The State Of Music Today?
Every year the President gets up in front of Congress and tells how the country is doing.. This is what he might say about music?
When Little Richard released his hit single Tutti Fruity no one could have known that almost 50 years later his music would still be alive. Music forms have often long outlived many of the great artists that created it. The more that profiteers try to figure out what people want to hear, the more originality appears. To those out there that never fell in love with music there is a lack of understanding. To those who do love music there is a dream and a faith.
Much like the debate among biblical scholars about faith, music has it's own. Depending on what type of "bread" and "wine" you take with music determines which one you might choose. If someone has a Doors T-Shirt on, or George Clinton, we might assume their "bread" is Mary Jane. If someone has a Garth Brooks, Man in black, or Stevie Ray Vaughn T-Shirt we can assume their "wine" is wine or beer.. If someone has a Vanilla Ice T-Shirt on we can assume they just climbed out of a time machine. Maybe it is not the things we ingest with music, but who we are?
When John Lennon wrote Imagine on the back of a napkin he never could have dreamed he was speaking for a generation. A few chords on the piano have more effect on a soul than 500,000 Human Be-In's at Woodstock. Love doesn't stop a war, but well placed lyrics and music can.
Where did it start is a common question; Johnson and the Blues, Elvis, Fats Domino, who? Let us look for a moment back a few hundred years to Austria and Beethoven. Deaf and a bit nuts he followed the frenzy of Mozart and created a heart in music. The first with the piano, Beethoven wrote music that has never been toppled. His Moonlight Sonata can touch the soul of even the harshest of beings. He took the newest instrument of the time and made it sing to the heavens. He was also the first Rockstar
pushing through the upper-class and making them non-exsistant. In his time if you were rich you could walk down the streets and commoners would bow to show courtesy and get out of your way... Not Beethoven, he moved for no one.. Slept with scores of women, and died poor.. TOTAL ROCKSTAR!!
When John Lennon sat down at the piano and wrote Imagine no one dreamed he was penning what we all think. John had a way of writing music that was so introspective that it might have killed him? He was a voice that unfortunately was extinguished much too soon. We sit today wondering what to do like children whose parents have gone away. Much of the world today has a similar opinion about all matters.
Long ago in Beethoven's day it was a time of King's, sitting on their thrones, and being a father figure to us all. There were revolutions and we decided to let each other run our lives instead of a king. Democracy has it's good times and it's bad times. Today people complain about leaders and there is no one in music to answer us. When those who have stepped forward become martyrs who is left? Lennon and Beethoven opened their hearts to us and showed us the way. There is no one like that today.
So what is the state of music? It does what we ask it to right now, but there is a voice in the wind. Someday, someone will come along again, beyond all odds, and play us a song. He or she will sit at the piano and give us all a voice.
First people need to learn to play the piano again though!
The Beethoven Picture is by Andy Warhol click on the link to Posters.com to purchase!
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band - The Beatles
Voted by most Music lovers as the #1 album of all time! Called the "Summer of Love" record, this one was the mind numbing experience of 1967. Not long after the release of singles like 'Penny Lane' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever' a new type of "Beat-Les" emerged. 105 record hours in the studio gave a lifetime of the greatest music ever recorded.
The Story Behind the Album:
It was really Paul's album. He came up with the idea of a psychedelic intpretation of a brass band from the past. Complete with uniforms, artwork inside the album, and lyrics the Beatles created an entirely new Rock Mythology.
The record has social commentary songs like ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’, ‘She’s Leaving Home’, ‘Within You Without You’, and ‘A Day In The Life’. It also has British and American Pop with, ‘Good Morning, Good Morning’ and ‘Fixin A Hole Where The Rain Gets In’. Rumors still circulate that the reason why Paul was so involved as opposed to John on this album is that John was heavy into drugs at the time… Hence the ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ conspiracy.
SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEART’S CLUB BAND:
This song was written so the Beatles could escape the image that had shadowed them and stunted their artistic growth. By writing as different characters the Beatles could be relieved of the pressures of constant success. Legend has it (And there is footage to prove it) Jimi Hendrix bought this album and that night performed this number live at a show in England. Of course Paul was impressed, he was there.
A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS:
Written by Paul and John for Ringo this song touches everyone’s soul. Made extremely popular and mythic when performed by Joe Cocker at Woodstock in August, 1969. A kiddie type song when the Beatles recorded it, no one would expect the popularity it still draws today.
LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS:
John wrote this number and the diamonds in the sky could never have been more powerful! The weirdest thing about this song is that John always denied through his entire life that it had anything to do with LSD. The first Acid Tests by Ken Kesey were a year and a half earlier so it is possible John knew that some money could be made with some tricky word play? But the outfits, the concept, and the flowers? I think this song has something to do with hallucinations. It is based on his son’s drawing, who came up with the title.
This song is a Lennon/McCartney gem if there was ever one. Paul sings about hope and things improving, while John wrestles with being an angry young man. Some stories report that when the Beatles had a replacement drummer he always said the phrase, "It’s getting better all the time". Well it stuck in Paul’s head and became a great song.
FIXING A HOLE:
Paul wrote this song and it has always been a tranquil beauty. Woven as if by an old woman in a cottage; this song fits well on the wall. Rain falling and mind wandering are signs of thinking deeply and trying to concentrate. Another song beat on for drug references, it was all about fixing his beach house in Scotland.
SHE’S LEAVING HOME:
Paul wrote this song about a runaway in England that caught his attention and made him think about the effects. With San Francisco and the hippie wave a flux in runaways was happening everywhere. As the Beatles grew older so did their audience. Songs like this let fans who were once hiding Beatles albums under their beds deal with the harsh realities of leaving home.. And becoming rolling stones in the complete unknown?
BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE:
John wrote this song after staring at a poster while sitting on the piano writing the song. It is almost word for word to what the poster said, except for the occasional fit to rhyme. He had purchased the poster while filming a video for Strawberry Fields. It was printed in 1843 being for the benefit of Mr. Kite.
WITHIN YOU, WITHOUT YOU:
George Harrison wrote this song after studying with Ravi Shankar in 1965. This was a new philosophy pumped into Pop Culture and an Eastern flavored song. About giving up ego and closing the ‘space between us all’, George was writing a way of thinking into Rock and Roll. Embellished by groaning sounds of sitars and strange instruments the song caught on with the Hippies of the late sixties. Many musicians and people who consider this album a pinnacle for the love generation point to this song as the Beatles understanding what was happening.
WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR:
Paul’s ode to long lasting love and simplicity are highlighted in this classic number. Ironically he is facing this question in life today as he gets older today. Originally the song was written when Paul was very young. As he grew as a musician he found a perfect place to fit this song into an album. With cabaret themes in the music, and classic poetic thoughts of love; this song transcends generations. John hated it I have read in various sources.
Written by Paul this song is many peoples favorite of the album. Comical almost in the musical approach it plays with notes and harmonies like a child. Complexity made simple is always the key to great song writing.
GOOD MORNING, GOOD MORNING:
John wrote this song and said it was one of his worst. Drugs were a constant battle for him at this period in the band. His marriage created difficulties that were coming to a head, and his reputation was still being repaired from years before. George Martin cleaned up the song and added effects.. LUCY IN THE SKY and STRAWBERRY FIELDS WERE AWESOME.. WE FORGIVE YOU JOHN, and this song is probably better than most songs written today?
A DAY IN THE LIFE:
Who does not like this song? A perfect marriage between John’s pessimistic view at the time and Paul’s lightheartedness wrapped into a beautiful song. Continuing on John’s theme of using things around himself to create art, this was based on actual scenes around him. References in the song also point to John’s participation in a war movie at the time. Paul called the song a turn-on song and wrote it in a way to emphasize truth above all things. He has also said in various interviews that his section of the song is a reference to smoking pot. A beautiful song one cannot help but be touched by the grandeur of a great collaboration.
This album is the first in anyone’s collection. It is one of the few that a person can sit and listen to the entire record and not feel like skipping songs. This was the pinnacle and turning point for the Beatles, and all of Rock and Roll. The colors, sounds, lyrics and motives in the album spoke to people everywhere. Today, people still find so many different meaning in these songs. A sign of a great artist is expressing those things nearest to your soul, and then letting everyone around you share in the collective thought. I think it is what was the word on the tips of everyone’s tongues in the sixties: Conscienceness!
THE TOP 10 OVER-RATED POP ARTISTS
10. Madonna - She is getting old, and what was once a great career is now looking like someone holding on for dear life. She pushed the envelope as far as women go in music back in the eighties. In today’s market she is just another over the hill eighties talent.
9. Eminem - Without Dr. Dre Eminem would be just another trailer trash wanna-be! Ask Snoop Dog what happens once the limelight of Dre fades away? I once thought eM&M was the newest Elvis, taking black music to white kids everywhere. But he is rude, ignorant, and he keeps getting worse... He also looks more like a rougher Justin Timberlake everyday! Now he started a band and sings about lead singers being arrogant? It will be a happy day in musicland when he is shown for what he really is... A Corporate kiss @ss white boy who has ridin' Dre's coattails to the top! My BAND MY BAND, My Band...
