Thursday, July 16, 2009

You may be a lover but you ain't no . . . .

Dancer?!  Think I know which one I would rather be good at . . .  Yes, you guessed it, writing and recording this song! Didn't see that one coming I'll bet!

By the way, I'm not sure how my little Canon digital camera managed to get a few of these pictures.  A couple of the stills turned out blurry though when I took them they looked fine.  Also, two pieces of video were unusable because the camera just would not focus, fortunately the audio turned out fine.

Still quite happy to have had the opportunity to see Sir Paul yesterday.  I believe that he is starting off his concert tour here in NYC at Citi Field-the new version of "Shea Stadium". So he plays at the Ed Sullivan Theater, homage to 1964, does it as a rooftop gig, homage to the Beatles Apple rooftop gig and starts off his tour at Citi Field, homage to the Beatles Shea Stadium gigs.  Nice trifecta!  Am I reading too much into this?  Most likely.  

As I recall, Paul wrote this song after hearing an interview of Pete Townshend proclaiming he had just written the most raucous rock song ever.  Paul, not one to be outdone wrote this little dity in response.  I can't help but think that recording a song like this could cause one to get blisters on their fingers.  

Anyhoo, as promised I'm posting a few more pictures and "Helter Skelter" in its entirety. video

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Adventure #4: When you least expect it . . .

So Emma and I set out on yet another adventure.  She wanted to go to the M & M's store in Times Square and I wanted to see a few more music sites in the same area.  Tin Pan Alley was a bit of a bust and the site of the old Record Plant recording studios has changed significantly.  Manny's Music Shop is gone but there is a nice marker on the sidewalk.  Sam Ash Music (now inhabits Manny's space) was nice, but I really had hoped to visit Manny's.  We meandered about some more just enjoying being together and talking various father-daughter "stuff".  

We wandered north on Broadway and I knew I could get a picture of the Brill Building and the Late Show marquee. 
 
As we approached the Late Show we could hear music, a sound check perhaps?!  We saw lots of people in the street.  We got closer and had to go a block out of our way to continue north as the sidewalk was closed.  That seemed a bit unusual, but nevertheless we journeyed on.  I couldn't help but notice lots of happily excited people with Beatles record albums and various other pieces of paper with Paul McCartney's autograph.  Now that tells me something, possibly something really big could be happening.  See, college is starting to pay off.

We made it up to 54th & Broadway and could see a stage with band gear set up and lots of police and security.  I asked a guy standing next to me what was going on and he said Sir Paul was going to play a few songs.  Emma was not really keen on standing for an hour waiting for music.  I kept her occupado and eventually (after Bruce Willis walked by-too bad I didn't actually see him) Sir Paul came out.

I must also mention that even though this being NYC where people are "a bit jaded" (well, that's how other people say it) everyone was excited and, dare I say, seemingly star struck!  It was a great time even before he started playing. And when he started off with "Get Back" (Oh, and yes, it was loud!) Emma got into it!  She's going to be my little rock and roller.  She took some video and lots of pictures (with varying degrees of success) and she really got into it!  In fact, once she saw news cameras and people being interviewed, leaving the area was simply out of the question.

This is something very interesting about NYC.  Stuff is happening all of the time.  You just never know what you may see.  The concert was great.  He played a couple of songs that I was not familiar with, threw in part of "Purple Haze" at the end of one song,  played "Band On The Run", "Helter Skelter" and ended with "Back In The USSR".  I must also add that his band was REALLY good (big surprise!).  They didn't miss anything.  I'm not sure what else Emma and I could see that could top this, unless of course, we get to see Townshend and Daltrey for free.

Am posting this 3:39 finale of "Back In The USSR" to enjoy.  Perhaps I'll post "Helter Skelter" in the next day or two.  Enjoy!
video

Adventure 3: Rock & Roll sites part one


I felt like a little kid seeing several rock & roll places in NYC.  Not sure Emma was as excited but had little choice except to accompany me.  She will thank me at some point in the future as "somebody" (other than me) is bound to be impressed by these sights and will recognize her with many "cool points" if those remain cultural currency.  I can only hope that I live long enough to say "See, I told you those were important places.  Aren't you glad we went?!"  I can dream, can't I? 

