Monday, October 24, 2005

Indispensible Seventies Music - Part 1

I've said numerous times in past posts that us POTS should be very careful not to get caught in the past, musically speaking. A regular feature here is newer music that POTS would enjoy. And there is a LOT of EXCELLENT music out there to be explored and enjoyed.

But I also don't want to leave the music of the seventies completely behind. There was some INCREDIBLY good music that came from that generation. With this regular feature I will attempt to list MY favorites. Not VH1's, or Rolling Stone's, or any other columnist's favorite. The favorites of a regular guy, Jon, born and raised in Heartland, USA.

Steely Dan's Aja.

One of the most unique albums of the decade by one of the most unique "bands" of the decade. How do you even begin to describe The 'Dan?

Steely Dan is 2 people - Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. After the 2 constants comes a long line of some the the world's best musicians from the world of pop, rock, and jazz. Steely Dan is NOT about live performances, although they have and do tour from time to time. Steely Dan is about complex melodies and changes, biting lyrics, and musical perfection. All wrapped up in a pop package. How they became a pop fixture is beyond me, but it all works. I'm going purely by memory here, but through the seventies, they released 7 albums, every one a true classic. I believe Aja was their last album of the seventies. The eighties brought more good music, by Steely Dan and Fagen solo, but that's a different post.

Aja was something completely different in the pop world.

In the mid to late seventies pop music had been moving a different direction. The hard rock of the early seventies was not as prevalent. Jazz was becoming a force on popular music, as the fusion movement gained momentum. Several bands, such as the Doobie Brothers, moved to a lighter, jazzier sound. Personally, I didn’t care as much for the Doobie’s later work, but it was successful for them. Aja captured that sound without losing The ‘Dan’s edginess. Pretty incredible, when you think about it. It included the pop hooks Steely Dan is famous for - “They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues”, but also included lyrics such as “Spanish kissin', See it glisten, You came ragin', Love rampagin', I got the news…” from the little known classic “I Got The News”.

But out of all the incredible Steely Dan tunes over the years, the title song Aja is maybe the best. It opens with a beautiful piano, light and airy. The drummer, light on the cymbals, catches your attention, and the bass, showing classic Dan restrained bass work is melodic. The tempo speeds up, slows down, speeds up, and the chord changes would challenge an experienced classical musician. A xylophone (?) shows up, and even a police whistle. The guitar, weaving it’s way through the complicated melody is incredible. Into the mix jumps a raucous saxophone while the drummer picks up his presence to complement the intrusion. It slows down to reprise the opening melody again, and prepare for the finish. I slows to nothing, then a drum solo kicks in, and an incredible solo it is. Steve Gadd is the drummer, a well known fusion studio musician. If you’re looking for a John Bonham drum solo this ain’t it. It’s subtle, laid back, and kicks ass. And rumor has it that Steve Gadd's drum work on Aja is the ONLY track ever laid down in a Steely Dan recording session that was done in a single take.

Steely Dan is a lot like Scotch Whiskey. It’s an acquired taste, one that doesn’t appeal to everyone. It takes some getting used to, and when you start to develop a taste for it you can spend a lifetime exploring the nuances.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Leon Spinks

I have your attention, don't I?

Sports fan or not, who could forget Leon Spinks? He beat Muhammad Ali in 1978 for the championship. He smiled his way into America's heart.

Today he smiles his way into the hearts of residents of a small town in Nebraska. He lives in Columbus, Nebraska and cleans the YMCA several days a week. He also does a lot with the kids in that town.

Here's an article done by the Lincoln (NE) Journal Star. Very well done, and The Champ sounds like he's happy and doing well.

Ex-champ Leon Spinks cleans up in Columbus

Music for Products of the Seventies - Part 4

The Eels are a very unique band. They have done everthing from music too vulgar to be played on the radio to songs featured in Disney movies.

A recommended album is Daisies of the Galaxy, released in 2000. While their lyrics are sometimes dark, their music is almost always uplifting, and sometimes downright ditty-like "...cause I like (dit-dit-dit): birds"...

