It was 56 years years ago today…

On this day in 1964, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, as teenage girls screamed hysterically in the audience and 73 million people watched from home — a record for American television at the time.

I know where I was:  about a foot away from our black-and-white console TV in the basement of our quintessentially 60s finished basement with whole family present.  The first song they did, “I want to hold your hand” is linked above and I didn’t think their harmonies were very impressive, but I couldn’t take my eyes off them.  When they came back out, they did “I saw her standing there” and I did a bit of a scream, if I remember.

Of course, I watched the next three weeks as well and was as obsessed as any other.  I think my friend Karen and I watched at least one of them together.  In 1964 the Beatles released Seven albums, the first two in January before the Big Arrival to be in Ed Sullivan.  I was given “Meet the Beatles” for my birthday that year.  “The Beatles Second Album” was released 10 April 1964; it was their third release, but who was counting?  In June their movie, “Hard Day’s Night” was released to more screaming fans (including me).  In July came “Something New”.  The November release was “The Story of the Beatles” with interviews and discussions of Beatlemania”.  In December “Beatles 65” was released– perfect Christmas present!

Beatlemania was followed by the British Invasion and Ed Sullivan was bringing them all in, though he did censure Mick Jagger, of course.  It was a grand time to be memorizing song lyrics.

“Rubber Soul” came out in December 1965, another Christmas present, but it wasn’t shake-your-hair and scream music.  The Beatles were growing up, too. .

By 1966, the Beatles had grown tired of live performance.  George Harrison was the first to burn out on Beatlemania, though Paul Thrived on the Adulation.  McCartney finally gave in to his band mates’ insistence that the group stop touring toward the end of their August tour of the United States.  Afterward, George informed manager Brian Epstein that he was leaving the band.  However, he was persuaded to stay on provided there were no more tours

Shortly after the USA tour in 1966 ,the album “Revolver” was released and by that time you could see that The Beatles were definitely moving in a different direction that was more cerebral.  They’d been to India and their music showed their journey.

In 1967, June, The Beatles changed the world of music again with the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.   That same year they made another movie, “Magical Mystery Tour” and I missed the whole thing as we were moving around from here to California.  I did get Sgt. Pepper for my birthday in 1968, though.

During the second half of the Beatles’ career, the members began to assert individual artistic agendas. Their disunity became most evident on The White Album. Ringo briefly quit the group while it was being made.  They were divided over who would be their manager after the death of Brian Epstein and never came to an agreement.

They launched into a multi-media project called “Get Back” that later became “Let it Be” and it was a disaster.  The dysfunction of the group, the arrogance and ego of John and Paul are on full display and it’s tough to watch.  Yoko is like hiding under the seats, warbling.  George briefly left the band during this time.  The situation was so bad that the project was not released for several years after the band had already broken up.

Abbey Road, the album that is my favorite, was released in October 1969.  They weren’t actually working together, but their producer had a way of making us think they had.

The final time that the four members recorded together collectively was the session for Abbey Roads closing track “The End” on 18 August 1969. Lennon privately informed his band mates that he was leaving the Beatles on 20 September, although it was unclear to the other members whether his departure was permanent. On 10 April 1970, McCartney issued a press release that stated he was no longer working with the group, which sparked a widespread media reaction and worsened the tensions between him and his band mates. Legal disputes continued long after, and the dissolution was not formalized until 1974.

The Fab Four who performed on Ed Sullivan lo those many years ago were not the same group who sang me to sleep with the dark “Golden Slumbers”  or who surprised me with “Her Majesty”.  John’s heroin addiction and Paul’s controlling personality were Bound to Explode.  George was always my favorite, anyway, and the Beatles demise freed him to create his own music, many of which have become part of my soundtrack.  Ringo?  Ya gotta Love Ringo…and he really is a good drummer.

 

 

I’m still doing the Dental Dance with frequent appointments, still making the best of it.

Listening to Abbey Road…it’s good medicine.

Peace

 

Follow the worm down the ear…

I love to take my morning coffee out on the front porch swing to Just Be in the present moment.  I brewed some french vanilla the other morning, settled into my attitude of gratitude, but had a song stuck in my head.

90% of people experience such earworms, also know as Involuntary Musical Imagery.  It bothers some people, but I usually just go with it…listening to my memory play like a stereo.

The song in question that day was Eli’s Comin’ by 3 Dog Night…girl, Eli’s comin’ you better hide, girl, Eli’s comin’ you better hide…hide your heart now…  As the jukebox in my head played, I thought…that Laura Nyro was such a great songwriter… what all did she write? …

the music switched to “and when I die…and when I’m dead, dead and gone” …what was the name of that group?  oh, yeah, Blood, Sweat, and Tears.  While the tinny piano and cowbell from that version played in the background, I began to sort through Nyro’s discography…soon the music became a medley of Fifth Dimension songs…come on down to the stone soul picnic… i got the wedding bell blues..ain’t that sweet-eyed blindness good to me… 

I stayed there for a while, letting those songs play in the background while I looked around at the patch of blue sky I could see through the trees, noticed the birds and squirrels were going about their morning rituals.

