Monday, January 31, 2011

Should Roy and I Revisit 161 West Fourth Street?

My old friend Roy Herschaft brought this article in the Village Voice to my attention.  We reminisced about the time in 1966 or 1967 when we made a special trip to Greenwich Village to find 161 West Fourth Street where Bob Dylan lived when he moved to NYC in 1961.  The article  written by Rob Trucks commemorates the 50th anniversary of his arrival.  He states how unfortunate it is that so few of the landmarks integral to the Dylan legend still exist.  There is now a sex shop below the apartment that he shared with Suze Rotolo at 161 West 4th Street.

I remember walking around the Village in the late 1960s during the era of the Hippie.  I loved looking around the House of Oldies for rare records.  Back in 1966 they had a copy of the Butcher album for sale for only $20.  I could not afford it back then, but now it must be worth thousands.  After my last final exam in January 1968 at CCNY I bought the eagerly awaited Dylan album John Wesley Harding at the House of Oldies.

When I think back to Dylan and Greenwich Village I recall his Positively Fourth Street which was the followup hit to Like a Rolling Stone.  It is such a bitter song.

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that’s winning

You say I let you down
You know it’s not like that
If you’re so hurt
Why then don’t you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that’s not where it’s at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You’re in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I’d make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don’t know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, “How are you?” “Good luck”
But you don’t mean it

When you know as well as me
You’d rather see me paralyzed
Why don’t you just come out once
And scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I’d rob them

And now I know you’re dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don’t you understand
It’s not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is
To see you

Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another Facebook Article in the Sunday Styles Section of the New York Times

Let me discuss the article "Does Facebook Make Someone Social Offline?" by just analyzing the title.  My quick answer is no.  Very often people post things on Facebook that they would never say to someone's face.  I have many Facebook friends who also work at NJIT but I can pass them by on campus and nothing is said.  A few months ago there was the 5th Annual Meet and Greet of Oldies Fans.  A large percentage of the people were Facebook friends, but how many did I speak with that day?  Only a few.

There were two publications cited in this article:

Got Facebook? Investigating What’s Social About Social Media,” by S. Craig Watkins and H. Erin Lee, the University of Texas, Austin. Click on the link and the publication is available.  I just looked at it very quickly and observed a detailed statistical study.

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books, 2011. Print.
This book looks promising.  I just noticed that it is available for the Amazon Kindle.  I'll have to read it when I get the time.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's fundraising time for two excellent radio stations

I have encouraged readers of Bruce's Journal to support their favorite non-profit radio stations. WBGO and WFUV are having fund raising drives at this time. Since I donated to WFUV in the Fall, I gave a $100 donation to WBGO yesterday. Keep up the excellent programming.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wilpons seek buyer for 25% stake in Mets

This was reported in Crain's New York Business.  Unfortunately it had something to do with the Bernie Madoff nonsense.  I think I am going to empty out my bank account including my retirement account and buy the entire franchise from the Wilpons.  If I am a little short I am sure that Alan Berman can help me out.

The first thing I will do is to lower all prices including seats and food to the 1964 levels when Shea Stadium opened.  I wonder if Jet Screamer will come to some games since he loves 1964, but hates all New York teams.  Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Faith and Fear in Flushing - Book and Blog

A snow day provides time to engage in leisure activities. I do read on the commute to work, but with making changes from one train to another, I can usually read for only 20 minutes at a time. Today I spent a few hours with:

Prince, Greg W. Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets. New York, NY: Skyhorse Pub, 2009. Print.

I had seen this book on the shelf of the Mitchell Linden branch of the Queensborough Public Library for at least a year. I always thought to myself that I have read all too many books about the Mets over the years. I thought that is there anything more I can learn about my favorite team? About two weeks I finally decided to take this book out and read after I finished my latest book about the Beatles.

