Posts Tagged ‘birthday’


One morning in June, the Daughter needed $50 to go on a field trip to New York City. The earlier she turned it in, the more likely she could go. Oh, and it had to be in cash.

I almost never have such bills on me. Nor did my wife, but she DID have some envelopes with cash for her hairdresser, and for the groceries, that she could borrow from.

She generally pays for the groceries with cash because writing a check is too expensive, and it surely is. I pay with my credit card – where IS my checkbook? – because I like getting my rewards dollars and hate carrying a lot of cash.

When we first started going out, she had several envelopes filled with bills of various denominations, for every expenditure in her life at the time. I found this most unusual.

She also never uses an ATM card, which I still don’t quite get. If I had needed to get money for the Daughter that morning, I would have just walked over to my bank branch, a block and a half away, and just taken out three $20s.

I should note that her cash economy isn’t as rare as most of us would think. According to Pymnts, “an estimated 24 percent of U.S. citizens make all their purchases using cash.” Moreover, “in the U.S., cash usage grew by 4.7 percent per year between 2000 and 2015.”

When she does pay with a credit card, she often goes to the store to pay off the balance, usually in cash. I used to do that at Sears when I shopped there in the 1980s and 1990s, but I forgot that it was still an option.

As Dustbury pointed out, when the electronic systems go kablooey, operating with cash is a great way to go.

This is why we have three checking accounts, hers, mine, and ours, which I almost never use. It insures domestic tranquility.

Did I mention it’s her natal day? Maybe I’ll give her a couple $20s, a $10, and… some miscellaneous other bills.

One of those albums I have only on vinyl is Beaucoups of Blues, Ringo Starr’s second solo album, which was recorded in Nashville in late June 1970, and released about three months later.

From the Wikipedia: “While playing on sessions for George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Starr – a long-time country and western fan – met Pete Drake in May 1970. Starr had to pick up Drake from the airport so that the pair could record with Harrison; Drake noticed the number of country albums Starr had in his vehicle… Starr asked him if they could collaborate on an album together. Drake told Starr his musician friends could compose more than an album’s worth of material in a week, which Starr thought was ‘impossible.'”

But they did, and some of Nashville’s finest performed on the album.

Ringo, of course, recorded some country-related songs with the Beatles: Act Naturally, by Buck Owens, on the UK Help! album; What Goes On, attributed to Lennon-McCartney-Starkey, on Rubber Soul in the UK; and Don’t Pass Me By, which he wrote, and which appears on the white album. The first two songs were both on the US Yesterday and Today LP.

I liked Beaucoups of Blues quite a bit, actually. John Lennon told Rolling Stone it was “a good record”, but “qualified that comment by saying he ‘didn’t feel as embarrassed as I did about [Starr’s] first record,'” the sappy Sentimental Journey, released in March of 1970. Reviewers at the time, and especially in retrospect, have said it was a solid effort, one of Ringo’s best.

“In his combined review of all the former Beatles’ 1970 solo releases, Geoffrey Cannon of The Guardian rated Beaucoups of Blues as his favourite.” That would be in comparison with Sentimental Journey; McCartney, Paul’s solo debut; John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band; and even the aforementioned All Things Must Pass.

Listen to:

title track, #87 pop on the Billboard charts
Love Don’t Last Long
Fastest Growing Heartache In The West
Without Her
Woman Of The Night
I’d Be Talking All The Time

$15 Draw
Wine, Women and Loud Happy Songs
I Wouldn’t Have You Any Other Way
Loser’s Lounge
Waiting
Silent Homecoming (my favorite)

Coochy Coochy, B-side of the title track single

Meet the Beatle: A Guide to Ringo Starr’s Solo Career in 20 Songs

Happy 78th birthday, Ringo!

Among the many dreadful aspects of Clarence Thomas becoming a member of the US Supreme Court is that he succeeded Thurgood Marshall. Marshall founded and served as executive director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, arguing several cases before SCOTUS, including the landmark “Brown v. Board of Education, which held that racial segregation in public education is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.”

Thomas, on the other hand, served as chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and “halted the usual EEOC approach of filing class-action discrimination lawsuits, instead pursuing acts of individual discrimination,” which are much more difficult to prove. He had little judicial background when George H. W. Bush nominated him to the high court.

The confirmation hearings were reopened after “an FBI interview with lawyer Anita Hill was leaked… Hill, a black attorney, had worked for Thomas… She testified that Thomas had subjected her to comments of a sexual nature, which she felt constituted sexual harassment or at least ‘behavior that is unbefitting an individual who will be a member of the Court.'”

Thomas denied Hill’s allegations, and famously said: “From my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves… and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.”

In the #MeToo era, The Boston Globe asked in 2018, Why is Clarence Thomas still on the Supreme Court? New York magazine suggests impeachment.

And the grounds wouldn’t just be over sexual harassment. Back in 2011, we learn that Thomas doesn’t just do unethical favors for wealthy right-wing donors — they also do expensive favors for him. Both he and his late colleague Antonin Scalia probably should have recused themselves in the toxic Citizens United case.

