John R. Cash

I appreciated Johnny Cash well enough when I was growing up. I watched his 1969-1971 TV show, mostly because he had great guests such as Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young. I enjoyed his music on the radio, but didn’t buy any of his albums until Class of ’55, his 1986 collaboration with Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins.

Then, someone gave me that first American Recording, produced by Rick Rubin, that came out in 1994. And I was hooked. I figured the second disc, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as his backup band, would be a big hit in 1996. It was well-received, but only got to #170 on the charts. By the time I bought the third album in 2000, which features Nick Cave’s “The Mercy Seat”, I had started picking up some of Johnny’s earlier work as well, Folsom Prison and San Quentin.

I was slackjawed when I saw the “Hurt” video from the fourth album, and cried when I saw it again after Johnny died in 2003.

Subsequently, I picked up the American Recordings box set. Fans of Johnny might want to pick up his daughter Rosanne’s new album, “Black Cadillac”. The video that comes with the disc, and which can also be found on her website really enhances the listening experience.

In my office, we refer to the man as “John R.”, because the title of this piece is the name in which the songs he wrote were copyrighted.

Never did see the movie “Walk the Line”, and I REALLY wanted to, but it’s available Tuesday on DVD.

Rock meme:
Artist/Band: Johnny Cash (b. 2/26/1932, d. 9/12/2003)
Are you male or female: Boy Named Sue; Man in Black
Describe yourself: I Walk the Line
How do some people feel about you: Come In Stranger
How do you feel about yourself: I Won’t Back Down
Describe what you want to be: Everybody Loves a Nut
Describe how you live: Against the Wind
Describe how you love: I Love You Because
Share a few words of wisdom: One Place at a Time
Today, some time after 5 pm EST, there will be 6.5 billion people on this planet, according to the Census population clock.

George Harrison

Today would have been George Harrison’s 63rd birthday. Or maybe tomorrow; even George was confused about it. For years he thought he was born early on the 25th, but in his forties came to believe he was born late on the 24th.

Regardless, I’ve been listening to a lot of Harrison music, including an album friend Fred put together of George’s songs with the Beatles. See if you can identify them. They are in chronological order, and I’m thinking the running times might help. (To reveal the answers, just block over the white space.)

Notes: These are the songs written and sung by George that appeared on the Beatles CDs. So no “Cry for a Shadow”, the early Harrison/Lennon instrumental. No Carl Perkins covers, such as “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” or Lennon/McCartney songs, such as “I’m Happy Just To Dance with You”.
The list does include the songs on the Anthology albums, at the point they would have appeared on a Beatles album, had they been released at the time. It contains only one version of the song; thus, no Anthology “Taxman”, only Revolver “Taxman”.. It includes songs from Anthology 3 that George ultimately performed on his solo albums.

1. Don’t Bother Me 2:31
2. You Know What To Do 2:00
3. I Need You 2:33
4. You Like Too Much 2:40
5. Think For Yourself 2:20
6. If I Needed Someone 2:25
7. Taxman 2:41
8. Love You To 3:00
9. I Want to Tell You 2:31
10. Within You Without You 5:07
11. Blue Jay Way 3:58
12. The Inner Light 2:38
13. While My Guitar Gently Weeps 4:47
14. Piggies 2:06
15. Long, Long, Long 3:06
16. Savoy Truffle 2:56
17. Not Guilty 3:24
18. Only A Northern Song 3:26
19. It’s All Too Much 6:27
20. Old Brown Shoe 3:20
21. Something 3:05
22. Here Comes the Sun 3:07
23. For You Blue 2:34
24. I Me Mine 2:27
25. All Things Must Pass 3:06
David Bromberg was in town recently. (Unfortunately, I didn’t see him.) A review alluded to him writing a song with George. I assume the writer was referring to The Holdup, which I have on vinyl from over 30 years ago. The line about taxes sounded very Harrison, but it seemed incongruous for the peaceful guy to come up with “I’ll put a bullet right through your best liver.” I found clips of the song all over the Internet, the same 29-second snippet, which leaves off one of my favorite lines in all of pop music: “Wealth is disease, and I am the cure.”
Rock Meme:
Artist/Band: George Harrison (b. 2/24/1943, d. 11/29/2001)
Are you male or female: Far East Man
Describe yourself: Under the Mersey Wall
How do some people feel about you: Mystical One
How do you feel about yourself: Run of the Mill
Describe what you want to be: Breath Away from Heaven
Describe how you live: Living in the Material World
Describe how you love: Love Comes to Everyone
Share a few words of wisdom: All Things Must Pass; Answer’s at the End

(No) Opinion

Sometimes, I just don’t care. That is, I really don’t have an opinion. One example is when my wife wants to know if we should paint the walls eggshell white or ecru. Don’t care. Really. I cede my opinion, and I won’t complain later. I promise.

Because I’m a blogger, people sometime say to me, “You ought to write about X.” Usually, except on those occasions four times a year (your chance is coming next month) when I allow readers of this blog to boss me around, I usually decline. Sometimes, it’s because the topic doesn’t interest me.

More likely, though, I DO care about the topic. (I’m very opinionated.) I just don’t have very much to say, or much to add to the existing discussion.

For instance:

How do I feel about the controversial Tom Toles cartoon? The Washington Post was right to publish it.

What do I think of the publication of the Danish cartoon depicting Islam in a bad light? They had the right to publish, although from what I’ve read and seen, the Danish papers were rather paternalistic in telling the 2% of the population Danish Muslims, “This is the way we do things here.” I thought some of the other papers publishing was unnecessarily incendiary.

What do I think of the violence from that? I’m against it. (Duh.)

What do I think of Google defying a Dept. of Justice subpoena? I’m in favor, and shame on Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft.