I was pleasantly surprised that although the author Greg W. Prince did not offer new revelations about the Mets, he did present his book in a friendly and personal style. He was born on December 31, 1962 and suggests that he was conceived about the same time the Mets played their very first game. He became a Mets fan at age 6 and attended his first game in 1973. He describes how he took the Long Island Railroad to Shea Stadium and details many of the games he viewed at Shea Stadium or on television.

Greg certainly loved Shea Stadium although so many other people including Mike Francesa of WFAN described it as a dump. It was not the Taj Mahal, but it was our place for 45 years. I still miss its symmetry and find Citifield too corporate and more expensive than Shea.

I disagree with Greg on one issue. He hates the Yankees while I don’t and rarely yell out Yankees suck. I root for the Bronx Bombers except for the time that they play for the Mets. I must assume that Greg doesn’t have any children since there was no mention of any in the book. In my family “child is father to the man” since Lee is a bigger Met fan than I am. He saw his first Met game when he was 5. At age 22 he still wants to run over to hug Mr. Met.

The copyright date is 2009 so the author did not document whether he came to Shea Stadium as it was being demolished from October 2008 - March 2009. It was very sad for me to see it being deconstructed as I passed by on the #7 Flushing train or in my car. I will have to read his blog at It seems very wordy, so I’ll have to spend sometime with it.

I recommend this book to all Met fans especially those who miss Shea Stadium.

Snowstorm of the week

New York City was hit with about 15 inches of snow setting a record for total snowfall in January.  Overnight up to 3 inches an hour of snow came down.  NJIT is closed so I am home with a snow day.  In any event most public transportation is not running as of 8 AM.  You know the old saying "Everybody talks about the weather, bot nobody does anything about it."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Photo of My Two Heroes

Why did Lee have to wear his 3 Stooges t-shirt when he met Mr.Zimmerman?  What was Robin the Boy Wonder doing in the background?

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Memories of WMCA

The passing of former WMCA program director Ruth Meyer was reported on several radio message boards this past weekend. The aim of this journal entry is to discuss my memories of WMCA since a good history of the station can be found on Allan Sniffen's web site.  I am sure that Facebook friend  and radio historian Vince Santerelli has much in his file on this historic New York radio station.

I remember WMCA for having a much deeper playlist than WABC back in the 1960s.  Many good records that were not big hits could be heard only on WMCA in NYC.  I remember listening to Dan Daniel counting down the top 25 hits from 4 - 7 PM.  There was always the great rivalry between WABC and WMCA back then with each station trying to put the newest Beatles record on the air.  I never phoned in to try to win a WMCA Good Guy sweatshirt, but David Stein sent me a replica a few years ago.  Below is a photo of Alan Berman, Dean of Oldies Listeners, wearing a WMCA Good Guy sweatshirt.

In the late 1990s, the Museum of TV and Radio now known as the Paley Center held a salute to WMCA where Ruth Meyer and the living DJs from the Top 40 era were there.  Alan Berman was there, but we were not acquainted at that time.

It was sad in September 1970 when WMCA dropped the music for a telephone talk format called Dialog Radio 57.  I listened to Jack Spector's sports talk show back then.  R. Peter Straus owned the station for many years, but sold it to the Federal Broadcasting Company (somebody please correct me if I am wrong).  That company kept the talk radio format, but eventually sold it Salem who made it a religious station.

For a few years Al Gordon hosted a Jewish show from 2 AM - 6 AM on Sunday mornings.  Al hooked me up with WMCA morning host Kevin Cottrell who was the DJ at Lee's Bar Mitzvah in 2001.

Every day on the train ride to Newark I pass the WMCA shack pictured above and their towers in Kearney. NJ.