Started off at Madison Square Park for some live music (not really what we were expecting) and lunch at Shake Shack.  We then walked down Broadway through Union Square Park into the East Village and down to 96-98 St. Mark's Place.  It served as the cover of Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti" (though they edited out one floor to make it fit the cover) and #98's stoop was where the Rolling Stones filmed their video for "Waiting on a Friend".  It's changed "quite a bit" since that time.  There are now locked gates at the sidewalk, most likely to keep people like me from emulating Mick Jagger on their front porch.  

I did my best Mick pose (legally) on the sidewalk between 96 & 98 and Emma snapped the picture. Okay, I admit I'm not the snappy dresser that Mr. Jagger is and I have "a few pounds" on him, (I am however, much taller) but if you watch the video you'll understand the pose-Really!  Our space for taking pictures was limited because there were delivery trucks on both sides of us, but you can still "get the picture." Emma clearly recognized that we were probably the least hip of anyone in the surrounding area.  I prefer to believe it was just the opposite.  Oh well, to each his own delusion . . . . .

We then walked across 8th Street into Greenwich Village (still a very "FUN-ky" place) to 52 
West 8th where Electric Lady Studios are still in operation. It was built by Jimi Hendrix in late 1968 as his studio.  I'm not sure but Emma may have actually been impressed by this (or possibly just humoring me in hopes of scoring some treat immediately following).  

Next, we headed south to 115 MacDougal Street to Cafe Wha?  
This was Bob Dylan's old haunt and where Chas Chandler of the Animals "discovered" Jimi Hendrix with the help of Keith Richard's girlfriend (psst: she discovered him but Chandler gets all the credit).  Admittedly, this is not the original Cafe Wha? which was across the street from its current location, but it will do just fine.  This is a very cool neighborhood!

Lastly, we walked south on Mercer Street into SOHO for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex to see the the John Lennon exhibit. Saw lots of Elvis jumpsuits (cotton, not leather as I had always imagined) and other effects; Michael Jackson's "We Are The World" 'uniform' (complete); Jimi Hendrix' Rainbow Bridge shirt/jacket and Monterey medallion (very cool!); Handwritten lyrics to the Four Season's hit "Sherry" originally spelled "Cheri".

The last part was the Lennon exhibit.  Well worth the money! Of particular note were the original handwritten lyrics to "Working Class Hero", "God", and "Imagine" (very tiny and on a scrap of paper-perhaps a receipt??); many correspondences involving his fight to stay in NYC.  Emma was moved by a video that's part of the exhibit that had scenes of the results of "conflicts" in terms of human casualties, most notably Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq (1980's), Bosnia etc.  We used the scenes to talk about lots of "things" I thought we might discuss a few years down the road, but no time like the present.  We signed a petition that will be sent to the President at the end of the exhibit and got to see the bag of "possessions from patient #???" that was returned to Yoko Ono in February 1981.  It is all of John Lennon's possessions collected at Roosevelt Hospital on the night he was murdered.  It most closely resembles a brown paper shopping bag still wrapped in a clear plastic bag. That's it.  It is amazingly powerful in its simple presentation.

We left to board a train back to Roosevelt Island, both of us exhausted.  Emma seemed to have enjoyed the day after all.  I was glad and grateful she accompanied me.  My little buddy rocks!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Adventure number two


So Emma and I set out on our second adventure, with of course, sunscreen.  We checked out the  Chelsea area and all its interesting sights.  We wandered all around 14th Street and eventually got to see the Highline.  Then we went into the Chelsea Market for some lunch (yes, the picture) and every intention of seeing the Food Network Studios (we didn't).  We wandered along the Highline until it we reached its end, then checked out a number of art galleries.  All in all a wonderful day together.  Next up, various rock and roll sights in NYC.

