Beginning Felder's tale
I've begun reading "HEAVEN AND HELL: MY LIFE IN THE EAGLES (1974-2001)" an autobiography by DON FELDER, guitarist with the group.
Knowing the story of the EAGLES, there will be plenty of acrimony by the book's end. Now, however, I am reading about Felder's early days in GAINESVILLE, FLA., where he played in a teenage garage band with STEPHEN STILLS, gave guitar lessons to young TOM PETTY and became high school friends with Eagles founder BERNIE LEADON.
Interestingly, Felder is another of the countless musicians who was first influenced by watching ELVIS PRESLEY on television. What are our contemporary equivalents? Could there be any contemporary performers with such power to influence an entire generation?
I'll be interested to see how Felder handles descriptions of his band mates, some of whom do not boast the best reputations.
Get up early and get her ya-yas out
Whoah. It's gonna be a long six weeks.
KERSTIN began her DRIVER'S EDUCATION courses this morning -- so I had to have her at the high school front door by 6 a.m.
It meant an early wake-up call for both of us, and I thought it required some suitable music to accompany us on the trek across town (in dense fog, I might add).
"GET YER YA-YAS OUT! THE ROLLING STONES IN CONCERT" is one of my favorite albums from childhood.
My favorite Stone, MICK TAYLOR, had joined the band and his lead guitar play is prominent on the live versions of songs such as "Sympathy for the Devil."
It helped this morning that the album opens with "Jumpin' Jack Flash."
Kerstin and I were both just emerging from sleep when it was time to go. Thanks to the excitement of the live Stones, we easily completed our pre-dawn journey.
It became painful to watch
Were MANCHESTER UNITED really that good, or were ARSENAL just awful?
I still hadn't answered this question by the conclusion of United's 8-2 thrashing of the visiting Gunners today, except to tend toward believing that a little bit of both could be true.
Today's game on FOX SOCCER CHANNEL became increasingly difficult to watch, even for 16-year-old daughter KERSTIN -- a United supporter. The gulf in class was just too wide.
The once-proud Arsenal were almost reduced to the status of practice-field cones by rampant United, who were led by hat-trick scoring Wayne Rooney.
I thought Arsenal's defense should shoulder much of the blame, as they routinely looked out of sorts.
The commentators noted that the day's aggregate tally stood at Manchester 13, north London 3, after the day's earlier result: MANCHESTER CITY seeing off TOTTENHAM, 5-1. An utterly forgettable day for London's football clubs, then.
It's just a phase -- a country rock phase
I popped in a PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE CD while driving to the FARMERS' MARKET this morning and JILL automatically started echoing the words of "AMIE."
"Ha! You love it when I'm in a country rock phase because you can finally sing along to the songs I play!"
My current country rock phase began while listening to BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD. It was natural, then, to follow Richie Furay's career path to the absolutely wonderful POCO (my favorite country rock band) and then onto the underrated SOUTHER-HILLMAN-FURAY BAND.
J.D. Souther is a towering country rock songwriter, so I listened to his work with the EAGLES.
When I grew slightly tired of the Eagles' commercialized and streamlined approach, I turned back to DILLARD & CLARK and eventually to Pure Prairie League.
It just seems like the perfect music for the past several days, and Jill is happy, because she can sing along.
Back to school Friday Question
Members of the ROUTE 1 family returned to school this week, prompting the latest FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What was the hardest thing about going back to school when you were a kid?"
KERSTIN H. -- Going to bed early n all of the homework.
RICK T. -- Getting up in the mornings.
SANDYE V. -- It was the loss of freedom after 3 months of roaming freely, dressing casually, swimming, bike riding and reading all day --- having to wear a dress (yes!) and sit still at a desk all day in a stifling, stuffy classroom taught by cranky old maids.
INGER H. -- Waking up early. Ugh.
MARY N.-P. -- When I was in 1st grade, in rural southern Georgia, I was so scared about going to school that my mother had to come sit with me in the classroom for the first day or 2 (they apparently allowed that in 1955). I can't remember what upset me, but I must have been shy and clingy or something - yea, that didn't last long. After that, I really loved school, especially those first few days when all your supplies are new and the classrooms are clean and neat and the teachers are fresh and enthusiastic...
