Sunday, November 29, 2009

Obama - Carter Connection

It's not really time-appropriate for a political post, but I'm moved right now.

Back in the seventies, after Nixon then Ford, the nation was craving sincerity, passion, and compassion. They elected Jimmy Carter. A finer man may never have been born. But, not surprisingly, the man wasn't an effective president. I say "not surprisingly" as I don't think he was given an opportunity to exact the kind of change the country needed. But we'll never know.

Right now the country has an opportunity to bring about social change like we haven't seen in most of our lifetimes. Obama has the vision and courage to strive for those changes. I hope he's not cut off at the knees.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Featured Video: Deadly Bipolar Disorder - Jaco Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius was probably the most important and talented bass player of that generation, and perhaps since. My point of view is different from most, I lost a son as a result of bipolar mania. The disorder is more dangerous than anyone can imagine.

On this video he's playing bass guitar with Weather Report in 1978, you can't miss his flamboyancy. Check out the harmonics he's playing. I chose this song, as it's Weather Report's biggest hit, even though it's not Jaco's best song.

From Wikipedia:
In his early career, Jaco avoided both alcohol and drugs, but he became increasingly involved in alcohol and other substance abuses during his time with Weather Report. Bipolar disorder and psychoactive substance abuse disorders have a highly prevalent comorbidity, with a mutually detrimental inter-relationship. Alcohol abuse ultimately exacerbated Jaco's illness, leading to increasingly erratic and sometimes anti-social behavior.

He was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in late 1982 following the Word of Mouth tour of Japan in which his erratic behavior became an increasing source of concern for his band members. Drummer Peter Erskine's father, Dr Fred Erskine, suggested that Jaco was showing signs of the illness and, on his return from the tour, Jaco's wife, Ingrid, had Jaco committed to hospital under the Florida Mental Health Act, where he received the diagnosis and was prescribed lithium to stabilize his moods.

By 1986, Jaco's health had further deteriorated. He had been evicted from his New York apartment and had begun living on the streets. In July 1986, following intervention by his brother Gregory and ex-wife Ingrid, Jaco was admitted to Bellevue Hospital in New York, where he was prescribed Tegretol in preference to Lithium. He moved back to Fort Lauderdale in December of that year, again living on the streets for weeks at a time.

After sneaking onstage at a Carlos Santana concert September 11, 1987, he was ejected from the premises, and he made his way to the Midnight Bottle Club in Wilton Manors, Florida. After reportedly kicking in a glass door after being refused entrance to the club, he was engaged in a violent confrontation with the club bouncer, Luc Havan. Pastorius was hospitalized for multiple facial fractures and damage to his right eye and right arm, and had sustained irreversible brain damage. He fell into a coma and was put on life support.

There were initially encouraging signs that he would come out of his coma and recover, but a massive brain hemorrhage a few days later pointed to brain death. Pastorius died on September 21, 1987, aged 35, at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.

In the wake of Pastorius' death, Havan, a karate expert, was charged with manslaughter but later pled guilty to second degree murder. Because of having no priors and with time served while waiting for the verdict, he was sentenced to 22 months in jail and five years probation. He was released after four months in jail for good behavior. Pastorius was buried at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery in North Lauderdale.

Jaco, we miss you man. There are SO many ways bipolar disorder can kill you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tom Petty

Not only has Petty survived, he's continued to develop and mature as an artist, not content to merely play his oldiies. From a recent interview by Rolling Stone, here's some highlights:
Tom Petty spoke to Rolling Stone for nearly six hours over two days — including his 59th birthday, October 20th — about his rock & roll life. Those conversations, at the Heartbreakers' rehearsal space in a warehouse in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and at Petty's home in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean, ran the length of rock itself, including the day in 1961 that the young Gainesville, Florida native met Elvis Presley (Petty forgot to bring a record for the King to sign); Petty's trials and adventures as a long-haired garage-band kid in redneck territory; his rough late-Seventies tours with the Heartbreakers; the musically rich encounters, on stage and in the studio, with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Carl Perkins and Elvis Costello, among many others; and a sneak preview of Petty's next record with the Heartbreakers.

Remembering The Tragic Who Concert Of 1979

Remembering the tragic Who concert of 1979.

Who could forget the concert 30 years ago in Cincinatti where 11 people were killed - trampled to death by the surging crowd when the band was doing a soundcheck.

Here's the Wikipedia entry on the incident. A sad day, and it brought changes, some needed, some unwanted, to concerts from there on.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Thought

Missing those who aren't with us, happy for those who are, and thankful for all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Craigs List Roadrunner

Remember when somone on your street had one of these, or something just as spectacular?

From the ad:
Under the hood we put a crate 360 with a 36 month or 36000 mile warranty Edelbrock 600 carb Summit mid rise manifold Flotech headers Header wrap 3 ROW aluminum radiator Zirgo 3600 CFM electric fan 904

Thar she blows!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Whatever Happened To...?

Garage bands?

Every neighborhood had a garage band or two. Every decent party had a band playing. Every prom, homecoming, and dance of any sort had a band playing. Today? A few bands show up on indie labels, but how did they get there? I sure haven't seen a garage band in years.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Classic Rock

Is classic rock defined by style, or generation? Does is have to be old to be a classic?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Compulsive Eating

I'm eating compulsively lately. It's like smoking used to be, I'm powerless to control it. But maybe hope is in sight, I have a schedule starting next week that will get me back to the gym every week day. I'll see if I can make it to MY seventies.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary

In celebration of Sesame Street's 40th anniversary, Google developed some new logos:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"Relics" of 1979! - The Early Show - CBS News

"Relics" of 1979! - The Early Show - CBS News.

This is a cool series that recently featured the year 1979. They talk about Daisy Duke jeans, the General Lee remote car, Sergio Valente jeans, and of course, the disco ball. Check it out.