Below is one of my favorites. There is an obvious link for POTS, click the picture above and click the "Indian in Canoe" link to view the original commercial. Beware the lyrics, they might offend some:

The smokestack is spitting black soot into the sunny sky
The load on the road brings a tear to the indian’s eye
The elephant won’t forget what it’s like inside his cage
The ringmaster’s telecaster sings on an empty stage

God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah
God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah

The girl with the curls and the sweet big ribbon in her hair
She’s crawled out the window ’cause her daddy just don’t care
(come on!)

God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah
God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah

The clown with the frown driving down to the sidewalk fair
Finger on the trigger I tell you he is quite a scare

God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah
God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah

The kids fit their lids when their heads hear that crazy sound
Their neighbour digs the flavour still he’s moving to another town
(and I don’t believe he’ll come back)

God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah
God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah

And I don’t know how you’re taking all the shit you see
You don’t believe anyone but most of all openly agree

God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah
God damn right it’s a beautiful day ahah

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My Name Is Earl

I caught this show for the first time tonight. What a great show! He made a list of the 200 + things he's done wrong in his life, and he's out to correct every one of them. He believes in karma, and thinks he has to make amends for everything.

It made me think about all the things I did wrong.

Ome time, I talked the majority of the low brass section of the high school pep-band into chipping in for several cases of beer before a basketball game road trip. So we're slamming beers just before getting on the bus. People are filling their instrument cases and pockets with cans of beer. Just as I was getting on the bus, they said it was full, and asked for volunteers to drive. I ended up riding with a couple of senior tuba players, and we drank heavily on the way. By the time we got there, I was trashed. So was the entire trombone section. The problem was, they got caught. Every person I talked into this scheme was kicked out of school for a few days, and kicked out of band for the remainder of the year. Except me. I didn't ride the bus, there was no physical evidence I participated, and all they knew was that I was stumbling around the bleachers.

Another time...

Well, this could go on forever. I do know I'm not going to miss this show, it's GREAT stuff!

Cornhusker Heartbreak

Growing up in Nebraska, I became a big Cornhusker football fan. To a person in Nebraska, Cornhusker football is all there is. And what a time for college football it was. It started with National Championships in 1970 and 1971. Heisman winner Johnny "The Jet" Rogers, Jerry Tagge, Jeff Kinney, Vince Ferragamo, Steve Runty, Dave Humm, and COUNTLESS other quality people. Coached first by old school coach Bob Devaney, then by Dr. Tom Osborne. Osborne set the mold for the Huskers for the next several decades. No matter what critics might say, Dr. Tom ALWAYS had the best interests of his kids at heart. He had many successes, and a handful of failures such as Scott Baldwin and Lawrence Phillips. He and his staff ALWAYS sounded like true professionals, always kept their composure, and always made me proud to say I was from Nebraska.

That is why the events of the last several years are so hard to take. Athletic Director Steve Pederson has gutted the program in favor of starting over. He has brought in a former pro coach, and a complete stable of new assistants. No longer do we brag about our in-state walk ons. No longer do we brag about our graduation rates, or student athletes, or the number of Nebraskans on the team. In general, the pride is gone. We have traded our soul for the chance to win with a different type of game.

Today the Huskers lost a close heartbreaker to Texas Tech. They showed some very good things, but made some critical mistakes also. But you know what? I really don't care in the least.

Steve Pederson, for making me and other life-time Cornhusker fans feel this way, may you rot in hell.

Dialogue (Parts One and Two)

When I was a younger teenager, my favorite band was Chicago. I loved how they worked the horns into a rock band. I saw them in concert in 1975, and LOVED the show. In fact it was my first "real" concert.

But, Chicago was an interesting band. They turned out some decent rock and roll on each album, but they also turned out some real trite garbage. It was like the members couldn't decide if they wanted to be a rock band or a pop band. Pop won out, unfortunately.

But they still put out some very good, and I would say important, music.