RIP Ruth Meyer and thanks for all the good years at Fabulous 57.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Big Hockey Fan in the Family

Here is a picture of Lee at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA a few years ago wearing a Scifinder Scholar t-shirt with the Periodic Table of the Elements.  He may not distinguish himself as a chemistry librarian or a basketball player, but he has quickly become the biggest hockey fan in the Slutsky family.  This afternoon as we visited my Mother in Westbury, Lee insisted that we all watch the NBC game featuring the Philadelphia Flyers against the Chicago Blackhawks.  His grandmother remarked the hockey is boring since all the players do is just skate back and forth.  I remember I became interested in hockey in the early 1960s when I watched the Rangers on Saturday night on WPIX-TV when Win Elliot was the announcer.  I saw my first game hockey game at the old Madison Square Garden at 8th Avenue and 50th Street in late 1963 shortly after the Kennedy assasination.  The Rangers lost that game to the Montreal Canadians 6-2.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Are 3D Movies Worth the extra cost?

Today we went over to the local multiplex to see The Green Hornet in 3D.  When we go the bargain matinee we usually pay $8.50 to see a movie.  However, this theater adds $4.50 to see a 3D movie raising the total cost to $13.  In my opinion there were very scenes in this movie that really took advantage of the 3D technology.  Avatar was another story where the director properly used 3D in most of the scenes.  I didn't think that was worth paying $4.50 extra for this special effect. 

A few comments about talk radio

I use Google analytics to see how people are accessing Bruce's Journal.  Someone found the journal by searching under the keywords Bruce Flushing WFAN.  There is a regular phone caller to that station who identifies himself as Bruce from Flushing.  This is not me.  The last time I phoned a sports talk radio show was in the early 1980s when I called Art Rusk Jr. on WABC.

I listen to WFAN a few times a week for only about 20 minutes at a time since much of the talk is repititious.  How much can you talk about the Jets against Steelers?  For two weeks the hosts will just talk about the Superbowl.  I don't call because I don't want to be kept on hold for a long time.  I wonder if some of the regular callers don't have to wait to talk to the host.

Since I am not a political person I am just not interested in political talk radio.  If the host disagrees, he will either cut the caller off or make a fool out of him.  Most of these hosts are arrogant and pompous.

Back to music radio. Right now I am listening to the Saturday Morning Function with Bob Porter on WBGO.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Oy Vey - There could be another big snowstorm next week

We had about 3-5 inches of snow overnight into the early morning.  It was still snowing as I left my house at about 6:45 AM, but by the time the train entered New Jersey at about 8 AM the sun was shining.  The Weather Channel reports there could be a big snowstorm on the East coast next Tuesday into Wednesday or Thursday.  It is too early for an accurate forecast, but the way things are going this winter it looks like this will happen.  Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

50 years ago today

It was 50 years ago today the John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the torch was passed to a new generation.  I remember I was in the 6th grade in P.S. 139 and Mrs. Berger was my teacher.  One of the students wanted to bring in a portable television to school that day so that the class could watch.  There was a very big snow storm that day, so we all stayed home to watch it.  Where have all these years gone.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Visit a Ticket Booth and Save Money

When you buy tickets for a show or sporting event online there is always a hefty fee for Ticketmaster or Telecharge or similar service.  I guess when you do that you are paying for the convenience of buying tickets from the luxury of your own home.  Sometimes, you have to do it that way, but whenever I can I like to buy tickets at the box office to save money.  I didn't have to be at work until 12 noon today, so I stopped at the Imperial Theater on West 45th Street to buy tickets for Billy Elliot for the end of March.  From there I walked down to buy tickets for St. Johns against Pittsburgh basketball in February.  This trip saved me about $50.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some Jeopardy Notes

1. I signed up to take the online test to become a contestant.  It will be on Tuesday February 8th at 8 PM.  I have taken it for a few years now and do very poorly.  I assume that people who do well on the test are invited for an audition.  I think contestants are also judged on their personality.  For the last few years the contestants on Who Wants to be a Millionaire have not done too well in the game, but seem to be entertaining.  I think the producers of Jeopardy do a much better job of screening the contestants.