8. Ozzy Osborne - I remember growing up with eighties girls carving OZZY into their hands. Talk about sellout? Ever since Sharon "rescued" Ozzy, he has been more commercial than Pepsi... WHO HE DID A COMMERCIAL FOR RECENTLY. .. WITH THE OSMOND'S??? At first we wanted to see into his home.. NOW WE ARE SUBJECTED TO HIS UGLY TALENTLESS KIDS DAY AFTER DAY... AND A GROUPIE WIFE?? If Bob Dylan is a Sellout, than Ozzy Osborne is a SUPERFLY DUPERLY SELLOUT! This year OZZFEST will probably be done by MTV?
7. Metallica - Sure they had a few hits in the late eighties, early nineties, BUT WHAT ABOUT STAYING POWER? HUSH LITTLE BABY DON'T SAY A WORD, unless we are going after Internet music swappers trying to steal our one or two hits we had! HELP!
6. Pink - Another one or two hit wonder that is part of the "POP CELEBRITY MTV POSSE". Now she is going to play Janis Joplin in a movie? Can she even act, cuz Janis was a great actress? Why do these people get protected by the press?
5. George Michael - VOTED THE NUMBER 1 ARTIST IN ENGLAND? Followed closely by Elton John... What if these 2 met in a bathroom? POP star who every guy idolized in the eighties... No wonder the chicks liked him so much?
4. Michael Jackson - The FREAK a.k.a. THE KING OF POP! Bought the Beatles catalog and sold Revolution to a shoe ad? has a disposable nose and has a thing for young boys.. If only he could be deported or live in a country that wants him? He is the scariest looking guy in Music and he didn't have that many hits? He was a hit maker, but his crown was taken away years ago... Hang it up Mike!
3. Justin Timberlake - The NEW King of Pop! Was annoying in the boy band INSYNC, and had NERD create a hit solo album.. It’s GOOD TO BE JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE (According to MTV). Sure he took Brittany's virginity and has dated a few hotties, but so did George Michael? His music is all NERD, he couldn't write his way out of a paper bag. MTV pumps more money into this guy than the US does into Iraq..
2. Usher - Name one hit this guy had? Yet he appears in movies, and is all over the American press. Give it up shorty! he made this list as he is #1 on the Rolling Stone Magazine list? Maybe MTV and Rolling Stone should try something new? They used to be hip, now they are so old they need hip replacements.
1. Britney Spears - OK even I thought she was hot at first, but hot doesn't sell everything? Her voice gets worse as the years go by. I have also never seen her sing live. She has more overdubs than a George Lucas movie. She is getting old and her pasty face is not looking so hot these days.. Try to scrape some of that make up off and write a song yourself?
BOB DYLAN SELLOUT OR DROPOUT?
Bob Dylan? Boy the times they are a changin', and getting confusing?
Is everything turned around so much? I had a dream last night that the Beatles song Revolution was in a shoe ad, Led Zepplin played a car ad, and even Bob Dylan... BOB DYLAN was in an ad for bras...
OVER THE SHOULDER ROLLING STONE HOLDER?
Many famous artists lend their name to popular culture in America; this is called POP. But in America some fats are good and some are bad like some some POP is good, and some is bad. A country built on commercialism and tripping over Donald Trump and Bill Gates has a cold and hot relationship.
Depending on the style and the times POP can make or break an artists career. Take Denis Leary for instance. Huge Comedian built on being ANTI-POP... Even to the level of tearing down STARS in their prime; ie. Fiona Apple. When his career began to slow he was seen on the tv hawking oil. His career since has been pretty quiet, although bad movies may also play a role? But his integrity was gone.
Many famous STARS do commercials in other countries, but shy away from them here. So we know that they think about reputation, but it doesn't hurt them? Let's look at some artists in question.
The Beatles: This band started as young guys in a tough German/English club band. When George Martin got ahold of them they were the most popular band in music. A trophy that they still hold. Then they tossed it all and became street credible. We can't blame John for anything as he died before a commercial hit with a Beatles diddy on it. Paul McCartney made a push to buy the Beatles songs when they came up for sale.
The problem was that the "King of POP" beat him by a NOSE! Paul still doesn't speak to Jackson... It sucks when someone else sells you out.
Bob Dylan: THE MAN! This is the man who wrote Blowin' in the Wind, Like a Rolling Stone, and a LIST OF FINGER POINTING, PROTEST, I HAVE AN OPINION AND IT MATTERS SONGS.