A song I haven't heard in a long time came up the other day, and it struck me how relevant it was today. Other than the single line about the campus being very free, it could have been written today. And the song is done very well, and delivers the lyrics very effectively. A very good song, WELL worth another listen today.

Dialogue - Parts One and Two
Chicago - From Chicago 5

Part i

Are you optimistic ’bout the way things are going?
No, I never ever think of it at all

Don’t you ever worry
When you see what’s going down?

No, I try to mind my business, that is, no business at all

When it’s time to function as a feeling human being
Will your bachelor of arts help you get by?

I hope to study further, a few more years or so
I also hope to keep a steady high

Will you try to change things
Use the power that you have, the power of a million new ideas?

What is this power you speak of and this need for things to change?
I always thought that everything was fine

Don’t you feel repression just closing in around?
No, the campus here is very, very free

Don’t it make you angry the way war is dragging on?
Well, I hope the president knows what he’s into, I don’t know

Don’t you ever see the starvation in the city where you live
All the needless hunger all the needless pain?

I haven’t been there lately, the country is so fine
But my neighbors don’t seem hungry ’cause they haven’t got the time

Thank you for the talk, you know you really eased my mind
I was troubled by the shapes of things to come

Well, if you had my outlook your feelings would be numb
You’d always think that everything was fine

Part II

We can make it happen
We can change the world now
We can save the children
We can make it better
We can make it happen
We can save the children
We can make it happen

Friday, October 07, 2005

Earth Wind & Fire Back With "Illumination"

Regular readers know how much I love NPR radio programs. The best radio in the world, bar none.

They did a show about a new album by Earth, Wind and Fire. EWF has always been one of my favorite bands. From slow dancing to "Fantasy" to boogie-ing to "Shining Star", EWF was a band that seemed to be able to transcend pop music. They were one of those bands that were able to achieve commercial success and still crank out great music. And when you bought an Earth, Wind and Fire album, it wasn't about one or two hit songs. The entire album was always worth hearing.

To this day, I can't hear the song "Reasons" without loooking for someone to dance with. The music was THAT significant to me.

A few years ago one of my kids bought me an EWF concert video. Incredible. I never had the opportunity to see an EWF show, and it showed me what I missed.

Here's a link to the NPR Audio story. The song clips they play will take you back.

Earth, Wind & Fire, Back with 'Illumination'

You can find the new album here: Illumination

Thursday, October 06, 2005

George Carlin Quote

Please… save me from people who are told what to like and then like it. In my opinion if you’re over 6 years of age and you’re still getting your music from the radio, something is desperately wrong with you. I can only hope that somehow mp3 players and file sharing will destroy FM radio the way they’re destroying record companies. Then, even though the air will probably never be safe to breathe again maybe it will be safer to listen to.

I love George Carlin. He's such an incredible wordsmith.

The Pig

Several years ago, after a number of difficult years, the wife and I finally made the decision to sell a business we’d owned for many years. We set a date by which it would be sold, and proceeded to set a price that would allow us to accomplish this. Essentially, we gave it away to get out from under it. But I found myself at 40 years old searching for a job. I decided to go back to school, so I enrolled in an accellerated programming course by a well respected private university. Looking back, I let an opportunity pass by, I should have used this as a reason to fill a dream, and go to law school. But I wanted to be out earning an income sooner than 2 years in law school would have allowed. So I put in my 8 months of intense education, finished at the top of my class, and missed the tech bubble by a couple of months. I worked my ass off to land a job that paid me $23,000 a year. I really blew it by not doing the law school thing. But I digress.

While in school, I was interviewing at every opportunity. One day I had an interview with a small software company, and as part of the interview process they gave me a blank piece of paper and told me to draw a pig. I was taken aback, a little annoyed, and thought it was ridiculous. But I drew the pig, and did my thing. I don’t remember how Idrew the pig, but I was never called back for a second interview, so I obviously wasn’t what they were looking for.

I came back to class that afternoon, and told my classmates about the pig drawing. One piped up and said it was a personality test. I did the research, and here’s what I found:

If the pig is drawn:

Toward the top of the paper, you are positive and optimistic.
Toward the middle, you are a realist.
Toward the bottom, you are pessimistic, and have a tendency to behave negatively.

