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Archive for the tag “Huey Lewis and the News”

How Much Do You Want To Know?

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Recently, Quirky T bought two musical memoirs to read aboard The Guitar Train. I have finished reading Phil Collins’ 2016 autobiography, “Not Dead Yet” and am partway through his Genesis bandmate, Mike Rutherford’s, “The Living Years”. The minute I heard Phil Collins was writing a memoir, I knew I had to read it. While looking online for the release date, I came across Mike Rutherford’s book. It was published in 2014. It is interestingly labeled as “the first Genesis memoir” which seems an odd way to promote it. It’s not as if the former bandmates are in a huge feud and one wanted to get his side of the story out before another did. I ordered this first Genesis autobiography but I read it after Phil Collins’.

My interest in reading these books is for the information on what led the musicians to write the songs I love. I’m not very interested in their family lives and I’m definitely not interested in the details of their excessive drinking and drug use. Decades ago, when I first became a Beatles fan, I had to read every book I could find about them. I had to know as much as possible. I needed to know the chronology of their musical journey as well as if they were married and how many children they had. That might be a Beatles fan thing where these are basic facts that every true Beatles fan is supposed to know. I don’t feel that way about my other favorite musicians and bands – Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Genesis, Huey Lewis and the News, and Jon Secada. I know about Gloria Estefan’s family life because it is simple- she married the only man she ever dated, has a son and a daughter and is still married to the same man. I only know about Phil Collins’ personal life because it is complicated and very public. So much of his autobiography reflected that. I didn’t realize the incredible backlash he felt when he ended his second marriage. He felt that people who paid to see him in concert were against him. That surprised me because they were fans and I couldn’t imagine a musician feeling like his own fans didn’t like him and still having to perform for them. I wasn’t aware of all this when I saw him in concert but I wouldn’t have held it against him because I like to hear both sides of the story.

I have never had a thought about Mike Rutherford’s personal life. His memoir is interesting because he contrasts his rock and roll life with the strict military life of his father. It is also interesting to read his point of view on Genesis events I had read about in Phil Collins’ memoir. Again, no feud between them. In fact, the end of Genesis had no drama at all. Phil wrote that he was nervous in 1996 about telling Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford that he was leaving the group because “these are my oldest musical friends. Two of my oldest friends, full stop.” When told the news, Tony replied, “Well, it’s a sad day.” Mike said, “We understand. We’re just surprised you stayed this long.” I haven’t finished reading Mike Rutherford’s book yet because like Phil Collins’ book, I want to read it slowly to extend my last new connection to Genesis since there’s no new music or tour coming from them.

 

On the topic of tours, I have seen some videos of Phil Collins’ recent tour in Europe. The videos sadden me because of Phil’s physical state. He only sits on a stool and sings. No more drumming. He looks old and frail just like he did when he promoted “Not Dead Yet” on TV talk shows. I feel so badly that he is in pain and not physically what he once was. I don’t know if I’d be able to go to his concert and really enjoy it. I’d be thinking about how vibrant he was and sad about what he is.

 

The two memoirs did not give me huge insight on the inspirations behind their songwriting. That is especially true in the case of the Phil Collins led Genesis since they wrote all their songs together and did not claim individual songwriting credit. Phil wrote in his book, “The three of us have a chat and come to an agreement that anything we’ve finished writing as an individual, we’ll keep for ourselves for future solo projects. Any incomplete but promising ideas, we’ll bring in and put to the band committee.” Phil also debunks the belief that he is responsible for Genesis transitioning from a progressive rock bank to a pop singles band. Writing about the time after Peter Gabriel left Genesis, Phil says, “I’d rather be in an instrumental band than take over the microphone. Tony and Mike have long had aspirations to be songwriters – that is, songs with lyrics, lyrics that need to be sung. More than that: they wanted to write hit songs, singles that will reach the pop charts. It’s a development of some irony that it takes almost ten years of their songwriting skills to “mature” and come up with hit singles – exactly coinciding with the another emerging reality: I’m becoming the singer-by-default.”

 

As a far as the inspirations behind Phil Collins’ solo songs, I already knew that two of his angriest songs (which are two of my favorite songs) “I Don’t Care Anymore” and “Do You Know, Do You Care” came as a result of the bitter divorce from his first wife. He describes himself as “someone who writes from the heart and not the head”.

I guess an autobiography is not the format for writing in depth about a songwriter’s musical inspirations. Of course that type of in depth book has been written about the Beatles’ songs. The best book I read on that topic is Hunter Davis’ “The Beatles Lyrics”. Regardless, the two memoirs by Genesis bandmates were good reads and recommended for their fans.