This was who my parent's generation followed and worshiped. You were "IT" if you were into what Dylan was selling.
Then the Victoria's Secret Ad?
A whinny old voice, and the learning of Victoria's real Secret. ANYONE CAN SELLOUT, and we are all human. We feel sad that he did it, but we will carry on. It is a new world and eventually anyone has a price. Someone found Bob's price and he, ummm, errr, sold out. TV is low, but being in an ad on TV is the lowest. The last thing you want is a legacy of being remembered for a crappy ad. He should have retired in his prime.... or just maybe got fat like Elvis? This isn't the end of this discussion!
When one thinks back to the turbulent decade of the 1990s there is one name that always surfaces; Kurt Cobain. The young man from Seattle Washington was the enigmatic frontman and lead guitarist of the celebrated band Nirvana.
Kurt burst onto the scene in 1991 with Nirvana's first album BLEACH. It was a mix of Hard Rock and Punk that formed from a struggling artist on the West Coast of the United States. Kurt's dream was to be bigger than the Beatles, and he may have achieved it had he not died so soon.
Around the time Nirvana's first album was released Kurt has been reported to have became addicted to heroin. At first he used the drug to help with his intense stomach ailments. With his then girlfriend Courtney Love, they began to use the drug until Kurt's death in 1994. Kurt's story is much more than heroin though.
Last year was a big year for Nirvana and Kurt Cobain's legacy as the band released a new album of greatest hits and one lost track. To coincide with the release there were books released that told of the troubled singers life through diary excerpts. A few of his diary excerpts told of his plans originally to open a cleaning service with his good friend and bass player Kris Novoselik.
From there the diary discusses Kurt’s struggle with his own demons and dreams of achieving fame and fortune. As the diary goes through the years it tells of his feeling on becoming famous and achieving his weighted goals. The diary follows Kurt's battle with a serious heroin addiction and the birth of his only child.
When Kurt Cobain died it was sudden and there is a lot of speculation surrounding his it. One rumor is that the shotgun that Kurt used to commit suicide had no fingerprints on it. Another story has that his suicide note was written as a note to Courtney Love from weeks ago, and the last few lines were added later.
A Documentary on Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love's relationships states that the ending of the letter was not even Kurt's handwriting. However he ended up coming to his passing the timing made it much too soon.
He preceded the death of several other Rock and Roll icons of the mid-nineties, but was the only one to join Rock's 27 Forever group of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin. After Kurt Cobain died there were other popular artists who met similar fates due to heroin and drugs. Among the most notable were Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, Brad Nowell of Sublime, and Layne Stanley of Alice in Chains.
It seems the revival of heroin in the mid-nineties was the end of Rock much like it was back in the early 1970s. Like many other famous deaths there will probably always be speculation, but Kurt's spirit lives on through his music.
WHY THE FOUNTAINHEADS?
I keep trying to sell the name: THE FOUNTAINHEADS.
Here is why.... I got it off of a documentary on "Berkley in the 60s". When a tourbus driver was driving down Haight-Ashbury in 1968 he described it as, "The Fountainhead of the Hippie community". In the movie, "The History of the World Pt. 1" by Mel Brooks, he describes Rome as, "The fountainhead of civilization".
I am partially drawn to the word as it is a lot like what THE DOORS were going after. It was taken from a Blake poem," When the doors of perception are cleansed things can be seen as they truly are, INFINATE".
The philosophy of a band is almost as important as the band itself. The Beatles were originally named The Mercey Beats, and other names. When they found an interesting way to combine a bug and Beat, which is both musical and poetic it was a perfect fit. On the same note the fans would be called "The Heads"... borrowed from the old hippie slang for someone who is in the group.
These names both reflect the "Rock" image, as well as the original flare of bands that came from Haight-Ashbury; ie. Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane. I have a picture in my mind of
THE FOUNTAINHEADS being drawn with the (F) like a faucet and the other letters bubbly like water... Look at how big a great label can make a band, i.e. WookieFoot, Phish, and the biggest band from HAIGHT-ASHBURY, THE GRATEFUL DEAD... The True,"HEADS". It is my thought as a writer, poet, and general word man... More to come...
Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters
Jack Kerouac and The Beats
Every writer needs a crew to come along on the journey. From the Odyssey to Ken Kesey to Jack Kerouac there is always a group. That is the purpose of the FOUNTAINHEADS! This is for free speech and to get published for all to see. Today we are so small but once advertising occurs, name recognition happens it will be exciting. This is the fountainhead of knowledge, the people are the fountainheads.