Facing left, you believe in tradition, are friendly, and remember dates (birthdays, etc.)
Facing right, you are innovative and active, but don't have a strong sense of family, nor do you remember dates.
Facing front (looking at you), you are direct, enjoy playing devil's advocate and neither fear nor avoid discussions.

With many details, you are analytical, cautious, and distrustful.
With few details, you are emotional and naive, you care little for details and are a risk-taker.

With less than 4 legs showing, you are insecure or are living through a period of major change.
With 4 legs showing, you are secure, stubborn, and stick to your ideals.

The size of the ears indicates how good a listener you are.
The bigger the better.

The length of the tail indicates the quality of your sex life.
And again more is better!

Ummmm – OK. I took all this in while shaking my head. I still thought it was pretty ridiculous.

Shortly after our discussion about this, a classmate walked in. She was a semi-attractive farm gal who was married, but I got the impression she might have strayed from time to time. She heard a snippet about drawing a pig, and she jumped up and exclaimed “I know how to draw a pig!”

Knowing nothing about why, and not knowing about the personality test, she marched to the large white board at the front, grabbed a marker, and went to work. She started with an inverted “U” that was the rear end of the pig, it was obvious the rear end of this pig was the focal point of this drawing. She went on to quickly draw this pig, very little detail, but obviously coyly looking over it’s shoulder at you, rear end prominently on display. It was large, taking the entire grease board. It had a single small ear that was visible, and only the rear legs were visible. It’s tail of course, was larger than any pig I had ever seen, and the pig was actually winking at you from under long eyelashes.

It was all I could do to keep from rolling on the floor laughing on the spot. The other guys were obviously struggling to maintain composure themselves. I glanced at another lady that was in the class, she looked to be in shock. The artist finished with a flair, adding a little emphasis to the end of the tail (I’m not making this up!) and dropping her marker walked away proudly rubbing her hands together.

I don’t think anyone ever told her about the personality test, but she was certainly MUCH more popular with the single guys after that. She ended up spending quite a bit of time with a young classmate who was at least 10 years younger than she was.

I would have expected no less.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sweet Caroline And The Red Sox

While technically recorded in 1969, this trite ditty of a song has become an anthem of sorts for the Boston Red Sox.

This story is exceptionally well done, and had me laughing till tears were in my eyes. It's an audio file from NPR.ORG.

The Mystery of 'Sweet Caroline' and the Sox

Monday, October 03, 2005


Back in the seventies, everyone wanted peace. Some supported the Nixon Administration, but virtually all wanted peace. And almost nobody under 30 was in favor of the Viet Nam war.

This is why I find the number of people supporting the war in Iraq mind boggling. I mean, how could people change so drastically? This is not a war about America's freedom, we weren't worrying that Saddam would lead ground troops into the US with a surprise landing in New Jersey. And Iraq never was a war about terrorism, no matter how badly you want to believe it is. The administration will NOT say this, they never have. Of course, they don't want people to stop believing it, either.

People say Iraq isn't Viet Nam, and I agree, it's not. But we're there for the same reasons, we can't extract ourselves in a reasonable manner without plunging the area into massive unrest. Of course, this eventually happened in Viet Nam, so why do we think we can do it better this time around? So far it's been every bit as massive a clusterfuck as Viet Nam ever was.

I was talking to a twenty-something co-worker the other day. He is a supporter of the Iraq war, and is a walking, talking, Dittohead. He accuses me of being an old hippy, and can't understand how I could oppose the war, as it makes so much sense to him. I asked him one question, would he let his son fight the war? What do you think he said? Uh-huh. No way would he allow his son to fight.

Before we undertake our next war, let's add a constitutional amendment. Now I'm a STRICT constitutionalist, but would support this amendment. With any war vote, congressmen need to give up the selective service registration information for their closest family member eligible to serve, and those kids will become soldiers.