JOHN S. -- Wearing the school uniform!
BRIAN C. -- Repeating second grade. Actually, it probably was giving up those seemingly endless hours of sandlot baseball games.
KERI M. -- When I was younger? Nothing. Now? Going back.
ERIK H. -- Not being able to read what I wanted to read.
Irene's path to New York
I have to work Sunday, and I plan to check the newsroom television sets for the progress of HURRICANE IRENE.
If the developing storm follows its projected track, it could become only the sixth hurricane to strike within 75 miles of NEW YORK CITY -- Gloria in 1985, Belle in 1976 and a trio of unnamed storms in 1938, 1894 and 1893, according to information from the WEATHER CHANNEL.
The 1938 storm was the worst of the previous five, killing 60 people on Long Island. More than 20 people were swept out to sea in Westhampton Beach.
The NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE forecast for New York this Sunday is typically succinct:
"Tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 77. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent."
I'll be keeping an eye on the storm as an interested observer, having spent some enjoyable times in the BIG APPLE.
Appreciating Changa's white shoes
These days in AUSTRALIAN RUGBY LEAGUE, the referees wear pink and the players' shoes come in a rainbow of colors.
The current palette makes it difficult to appreciate the sensation caused in 1975, when ST. GEORGE star GRAEME "CHANGA" LANGLANDS raced onto the field for the GRAND FINAL wearing white shoes.
The reason he never wore those barrier-breaking shoes again is the stuff of rugby league legend, and a tale I read about in my rugby league book the other day.
Langlands had a horrific time in the big match -- even being withdrawn in the second half -- and he superstitiously refused to wear white shoes while playing thereafter.
The real culprit wasn't the shoes, though, but a pain-killing injection Langlands received before the match with EASTERN SUBURBS. The injection struck a nerve, weakening the leg to the point of uselessness. Langlands attempted to kick a ball out of bounds (into touch, as they would say) early in the match. The ball rolled weakly off his foot.
Easts easily won the title, winning the match, 38-0, and the white shoes were no more. For a while, at least.
'Made in the Shade' on a rainy morning
I work a later shift, so I'm tinkering with playlists on the iPod while rain falls outside.
I replicated THE ROLLING STONES compilation "MADE IN SHADE," culling the songs from the albums from the MICK TAYLOR era -- my favorite time period for the band.
The collection of "Brown Sugar," "Tumbling Dice," "Happy," "Dance Little Sister," "Wild Horses," "Angie," "Bitch," "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like it)," "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" and "Rip This Joint" marks Taylor's farewell from the band. It also served as a general high-water mark of the band's output.
Writing in ROLLING STONE magazine at the time, Stephen Davis said the 1975 compilation "reaffirms the Rolling Stones' role as rock's best and most consistent band."
All but the band's most fervent supporters would agree that consistency dropped in succeeding years.
It's a compilation -- and now an iPod playlist -- that reminds me of my youth. These songs inhabited the classic-rock radio world of my early days, before I became gripped by alternative rock and other genres.
Leiber's songs are their own monument to greatness
There's no real need to eulogize JERRY LEIBER, the songwriting titan who died today age 78.
His songs pay a greater tribute than mere words could -- particularly his peerless collaborations with MIKE STOLLER.
Here are five of my favorites:
"LOVE POTION NO. 9"
There's no question he will be missed.
Winding down the summer with Poco
The split of BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD had fascinating and unprecedented implications for the course of American music.
NEIL YOUNG split to launch his epochal solo career, STEPHEN STILLS split to join forces with Graham Nash and David Crosby (and occasionally Young), and RICHIE FURAY and JIM MESSINA created an enduring template for country rock in POCO.
I've been returning to the sounds of the latter band for more than a week -- it's heartfelt twang helped me relax during a HEALTH REPORTING BOOT CAMP at the UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI.