A Remembrance, Ken Cottrell

I was saddened by the news that Ken passed away late last week in Austin.  He was on his way home on his motorcycle when a 33 year old drunk driver went through a stop sign at 51st and Springdale Road and hit him.  Ken was a talented musician and a kind and generous person.  He had a huge laugh that will be missed by many.  Our thoughts go out to his many friends and family.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Coney Island Escapade

So on Friday 7.10 I completed grading Final Exams and Emma and I headed off for an afternoon at Coney Island.  It was mostly sunny with the temperature at a sweltering 73 degrees and a wind chill somewhere near 66 degrees.  Yes, my friends, the heat was intense. We hopped onto the F train and away we went.  As we arrived Emma said she just wanted to go right to the ocean.  So we did.  We set up a camp and slathered on the sunscreen.  Well, mostly . . . . . .  She ran into the ocean and within about a minute (not kidding either!) she had made friends with a girl named "AJ" and a boy named Ryan, who I should mention did not know each other before Emma entered the water.  They had a blast for quite a while, meaning at least an hour.

The ocean temperature, by my standards was cold, because it was in fact, cold.  How anyone could stay in it for more than a couple of minutes is still beyond me.  That said, Emma stayed in it for several hours and tried every trick in her arsenal to avoid exiting.  Fortunately, I am older and only slightly wiser and I prevailed, eventually.

We did have a very good time and and after some much needed dinner we hopped back on the F train and returned to Roosevelt Island.  Emma made up a song about one of the stops on the F called "Ditmas Avenue".  I don't think there is anything of great import about Ditmas Avenue, it's just one of many stops along the F line. Anyhoo, Emma's song lasts as long as Iron Butterfly's classic ode to garbled lyrics, "In-a-gadda-da-vida", and contains only two words: DITMAS AVENUE!  Needless to say her song caused us to get the giggles for at least twenty minutes and may have bothered other commuters.

Upon returning back home it became rather clear that the slathering of sunscreen is very important.  However, failing to slather on the sunscreen will eventually become quite obvious.  I am providing two pictures of Emma.  One prior to our trip to CI and one after.  Can you identify where the sunscreen was not slathered?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Coney Island & the 4th of July

Well it's about time I posted something!  I know, "Blah, blah, blah!"  Anyhoo, We had a long weekend over the 4th of July and decided to go to Coney Island.  It's a very interesting place to say the least.  We chose to go on Friday with he hopes of missing masses of amusement park and beach goers on the 4th.  Not to mention, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest took place on the 4th.

We hopped the F train which took about an hour to arrive at CI.  Had to have a Coney Dog at Coney Island-not bad, and surprisingly not a veggie dog.  We wandered about and rode the gigungalous ferris wheel complete with shaking cage.  Then, because Emma and Kathy are adrenaline junkies, I felt compelled to join them on the Cyclone Roller Coaster.  It's a wooden roller coaster and it feels like being beaten with a sack full of oranges at approximately 60 mph.  The girls chose to ride again, but I decided the more prudent action would be to sit that one out and see if I could count the number of muscles involved in my whiplash.  Answer: it's a lot!

We also walked the along the boardwalk and just enjoyed seeing the sights as a family.  Emma absolutely loved the ocean!  She wants to go back to CI several times this week.  My class ends on Thursday, so if I can get exams graded early, I will take her on Friday.  It actually is lots of fun and I get to see a couple of Seinfeld spots, including where Kramer hits golf balls into the ocean and he scores a whale of a hole in one.

The 4th was pretty good too.  We actually just spent time lazin' about, at the local Roosevelt Island Fest, a couple of naps, and eventually scurrying across town to see glimpses of the fireworks along with about 2 million fellow New Yorkers.  It was very cool!  Then we walked from the west side of Manhattan to the east side (approx 2 miles) and safely back home again.  I thought I would feel much more claustrophobic than I did, but, I didn't!

This week sees my States of Consciousness class coming to an end, and I am looking forward to a little break.  Emma and I are planning a few adventures this week, possibly including taking Murphy to Central Park.  More to come . . . .