Whatta you want to bet we would never fight another war?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I'm Officially An iPodder

I've never been one to be stuck in the past. Appreciating the past as a reference to where I've been, but trying hard not to live there. I strive to embrace technology, and all the promise, potential, and pitfalls it brings.

Yesterday I picked up my first iPod. For those of you who don't know, an iPod is a portable music player. Plus a lot more. You can get iPods that have from 512 megabytes of storage to 40 gigs (40,000 megabytes). Mine holds 30 gigaytes, which is many thousand songs. It also holds and displays pictures, so I can walk around with a portable electronic photo album. Sound quality is incredible, and it's small enough to easily fit in a shirt pocket. And if you want to talk about cool, next time you have people discussing oldies, such as the lyrics to Clarence Carter's Strokin', or Vince Gill's guitar work in Pure Prairie League's Amie, or how much cowbell there really was in Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper, you can whip out the 'ol IPod and show them. And yes, I do have all those songs on my iPod, plus Franz Ferdinand, Hank Williams Sr., Radiohead, Miles Davis, Dr. Dre, The Butthole Surfers, Magic Slim, The Black Eyed Peas, The Gourds, The Jets, and, of course, Hendrix.

Another really cool thing you can get are "podcasts". These are like radio shows you download into your iPod to listen to later. So if you commute to work, or have downtime at any time, you can listen to these shows. Anything from blogs to opinion to news. If people talk about it around the coffee pot, you can find it on a podcast.

These things get the POTS "Far Out" seal of approval.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Music for Products of the Seventies - Part 3

This time around, I'm not posting lyrics, but recommending EVERYTHING by a particular artist.

Ben Folds is the Billy Joel of this generation. That's heavy praise considering Billy Joel was the superlative showman, songwriter, and all around musician. As a song writer he has a wry, pessimistic view at times, and at times is even vulgar. But it's not vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity (he blasts that concept in his song Rocking The Suburbs). He has a good reputation as a showman, which I unfortunately can't attest to, I haven't been able to attend a show yet. And as a piano player, well, the guy has chops. He can PLAY. His covers are also exquisitely done, covers of bands from Steely Dan to Dr. Dre. Name me ONE OTHER musician who would attempt covers from either of those, let alone BOTH. Incredible.

As a producer he's also at the top of the heap. Within the last year, William Shatner (that's right, Captain Kirk) released an album. It was, believe it or not, quite good. It was produced by Ben Folds. If he can make Shatner sound good...

Here's an album recommendation: Whatever & Ever Amen. Grab it on Amazon, or search it up on You won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Anyone Want A G Mail Invitation?

These are a dime a dozen any more, but if anyone out there does NOT have a Gmail account, drop me a line, I have hundreds of invitations I can send out. All I need is your e-mail address to send you one. And don't worry, I won't sell or otherwise use or abuse your e-mail address. Being a Product of the Seventies you can count on the fact that I'll forget it immediately after I use it. I blew out my short term memory back in '78.

Gmail is Google's new free e-mail service. 2 gigs of storage (and growing), excellent spam and virus protection, feature packed, it's the BEST email service out there, and this includes those that are not free. I do not use regular email provided by my ISP or any other POP based e-mail any more. No reason to. I forward e-mail for all the domains I own to Gmail accounts. It's THAT great.

If you have questions on this, leave a comment or drop me a line to the Gmail address I have listed on the side (productoftheseventies at gmail dot com).

Thursday, September 29, 2005

How We've Changed

How have you changed since the seventies? Physically, mentally, politically, sexually, and so forth?

My political story, and hopefully this will trigger stories from others, which I will GLADLY post.

From the start, I was a conservative, raised by someone in the real estate and banking industry. Followed in the same footsteps, was active in the "Young Republicans" organization, and was a student volunteer in Ford's re-election campaign in 1976. I wasn't extremely right wing, but I was uncomfortable with the left wing radicalism on campuses, including our local campus.

