Guitar Train

Hop aboard the Guitar Train to the final destination of Advanced Musical Knowledge

The Guitar Train Urges All to Take a Cool Car Ride in Liverpool

Penny Lane

Quirky T is urging everyone to watch and set your recording devices for what promises to be an excellent television special called “When Corden Met McCartney: Live from Liverpool”. This is an expanded version of the segment of carpool karaoke which originally aired on the “Late Late Show with James Corden” on June 21, 2018. The segment was filmed in Paul McCartney’s birthplace of Liverpool, England. The new primetime TV special will air on Monday, August 20 from 8-9 pm ET/PT on CBS.

20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool – Paul McCartney’s house

Unfortunately I did not know about the air date of the original carpool karaoke segment so I did not record it. Of course I had to watch it on You Tube as soon as I found out about it.   It was an amazing segment because it was funny, heartwarming, nostalgic, and of course, contained great music. I was crying near the end during Paul’s surprise pub performance of “Hey Jude”. They were tears of joy over the success of this talented man from Liverpool and the enduring reach of The Beatles. I know from comments on this blog and reading other Beatles related blogs, that there are numerous other Beatlefanatics out there. Yet I am still surprised when other people show the enormous love and enthusiasm for the Beatles history and music which I have. Word of Paul’s appearances throughout Liverpool and the mini concert drew huge crowds of people. I didn’t want this segment to end so I am excited about this new extended version containing scenes cut out of the original.

 

So be sure to watch and record what will be a great TV event on Monday, August 20 at 8 pm ET/PT on CBS.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have you seen the original short segment, will you be watching the longer version, and what did you think?

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The Guitar Train is Derailed on the Reading Track

 

The Guitar Train is chugging along with the May pledged to stop reading library books and only read the approximately 50 books I own at home and have never read. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/the-guitar-train-takes-a-new-route/  I have had several derailments along the way and only minimal progress.

 

Before starting to read my own books, I had one last library book to read. “The White Lioness” by Henning Mankell at 500 pages was not a quick read. Once I finished that book, I put the Kurt Wallender detective series aside while I literally dusted off the books on my bookshelf.

The first book of my own I started reading was “X” by Sue Grafton only to realize that the story in “W is for Wasted”, the previous book in the series, was very important to recall in order to understand “X”. Since I had read “W is for Wasted” years before, I didn’t remember all the details so I had to reread it in order to follow the story in “X”. So that added another book to my “to read” list. I was worried as I was getting to the end of “Y is for Yesterday” that the story would not be completely resolved since tragically Sue Grafton died before she finished writing “Z” which would have presumably been the last book in the Kinsey Millhone detective series. Not to give anything away to anyone else who like me was silly enough to have left the books unread on a bookshelf for years or anyone who has yet to read this great series, the end of what became the last book in the series is very satisfactory.

 

 

The not reading library books track was almost derailed again when I was adding the Rizzoli and Isles series of mystery books to my huge book reserve list on my library’s website. A glitch on the website resulted in a non-Rizzoli and Isles book by the same author, Tess Gerritsen, to be reserved for me and sent to my local library for pick-up. Not only was it a book I did not add to my list, but it was also in large type format. By the time I saw the error, the book was already on route to my library. I decided to check it out since I might like it. Fortunately for my reading my own books exclusively pledge, the first sentence was so gruesome, it turned me off from reading the book at all.

 

While I was at the library, I picked up a free magazine listing nearly 100 recently published books in several genres with an emphasis on the mystery genre, my favorite. So that opened up a can of worms or in my case, a huge list of books to read for a bookworm. From that magazine, I ended up adding about 30 books to my already massive library book reserve list. Adding the titles made me want to get the books right then and read them and abandon my reading my own books pledge. I resisted the urge and logged out of the library website before ordering any of the books.

 

Another detour which added more books to my bookshelf was the buying of two books that I had first borrowed from the library. I had checked them out from the library to preview them to make sure they were really worth buying. They were so I added two more books to my list to read – one reference book and one cookbook.

So to update what I have actually read from my own bookshelf – not much. Besides the two new Sue Grafton books, I finished reading the autobiography of Mike Rutherford from Genesis called “The Living Years.” I wrote about this book and Phil Collins’ autobiography in the Guitar Train stop from January 2018 called “How Much Do You Want to Know?” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/how-much-do-you-want-to-know/  It was interesting to read Mike Rutherford’s take on Genesis.

I also read “The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay” by Ken Mansfield. He was the first manager of Apple Records in the United States. On page 135 of his book published in 2000 before George Harrison and Neil Aspinal died, Ken wrote, “In my opinion, the only people alive today who have the right to write the Beatles’ story are George, Paul, Ringo, or ex-head road manager and now Apple managing director Neil Aspinal. I honestly doubt that any of them would be moved to do so, but it still remains that they are the only ones still here and the only ones who were truly there for the duration.” I guess his own opinion didn’t stop him from writing this book and more books on the subject. Now I have to decide if I should add his other books to my never ending reading list.