Furay, Messina and pedal steel guitarist RUSTY YOUNG recorded the song "Kind Woman" for Buffalo Springfield's third and final album, "LAST TIME AROUND," in 1968. The trio then continued mining this rich vein of countrified rock in Poco.
Poco's music seems imbued with a back-porch vibe -- an off-the-cuff quality often missing from the platinum-selling EAGLES, who cashed-in while following in Poco's wake (and poaching a couple of Poco's members).
I think this vibe reflects the final days of summer, conjuring images of late-afternoon sunlight and lengthening shadows.
Fittingly, today is the final day of summer in our house: Both girls return to school tomorrow.
I'll spend part of the day listening to Poco, soaking up as much of their back-porch vibe as I can.
Reacquainted with "Stand By Me," thanks to Leona
Regional Fellows of the ASSOCIATION OF HEALTH CARE JOURNALISTS (of which I am one) receive a meal stipend during training seminars and other fellowship functions. Fellowship funding comes from THE LEONA M. AND HARRY B. HELMSLEY CHARITABLE TRUST, a grant-making organization that supports advancements in health and medical advancements and -- unbeknownst to them -- nostalgic reunions with 1980s coming-of-age movies.
The latter Trust function first occurred yesterday, when I used my final few bills of my recent meal stipend to purchase a DVD copy of ROB REINER'S "STAND BY ME."
I had been wanting to see this film again for so long.
If you've forgotten, the plot of the 1986 film follows a group of boys embarking on a journey into the forest to find the body of a local teen struck and killed by a train.
Young actors WIL WHEATON, RIVER PHOENIX, COREY FELDMAN and JERRY O'CONNELL form the heart of the cast.
Wheaton later explained how perfect casting lent the film its indelible quality, a classicism that resonated when I watched the movie last night:
"Rob Reiner found four young boys who basically were the characters we played. I was awkward and nerdy and shy and uncomfortable in my own skin and really, really sensitive, and River was cool and really smart and passionate and even at that age kind of like a father figure to some of us, Jerry was one of the funniest people I had ever seen in my life, either before or since, and Corey was unbelievably angry and in an incredible amount of pain and had an absolutely terrible relationship with his parents."
It's hard to watch the film now and not mourn the passing of Phoenix, whose acting career and life were cut short by an overdose death.
We can, however, enjoy his performance in "Stand By Me," frozen in time, and well-worth revisiting.
Thanks again, Leona.
Where have you been? Oh yeah, *I* was gone
I'm sitting here sipping coffee and trying to decide how to begin returning to normality.
In case ROUTE 1 readers hadn't noticed (please say you have, if only to safeguard my self esteem), I have been gone a week -- days spent studying the reporting of health care at a fellowship training held by the ASSOCIATION OF HEALTH CARE JOURNALISTS at the UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI JOURNALISM SCHOOL. M-I-Z-Z-O-U... RAH!
My fellow "fellows" and I -- drawn from news outlets in NORTH DAKOTA, SOUTH DAKOTA, MINNESOTA, NEBRASKA and IOWA -- learned much over the span of the week.
That was in the classroom. We were also schooled in the charms of COLUMBIA, MO., and its vibrant college atmosphere.
Days spent studying spreadsheets gave way to nights consuming Shakespeare's Pizza, lectures on insurance coverage gave way to sharing stories with friends while sipping a $1 "bad beer" and reviewing hospital finance reporting procedures gave way to avoiding the staggering drunk college kids on warm nights under the illuminated "Tiger" sign in Columbia's downtown.
It was a great week, and today I'll probably spend time slowly returning to normal -- and recovering a cold I ironically picked up at a health-care conference.
Don't forget to keeping reading Route 1 every day -- I promise I'm back.
Calming the pre-trip nerves
I'm not sure why, but I always become nervous on the eve of a major trip.
It can't be lack of travel experience: I have literally traveled to the other side of the world and back.
It must be something in my nature.
I fly tomorrow (via a rather circuitous route) to COLUMBIA, MO., for a week of journalism training at the UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI.
As I put the finishing touches on my preparations -- including the last-minute packing -- I am watching a little PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL to calm my nerves.