Cut to the future, 20 plus years later. We owned a sporting goods store (including guns), and depended on a large portion of right wing customers. To even HINT at political support of anything but the right would have been economic suicide. I listened to Rush daily, subscribed to the Limbaugh Letter, and slid into the comfortable world of Dittoheads. You don't have to think for yourself, Rush is happy to do it for you.

We sell the store (effectively lose it), I go back to school to get a technical education. Rush isn't making as much sense any more. As our income drops to less than $20,000 a year with 5 kids and a house, we take advantage of free school lunches and the WIC program. We fight tooth and nail to keep our house and survive. We struggle back, and rise above the poverty level once again. In the meantime, we are challenged with a child suffering from Bipolar Disorder, have a brother that comes out of the closet, and have closely held beliefs challenged. Rush is starting to sound pretty wacked.

The wife and I, while we don't agree on everything, DO agree that the respect for life is our over-riding political concern. We are pro-life, anti-death penalty, anti-war. In other words, we aren't welcomed by any party. Bush's republican party doesn't want us, as we haven't believed a word they've said about Iraq from the start, and our doubts have ALL been borne out. And we refuse to let people forget that those are OUR kids being killed and maimed over there. The democrats don't want us, as we are NOT comfortable with abortion, and don't like the radical fringe animal rights, environmental, and other similar groups.

We ended up registering as Independents. We essentially throw away our votes, choosing idealogy over party.

But, I still like a good political discussion, so if this post has you seeing red, let me know why.

Enough on politics, and how they've changed for me since the seventies. I'd be interested in your stories!

Alien Song

An short animated take-off on the disco world by an incredible animator. This is the clip that caught the attention of Pixar, and got this young animator a career at Pixar. This is a hilarious "must see".

Alien Song

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Still Rockin'? Dream On!

Aerosmith has just announced the first 10 dates for their fall tour of North America behind their upcoming new CD, Rockin' the Joint. With Lenny Kravitz opening, the Boston-based rockers will kick off the trek with an Oct. 30-Nov. 1 two-night stand in Uncasville, Conn. Other cities announced so far include Washington, D.C., Uniondale, N.Y., East Rutherford, N.J., Ottawa, Toronto, Philadephia, Atlantic City, N.J., and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Featuring highlights from a Jan. 11, 2002, Las Vegas concert, Rockin' the Joint is due Oct. 25 via Columbia Records. - Billboard

Best Selling Books - 1970

I ran across some lists with best sellers. This is some fun stuff! How many of these would you re-read today?

Remember sneaking quick reads from "The Sensuous Woman"? That was some STRONG stuff back then.

And multiple books by Rod McKuen? How many coffee tables in the seventies did NOT have a Rod McKuen book on them?

We'll make this a regular feature on Product Of The Seventies.

1970 Fiction:

1. Love Story - Erich Segal
2. The French Lieutenant's Woman - John Fowles
3. Islands in the Stream - Ernest Hemingway
4. The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart
5. Great Lion of God - Taylor Caldwell
6. QB VII - Leon Uris
7. The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight - Jimmy Breslin
8. The Secret Woman - Victoria Holt
9. Travels with My Aunt - Graham Greene
10. Rich Man, Poor Man - Irwin Shaw

1970 Nonfiction:

1. Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex but Were Afraid To Ask - David Reuben, M.D.
2. The New English Bible
3. The Sensuous Woman - "J"
4. Better Homes and Gardens Fondue and Tabletop Cooking
5. Up the Organization - Robert Townsend
6. Ball Four - Jim Bouton
7. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language - William Morris
8. Body Language - Julius Fast
9. In Someone's Shadow - Rod McKuen
10. Caught in the Quiet - Rod McKuen


One of the main differences, at least in my eyes, between The Seventies and today is the concept of "community". We had a much stronger concept of community back then.

For example, we had a neighborhood grocery store. We knew everyone by name, and they knew us. We didn't go to another neighborhood's store, there was no reason to. Our store was our store. Ditto with the Pharmacy. We knew everyone there, and they sold everything - candy, books, records (45s and albums), jewelry, and so forth.

Today, we shop at mega-stores, or warehouse-style bag your own stores. The management changes regularly, the store manager was inevitably in Cleveland last year, and will be in Denver next year.