The ride on the reading track has not been smooth and uninterrupted. It may be derailed again by streaming movies on Netflix in order to get through my 300 DVD queue quicker. After that comes the beginning of the NFL season which between all the games and the shows about football, leaves little time for reading. The book I am currently reading is Joe Torre’s memoir called “The Yankee Years.” That should help me get back on track.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have you read any books which have been sitting on your bookshelf unread for years? Did you enjoy them and regret not reading them sooner?

Quick Station Stop – Holding Hands with My Faves

Quirky T has noticed that her favorite musicians have made references to holding hands in their songs. The lyrics evoke images of comfort. So here is The Guitar Train’s list of songs by her favorite musicians which mention holding hands.

  1. The Beatles – “I Want To Hold Your Hand”
  2. Paul McCartney – “Put It There”
  3. Phil Collins – “Come With Me”
  4. Gloria Estefan – “I See Your Smile”
  5. Huey Lewis and the News – “Do You Believe in Love”

And here’s a bonus song from another band I liked:

Hootie and the Blowfish – “Hold My Hand”

Guitar Train passengers, what songs by your favorite musicians mention hand holding as a source of comfort?

The Guitar Train Takes a New Route

I have never been into spring cleaning. For some reason this spring, I am really into it for the first time. I want everything in my house (especially the basement) and my life to be very organized. The clutter and huge to do lists are stressing me.

One of the biggest causes of stress is the amount of books I have in my home which I have never read. There are about 50 books I have bought in the past several years that I have not yet found time to read. I can understand putting off reading the books I have which are classics and I feel that I am supposed to read. They feel like homework assignments. I also understand not having read the books I have a passing interest in the topic or the author. I can’t understand the large number of Beatles, Genesis, New York Giants, and the New York Yankees books which I have yet to read. These topics are my passions, so why am I putting off reading these books? I am pretty sure they’ll be good reads. On the topic of The Beatles, I have “Tune In: Volume 1” by Mark Lewisohn, “The Beatles” by Hunter Davies, and “The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay” by Ken Mansfield.

There are two books I am hesitant to read because once I have read them, I will never be able to read a new book from that author again. Sue Grafton, who wrote the so-called alphabet of murder mysteries, is one of my favorite authors. Sadly she passed away in December 2017. I have yet to read her books “X” and “Y is for Yesterday”. She passed away before she finished writing the “Z” book in the Kinsey Millhone detective series. I will probably read her last two books as I did the last book in the Harry Potter series – slowly, savoring every word, knowing it’s the end.

 

On the other hand, there’s a certain liberation in knowing going into something that it is finite. I just began reading the Kurt Wallender detective mysteries written by Henning Mankell. Since the author has passed away, I know there are only a certain amount of books in the series and then I have done my “job” of reading them.

So for the next few months, I will be binge reading the books I already own at home. I will not take any more books out of the library which has been the biggest deterrent to reading the books I have at home. The list of books I want to borrow from the library is in the hundreds. I know this project will take several months since I can’t binge read as fast as I can binge watch TV shows and movies. I really wish binge reading was as fast as binge watching. I will also not be stressed by the 300 shows and movies I have waiting for me on my Netflix queue (including two TV versions of the Kurt Wallender books once I finish reading them). So I’m steering the Guitar Train to binge reading for as long as I have books to read.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which books do you have at home you’ve put off reading (and enjoying)?

Bad News for Huey Lewis

Huey Lewis poster 2014

Quirky T was very saddened to find out that Huey Lewis has lost his hearing. As a result, he cannot perform and had to cancel all his band’s 2018 concerts. I feel so bad for what he is going through personally and professionally. I pray that the hearing loss is not permanent and he can return to singing and performing very soon.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

I am extremely lucky to have seen Huey Lewis and the News in concert four times between 2009 and 2014. I have been a fan since their 1983 album, “Sports”. I had to wait 26 years until I first saw them in concert. After that first concert, I tried to see them every chance I could. Luckily that was not hard to do since they tour every year, mostly in the summer months. I’m so happy that I saw them multiple times because I would really be regretting it now if I had missed my opportunities. I feel so bad for all the fans who have tickets to the upcoming cancelled concerts and now won’t have the amazing concert experiences I had. Hopefully, the majority of them have seen the band before and have great memories.

 

This sad news has made me realize how lucky I am to have seen all my favorite musicians in concert (except The Beatles). It makes me want to take advantage of any future concert opportunities I have. That includes seeing Phil Collins in his limited physical capacity. I really appreciate Farewell and Final Tours now because at least those artists could decide on their own when to stop performing and let their fans know it’s the last chance to see them in concert.

 

Hopefully, this isn’t the end of performing and making music for Huey Lewis. I’ll be praying and waiting for his joyful return.