 

Guitar Train passengers, how much do you want to know about your favorite musicians? Do you want personal details or strictly music related details? For which songwriters would you like to read an in depth explanation of the inspirations for their songs?

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Quirky T Stumbles Upon a Way to go “Back in Time”

Walking through the center of a small town recently I was shocked to see the famous DeLorean time machine from the fantastic “Back to the Future” movies. There it was (well, a replica) complete with the lightning rod, hoverboard, and the case holding the plutonium needed to fuel it. I took photos but unfortunately they did not come out as well as I had hoped. (I wish I could use the DeLorean to go back to that day and take more and better photos). I did get to sit in the car which was very low to the ground and smaller than I thought it would be. I’m not a car person but it would the coolest car to own.

photo by Quirky T

“Back to the Future” is one of my favorite movies. I wrote about it in the Guitar Train stop called “The Guitar Train Goes ‘Back to the Future’” on May 21, 2015. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/?s=Back+to+the+Future Part of the reason I loved the first movie was the Huey Lewis and the News soundtrack and Huey’s small part in the movie. I saw Part II when it came out but I didn’t like it was much as the original. I guess that put me off seeing Part III as well as the fact that I don’t like Westerns. I recently watched all three movies. I still love the original. Part II is still not a favorite; too violent for me. So after all these years, I finally watched Part III and I loved it. It had the charm and fun of the original. To see those familiar characters again was great, even in the Old West setting. It was like watching a reunion. I’m a little mad at myself for taking so long to see the movie yet it was a gift to see something so great for the first time.

photo by Quirky T

Of course being in a “time machine” leads to the question of what period of time I would like to travel to. As I wrote in the Guitar Train stop two years ago, I would definitely go back to experience Beatlemania first hand in either England or the Unites States. Even if I wasn’t lucky enough to go to an actual Beatles concert, I could buy their records as they were released as well as buy the Beatles related memorabilia.

photo by Quirky T

As for traveling to the future, I am not sure what I would want to see. I feel like time goes by so fast that the distant future will be here before I know it. The big attraction to visiting the future is for assurances that situations work out well for yourself, family, friends, and the world. So purely for fun and curiosity, it would be interesting to go ahead 50 years and see if Beatles music is still played and praised 50 years after the release of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. I remember June 1987 when it really “was twenty years ago today” and I can’t believe 30 years has passed since then. So 50 more years will be here in the blink of an eye. The future always seems scarier than the past yet humans have endured incredibly scary times in the past. Happiness from listening to Beatles music will always be needed.

 

Guitar Train passengers, where in the future would you take the DeLorean and why?

My Faves Help Me With the Election Results

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Quirky T was shocked, confused, and angered by the results of the recent election for President of the United States of America. To help me get through this tough time, I looked to my favorite musicians.

 

This was truly the “Land of Confusion” (Genesis). Before the election, I often wished some of the candidates would simply “Go Away” (Gloria Estefan). Honestly, I hope after the election some people will simply go silently away from public view. After all, with some of the candidates “Bad is Bad” (Huey Lewis and the News).

 

So now with the election results, it really will be even less fun to be an “Illegal Alien” (Genesis). After speaking to a Catholic priest, I have learned to resign myself to the situation and “Let It Be” (The Beatles). After all, I am an American and because of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, “I’m Free” (Jon Secada).

 

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Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

To get through this, I will rely on prayer and try to live the lyrics to “The Peace Prayer of St. Francis”.

 

Guitar Train passengers, are there songs you listen to which perfectly sum up real world events?

Songs of My Faves I’m Most Grateful For

Happy Thanksgiving, Guitar Train passengers! I hope you are enjoying one of my favorite holidays with food, family, football, and of course, music. To go along with the gratitude theme of Thanksgiving, here are the songs of my favorite musicians which I am most grateful for.

Help!

The Beatles

It is too hard to pick just one Beatles song I am most grateful for since I’m grateful that the group even existed and made such amazing, genius music. So I won’t pick a song for this group.

No Jacket Required

Phil Collins – “We Said Hello Goodbye”

This is my favorite song of any musician, of all time, ever. So of course it makes my list of songs I am most grateful for.

Genesis glitter T-shirt

Genesis – “That’s All”

This song reassures me that I am not the only one feeling what I am feeling. It is my go to song when things aren’t going right.

Primitive Love

Gloria Estefan – “Conga”

This is the first Gloria Estefan (actually Miami Sound Machine) song that I ever heard. Oddly, I first heard it playing in a scene on a slow moving TV soap opera. I am most grateful for it because it led me to seek out more songs by Gloria Estefan which, in turn, led me to being a huge fan of hers.