This community extended to schools, the neighborhood school was YOUR school, and you didn't cross lines. To do so was to go looking for trouble. You went to school in YOUR neighborhood. Today, in our community, it seems that all the inner city schools are "magnet" schools, drawing students interested in various sciences or vocations. The other schools are basically "open" for enrollment, you can sign up for almost any school, you aren't limited to neighborhoods.

Another big thing was radio. Your radio station was YOUR radio station. Today, it's Corporate Clear Channel radio no matter where you are, even by satellite. Ditto TV - local TV was much more local than we have today.

Now, all of the above is not necessarily good. For example, 20 years ago you did NOT see a minority student walking down the street in suburban neighborhoods. It just didn't happen. Segregation was MUCH worse than it is today. For improving this, I think we're much stronger. We are now a much stronger consumer conscious society, the neighborhood grocer can not compete with Walmart. This means lower prices for the consumer, but at a huge community cost. Media, well, that's a topic for another post.

We have made good societal gains at the expense of community, but not every change has been for the positive.

Any thoughts, positive or negative, on this topic?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Would you believe ... ?

What POTS does not remember Don Adams? Get Smart? Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent? And his sidekick, Agent 99?

He passed away yesterday, at 81. A permanent "Cone of Silence".

What a great show that was.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Al Kooper

Al Kooper is one of the most influential seventies musicians that you've never heard of. Musician, producer, he's played with virtually EVERYONE who's anyone.

NPR did a great segment on him this morning, and it's well worth a listen. You can find the audio link here: Al Kooper Interview

Saturday, September 24, 2005

You Knocked My Block Off!

We hit a couple of garage sales this afternoon, and look what I scored:

That's right, Rock-Em Sock-Em robots in excellent, working condition. The decals are even still on. Man, I really wanted this when I was a kid. But, I have it now, and I'm really just a kid anyway...

By the way, some of you may notice the harvest gold counter tops. I am NOT actively pursuing the seventies look in my kitchen. Our house was built in 1970, and hasn't been updated since then. We bought it 2 years ago, and are chipping away at it a little at a time, but haven't tackled the kitchen yet.

This Week On Austin City Limits

This week on Austin City Limits is "Beck". This is a re-run of a show that originally aired in 2003. Beck is backed by "The Flaming Lips", a very cool band.

Austin City Limits is one of the greatest shows on television. It features music from bands that you may not hear anywhere else, and they're all good. Only top notch performers and performances are shown, so you are assured of great entertainment.

Check your local listings (you can do that here) for times in your area.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Music for Products of the Seventies - Part 2

This is a semi-regular feature here. Too many POTS are stuck in the seventies, musically speaking. This is an attempt to show some newer music that would appeal to us POTS.

Paul Thorn is an incredible songwriter. He's not well known, but is highly respected. He's part folk singer, part country, part blues, part rock. The one thing you don't want to do is pigeonhole him, he'll prove you wrong every time. Here is a song he recorded back in 1999, on an album called Ain't Love Strange.

Where Was I

On a black and white TV, back in grammar school
I was watching Neil Armstrong walking on the moon
That same day I pretended I was an astronaut
On the playground monkey bars, I flew above the stars

I was in a Dallas disco the night John Lennon died
The DJ played "Imagine" and everbody cried
I remember a thousand lighters held up in our hands
All we were saying was "Let's give peace a chance"

Where was I when you stopped loving me?
When did I become history?
There's not many things that escape my memory
Tell me where was I when you stopped loving me?

Every 20,000 years that comet lights up the night
On a blanket we watched it sail across the sky
A moment like that comes just once in life
It felt like our first time at 11:35

Where was I when you stopped loving me?
When did I become history?
There's not many things that escape my memory
Tell me where was I when you stopped loving me?

I remember when I met you, the taste of our first kiss
I remember your goodbye, but would you tell me this?

Where was I when you stopped loving me?
When did I become history?
There's not many things that escape my memory
Tell me where was I when you stopped loving me?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


The redesign of this site is coming along. I'm still not 100% happy with it, but it's better than it was.