2.  The current champion on Jeopardy Anthony Fox has now won 4 games in a row while missing the Final Jeopardy question.

3.  For the second time in a week I got the Final Jeopardy question correct while all of the players got it wrong.  Today's answer  The two states in the USA which only have one consonant.  What are Ohio and Iowa?

4  All fans of Jeopardy show check out a fan site which archives every show in the Alex Trebek era.

5.  I am really looking forward to the match among Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and the IBM computer on February 14-16

Monday, January 17, 2011

Our MLK Day Tradition Continues

I have lost track of how many years in a row we have gone to Madison Square Garden on King Day to see the Knicks.  The Garden was sold out as Amare Stoudemire's 41 points were not enough as the Knicks fell to the Phoenix Suns 129-121.  These high scring games seem to be the rule in the Mike D'Antoni coaching era.  The Knicks allowed too many open shots.  I didn't here the sound of DEE FENSE today.  I fondly recall the days of Dave DeBusschere and Willis Reed  in the late 60s and early 70s.

Game Recap

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Celebrating MultiCulturalism In Memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

Queens is arguably the most culturally diverse county in the United States.  Today we went to interfaith meeting at the Free Synagogue of Flushing to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.  There were speeches by:
  • Har Meri Preet - Sikh Center of Flushing
  • Imam Yusef Ramadan - Masjid Nuriddin, Corona
  • Rabbi Michael Weisser - Free Synagogue of Flushing
There were interfaith benedictions by all clergy present.  The program concluded by the entire audience singing We Shall Overcome

We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
We shall overcome someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.

The Lord will see us through, The Lord will see us through,
The Lord will see us through someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.

We're on to victory, We're on to victory,
We're on to victory someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We're on to victory someday.

We'll walk hand in hand, we'll walk hand in hand,
We'll walk hand in hand someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We'll walk hand in hand someday.

We are not afraid, we are not afraid,
We are not afraid today;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We are not afraid today.

The truth shall make us free, the truth shall make us free,
The truth shall make us free someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
The truth shall make us free someday.

We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace,
We shall live in peace someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall live in peace some

Saturday, January 15, 2011

No Media Time Outs in Division II Basketball

Don't you just hate all those time outs when watching college or professional basketball on TV or in person.  In Division I college basketball there are media time outs every 4 minutes plus the 5 time outs that each team is allowed.  I also hate the intentional fouls that slow up the game.

Today after visiting my mom in Westbury we drove to CW Post and saw the Pioneers defeat Dowling College 80-70.  The game started at 3:45 PM and ended at 5:15 PM.  Game Summary

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ballad of Hollis Brown - Bob Dylan song for this week

Bob Dylan songs are always open to interpretation.  You can evaluate the entire song or just parts of this.  I think this song is appropriate as we think of a tragic event this week.  You can change the number and the state of the union.

Ballad Of Hollis Brown

Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
With his wife and five children
And his cabin fallin’ down

You looked for work and money
And you walked a rugged mile
You looked for work and money
And you walked a rugged mile
Your children are so hungry
That they don’t know how to smile

Your baby’s eyes look crazy
They’re a-tuggin’ at your sleeve
Your baby’s eyes look crazy
They’re a-tuggin’ at your sleeve
You walk the floor and wonder why
With every breath you breathe

The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
If there’s anyone that knows
Is there anyone that cares?

You prayed to the Lord above
Oh please send you a friend
You prayed to the Lord above
Oh please send you a friend
Your empty pockets tell yuh
That you ain’t a-got no friend

Your babies are crying louder
It’s pounding on your brain
Your babies are crying louder now
It’s pounding on your brain
Your wife’s screams are stabbin’ you
Like the dirty drivin’ rain

Your grass it is turning black
There’s no water in your well
Your grass is turning black
There’s no water in your well
You spent your last lone dollar
On seven shotgun shells

Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls
Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That’s hangin’ on the wall

Your brain is a-bleedin’
And your legs can’t seem to stand
Your brain is a-bleedin’
And your legs can’t seem to stand
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That you’re holdin’ in your hand

