did dwell, I also walked around, I sat down, got up and walked around again. Repeated over and over. I even crawled into bed twice in daytime. Oh, and all while crying, howling, wailing, sniffling.

What I do know is that there is no supposed to, that much I know. Sadness is this thing that you just can’t say, “Go away,” and it goes. It doesn’t. It can’t. It just stays. Until I guess one day it isn’t there. Or it isn’t there like a big heavy cloud-like boulder above your head weighing you down. That day is not yet here. My friends say, “It’s ok, take a step at a time.” Step at a time. That is good advice. I have been doing that, little by little. Cleaning out Buddha’s things, giving some away, keeping those things dear to me, writing, making a book, and reading all my messages and cards.

You established your covenant with us through the family of Noah, and with every living creature, the birds, the cattle, and with every beast of the earth that came out from the ark. (Genesis 9:10)

Dogs. It’s been said that they are all about unconditional love. But I think it’s so much more than that. It’s not that they just give us that. Well, it is, because they do. But I think we need to deserve such an awesome gift. Because that is a huge gift. And we better be worthy of it. I hope that I was. Because Buddha deserved that from me. I took care of him. With love. And with unconditional devotion. Through lots of medical issues, I did my best for him. I loved taking care of him. I really did. It didn’t matter to me what was needed. I did it. You just do. And now I just miss him so much. It hurts. He was my precious, precious baby. Adorable and loving and sweet and kind. How could I not be missing him? He is irreplaceable.

I lost someone I love. I had a beautiful baby boy and now I don’t. Thirteen and a half years flew by. Where did they go? I can’t reconcile these things. Buddha’s no longer here. I look for him. He’s not here. It feels like he’s here. I trip over him. And I trip over his water bowl. And then I realize that he’s not here. And the bowl’s no longer there on the floor. It went by so fast. How did that happen?

Our pets give us the gift of unqualified and unconditional love. They love us, and love us and love us some more, and there is always more love where that came from. When they become a part of our lives they become a very special part of our family life and all that we share. We thank You, O God, for all that they gave to us. Compared to the number of years that we humans live, their lives are brief. And when their lives come to an end, we feel the pain of our loss, because a beloved member of our family has died.

I lost him on Halloween. Every year he was the Angel Boy. So not only was halloweenangelhe an Angel Boy with real wings this Halloween, he will be my angel boy always.

Goodbye is not an option. He’s always with me. As I am with him. I know that. I can feel that.

(Buddha with his angel wings on Halloween.)

I was reminded this week of a news story on Barbie’s birthday about Stanley, a man who collects Barbie dolls. He said, “You’re always in a good mood because you always have beauty around you.” Writing about it at the time, I noted, “He made happiness.” Because Barbie made him happy, that’s what he surrounded himself with. How wonderful is that? I, too, made happiness. Buddha and I had a happy home. It’s a wonderful thing to make happiness. And it’s even a better thing to be grateful for it. While you’re in it. And after it’s gone.

Was it by chance or by fate that the two songs I have referenced during this time, Here Comes The Sun (see previous blog post) and Morning Has Broken, both speak of sunlight – the light that brings hope for a new day. That both these songs I find comfort in lyrically and melodically. That both are by songwriters – George Harrison and Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam now) respectively – who sought spiritual enlightenment wholeheartedly, candidly, and publicly. That here’s my Buddha Boy, suitably named, for he was truly a Buddha inside and out. And that I have found comfort in such an inadvertent coincidence. Call it a fluke, godsend, blessing, or stroke of luck. By any definition, it’s all a reflection of my Buddha and my love for him.

Buddha. He was love, peace, beauty, kindness. He was light. He was life. He was a mitzvah. Buddha, thank you for being my dog. Your mother loves you forever and ever. Amen.

Morning Has Broken
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

 

Sources:
Pet prayer: Adapted from Rabbi Neal Schuster
Barbie collector: ABC News/GMA, March 9, 2013
Morning Has Broken: Words by Eleanor Farjeon and music by Cat Stevens, 1971 (BMG Rights Management), from the album Teaser and the Firecat.

Losing Buddha and Finding Solace with a Little Help from George Harrison

8 Nov

Being sad sucks. Listening to George Harrison’s Here Comes The Sun helps. It has provided solace in a week of mourning. It has been a nurturing companion providing me with hope that there will soon be light.

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

You see, my Buddha passed. Perfectly named – yes, he had a big pink IMGP2541.cr.newsltrBuddha belly – Buddha was possessed of a calm, sweet, kind nature. Is it remarkable, fortuitous even, that it was George Harrison’s own signal of enlightenment that I was steered toward to help me deal with the loss of my precious Buddha? Palliative, meditative, uplifting, and altogether positive, Here Comes The Sun is the comfort food that is feeding me, filling me with hope.

Little darling, the smiles returning to their faces
Little darling, it seems like it’s years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right

An indication of exactly how persuasive it is, did you know Carl Sagan thought Here Comes The Sun should be included on the Voyager spacecraft’s Golden Record to provide any entity that recovered it a representative sample of human civilization? How cool, how appropriate.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

I miss Buddha so much. My heart is breaking. Yet here is this song about looking forward. That happy times will come again when the sun comes out. That there is a promise for new beginnings. That “… it’s all right.” I sure do hope so. In fact, I’m clinging to that.

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
It’s all right, it’s all right

 

Source:
Here Comes the Sun: Words and Music by George Harrison, copyright 1969 Northern Songs, from the Beatles’ album, Abbey Road.

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