I love English football. It's my favorite sport, and watching it seems to restore a sense of equilibrium to me.
I watched visiting BOLTON ruin QUEENS PARK RANGERS' return to the top-flight with a 4-0 victory earlier today. Now, I am watching NEWCASTLE and ARSENAL battle in the northeast.
ROUTE 1 will be on hiatus during my trip, but don't worry: We will be back, primed for action, when we return.
Summer of memories
ROUTE 1 is about to head back to school -- for a week. We're involved in a health-journalism "boot camp" at the UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI.
The school year is drawing nearer for other people, too, leading to this week's FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What will you remember most about this summer?"
RICK T. -- Going to Nashville Tennessee and recording my CD.
SASKIA M. -- Finally temperatures to my liking: nice and hot!
JIM S. -- Besides the horrible heat and record-setting rain, I'll remember my Dairy Queen Little League team's third-place tournament finish and winding up my book about tri-state high school boys basketball.
KERI M. -- Getting a Wii for my birthday!
MARY N.-P. -- For all the beauty and quiet of glorious summer nights, so many of the days were BEASTLY HOT! I've never wiped my brow (and neck and back and arms, etc . etc,) so often - without much success. Someone likened the days inside because of the oppressive heat to the long, dark days inside in the dead of winter...
ANNIKA H. -- Going to St. Louis for Kerstin's 16th birthday.
SANDYE V. -- The obvious answer is heat and flood. But summer is always hot and Benton only got 3 1/2 inches of rain when Dubuque got 14. I'll remember it as the summer of the Japanese beetles: the thumb-size iridescent green ones, not the ones that look like ladybugs. They chew up leaves until there's nothing left but lacy shell. Once a day I collect the beetles where they clump (reproducing? ick) and drop them by the dozens into a container of soapy water. If everyone did this, we could eradicate them!!!
BRIAN M. -- I will most remember how LATE the summer started. By my count, we've only had about a month of REAL summer.
MIKE D. -- Being so-o-o-o busy running to all of my kids' baseball and soccer games and practices. And the flood.
ERIK H. -- The hot weather and the flood, but also the days when I was the only person up in the morning because Jill was off work and the girls were sleeping in.
5 reasons for listening to Earth, Wind & Fire
My five reasons for listening to EARTH, WIND & FIRE today:
1. It's a brilliantly sun-drenched morning, a little on the cool side, that reminds me of LOS ANGELES -- EWF's base for so many years.
2. Band leader and drummer MAURICE WHITE hired a number of outstanding musicians for his collective. Like great jazz bandleaders, he functioned as a peerless talent scout for musicians.
3. The arrangements of songs such as "EVIL" are intricate enough that I lose myself trying to unravel the threads.
4. AL McKAY. I'm a sucker for great funk guitarists.
5. I admire how they could sell records while largely remaining true to a musical vision of combining FUNK with other forms of African-American music.
Sigh... another day goes by with Gram Parsons not in the Hall of Fame
I've been listening to "THE GILDED PALACE OF SIN" by THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS, which once again reminds me of that great, enduring injustice in country music.
GRAM PARSONS is still not in the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME.
Parsons nearly single-handedly invented what is known as "country rock" and his legacy extends to many of these current guitar-slinging country superstars. Yet, there is no official recognition for the man who opened the musical door for so many of these current stars.
Parsons protege EMMYLOU HARRIS was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008, and she spoke of her indebtedness to the man who died at the age of 26. If you think Parson's early, drug-influenced demise is costing him his place, then consider Hank Williams, whose death at 29 remains clouded by controversy.
Is his long hair and hippy ways keeping Parsons out of the Hall of Fame? That would be a true shame.
Close your eyes and just listen to the music. With the Byrds, the Burritos, or as a solo artist, Parsons made country music that stands the test of time -- like the country music masters of the past who have secured a place in the hall.
You can click on this link, to sign an online petition to get Parsons into the Hall of Fame. And tell your friends: There is a great injustice continuing to occur in the world of country music.
