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Juke Box

Juke Box – Gas Station Women

Here’s one by Phil Ochs.

“Fill ‘er up with love please won’t you mister? Just the Hi-Test is what I used to say. But that was before I lost my baby. I’ll have a dollar’s worth of regular today.”

Happy Friday!

Categories
Juke Box

Juke Box – To Beat the Devil

Busy weekend ahead. Here’s a Johnny Cash version of a Kris Kristofferson song.

Categories
Juke Box

Juke Box – I’ll Fly Away

Taking the weekend to get chores done so I can focus on the election.

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” ~ Stephen King.

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Juke Box

Juke Box – Jubilee

Today’s forecast is to be sunny beginning late morning, clear, and with a high of 52 degrees. I’m prepping to get outside and don’t have a lot of availability for screen time and related reading and writing before the sun comes up at 6:43 a.m. in an hour or so. I’m leaving this here.

Have a better Saturday than expected in a time of the coronavirus pandemic.

Categories
Juke Box

Juke Box – Crossroads

Cream: Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. This group came together and dissolved while I was in high school, before I knew it. Few bands were as good as this one was.

Taking a couple days to work on other projects, in the meanwhile…

Categories
Juke Box

Juke Box – Hummingbyrd

I’m off organizing for a while. In the meanwhile, enjoy this video of Marty Stuart playing Clarence White’s Fender Telecaster. White is known for creating a distinct sound as a member of the Byrds. Stuart bought the Telecaster from White’s widow. If you want to learn more, here’s Stuart’s story about how the guitar came to be his.

I won’t be long.

Categories
Juke Box

Juke Box – Wide Open Spaces

I’m going on hiatus from this blog until after Sept. 9. In the meanwhile, here’s one of the songs we chose for Mom’s funeral. Hope to see you mid-September.

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Juke Box

Uncle John’s Band

It’s time for a brief hiatus to focus on 5:30 a.m. sunrises and clear days in the garden.

I’ve been listening to tracks from the Grateful Dead’s 1989 concert at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisc. Uncle John’s Band is a favorite performance.

My main experience with the Dead was during my undergraduate years when I ran a carbon arc spotlight at a 1971 Grateful Dead concert at the University of Iowa Field House, and attended another in 1973. I have many of their albums on vinyl, bought in real time as they were released, although sharing bootleg tapes of concerts became a thing before the internet enabled sharing. Hope you enjoy this video.

Hope to be back with new posts soon.

Categories
Juke Box

Juke Box – Jessica

Going into a long weekend of spring catching up. I’ll return to regular posts soon.

Here’s one of my fave recordings of Rickey Betts playing Jessica. I heard The Allman Brothers Band play the song at the University of Iowa Field House on Nov. 9, 1973, shortly after it was released. They won a Grammy for Jessica. Enjoy!

Categories
Home Life

A Prerecorded Life

Turn-Style Department Store, Davenport, Iowa. Photo Credit – Davenport Iowa History Facebook Page

In high school I worked part time at a discount department store called Turn-Style. Located on Brady Street near what was then the edge of town, the meager income enabled me to purchase a used Volkswagen Beetle and save money for college. I made my first contribution to Social Security while there and learned work habits that continue to serve.

Over the years, Jewel Food Stores sold Turn-Style to May Department Stores which converted it to a Venture Store. It was purchased by K-Mart. Today the building is a Theisens Home, Farm and Auto Supply store, owned by the same family that owns the store where I currently work two days a week.

In high school I worked in the drug department which sold consumable products that included over the counter medicine and hygienic products, candy, tobacco, nuts, greeting cards, gift ware, sugary drinks, and recorded music.

Most shifts I would spend part of my time stocking vinyl records, making sure any new arrivals made it to the sales floor, and the bins of albums were properly sorted and arranged. I picked records to play as background music before the days of Musak. There were no rules in the late 1960s and my supervisor seldom censored my choices. It gave me a chance to listen to music that wasn’t available on AM radio. I started buying vinyl and played it on my parents’ record player.

As my collection of records grew an issue arose: the distinction between being a music player and a music listener. It caused me some teenage consternation.

One of my neighborhood friends’ older brother was the drummer for a popular band called The Night People. They played at the Draught House next to the Mississippi River and the cool kids in my class went to hear them. I did not. I guess that made me a listener rather than a player, and I was okay with it. They would make fun of my friends and I when we talked about news from bands they had performed with.

I got my musical start right after the Beatles came to America in 1964. I persisted in playing, despite derision in our neighborhood. My song list included mostly folk songs I played by myself. On occasion I played with a small group or with someone else who was learning to play the guitar. It seemed like there were a lot of us learning to play then. There was always a divide between what music I played and that to which I listened.

In the end, a musician had to make a song their own. Bands like The Night People sounded just like The Beatles or Rolling Stones or whoever they mimicked. What art is there in that? Live bands like this were co-opted by disk jockeys who played original, prerecorded versions. If I was a music listener more than a player, it was to understand and adapt songs that might be a good fit for me. By all accounts The Night People were successful, and who ever heard of me?

During those years in high school I made a decision in the Turn-Style parking lot. A friend wanted to go to Woodstock. We’d heard about it the week before and he offered to drive if I’d come along and pay part of the gasoline expense. We talked about it for a while and in the end I said, “I have to work Saturday.” That was a decision easily made. In it I chose to be less a music listener and more a player. It made all the difference.