21
Dec
13

SAVING MR. BANKS AND TIMELESS MUSIC!

Yesterday I saw “Saving Mr. Banks” with 3 generations of my family. Folks, Sis, and Nephew. From age 12 to 79. We’d all obviously seen Mary Poppins numerous times, like most Americans, and knew all the words to the songs. Although the film was a bit slow at first, it picked up speed, and tons of emotion and laughs. The first tear I shed was when the portrayed songwriters, Sherman Brothers, sang, “Feed the Birds“. The melody is just so beautiful, and it unleashed memories of my childhood. And the love of my parents. As the story progressed, sappy as it was, my sister and I turned to each other crying, and started cracking up, because we were crying. Then I sobbed like an idiot when “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” came on at the end of this wonderful story. I give it a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious review. Worth every Tuppence.  (I had no idea how to spell “Topins” before.) Emma Thompson deserves Best Actress.

The night before last, I had a blast with my sister going through the family collection of albums, mostly my Mom and Dad’s, mixed in with a few of ours that survived many travels. Most of my records, yes vinyl, were stolen by some dude when I went to University. Only Deodato, Classical Gas, 52nd Street, Seals and Crofts, Tapestry, Doors, and Kenny Logins managed to escape the heist.

I desperately tried learning Classical Gas on my guitar as a teen.

I desperately tried learning Classical Gas on my guitar as a teen.

DOORS

JIM!

Rednecks need not apply

Not too many Rednecks on 52nd Street.

Blowing through the jasmine in my my-hi-hi-hind.

Blowing through the jasmine in my my-hi-hi-hind.

(The guy who took them was a redneck football player, hence these remained. And he must have been so drunk that he missed one Allman Brothers and Skynyrd record. But he took all of my Zeppelin!) “Oh it’s a jolly holiday with rednecks!”

Da...da....da..... DA TAAAAAAH!

Da…da….da…..
DA TAAAAAAH!

Redneck had beyond one more for the road...and took off with my records!

Redneck had beyond one more for the road…and took off with my records! But you didn’t get my Skynyrd!

My folks just moved out of their house of the last 20 years, and downsized to a 2 bedroom. So lots of stuff is being given to the kiddies. Dad just gave me his turntable. I’m going to use it. Break out the preener! Must have those albums spit spot!

As my sister and I went through album by album, there would be a “naaaah” when we would come across Glen Miller or the Andrew Sisters, but then a tremendous, synchronized, “Oh!” filled the room with excitement, as we discovered Innagadadavida, Hair, The 5th Dimension, Brazil 66, The Original Batman show songs. A near tug-of-war took place. We started laughing. Nostalgia City. Then Camelot and West Side Story were flipped in the stack. HEY! I want that one!  I want that one! Then the Beatles Albums, and Simon and Garfunkle. Then another burst of laughter when we found “The Happy Moog”.

HARD DAYS NIGHT

MOOG

Okay. Let’s be fair. You get one and I get the other. We started singing all the tunes. Living childhood fun memories of all of the great music played in our house. We had the miscellaneous pile, where we took turns, and the same for all Beatles, and Burt Bacharach and musicals. (Mary Poppins was there, too!)

Happy Birthday Abbey Baby, Happy birthday to you, BANG

Happy Birthday Abbey Baby, Happy birthday to you, BANG

Mashkeeenata!

Mashkeeenata!

like a bridge over tru-hu-bled waters, I will lay me dow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-own.like a bridge over tru-hu-bled waters, I will lay me dow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-own.

It reminded me a bit of Halloween when we used to spread out our candy, and make trades.

THIS is when music was worth fighting over. THIS is when music was brilliant. Timeless. Worth the Tuppence.

Then I was watching “Dark Shadows” late that night. Not a classic, but the soundtrack was. As it opened with “Knights in White Satin,” I closed my eyes, heard every note, every gorgeous, vulnerably sung vocal line, and the depth of the production. It was stunning. Hadn’t heard that song in a long time. And I haven’t heard a song on the radio that has stopped me in my tracks for many moons.

Ya know why? Because the gatekeepers are scumsucking, no taste, fuck ball vampires. The music on “mainstream” radio – and pop radio just blows. (with few exceptions – the sound of it is something quite atrocious!)