Rioting strikes the places I love
I came home from work last night and sat transfixed, listening on BBC LONDON 94.9 online as the LONDON RIOTING spread to more of the places I love.
The mayhem in Mare Street, HACKNEY struck close to where my sister INGER and I enjoyed a Christmas pantomime at the wonderful Hackney Empire theatre.
The violence in NOTTING HILL struck close to where we stayed during our London visit. BRIXTON felt the wrath of the looting youths the night before. I had spent a day wandering the market along Brixton's famed Electric Avenue.
Rioting has spread across all parts of London, with no immediate hints that the unrest will conclude any time soon.
Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham and Bristol also saw violence in rioting that has forced the postponement of FOOTBALL matches, too -- today's Carling Cup matches at Charlton, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Bristol City as well as tomorrow's scheduled friendly between England and Holland at Wembley.
There's no telling when it will end, or how many more of my favorite places will become engulfed.
Merritt makes history
NATHAN MERRITT just made history, and I was lucky enough to hear it on the radio.
The fullback became the first SOUTH SYDNEY player in 54 years to score five tries in a match as the RABBITOHS beat the PARRAMATTA EELS, 56-6, in NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.
I listened to the match on TRIPLE M SYDNEY 104.9 live online.
Merritt scored three tries in the first half and two more after halftime to lead the Bunnies, the club owned by film star RUSSELL CROWE.
Ironically, the last two Rabbitohs to score five tries in matches were Eric Sladden and Ian Moir, who accomplished their feats in separate matches during the 1957 season -- against Parramatta. The Eels finished last that season, and are in danger of doing so again this season.
There's a Riot Goin' On
Shops looted... homes destroyed... people injured...
I'm listening to BBC RADIO LONDON and continuing coverage of last night's TOTTENHAM RIOTS.
There is apparently trouble tonight in both ENFIELD and BRIXTON -- the latter being an area I visited when in LONDON.
As always, there are deep-seated, complicated problems underlying the disturbances, which followed a protest about a fatal police shooting.
I'm frankly surprised similar episodes have not yet happened on this side of the Atlantic.
Having some fun with the young Stones
There's something endearing about the first couple of albums by THE ROLLING STONES.
I've finished each of the past two weeks by listening to the band's eponymous U.K. debut and its British follow-up, simply titled "THE ROLLING STONES NO. 2."
MICK JAGGER and KEITH RICHARDS were fledgling songwriters in those early days -- they saved their best stuff for the singles, which were typically excluded from the British albums -- so the first two albums are mostly filled with an interesting mix of covers.
On the second album, the band includes covers of popular songs ("Under the Boardwalk") and more obscure tunes ("Down Home Girl," by Jerry Leiber and Artie Butler). The latter boasts one of my favorite lines in a song: "Every time you move like that, I've gotta go to Sunday Mass."
The Stones were nowhere near their creative peak on these first two albums, but they were certainly having fun -- a sense that pervades these songs.
The opening pair of "before-they-were-rock-stars" Stones LPs easily prompt me to smile.
Meet the earworms
It's a good thing I usually arrive at work before most of my coworkers -- invariably when I arrive I am loudly humming my latest EARWORM -- a tune that gets stuck in a person's head!
This week, ROUTE 1 readers share the tunes in their minds by answering the following FRIDAY QUESTION:
"What songs always become earworms -- those tunes that get stuck in your head?"
RICK T. -- "Na Na Nanna, Na Na Nanna, Hey Hey Hey, Good Bye"! Go White Sox!
JIM S. -- Almost any song I hear before turning off the music or walking away. But some that stick in my mind when I'm running are "Who's That Lady," by the Isley Brothers, "Burning Love," by Elvis Presley, "Constant Craving," by K.D. Lang and "Steady as She Goes," by the Raconteurs.
ANNIKA H. -- "Friday" by Rebecca Black.
SANDYE V. -- It's usually the last tune I've heard somewhere. I've also noticed that when I'm learning a new song, the next day I wake up and don't remember a note, but on the second day it comes back to me as one of those earworm thingies. It's something about processing in the unconscious.
KERI M. -- That stupid Niki Minaj one recently.
