“Mr. Joel has encountered some resistance from rock critics.”
I saw Billy Joel perform at New Paltz in 1974, as I recounted here. I wondered how one could get lost from Long Island unless the group came up the wrong side of the Hudson River.
I thought he was a bit stiff. Four and a half years later, he had his debut at Madison Square Garden, “three shows there that had sold out almost as soon as they went on sale.”
The reviewer noted the singer seemed unusually nervous. Also, “Mr. Joel has encountered some resistance from rock critics.” To say the least.
Someone gave me a book – I wouldn’t have bought it myself – entitled The Worst Rock ‘n Roll Records of All Time (1991). At the end, Jimmy Guterman and O’Donnell picked The Worst Rock and Rollers of All Time. After dissing Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, and Phil Collins, the “winner” was Billy Joel.
A couple dozen shows per year gives him time to help clean up beaches in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Given some of the travails of his career and life, I’m happy that he seems content.
Some songs – chart action US Billboard pop charts
Captain Jack (1973)- my first favorite song of his Scandinavian Skies (1982)- overly earnest attempt to write a Beatles song Baby Grand (#75 in 1986)- duet with Ray Charles, Alexa Ray, Joel’s daughter was named partly for the icon Uptown Girl (#3 in 1983) – one of my wife’s favorites
With any recording, there are two copyrights: one for the song, the composition, and another for the performance of that song, the recording.
There’s a line in a classic Billy Joel song New York State of Mind:
“But now I need a little give and take
The New York Times, the Daily News.”
Back in the late 1970s and 1980s, I used to read those two New York City papers, even though I lived 150 miles away. The New York Times, “All The News That’s Fit To Print,” I’d read nearly every day. Even into the 1990s, I was at least devour the massive Sunday Times, which might take all week. In the earlier period, I also read the Daily News, a tabloid publication, on Sunday, mostly for the funnies and the sports.
I almost never read the other tabloid in New York City, the New York Post, which was terrible even before Rupert Murdock bought it in 1993. (Certainly, one of its low points was in 1980, when they showed a slain John Lennon in the morgue.)
It’s nice to see my old friends of the news IN the news:
But in viewing several pictures of the event, it was clear that the picture was not wide enough to include the Bushes without making the shot far too small to see from the newsstand.
Moreover, Times photographer Doug Mills notes: “As you can see, Bush was in the bright sunlight. I did not even send this frame because it’s very wide and super busy and Bush is super-overexposed because he was in the sun and Obama and the others are in the shade.”
Nevertheless, there will be people who will find political motivation in this.
There are some who thought Bush should have stayed home, since his Supreme Court justices have weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the very law signed by President Lyndon Johnson as a direct result of the original march. I’m glad Bush was there.
As Vox.com puts it, “The mere act of senators contacting the leaders of a foreign nation to undermine and contradict their own president is an enormous breach of protocol. But this went much further: Republicans are telling Iran, and, by extension the world, that the American president no longer has the power to conduct foreign policy, and that foreign leaders should assume Congress could revoke American pledges at any moment.”
I was surprised by the results. A couple of weeks ago, intellectual property lawyer/drummer Paul Rapp, a/k/a F. Lee Harvey Blotto, wrote this:
The…case, in which Marvin Gaye’s kids are trying to shake down Robin Thicke, Pharrell and TI, is…not going very well for Team Gaye. The judge knocked the stuffing out of the Gayes’ case last month by ruling that the jury would not be allowed to hear the Marvin Gaye recording of Got To Give It Up [LISTEN] the song allegedly infringed by Thicke & Co. in writing Blurred Lines.
Why, you ask? Well it’s like this. With any recording, there are two copyrights: one for the song, the composition, and another for the performance of that song, the recording. What constitutes the song is typically limited to the melody and lyrics, and sometimes a unique chord or song structure. Everything else is embodied in the performance.
There is concern that the verdict could be bad for music, “possibly lowering the bar for what’s considered creative theft.” While I hear the similarities, I’ve found other songs, not litigated against, with far greater parallels. I think the decision was wrong, per this New Yorker article.
Since these things will get further litigated, it’s too early to know the final outcome. But my first thought was, “What will happen to the Weird Al Yankovic song, Word Crimes [LISTEN]? It’s credited to Williams, Thick, rapper TI and Yankovic.
This Sergio Aragonés masterpiece is included as a fold-out poster within Inside Mad. His priceless gift to all Mad fans shows over six decades of Mad contributors and ephemera within a mish-mash of Mad office walls. The only thing missing in this beautiful mess is a key. Doug Gilford will be attempting to label everything you see with brief (pop-up) descriptions and links to pertinent pages…
saw keyboardist/composer Herbie Hancock perform in the Albany area, perhaps in the 1990s at the Palace Theatre, though it could have been at the Troy Music Hall.
Right before they went off to South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela, Barack and Michelle Obama attended The Kennedy Center Honors. I always watch the broadcast, which this year is on December 29 on CBS-TV. Four of the five honorees I’m very familiar with.
Opera singer Martina Arroyo is a name I’ve heard, but to say I was familiar with her work would be a gross overstatement.
Actress Shirley MacLaine was in a number of movies I’ve seen over the years, including The Apartment (1960), the creepy The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972), The Turning Point (1977), the Oscar-winning Tears of InternmentTerms of Endearment (1983), Steel Magnolias (1989), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Guarding Tess (1994), and most recently in Bernie (2011), which I liked. I probably saw her sitcom in the early 1970s. But my favorite MacLaine vehicle has to be Being There (1979) with Peter Sellers, one of the very first VHS tapes I ever bought, along with Annie Hall.
One of my work colleagues was listening to Soul Sacrifice, the song that ends the first Santana album, just last month. It was the version of that song at Woodstock that turned the world on to the guitar artistry of Carlos Santana. I loved the first several Santana albums, especially the second one, Abraxas, with that Black Magic Woman-Gypsy Queen/Oye Como Va segue. (Here’s the original Abraxas and here’s the Abraxas with extra live tracks.) I have some of his jazz fusion music as well. If I wasn’t as enamored with some of his all-star collaborations this century, it was no reflection on his fine playing.
I saw keyboardist/composer Herbie Hancock perform in the Albany area, perhaps in the 1990s at the Palace Theatre, though it could have been at the Troy Music Hall. I didn’t love the show – it seemed too sedate -but I have enough of his albums, including his Joni Mitchell tribute album I picked up just this year, to know that his recordings are quite eclectic. My collection spans back to Maiden Voyage in 1965 and includes Gershwin’s World (1998), featuring Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder, and The New Standard (1996) that my jazz-loving friend Donna hated, but that I embraced, so she gave it to me. Here’s Hancock’s YouTube channel.
I have a LOT of albums by Billy Joel, singer, composer, Piano Man. He I saw in concert in New Paltz, NY in 1974. He was very late – they got lost coming up from Long Island. He wasn’t the showman he became, sitting stiffly at his piano, but his songs, even early on, were always strong. His early MTV videos were generally quite entertaining. I’d be hard-pressed to come up with my favorite of his songs (but I’ll try in five years). Here’s Joel’s YouTube channel.
I was playing my Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits, Volumes 1 & 2 on a car ride recently; his birthday is in May. I was noting in particular two songs, ‘Get It Right The First Time’ from 1977 and ‘Second Wind (You’re Only Human)’ from 1985, and how I prefer the latter sentiment. Melanie writes about the second time around. Also, practicing in pieces.