There’s seven breezes a-blowin’
All around the cabin door
There’s seven breezes a-blowin’
All around the cabin door
Seven shots ring out
Like the ocean’s pounding roar

There’s seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
There’s seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
Somewhere in the distance
There’s seven new people born

Copyright © 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music

Below Bob with Keith Richards and Ron Wood performed this song at Live Aid in July 1985.  I admit is not one of his best performances.  Facebook friends can see it at

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Watching the Adventures of Superman on a Snow Day

Since the NY/NJ area got hit with 8-12 inches of snow, NJIT was closed today.  Since there were no classes it would be foolish to require the administrative staff to travel in a snowstorm.  By 9 AM the storm was over in Queens, but  there was a bigger accumulation in Eastern Long Island and Connecticut.  When Lee and I went out for lunch we observed the snow removal was much better than it was last month. 

Anyway I decided to go into my VHS tape library and pulled out an episode of the Adventures of Superman with the late George Reeves.  Back in the late 1990s there was a marathon on WWOR-TV with Jack Larson as the host.  I still like watching the Man of Steel after all these years.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bill Badger - An American Hero

Bill Badger's photo should be on the front page of every newspaper in the United States.  Mr. Badger helped to subdue the Arizona gunman who killed 6 people and tried to assassinate Representative Gabrielle Giffords.  Kudos also go to Joe Zamudio and Daniel Hernandez.  I apologize if I omitted anyone else who tried to stop that low life whose name I will not mention.

The photo of that creep was on the front cover of the New York Daily.  I would expect something like that by a scandal sheet.  I was more disappointed to see his photo on the front page of the New York Times.  The editorial board should be ashamed of itself for plastering his photo.  Some other nut job may want to get his picture in the newspaper and do something similar.

Here is my message to the New York Times -- SHAME ON YOU!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Digital information about people after they pass away

A few weeks ago entertainer Clay Cole passed away while his Facebook profile is still intact.  Likewise my brother-in-law Paul Shapiro who sadly left us is still on Facebook.  The entire issue of "internet mortality" is addressed in this article in Sunday's New York Times magazine.  Likewise what will happen to blogs, web sites, and Twitter posts long after the writer passes on.  I will refer my reader to this excellent article by Rob Waker.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Checking out HD-2 and HD-3 radio stations today

For about two hours today I checked out some of the HD-2 and HD-3 stations not available on regular FM radios.  I just checked my journal and saw that I bough the Accurian HD radio pictured above on October 21, 2006.  Back then 101.1 HD-1 was playing the dreaded Jack format, so I bought the HD radio to receive oldies on 101.1-HD2.  Much has changed since then.

I took a complete tour of the FM dial from 87.7 to 107.9.  Here are some of my observations:
  • The best use of HD-2 channels is to preserve formats that were lost.  Some examples:
    • 92.3-HD-2 Krock while 92.3-HD-1 is now top current hits
    • 101.9-HD-2 - smooth jazz while the parent station is rock
    • 106.7-HD-2 - country which has not been on regular FM since WYNY died in 1996
  • The next best use of HD-2 channels is the extension of the parent station
    • WFUV wins for this since 907-HD-2 allows for the regular roots of rock programming on weekends while the parent station feature special programming.
    • 97.1 plays Hip Hop and R&B while HD-2 plays older music from that genre
    • Z-100 plays contemporary hits while its HD-2 station plays new music.
    • WQXR-HD2 plays deeper classical music not heard on the parent station
  • Radio stations should not re-broadcast other stations on HD-2 or HD-3 stations
    • What is the sense of repeating WINS, WFAN, WCBS880, WNYC(AM) and WABC on HD-3?
    • Likewise what is accomplished by repeating WQXR on WNYC-HD-2
  • Other Comments
    • I only heard commercials on 95.5 HD-2 (True Oldies Channel) and 102.7-HD-2 (LastFM Discover)  The True Oldies Channel seems to be an alternative to WCBS-FM for listeners who don't like the 1980's hits
    • 101.1 HD-2 is labelled as ToNY (to New York).  It seems to be similar to be a clone of the dreaded Jack format.  Now Joe Causi is doing the liners
    • 103.5-HD2 is the Gay Pride channel offered by Clear Channel.  In the time I listened, I could not differentiate it from the parent WKTU.  At first Country music was heard on 103.5 HD2 and then moved to 106.7-HD2.  I was disappointed when Classic Lite was dropped.
    • Likewise I was disappointed when Deep Tracks was dropped on 104.3-HD-2 in favor of an active rock channel.
HD Radio has not caught on after aggressive promotion over 4 years.  I think reception problems are the major drawbacks.  I live only 8 miles from the transmitter, but often HD-2 stations drop out.  I assume this must happen in car radios as well.  The selling point is that one can receive additional programming with no commericals without a subscription like Sirius/XM.