ERIK H. -- Yolt-Holt Unlimited were an American soul and jazz instrumental ensemble based around drummer Red Holt and bassist Eldee Young, former members of the Ramsey Lewis Trio. Young-Holt's 1968 single "Soulful Strut" never fails to get stuck in my head -- as does the original song it was based on: Barbara Acklin's "Am I the Same Girl."
It's never to early to praise the Sylvers -- just ask the dog
What should you do when the dog wakes you up an hour early and you can't get back to sleep?
I have been spending this unexpected "free time" listening to the SYLVERS.
Gone but not quite forgotten -- I'll explain why in a minute -- the Sylvers were a family group akin to the JACKSON 5, except the Sylvers were from Memphis and relocated to Southern California (instead of being from Gary, Ind., and relocating to Southern California).
OK, the main difference is that the Jacksons had more and bigger hits, but don't dismiss the Sylvers. in Leon Sylvers the family had a good songwriter.
Good enough that although you won't often hear Sylvers' singles such as "Boogie Fever" or "Fool's Paradise" on the radio these days, you will hear *parts* of Sylvers songs.
Here's why they are not quite forgotten: Hip-hop artists have made a killing sampling parts of Sylvers' songs. "It's Funky Enough" by The D.O.C. sampled Foster Sylvers's "Misdemeanor" and J Dilla's "Two Can Win" memorably sampled "Only One Can Win" from the Sylvers' debut album. Ghostface Killah and other rappers have also plundered the Sylvers' catalog.
They made an endearing style of soul music. I know, I've been listening to it for about an hour now, thanks to the dog.
Aussie sports from a simpler time
Today's bomb scare involving the teenage girl in Mosman, in suburban SYDNEY, triggered memories of my trip to AUSTRALIA.
Warmed by those memories, I am relaxing tonight by reading a heavy book I lugged back from Down Under -- "THE HISTORY OF THE RUGBY LEAGUE CLUBS."
It was so worth the extra weight in my suitcase. I turn to this marvelous book time and again to learn more about the sport that captivates New South Wales and Queensland.
Tonight, I'm reading about the 1938 Grand Final victory by CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN, only the fourth season of the club's existence.
The Berries, as they were known then (they are the Bulldogs now) faced EASTERN SUBURBS, who were aiming for a fourth successive title.
Canterbury's Joe Gartner provided the two tries that sealed Canterbury's 19-6 victory. Jim Duncombe also crossed the line for Canterbury. It's fun reading about a competition that at that time only had eight clubs, no salary cap breaches to sully the sport, and no media magnates dictating league operations. I wish I could go back in time to watch a match back then.
"Back Stabbers" orients the disoriented
There's always something slightly otherworldly about driving down deserted streets in the pitch-black, wee hours of the morning.
I drove JILL to the airport today, so she could catch an early morning flight to FLORIDA for a business trip.
I find it helps to have good music on hand, to ground me while I feel disoriented by the early morning circumstances.
I listened to "BACK STABBERS" by THE O'JAYS while driving home, alone in the car. It is a fantastic album, boasting four fine singles, "992 Arguments," the title track, "Time to Get Down" and the chart-topping "Love Train."
"Back Stabbers" goes beyond those singles, though, with other great tunes such as "Listen to the Clock on the Wall," "Who Am I" and "Sunshine," to name just three.
There's a reason the 1972 album always has five stars affixed to its reviews.
I give it "thumbs up" during lonely drives back from the airport, too.
Diggin' the *OTHER* Santana brother
I'm listening to the *other* SANTANA brother on my day off today -- JORGE SANTANA.
Specifically, I am enjoying the 1972 self-titled debut by Jorge Santana's band MALO.
It is a fantastic album, buoyed by the single "SUAVECITO," which climbed to No. 18 in the American pop charts.
There are some fantastic musicians on here, including Coke Escovedo (percussion, Sheila E.'s uncle), Abel Zarate (guitar) and Pablo Tellez (bass).
This album is a true BAY AREA classic, recorded in San Mateo, Calif.
You should definitely check it out.