Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Nice Work Guys

Technology Not Always Reliable, As It Turns Out

Maybe the FBI was just getting in some practice at targeting innocent people…

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Bob Seger Might be the Most Normal and Likeable Giant Star in Rock and Roll History

In the Top Ten At Least

He just exudes big smiles and good vibes, all the time.

According to Wikipedia he has sold 75 million records worldwide. Not bad, Bob, not bad!

My personal favorites are “Main Street” and “Night Moves” and “Beautiful Loser” with a bunch of others tied for second. The only complaint I had about his music in the 70s and 80s was being overplayed on the radio — being so popular with so many people will do that sometimes.

He’s not getting any younger and with so many of my musical idols dying off these last few years, I need to make sure I recognize guys like him while they’re still here.

“Main Street”

Still sounds fresh 50 years later. And for me it instantly brings up mental pictures of driving around town, not a care in the world, age 17 or so, with my whole life in front of me. 

Then as I grew older I grew to appreciate the melancholy looking back in “Night Moves”. So his music bookends my adult years, in a very subtle way.

Fun facts you may not know — I didn’t until just now. 

  • Ran track in high school (Ann Arbor) 
  • Co-wrote “Heartache Tonight” for the Eagles 
  • Took ten years away from music to spend time with his wife and two small children from 1996-2006 
  • Won the Port Huron to Mackinac race in 2001 and 2002 on his 52-foot sailboat 

He’s not getting any younger and is quite clearly a legend in popular music and an American institution. Now I feel a sense of regret never having seen him live, and he just retired last year at 78 years old. Best we can do now is enjoy listneing to him while he’s still here. 

Monday, February 26, 2024

Today in 1919: Grand Canyon Becomes U.S. National Park

First named a National Monument in 1908 by Theodore Roosevelt

Coronado and his explorers were apparently the first “white men” to discover it in 1540 — but I’m pretty sure some Native Americans had spotted it at some prior point in history.

In 1540, members of an expedition sent by the Spanish explorer Coronado became the first Europeans to discover the canyon—though because of its remoteness, the area was not further explored until 300 years later. American geologist John Wesley Powell, who popularized the term “Grand Canyon” in the 1870s, became the first person to lead a journey across the entire length of the gorge in 1869. The harrowing voyage was made in four rowboats.

A look at the geography of the area today. 

Obviously there was no Lake Powell or  Lake Mead back then (created in the 20th century by the Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams, respectively). There was no Colorado River Aqueduct, or Central Arizona Aqueduct, or any other manmade diversions of the river water.

So imagine the amount of snow melt that river carried in spring and early summer. And then imagine riding all that in a rowboat like John Wesley Powell did in 1869. 

No thanks.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Jim Croce’s Last TV Appearance

September 14,1973 … six days later both he and his bandmate Maury Muehlheisen would perish in a horrific fiery plane crash… 

“Moving ahead so life won’t pass me by”

I found it kind of melancholy to watch, knowing all that and listening to the lyrics about leaving a legacy… 

From Wikipedia:

Croce composed most of his own material; however, he did not write "I Got A Name." In an interview with Billboard writer Norman Gimbel, it was revealed that Croce chose to record the song "because his father had a dream for him but had died before his son's first success."

Well. That’s some irony.

This was also the last song he ever performed, as it was the encore at his last concert in Natchitoches, Louisiana

The plane taking them to their next gig clipped a tree on takeoff and crashed, killing all 6 on board.


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Two of My All-Time Favorite People Born on This Day: George Washington and …

… My Wife! Happy Birthday my love!

As for the George Washington part…

Fun Fact: he kinda sorta started the French-Indian War in 1754, which morphed into the Seven Years War in 1756, a global conflict, that led indirectly to the same oppressive taxation by the Brits on the American colonies, which subsequently led directly to the American Revolution. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

January 1975: Buckingham and Nicks Join Fleetwood Mac

Worked out pretty well … 

They offered the gig to Lindsey Buckingham alone, but he said it’s both of us or neither.

These two radically transformed the band and the first two albums by the new group sold many tens of millions of copies.

The first song on the “Fleetwood Mac” album from 1975 … an unmistakable Lindsey Buckingham tune.

A completely different and more commercial sound for them, although the prior versions of the band were quite good too.

They brought “Monday Morning” plus “Landslide” and “Rhiannon” (both written by Stevie Nicks) with them to the new Fleetwood Mac (originally planned for a second Buckingham-Nicks album).

“Rumours” of course would go on to make them mega-stars, and spawn many Top 10 singles, even though making the album caused several breakups and affairs within the band, leading to great songs like “Go Your Own Way” and “You Make Loving Fun” and “I Don’t Want to Know”.