I think the future of radio lies in internet radio.  There are more radios on the market that can pick up internet radio stations in a home Wi-fi. Many HD-2 stations are available on internet radio. As the years go by Wif-fi may become universal.  Time will tell.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Photo for Elvis Presley's Birthday

The kid with the 3 Stooges t-shirt is standing with one of his idols

Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune

I firs heard Phil Ochs when Murray the K played his music on WOR-FM in the mid 1960s.  He had a very mellow voice but never quite had the mass appeal of his contemporaries like Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Pete Paul and Mary.  To me this film was worth a trip to the IFC Center in Greenwich Village.  The last time I remember going there was in early 1978 when it was known as Waverly Theater when I saw the Dylan film Renaldo and Clara.

I give the Director Kenneth Bowser credit for intermingling footage from the 1960s with  current interviews with Ochs contemporaries Joan Baez, Peter Yarrow, Tom Hayden, and Christopher Hitchens among others.  Ochs was still very political after others retreated into singing love songs.  Perhaps that is why he didn't attain much commercial success.  It was sad that he took his life in 1976 after battles with drinking and manic depression.

I recommend the film for folk rock enthusiasts who came of age during the turbulent 60s.

Friday, January 7, 2011

How Much Longer Will Print Newspapers Last?

A generation ago people read newspapers on commuter trains.  I remember the following New York City newspapers as I was growing up:
  • Daily News
  • Daily Mirror
  • Times
  • Herald Tribune
  • Post
  • World Telegram and Sun
  • Journal American
Today only the Times, Daily News and Post survive with all of them in financial trouble.  There used to be afternoon newspapers, but those are long gone.  If I see people reading newspapers on the trains it is usually either AM-NY or the METRO which are given away for free.  The latter two are quite cursory, but since they are free, I pick one of them up most mornings.  I only bring several sections of the Sunday New York Times to read on the commute on Mondays.

We could take the easy way out and just blame the internet.  It is true that you can get your news almost instantaneously on a smart phone so who needs a print newspaper?   Yet general readers like myself are often disgusted with the crap that's covered in tabloids.  The New York Times is often boring with much esoteric information not of interest to the average reader.

How much longer will print newspapers last?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Remembering Blind Faith

I am still having a little writer's cramp not knowing what I want to write in my journal for today,  I don't want to talk the weather or how there must be about two weeks worth of garbage outside my apartment building.  As I am listening to the British Invasion Channel on AOL Radio, See of Joy by Blind Faith comes over the speakers.