And this from 2013: “Common Cause uncovered that Virginia Thomas earned over $680,000 from the conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, from 2003 to 2007. Justice Thomas failed to include it on his financial disclosure forms… Once he was caught, Thomas amended 13 years’ worth of disclosure reports to include details of his wife’s income.”

A couple yeas ago, an article from Oyez painted a picture of the justice: “Clarence Thomas is known for his quiet, stoic demeanor during oral arguments and his conservative viewpoint that challenges, if not surpasses, even Scalia’s originalism.

“While many justices use questions to show their opinion on an issue or communicate with the other justices as to their feelings on a case, Thomas remains silent… He has shown his opinions to lean farther right than any other justice on the bench today.”

Birthday is June 23

Guitar Player, 1977

As I am a big fan of the eclectic, I love the music of Todd Rundgren.

I discovered Nazz, or the Nazz, his first, Philadelphia-based band after the group had already broken up. “‘Open My Eyes’ gained belated recognition thanks to its inclusion in Nuggets (1972), the genre-defining anthology of American 1960s garage punk and psychedelia.” He put out many albums, under various band monikers, reportage of which is a task too convoluted to note here. Check the Wikipedia.

Nor am I going to get into all the albums he produced for other people, including for Badfinger, Grand Funk Railroad, Meatloaf, the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, and XTC – look here.

Here’s somebody’s list of The 10 Best Todd Rundgren Albums To Own On Vinyl, FWIW.

Listen! All by Todd Rundgren, unless otherwise indicated; chart action is from Billboard Top 100:

Open My Eyes – Nazz, #112 in 1968
Hello It’s Me – Nazz, #71 in 1969, #66 in 1970 – these songs were the flip sides of each other
Loosen Up – Nazz, parody of Archie Bell and the Drell’s Tighten Up

We Gotta Get You a Woman – Runt, #20 in 1971; it’s unclear if this was a real band or just Todd

I Saw the Light, #16 in 1972
Hello It’s Me, #5 in 1973

Love in Action – Utopia, 1977
Can We Still Be Friends #29 in 1978 – I always find this song extraordinarily sad

Bang The Drum All Day, #63 in 1983; based on his comments playing this with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, Todd thinks this is a really dopey song

Coverville 1222: The Todd Rundgren Cover Story II

Now we get to “the albums that Roger owns on vinyl” section of this post:

Deface the Music – Utopia (1980) – “The concept of the album was to pay homage to The Beatles and create songs which sounded very similar to the Fab Four’s tunes throughout the various stages of their career.” If you appreciate the Rutles, you should get this album.
I Just Want To Touch You
Life Goes On
Everybody Else Is Wrong

Swing to the Right – Utopia (1982)
Swing to the Right
One World

A Cappella (1985)
Something To Fall Back On
Pretending To Care
also
Real Man, from the “A Capella” tour

People ask a lot of questions about The Beatles on Quora. Seeing that it’s Paul McCartney’s 76th birthday – I get Macca’s newsletter every month – I thought I’d steal a few. You’ll find other, sometimes contradictory, answers as well, at the links.

Are there any Beatles songs that were written solely by Paul McCartney that were sung solely by John Lennon, and vice-versa?

Alex Johnston: “‘Every Little Thing’, on Beatles For Sale, was written entirely by McCartney but sung by Lennon, with backing vocals from McCartney and Harrison.”

What did the Beatles think of the Rolling Stones?

Alexander Chiltern: “Yes, they were friendly… A more attentive reading has suggested me that they had envy of each other, but specially The Beatles were very, very envious of the Stones.”

Which classic rock band has aged most embarrassingly?

Stanton Nicholas: “I’m going to commit a cardinal sin among Beatle-philes by suggesting that Paul McCartney is about ready to join this group if he doesn’t stop touring soon.” I saw him in 2014 and I thought he was great, FWIW.

Is there any band artistically better than the Beatles at any time?

Rosalind Mitchell: “The Beatles more or less wrote the rules for bands. It is also that no band has ever been do versatile.”

What are John Lennon’s favorite songs by Paul McCartney?

David Sylvester: “In John Lennon’s interview with Playboy in September 1980, he singled out several Paul songs for praise. These include:
All My Loving (‘it’s a damn good piece of work’)
Things We Said Today (‘Good song’)
For No One (‘one of my favorites of his’)
Yesterday (‘well done’)
Got To Get You Into My Life (‘one of his best songs’)
Hey Jude (‘one of his masterpieces’)
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road (I enjoyed the track’)
Oh Darling (‘a great one of Paul’s that he didn’t sing too well’)
Fixing A Hole (‘writing a good lyric’)
The Fool On The Hill (‘proving he can write lyrics’)

“In the post-Beatles years, John acknowledged some appreciation for the Band On The Run album, the song Monkberry Moon Delight, and notably Coming Up, which he fixated on in the summer of 1980.

I’m occasionally tempted to answer some of these queries, but time and, usually, a sufficient extant answer dissuades me. For instance, there are always questions about whether the Beatles will be remembered decades from now. There is no telling the future, but the preponderance of evidence, such as the sheer number of cover albums of their music being produced each year, suggests the answer is YES.

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