Suddenly, the songs were back with a nagging question…what’s that one that goes come on people… I brought full focus back to Laura Nyro’s discography… didn’t Barbra Streisand do one of her songs? Yes..going down to stoney end, I never wanted to go…cradle me, mama, cradle me again..  not the song I was looking for, but still worth remembering…  I expanded to come on people, come on children, let’s go down to the ?jordan? river… I could hear the piano…but could get no farther..The not-remembering finally got to me and I came in to the computer and looked it up.

It was covered by the Fifth Dimension and that youtube video is a wonder of 60’s bright bell-bottoms, platform shoes, and awkward dance moves.  But it was the artist herself, Laura Nyro, sitting at the piano and exuding the feeling of this powerful song that most moved me.

Step into the Wayback machine of black-and-white TV, watch this Vietnam war protest song that offers great wisdom…maybe get it stuck in your head.

It’s called Save the Country

Laura Nyro was 49 when she died in 1997.  She was so brilliant and if you don’t know her work, you’ll do yourself some good to listen to her albums.

May all of your earworms be inspiring…

Peace

 

Cool and Calm…

I’ve been enjoying this down-time before the holidaze, just piddling around the house, cooking up some soups and casseroles.

I’m reading “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman.  I love it!  I’ve been reading several chapters a night, like bedtime stories, and Love Odin, Thor, and especially Loki.  Though they are Not lovable, really.  Great Stories!

I’m listening to 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde  a live album by folk, country, and old-time music band, Old Crow Medicine Show. The album is a track-for-track tribute to Bob Dylan’s landmark 1966 double album Blonde on Blonde.  Old Crow re-imagined the arrangements of the individual tracks with manic fiddles and banjos, and it’s all good.

I’m practicing on the piano “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.   Seems like everybody in high school who could play piano could play this one, but I just found the music in a used book from a rummage sale.   It’s more difficult than I thought it would be, so I am challenged…practicing a lot…

My piano sounds better than that…

One more week until Thanksgiving, so I’d better pick up the pace and get ready for

Turkey and Tradition, the Opening Race of the Holiday Triple Crown.

I am so thankful for thankfulness, it just makes me feel so grateful for gratitude… I’m bound to win…

Peace

Camp compendium

It’s been a wonderful 2 weeks of Camp Sonnystone…make-it-and-bake-it, painting canvasses and birdhouses, tie-dying, music, and baking cookie-pops.  After we finished up all of our crafts, we visited the zoo and the museum, played mini-golf, and learned how to bet the horses at Ellis Park.  …  Here’s a look back…

At the Zoo…

Cookie Pops

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Singing and Dancing…

Every year we make a sign with our handprints on it…actually, not mine…  Last year we used Samantha’s footprint, but this year she thinks she’s a Big Girl, so we had her dip her hand in paint just like the Big Girls Do…

Our Theme this year was Dream.  Our motto was “If you can dream it, you can do it” (Walt Disney).  The new sign joined the other years’ efforts:  Peace, Love, and Joy.

Our Theme song is always the Camp Sonnystone Welcome Song, but we added a couple of new ones:  When you Wish Upon a Star, accompanied by piano.  From our handy-dandy YouTube, we added a couple of songs that required creative choreography:  Hall of Fame (The Script), and Try Everything (Shakira).

I love sharing Music and Dancing with the Kids.  Keeps me young… Except I threw my back out on Friday and am spending a bit of time each day with my heating pad and some ibuprofen…

Dance on, Friends….

Week-end Wrap-up

Sunday afternoon we went to Olivia’s piano recital.  She played “Part of Your World” (Menken and Ashman) and did a bang-up job of it.  She’s progressed well during this first year of lessons, but it’s end-of-school-time, when everybody even remotely associated with teaching and learning institutions is Ready for it to End.  Her teacher has been a jewel…  Thanks to All the Teachers, as well as the secretaries, food-workers, custodians, bus drivers–even administrators!–for all you do to help kids.

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I’m taking the week off to retreat and rest.  It seems like ever since the car broke down, I haven’t had a chance to be Still.  We are planning to vacation next week, but there’s a lot of work involved in a vacation!  It will be worth it to dip my toes in the sand and feel the sun burning my rosacea—I’m a born rebel…

Right Now I need to just be Present.   Namaste…

Weekly Wrap-up…on an otherwise Mundane Monday…

I’ve had the song, “We need a little Christmas” buzzing through my head for a week now, so I initially decided to haul out the holly over the week-end and start the festivities.   As I assessed the house, mentally dressing the mantels and moving furniture to make way for trees, I managed to come up with a big-idea for the room I call the kitchen annex:  make new curtains and re-cover the chairs.  So the sewing machine is back out and I’ve cut 12 panels for the curtains.  I need 2 more yards of material for the chairs, I think, and that will be our lovely Thanksgiving celebration.