When I think back to 1969 I recall the two covers.  The one with the photo with the nude adolescent was harder to get back then.  It must be a collectors item these days if it is in pristine condition.  I bought the alternative cover with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Rick Gretch.  I'll refer my readers to the Wikipedia for more information about this supergroup.  Sadly the group broke up after one album because the others felt that Steve Winwood dominated.  The album cuts are often heard on classic rock radio, but I rarely hear  "Do What You Like" with the long drum solo by Ginger Baker.  I'll have to pull it out and put it on my turnstyle.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

David McMillan - Facebook Friend of the Day

Usually I post a photo of my Facebook Friend of the Day, but I couldn't find one that would do justice to David McMillan.  We go back to early 2000 when we hired him as a temporary librarian since we had an opening  at NJIT.  Dave worked for one semester until the position was filled.

For close to 11 years he has kept in touch with me by phone, e-mail and Facebook.  He has done the same with former colleagues Mike Byrnes and Anthony Grimaldi.  I meet Dave today at the VALE annual meeting.  Dave now works at the library at Caldwell College.  I certainly him the best in all his personal and professional endeavors.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bob Dylan Song of the Day - Mama You've Been on My Mind

This song was written by Bob in 1964.  His version is on Bob Dylan Live 1964 (Bootleg Series #6)

Mama, You Been On My Mind
Perhaps it’s the color of the sun cut flat
An’ cov’rin’ the crossroads I’m standing at
Or maybe it’s the weather or something like that
But mama, you been on my mind

I don’t mean trouble, please don’t put me down or get upset
I am not pleadin’ or sayin’, “I can’t forget”
I do not walk the floor bowed down an’ bent, but yet
Mama, you been on my mind

Even though my mind is hazy an’ my thoughts they might be narrow
Where you been don’t bother me nor bring me down in sorrow
It don’t even matter to me where you’re wakin’ up tomorrow
But mama, you’re just on my mind

I am not askin’ you to say words like “yes” or “no”
Please understand me, I got no place for you t’ go
I’m just breathin’ to myself, pretendin’ not that I don’t know
Mama, you been on my mind

When you wake up in the mornin’, baby, look inside your mirror
You know I won’t be next to you, you know I won’t be near
I’d just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear
As someone who has had you on his mind

Below is a cover version by Jeff Buckley.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reading about Early 1970 in Early 2011

I have certainly reported on several Bob Dylan books in Bruce's Journal, but I don't recall reporting on any books about the Beatles although I have purchased and read many of them over the years.  Many detail how the group formed in Liverpool, how Beatlemania came to America, and how the group split up in the late 1960s.  There are also biographies of the individual Beatles.

Rodriguez, Robert, and Stuart Shea. Fab Four Faq 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970-1980. New York: Backbeat Books, 2010

I purchased the above book for the Amazon Kindle somewhat blindly since I was not familiar with its authors.  I was pleasantly surprised to read how this book details the relationships among the 4 Beatles from the breakup until the murder of  John Lennon.  For example, the authors talk about how George Harrison help Ringo start his solo career.  Rodriguez and Shea discuss a song written by Richard Starkey titled Early 1970.  I don't know if it was released as a 45, but it was not in the Joel Whitburn Top Pop books of records that charted in the Billboard Top 100 hits.  Here are the lyrics:

Lives on a farm, got plenty of charm, beep, beep.
He's got no cows but he's sure got a whole lotta sheep.
And brand new wife and a family,
And when he comes to town,
I wonder if he'll play with me.

Laying in bed, watching tv, cookie!
With his mama by his side, she's japanese.
They scream and they cried, now they're free,
And when he comes to town,
I know he's gonna play with me.

He's a long-haired, cross-legged guitar picker, um-um.
With his long-legged lady in the garden picking daisies for his soup.
A forty acre house he doesn't see,
'Cause he's always in town
Playing for you with me.

I play guitar, a - d - e.
I don't play bass 'cause that's too hard for me.
I play the piano if it's in c.
And when i go to town i wanna see all three,
And when i go to town i wanna see all three,
And when i go to town i wanna see all three

Ringo concludes by saying that he wants to see all three.  It is open to interpretation if he wanted to see all three together.  Did he want a Beatles reunion?

I am only about 15% through the book, so perhaps I'll comment more later.

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