Ya know why? Because the people that make the decisions about what music is good now, don’t know shit about good music. Or more eloquently put in “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank” song,

And you’ll achieve that sense of conquest     STRIPPER
As your affluence expands
In the hands of the directors
Who invest as propriety demands

They can go fly a kite, as far as I’m concerned. It makes me sad. Because its not that there isn’t good music out there. Because there is! It’s just not getting the backing from the bafoons. A lot of these so called artists might be capable of “Stepping in Time”, never need a reason, never need a rhyme. But they do need Auto-tune. (Just a spoon full does not make this medicine go down my palate.) And then the ones that sing well? Well, the music just has no soul. No depth….in my opinion. (Which is practically perfect in every way.)  It does not stop me in my tracks like a “Nights in White Satin.”

But here is an example of a current album that stopped me in my tracks, with his tracks! Will Lee.  WILL LEE“Love, Gratitude, and other Distractions,” This album is a masterpiece. It was in the Grammys for several categories. Not a single nomination. I voted for it for Album of the Year. And I’m not sure it’s getting any airplay on the radio. Of course, one needs to pay a “radio promoter” in order to get airplay. And it’s not cheap.

Most musicians (excluding Will) can’t afford that. Why do you need to pay to have your music on, if it’s good? Remember when a D.J. could just play what they liked?

That’s what internet radio is doing these days.

Then you have the streaming services.

Which brings us back to why there is not a lot of good music being recognized by….the Grammys, American Music Awards, etc.

And then there is the other issue of musicians not having enough money to even make an album these days! Because clubs are paying less money, streaming services rape and pillage. You can’t even feed the birds with those royalties! So the only way to move product, is if you sell it at your shows.

It costs a shitload to record an album, and most people just literally take music for granted. Or is it that they are not hearing anything equivalent to “Nights in White Satin”, or finding anything to have a tug-of-war with your sister over?

I got the Batman, Blood Sweat and Tears, Herb Alpert, Mason Williams, West Side Story, Carol King, Brazil 66, Up Up and Away, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 3 Simon & Garfarkles, 3 Beatles, and Mary Poppins!

na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na....BATMAAAAN!

na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na….BATMAAAAN!

up up and away, in my beautiful, my beautiful, ba-loooooon!

up up and away, in my beautiful, my beautiful, ba-loooooon!


Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night!

Tonight, tonight, won’t be just any night

HERB

Deb scored Iron Butterfly, amongst others, and we sat in the garage and together mimicked the drum solo, using our voices and air drum sets. Hysterical. “I LOVE TO LAUGH!”

And if you love to laugh, and the taste of honey, go see the very sweet “Saving Mr. Banks.” And share your great album collection the next generation..in the most delightful way!

Du-du-du-dun-dun. Dun. dun. daga-daga-dunt-dunt dunt. dunt.

Du-du-du-dun-dun. Dun. dun. daga-daga-dunt-dunt           dunt. dunt.

 


2 Responses to “SAVING MR. BANKS AND TIMELESS MUSIC!”


  1. December 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    The sadness you feel is the reality that here in the 21st Century the music business has EVERYTHING to do with business and NOTHING to do with music. These days if as a musician you went for higher education in Boston you’d be best advised to hit Harvard and its business school and steer clear of Berklee.

    Early Seventies, working part time at an AM daytimer in Northern Jersey, reading Billboard magazine, and I stumbled across an article referring to new releases as ‘product.’ I still remember the chill down my spine and forty plus years on it still stings. We have become a culture that knows how to do many, many things with music except enjoy and appreciate it. Have yourself (and Scott as well) a Merry Little Christmas .

  2. December 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    This entry resonates with me on so many levels. A lot of those albums were prized possessions of mine too … and like you, mine were taken from me (divorce.) I remember being scintillated by the Herb Alpert covers – and digging the brass. I remember so many of these – and it seems that they come from a day and age when making music, not product (thanks Bill … I remember seeing those words as well – probably not the same mag or time) was really the focus. Expressing something. Meaning something. Making something worthy of discussion 10 years down the road because it’s music, not a Billboard Top 100. And … it seems that no music genre escapes the mass-production garbage on the radio now. Yes, musicians and writers create things that they’d very much like to make a living wage at – but if that wage is predicated on projections, advertisement costs, market research, ratings, blah blah blah and ONLY that, nothing really meaningful is fostered in that environment other than money. That results in the same thing over and over and over … and nothing that pushes the edge, moves people to cry or take action, fall in love – stands a chance of getting through. I know what you’re talking about with “Nights in White Satin” – in fact, really, the whole “Days of Future Passed” album, brings back to me crystal clear images, feeling and thoughts I had so many years ago when hearing it for the first time. Would something like this get made today? Sadly, I think not. This is one of the reasons I’m a fan of yours, and also of Will’s – I think you share those sentiments but you’ve chosen to fight the good fight rather than let the tasteless bastards win. Holly Happydays to you both!


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Linda Chorney


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