 

Guitar Train passengers, who are you very grateful to have seen in concert?

Quirky T is Excited about Opening Day

New York Yankees logo

Today is opening day of the Major League Baseball season. I am so excited about the upcoming New York Yankees season. They surprisingly were one win away from going to the World Series last year. With a young, talented team, I’m excited to see how far they can go this season. Interesting note, the Yankees have won the World Series in 1938, 1958, 1978, and 1998. I can see a pattern where this should be the year for their 28th World Series Championship.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium

To get on the right musical track for the new Yankees season, here are songs which remind me of going to Yankee Stadium for games.

  1. “YMCA”
  2. “Cotton-Eyed Joe”
  3. “New York, New York”

 

The Yankees grounds crew does a choreographed dance to “YMCA” by the Village People while they rake the infield dirt during the 5th inning. They have been doing this for decades now and it is still a highlight.

 

Not so much of a highlight is the playing of “Cotton-Eyed Joe” in the 8th inning while someone in a straw hat dances in a booth in the stadium. I was never fond of that song and I don’t think it fits in the Bronx, New York. The song has an interesting history, though, which can be read on Wikipedia.

Frank Sinatra framed photo

photo at Yankee Stadium

 

 

Leaving Yankee Stadium with other jubilant Yankees fans after another win with everyone singing along to Frank Sinatra’s, “New York, New York” is one of the best experiences. Fortunately, it is an experience I’ve had repeatedly over the past 22 years. I look forward to more wins this season.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what songs do you associate with your favorite sports teams?

Quirky T Examines Representative Love Songs

Starship T-shirt

 

Quirky T has some post Valentine’s Day musical observations. Where I work love songs are played constantly since a high percentage of pop songs from the 80’s to today are love songs. My workplace playlist regularly plays Billy Joel, Richard Marx, Peter Cetera, and Elton John so love songs are highly represented on a daily basis. The plus side of the daily repetition is I enjoy these artists. On an almost daily basis, I can also hear two (love) songs from one of my faves, Huey Lewis (“Do You Believe in Love?” and “Happy to be Stuck with You”). I can also hear a favorite (love) song from my favorite movie – The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” from “Benny and Joon”. So the only way I realized that the music selection had changed to a Valentine theme a few days before the holiday was when I heard Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall in Love”. It definitely stuck out among the more modern music. It’s interesting that even though mostly every song being played was a love song, the music programmers thought they had to dig deep decades before the 80’s to find true love songs. It got me excited that maybe next I would hear some Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. I didn’t. Nat King Cole was the anomaly. The other “Valentine’s songs” were from the 80’s to today and included Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

Cloud 9 CD cover

I found it interesting when all the possible love songs in the world are narrowed down to just three songs to represent this incredibly large and diverse genre. A store sold musical balloons for Valentine’s Day with only a choice of three songs – “Got My Mind Set on You” the George Harrison version,   “You’re the One that I Want” from the movie “Grease”, and “Hooked on a Feeling”. Of course I prefer the George Harrison song but I don’t think it’s his most romantic song. “Something” and “Old Brown Shoe” come to mind before that cover song. The song from “Grease” is fun but problematic when you consider the scene from the movie where the song appears. Danny makes positive changes to his life to impress Sandy such as giving up smoking and exercising. While Sandy takes up smoking and dressing slutty to attract Danny. So who really is the one that they want? The one who they really are or the one that they become to impress each other? “Hooked on a Feeling” is not the most romantic song as it is more about lust than romantic, lasting love. Plus, whenever I hear that song, I think of the dancing baby on the TV show “Ally McBeal”.

Hallmark, the greeting card company, actually sold vinyl 45 records with their Valentine greeting cards. The three records chosen were Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are”/”Marry You”,  Aretha Frankin’s “Respect”/”Think”, and INXS’ “Need You Tonight”/”Never Tear Us Apart”. Again, I am not sure these are the best love songs to represent all love songs. Even being limited to just Atlantic Records recording artists would yield a huge amount of love songs. (For example, my favorite Phil Collins who released a compilation actually called “Love Songs”). The Bruno Mars songs are appropriate, romantic, and current. The Aretha Franklin songs are more warnings to men than love songs. “Need You Tonight” like “Hooked on a Feeling” is more about lust than love. While “Never Tear Us Apart” seems romantically appropriate. I’m surprised that INXS was included with the amazing Bruno Mars and the legendary Aretha Franklin. If not for the quirky fact that my workplace actually plays those two INXS songs on an almost daily basis, I probably wouldn’t have heard those songs since they came out thirty years ago.

 

Songs do send messages so the musical balloons or records with the greeting cards given to a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day could be a way of sending a message that may not be as romantic as the occasion calls for. Of course it’s hard to narrow down a huge genre to less than 10 representative songs. I just found it interesting which songs were chosen to represent that love.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what three songs would you choose to represent Valentine’s Day?

 

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