While out buying fabric, I stopped by a local used book store.  Amongst the books were some “Sheet Music” magazines and as I glanced through them (I subscribed in the 80’s and 90’s and have a boxful up in the attic), I came across one with the lovely air “Danny Boy”—and with Andy Williams’ picture above it, as this is the arrangement he used…allegedly… so I snatched it up for a dollar…

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Since then, I’ve been channeling my inner great-Grandmother Mayne.  Danny Boy was her favorite, one she played often for me.  I can still see her 80-year-old hands moving across the keyboard and remember that she often cried when she played it.   I always think of her when I hear it , and along with the memory is this story:

Grandmother was 96 or 98 when she died, depending on what birth year you believe, and our family had gathered in the tiny little town of Albion, IL for the funeral.  My Great-Aunt Bernie, Grandmother’s older daughter, was sitting with her husband in front of us when the organist began to play, at the family’s request, “Danny Boy”.  Aunt Bernie had a rough, smoker’s voice that carried well across any room, even at a whisper.  But Auntie wasn’t very good at whispering, so when she turned to Uncle Harry and said, “Mother would roll over in her grave if she could hear the way that woman is butchering this song”,  we all heard it (probably not the organist, though).  Being the kind of people that giggle when we’re nervous, my Dad, sister, and I started laughing, uncontrollably.  Stifling our chortling only brought tears to our eyes and shook the folding chairs we were sitting on.  For the rest of the service, all we had to do was look at each other and make banjo-eyes, and the others would crack up again.  Ya gotta love a good funeral.

Still avoiding the news, and thankful that I divided my FB “friends” into categories that allow me to stay away from the haters, I’m going to start the stitching today.  Weirdly, the material I chose is also a Grandmother-throwback:  I remember some dining chairs at her house that were covered with a similar pattern. I’ll get the before and afters and I’m sure you’ll be impressed…which is what I live for, of course.

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Camp Collage

I’m cooking up some green beans from the garden, mixing some BBQ sauce for the pulled pork and chicken, shuckin’ the corn and generally preparing for the feast that we call the Camp Picnic.  It’s been a Great week…

The weather was stormy all week, but now it’s morphed into hot-as-hell-southern-indiana-in-july, with a bumper crop of mosquitoes.   I’m thinking we need a waterproof bug-spray…has someone already invented that?  We’ll be out in the pool till feast-time…

(I bought a new camera, a cheapie, but decent video capability.  I’m working on the Movie, so there’s more…)

Have a great Sunday!!!

 

Going back home…

Our flight is scheduled to leave LaGuardia at 1:59pm…  We’re flying Delta and I’m hoping they’ve overbooked this flight so I can pick up a couple of bucks waiting for the 5pm flight.

But I’m a little homesick.  It’s been a hectic 2 weeks….

I don’t quite know how to express how I’m feeling about the situation here in NYC.  I’m not sure I really understand it myself.  Please consider if you can contribute to Eric’s Medical Fund.  It is very much needed and appreciated.

do know that I’m going to be having a blast with my grand-daughters—all 4 of them–this summer.  Six weeks seems like a long time, but it will fly by, so we’re going to fill up each day with memories to cherish forever.

The theme of Camp Sonnystone this year is “Music”…

mu·sic    ˈmyo͞ozik/
noun
vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

 

We’ll throw in painting, picnics,  crafts, swimming, and field trips.   Seeing my trashy hometown through the eyes of the girls will help me put a new shine on it, and the farmers markets, the festivals–even the heat and humidity– will be an adventure…

 

 

 

dispatch from Manhattan

It’s all about performance here at the Jose’ household.  Melissa is in rehearsals a Lot, readying for an upcoming performance with NY Philharmonic, “Jeanne d’Arc au Bucher” (Honegger), on June 10-13.

Emma’s Ceili (pronounced kaylee) was on Saturday, a fundraiser for her Irish dance school.  I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that she was superbly outstanding.  During one dance, she came leaping out so gracefully, so strong that the whole room took a collective breath and burst into applause.   However, the venue was too dark for a decent picture, especially since we were seated at the back of the room  (near the food and booze).  It was something like this, only real:

irish leap

I did manage to get a couple of pre-performance pictures…

The weather on the evening of the Ceili was the best I’ve seen in NYC in over a year, and I was glad to walk my happy ass the 30 blocks home after the show.  I Love walking in New York, and I’d had just enough Irish Drink to make me forget about that damn heel.  It’s getting better every day, anyway, and I think the walk did me a whole lot of good.

Last night was Eliza’s Pre-K 4 show, themed “We heart the 80’s”.  She had been practicing her moves for “Holiday”, the old-school-Madonna tune, but I was surprised that her group also sang, “The Greatest Love”…

Today is Eliza’s last day of school, so their Summer Vacation will officially begin.  We’ll walk the Park, stroll the museums, eat some hot dogs and ice cream, and enjoy a free week before we head back to Sonnystone.