How about some input? I was shooting for seventies colors, but I'm worried it's too orange? Does the green look out of place? Any other input?

Drug Use Today

What do you see when your pupils contract
and you're out in the alley after your act
and you're not quite home where the straight world's intact...
Where are you then, my friend?"

Any POTS (Products of the Seventies} still use drugs recreationally? How many 50 to 70 year olds haven't completely left that culture behind? Is it still worth the risk? Why or why not? What drugs do you still use, or what do you avoid, and why? Leave comments and let us know. You can leave anonymous comments if desired.

Now a few closing words from that great band, The Austin Lounge Lizards:

Can I borrow the car keys, Pop?
Sure a ten's really all you got?
Does your truck still smell like grass, Dad?
How long you gonna live in the past?

Get a haircut Dad!
Get a haircut Dad!
Make it your next stop,
down at the barber shop.
Get a haircut Dad!
Get a haircut Dad!
C'mon enough is enough,
Yo! Dad! Grow up!

Marcia or Laurie?

Marcia Brady or Laurie Partridge? They were both super-foxes to an entire generation of Products of the Seventies (POTS). Marcia was the girl you wanted to bring home to meet Mom. Laurie had that pouty, sexy look.

Check out some more recent pics:

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Music for Products of the Seventies

A lot of POTS (products of the seventies) are still IN the seventies, musically speaking. They spend their time listening to oldies, and are frequently heard to complain that music today isn't what it used to be. Ummm - OK. The generation that brought us "Muskrat Love", "Havin' My Baby", "Which Way You Goin', Billy" and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" does have some room for improvement.

A semi-regular feature of this blog will be to try and open some eyes to music out there today that is pretty incredible.

"Nine Volt Heart" is one such song. This is a tune that was co-written by Rod Hodges from the Iguanas, and Dave Alvin. The Iguanas are one of New Orlean's best known party bands, and some incredible musicians. Like a party version of Los Lobos. Dave Alvin is an American music legend, beginning with the band "The Blasters" and extending into a successful solo career.

This song can be found on The Iguanas album Plastic Silver Nine Volt Heart, and on Dave Alvin's album Ashgrove. Both albums are absolutely incredible, and highly recommended. Jump over to for The Iguanas or Dave Alvin, or search them up on Amazon. I GUARANTEE satisfaction on this one.

Dave Alvin/Rod Hodges
(Blue Horn Toad Music, BMI/Blowout Music, ASCAP)

His mama said “Baby, wait for me in the car,”
And she went lookin’ for his daddy inside a bar
So he sat and let the radio take him far away
Listenin’ to XPRS and KRLA.

Plastic silver nine-volt heart
You click it on and let the music start
And the radio was his toy
The radio was his toy.

Well Rachel was twenty and he was seventeen years old
Sittin’ in a parked car on a country road
Runnin’ his fingers through her long black hair
And the Staples singin’ “Baby, I’ll take you there.”

Plastic silver nine volt heart
You click it on and let the music start
And the radio was his toy
The radio was his toy.

Doin’ the dishes long after midnight
Talkin’ about the evenin’ news with his wife
The baby wakes up and starts to cry
So they turn the radio on for his lullaby.

Plastic silver nine volt heart
You click it on and let the music start
Plastic silver nine volt heart
You click it on and let the music start
And the radio was his toy
The radio was his toy.

Plastic silver nine volt heart
Plastic silver nine volt heart
You click it on and let the music start.

Friday, September 16, 2005


I'm a walking, talking, blogging, Product of the Seventies. Born in 1959, graduated from high school in 1977, married in 1980. Every formative experience I had was firmly rooted in the seventies.

As the generation that launched ADD, my life has been an ongoing testament to that frame of mind. I'm on my 4th career since college. I've dabbled in every hobby under the sun. But, luckily and amazingly, I'm still on my first wife. A testament to HER patience and good nature.

So bookmark us, check in regularly, comment, and join in the discussion.