Jon Secada CD cover

Jon Secada – “Always Something”

I first heard this song at a 1991 Gloria Estefan concert when Jon Secada took over the microphone for this one song. I was amazed from the first note he sang. Hearing this song led me to buy every CD he released since then in both English and Spanish.

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Huey Lewis and the News – “Couple of Days Off”

I chose this lesser known Huey Lewis and the News song for several reasons. First of all, it is much more of a hard rocker than the band’s other songs. Secondly, I frequently relate to the desire for wanting “a couple days off”. Also, this song was played over a montage of my beloved New York Giants football team getting ready for training camp in 1991 so I now associate this song with the team.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which songs of your favorite musicians are you most grateful for and why?

Questions Quirky T Would Ask Her Faves

 

 

Quirky T has seen many interviews of her favorite musicians. Because of the enormous fame of these musicians, they have been interviewed frequently and just as frequently asked the same questions. As a real fan, I don’t want to watch interviews with only surface questions, I want to dig deeper. Since I’ll never have a sit down interview with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, or Jon Secada, I’ve come up with questions I would ask them if I happen to run into them and only have seconds to blurt out a question before they disappear. Of course, the chances that I’ll be anywhere near any of them is infinitesimally small but I do want to be prepared just in case. (Does it increase my odds that I only need to run into one member of The News to have my question answered?)

Let It Be album cover

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – as the only living representatives of The Beatles, the question I would ask them would be when will they re-release the movie “Let It Be.” When can they let the many of us who haven’t seen it, see an official version? The chances of me meeting these two Beatles together are probably as likely as this Beatles movie being re-released in some format.

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Phil Collins – I have several questions for him. I would ask him to clear up all the rumors and tell me what “In the Air Tonight” is really about. Also, what is one of my favorite Genesis’ songs, “Abacab” about? If I didn’t have time to ask any questions, then I would resort to begging him to go on tour again as a solo artist and with Genesis’ Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. I would suggest to him that Chester Thompson could play the drums for him and he could just sing. I would also beg that if he did that, he would tour near where I live so I could see him.

 

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Gloria Estefan on side of building in Chicago

Gloria Estefan – She is so talented in the way she does English and Spanish versions of several of her songs. I would ask her for an English song version of my favorite of her Spanish songs, “No Me Dejes de Querer (“Flores del Caribe Mix)”.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

Huey Lewis and the News – I have one and only one questions for this band. When will the new CD be released? I wrote about this in The Guitar Train stop called “The Guitar Train Delivers Good News”.( https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/the-guitar-train-delivers-good-news/ )  I’m still waiting impatiently for new songs. So when will they be coming?

Jon Secada

Jon Secada – I was only able to see him once in concert – 22 years ago. He had just two CDs released at that time. So there are many songs I have never heard him perform live. So my question to Jon Secada is when will you perform a full concert (near me) again?

 

Guitar Train passengers, if you were ever lucky enough to meet your favorite musicians, what questions have you always wanted to ask them?

My Faves Get Angry

Sometimes life is not all happiness and love songs. Sometimes people, events, and circumstances make you angry. My favorite musicians, whom I often listen to for joy and lightheartedness, have all had their angry moments. These moments turned into angry songs which I like to listen to when I’m angry. It’s nice to know you’re not alone with these aggressive feelings. So here are my favorite musicians at their angriest.

 

  1. The Beatles – “Run For Your Life”
  2. Phil Collins – “I Don’t Care Anymore”,  “Do You Know, do you care?”, and “Who Said I Would”
  3. Gloria Estefan – “Go Away”
  4. Huey Lewis and the News – “Walking on a Thin Line”
  5. Jon Secada – “Whipped”

 

Bonus

Billy Joel – “You May Be Right” 

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your go to songs to listen to when you’re angry?

Fave Party Songs from My Faves

 

May is party month on the Guitar Train since Quirky T celebrates so many birthdays this month (including her own). So it’s time to roll out Fave Party Songs from My Faves. Not all of my favorite musicians are known for party songs such as Phil Collins and Huey Lewis and the News. But I managed to pick out songs from them that will keep my birthday party dancing. For Gloria Estefan, it was hard to narrow it down to just one song.

 

  1. The Beatles – “Birthday”
  2. Gloria Estefan – “You’ll Be Mine (Party Time)”
  3. Huey Lewis and the News – “Couple Days off”
  4. Jon Secada – “Enseñame”
  5. Phil Collins – “Sussido”

 

Bonus song:

  1. The Proclaimers – “On My Way”

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite party songs?

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