What do I think of Google censoring its search services in China? I find it troubling.

Are you worried about mad cow or anthrax? Not especially.

How about the avian flu? I feel as though I should be worried about it, but I know our government will protect us.

And that’s it. Nothing pithy. No attempts (however poor) to be funny or clever, or except in the last example, snarky. Snarky – a word I never used before 2005.

Conversely, I am interested in all sorts of things, such as:

Wolfgang’s Vault: Bill Graham and his concert promotion company produced more than 35,000 concerts all over the world. His first venue, the legendary Fillmore Auditorium, was home to many of rock’s greatest performers – Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Prince – and the list goes on and on.

“Graham taped thousands of live performances and stored the tapes in the basement of the BGP headquarters.

“These tapes and the concerts they captured lay dormant until the Bill Graham archive was acquired by Wolfgang’s Vault (Bill Graham’s given first name was Wolfgang) in 2003.”
Opinion: access to this music is very exciting. There’s also a bunch of stuff for sale – Graham was a pack rat – such as vintage posters, t-shirts and tickets. is low-resolution source of re-edited movie trailers and other video items. From a wire story: “Brokeback Team America” – This clip marries the audio from Brokeback Mountain trailer to scenes from Matt Parker and Trey Stone’s puppets-only flick.” Other titles listed: Sleepless in Seattle (stalker movie), Shining (“Jerry Maguire-ish candygram), Brokeback to the Future (Marty and Doc Brown’s tale re-edited). I found a performance of Let It Be from the movie of the same name. 6700 uploaded videos.
Opinion: Could be lots of people’s favorite waste of time, such as Mike.

I love word play.

I was inclined to follow Mark Evanier’s thinking on Dubai, but I was mystified. Why is THIS where W threatens his VERY FIRST veto EVER, when the war in Iraq and at least the trial balloons re: our policy towards Palestine under Hamas are more likely to inflame Arab sentiment?
Then I saw this: White House Has Ties to Dubai Firm Taking Over Ports. Then all was made clear.

In the Olympics, I’m glad that Belbin and Agosto won the silver in ice dancing, as I thought they might a couple months ago and I know that schaudenfraude has taken over when I say I’m really glad Bode Miller is 0 for 4 in his medal search.

But my favorite part of the Olympics are the commercials. I haven’t seen the one for “The Office”, but my wife liked it. I saw a piece for “Scrubs”, where J.D. is getting bad marks from the judge from Janitoria. My favorite, though, has Campbell Brown doing a mock promo: “This is Olympic Ice on NBC.” When told it was really the USA Network, she storms off the set and says, “I don’t DO cable.” Guess you had to be there. As E. B. White said, “Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.”

Old Black Joe

When I went to school, I was the only black kid in my class for 6.5 of the first 7 years. My neighborhood was primary Slavic- Russian, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian. I had halupki long before I ever had grits or collards.

At school, we had music class every day with Mrs. Joseph, starting in 4th grade. We used what I knew then was an ancient music book. The songs included A Capital Ship, La Paloma, Rule Britannia, and Columbia, The Gem of the Ocean. I did not know we sang so many seaworthy tunes.

There was also Hail Columbia, Kookaburra, Goober Peas, and The Yellow Rose of Texas, among others.

Then there was Shortnin’ Bread. I HATED Shortnin’ Bread, not so much for what it was, as much as the need for certain people in the class – not my friends, but some others- to sing it TO me, leaning in my direction. (I could be paranoid, but not for the five years we sang this song.) But I sucked it up, and got through it.

One day, when I was in 5th grade, Mrs. Joseph announced that we could sing anything we wanted. One kid asked for an unfamiliar page. I turned to it, and, of course, it was that Stephen Foster classic, Old Black Joe. I had no idea the piece was in the book! What would Mrs. Joseph do? What would I do? Quickly I decided that if we sang the song, I would walk out of the room. (To where, I had no idea.)
Mrs. Joseph gets to the page, and she says, “Hmm, let’s sing something else.” Walkout averted.

But in retrospect, I wish there had been a conversation about WHY we weren’t singing it. And I wish I could find a copy of that book; I really liked most of the songs.


Here’s something I’ve never admitted to: I have a Seinfeldian interest in breakfast cereals.

I’m pretty sure it started by reading the sides of the packages when I was a kid.
Riboflavin, I discovered, was Vitamin B-2! Niacin, Vitamin B-3!

So, I was quite excited to find out that Sunday was the 100th anniversary of breakfast cereal. On February 19, 1906, William Keith Kellogg incorporated the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company. He and his older brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, while working at a Battle Creek sanitarium, accidentally invented the process for making cereal flakes. W.K.’s company, of course, became Kellogg’s.

Personally, I like to mix my non-presweeted cereals. They must differ by grain and by shape. Cereal generally comes in
and is shaped like a
square (or rectangle)

So, among popular cereals:
Cb- Kix
Cf- corn flakes
Cs- Corn Chex
Oo- Cheerios
Rp- Rice Krispies
Rs- Rice Chex
Wf- Wheaties, raisin bran
Ws- shredded wheat, Wheat Chex

So, if I start with a Ws, say Spoon-Sized Shredded Wheat, I can add an Rp, an Oo, and/or a Cf, e.g., but not a Wf (because it’d be two wheat cereals) or Rs, because it
would be two squares.

I don’t mix pre-sweetened cereals, as I recall Rory and her friends did on Gilmore Girls. Some of the sweetened cereals of my youth have changed their names. Sugar Smacks are Honey Smacks. Sugar Pops are now Corn Pops.

Happy anniversary to the breakfast cereal. It is another reflection of the effectiveness, of the power of advertising, especially in the television era – “K-E-double L-O-double Good, Kellogg’s best to you.”

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial