Jimmy Rocco

Jim Rocco and I talked about the Beatles, a LOT.

 Jim Rocco, 10/06/2010. (Michael P. Farrell / Times Union) Used with permission.l
Jim Rocco, 10/06/2010. (Michael P. Farrell / Times Union) Used with permission

Long before he joined the chancel choir at First Presbyterian Church in Albany as a fellow bass, I would see Jim Rocco at the choir parties a couple of times a year with his wife Deb, our soprano soloist and section leader.

Inevitably, he and I would gravitate towards each other, no small task in a crowded space, and talk music. No, not the sacred music we tended to sing together every week.

Instead, we would talk about rock and roll, specifically the music of the 1960s. He would impress me with his arcane knowledge of obscure bands and records. Occasionally, I could surprise him with some bit of trivia that I knew.

We talked about the Beatles, a LOT. I attended one of those events at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady where Scott Freiman explained the background of many of the songs on the white album. He had gone to a similar Deconstructing the Beatles session for an earlier LP, probably Sgt. Pepper or Revolver.

He loved playing the drums, and had for a very long time, as this 2010 article about the reunion of his high school band, the Chord-A-Roys, will attest.

Jim had participated in several church productions, especially those involving the kids. One of the last times I saw him was in the fall of 2013 when he was on the drums, naturally, for a production at the Steamer No. 10 theater. He was feeling unwell, as though he had broken some ribs, but was still doing the gig because he loved playing.

When we talked, he had not yet been diagnosed with cancer, which involved various treatments over several months that seemed to be working for a time. I’ve missed not seeing him in 2014, as much of his treatment took place in Arizona.

Jim Rocco passed away on Friday, January 2, 2015. Those of us who knew him feel a tremendous sadness at losing him. He was a great guy.
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The Times Union obit.

The blog at random 2014

It’s entirely possible (likely) the Bible doesn’t always mean what we THINK it does.

Gmsh: a three-dimensional finite element mesh generator
Gmsh: a three-dimensional finite element mesh generator

This is a thing I continue to do at the beginning of the year: pick a post for each month of the previous year, using a random number generator. See how well it reflected that year just passed, or did not. Pretty sure I got this from Gordon, who lives in Chicago, who remains the only non-local blogger I ever met.

I think I enjoy this a lot because it’s so…numerical. And random. The graphic was a random graphic from a .gov site

January
“The Yardbirds allowed me to improvise a lot in live performance and I started building a textbook of ideas that I eventually used in Zeppelin.”
(A Jimmy Page quote, for his 70th birthday)

February
There’s a lot that this movie got right, starting with an actor, Oscar Isaac in the title role, who could act, plus sing and play guitar convincingly.
(My not-so-positive review of the movie Inside Llewyn Davis.)

March
As a huge fan of Dr. Seuss, I was rather interested in this blog post by Chuck Miller: “Don’t cry because you thought he said it.”

April
However, I’m going to limit the songs here to those written, or co-written, by Christine, only because it fits the family group motif.
(My M for the McVies of Fleetwood Mac)

May
Back in October 2001, the Wife and I went to Cherry Valley, NY, about an hour west of Albany.
(A tale of our 2014 return to the Limestone Inn)

June
The last Sly album I bought, until considerably later, was the druggy There’s A Riot Going On, with two Top 40 singles in the US, Family Affair, #1 for three weeks in 1971, and Runnin’ Away, #23 US in 1972.
(U is for Unique)

July
“Do public facilities need to be sanitized of all things religious to insure separation of church and state?”
(Uthaclena asking Roger anything.)

August
This time, though, I was feeling reflective when I awoke.
(Musical thoughts after a rare nap.)

September
“And today, many go so far as to say that the opposing party’s policies threaten the nation’s well-being…”
(Quoting a Pew Research poll re: the political polarization of the American public)

October
Before the superhero-movie renaissance, a struggling Marvel sold the FF’s film rights (along with those of the X-Men) to 20th Century Fox at terms very favorable to Fox.
(About the cancellation of the Fantastic Four comic book)

November
Re the Ferguson protests, which I saw described as “mind bogglingly incomprehensible”: “It’s Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Ferguson’s Just Did,” as even Antonin Scalia could tell you.
(One of my end-of-month summaries.)

December
It’s entirely possible (likely) the Bible doesn’t always mean what we THINK it does.
(On the Bible and gay-bashing. Interesting that is the very next post after the previous link.)

Hitting two ABC Wednesday posts is about right: 2/12=1/6, close to 1/7.