L is for Lennon: John and Yoko

JohnandYokoJohn Lennon met Yoko Ono at an art gallery in November 1966. Very soon, the thing that would really bug Paul, George, and Ringo was that SHE was in the studio with John and them; this had been the Beatles’ nexus, but now he’s bringing in his girlfriend?

Her vocals would eventually show up on Beatles songs, notably Revolution 9 from the white album, and the very strange song What’s The New Mary Jane [LISTEN, if you want] which actually never made it onto a legitimate record until the third Beatles Anthology album, released in the 1990s.

They did a number of albums together, including a couple avant garde albums called Unfinished Music. Two Virgins had the infamous nude cover; the CD release added the Yoko song Remember Love [LISTEN], the B-side to the Plastic Ono Band single Continue reading

March Rambling: mostly about me

roger2
My old buddy Augustus (who you FantaCo customers might have known as Matt), put this together for my birthday. Pic on the left is from the cover of the FantaCon 1988 convention program, drawn by the late Chas Balun. The image is on the right was John Hebert’s rendition from Sold Out #1, c. 1986.
This is about me because: It was so cool. And he wrote: “Thank you for turning me on to a world of literature far beyond science fiction and fantasy. Your are still an influence on this boychik. Long may you arrange. (books in order).” And you thought I couldn’t blush.

Now Jaquandor KNOWS how to celebrate my birthday. He added me to his sentential links here. He answered my question about football.
This is about me, obviously. (Sidebar: some highly educated person wrote “As is my want” recently in a mass e-mail I received. You have NO idea how difficult it was for me NOT to correct him. Jaquandor would NOT make this misteak, er, mistake.)

Tom Skulan of FantaCo is being interviewed for Theater of Guts.
This is about me because: I worked at FantaCo for over eight years I took the photo of Tom, and also the pic of the late Chas Balun looking towards the ceiling. I find it interesting that my photos of the store Continue reading

Beatles dominance


As most Beatles obsessives know, it was 50 years ago this week, on the Billboard charts of April 4, 1964, that the Fab Four held the top FIVE singles on the Billboard music charts, and a dozen songs in the top 100. I wrote about this five years ago.

What I want to ponder now is, Could it ever happen again? It’s unlikely that an artist would be appearing on multiple labels, as the Beatles did.

For the purpose of the charts Continue reading

Fridays in Lent: Adagio in G Minor, attributed to Albinoni

AlbinoniI remember quite well the first time I heard Adagio in G Minor, presumably by “the 18th century Venetian master Tomaso Albinoni, but in fact composed almost entirely by the 20th century musicologist and Albinoni biographer Remo Giazotto.”

I was a member of the choir of my former church, and we were preparing to sing the Mozart Requiem in March of 1985. A beloved member of our choir, our soprano soloist, Arlene Mahigian, had been struggling with cancer. She was like my choir mom, taking my robe home to wash it every summer, though I never asked her to, and the like. She was clearly not going to be able to sing the Mozart. But she did make the performance, in a wheelchair.

The opening number was the Adagio, performed by her husband Leo, who was, for a time, concertmaster of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, on violin, and their son, Peter, on organ. Arlene died about three weeks later, and I saw her in the hospital a day or two before she passed, when she squeezed my hand to let me know she knew I was there.

Here’s Adagio in G Minor, which made me cry then and it still does, especially at about the seven-minute mark.

The past, education, happy, sad

paperrockNew York Erratic must be from New Jersey, she asks so many questions:

Are there any events in your life that you feel make good parables that you want to share one day with your daughter?

I was 51 when she was born, so there is a lot of my life to draw from. Huge parts of it she doesn’t know, significant events, and I’m not sure exactly when/if to tell her. Maybe if she asks. She DOES know about JEOPARDY!

I remember looking at photos of my mother with some guy she went out with before she dated my father, and initially, it was kind of weird, but hey, that was rather natural. When she would talk about it Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 120: What a pain

The Daughter’s last month as a nine-year-old was… interesting. As noted, she’s been rehearsing to be in the church production of The Lion King. The rehearsal for February 23 was very intense, and she did not feel up to going to school that day, and missed that night’s rehearsal. But when she was too tired to go the next day, I took her to the doctor. Ultimately, she had a blood test, stayed home Wednesday but went to school Thursday and Friday. Continue reading

Diana Ross is 70, tomorrow

diana-ross-diana-rossI suppose it was inevitable that when the billing went from the Supremes to Diana Ross and… that she would eventually leave the group, and she did. In many ways, I preferred the songs of those first two solo albums of hers, which I bought, to the Supremes albums that came out just before she left the group. Still, I never bought any of her other solo albums. Didn’t see her in any of her movies Continue reading

K is for the Kinks: Muswell Hillbilles

Kinks_-_Muswell_HillbilliesThe Kinks, commercially, went from being a rather successful rock band, to not so much, several times in its career arc. One of the latter was the 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies, “named after the Muswell Hill area of North London, where band leader Ray Davies and guitarist Dave Davies [his younger brother] grew up and the band formed in the early 1960s.” I have alluded to this album so often I figured I must have written about it before, but I had not.

It was their ninth album, but their first for RCA. It was also the first one I ever bought. Even though it came from a particularly English POV, there was something quite universal about the feelings of alienation. It’s also sonically quite diverse.

Also in the band at that time were original drummer Mick Avory Continue reading

Dinosaurs, candy, kissing, travel

T-Rex-The-SliderGot a bunch of questions, great questions. Gracias. I’ve been thinking about them, some of them A LOT, but some are going to require longer answers than others, and I’ll have more time in the next week or two (I hope).

In the meanwhilst, here’s a few from New York Erratic:

Were you ever into fossils or dinosaurs? What is your favorite dinosaur?

Not in any kind of systematic way. I mean they were collectively cool, but I didn’t study them very thoroughly. I got frustrated that several of the ones I knew as a child Continue reading

“The plane is missing. We still don’t know where it is. We’ll update you when we do.”

malaysia-airlinesMy daughter, who’s almost 10, was watching the news with me the other day when the story about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 came on. She is a compassionate person. Yet she winced, “Oh, no, not again.” She hasn’t done that with stories about GM recalls, or other multi-day stories.

Maybe it’s because the news outlets feel an obligation to cover it, but, far too often, they really don’t have a heck of a lot to SAY. Continue reading