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Archive for the tag “Mike Rutherford”

Another Quick Station Stop and Reading Update

Good news from The Guitar Train, Quirky T is finally reading books she has had on her bookshelves for years. I just finished reading “The Beatles” by Hunter Davies. This is the only authorized biography of the Beatles and was published in 1968. The version I read included a 1985 Postscript and a 2009 Memento Mori list of Beatles related people who have died since 1968. I can’t believe that I have not read this book until now. How did I miss it 30 years ago when I first became a Beatles fan? I read so many Beatles related books then but none as great and first hand as this one. The author spent months with the Beatles during a very interesting time in their career (but really, when was there an uninteresting time in the band’s short career?). I recommend it to every Beatles fan as a must read book.

After finishing that book, I started reading another Beatles book, “Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney” by Howard Sounes. This book was given to me as gift and I purposely put off reading it because I thought it would be too salacious. So far it definitely is more so than the Hunter Davies biography which had to be whitewashed some at the time. But as I wrote in the station stop about reading Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford autobiographies, how much do I really want to know?  https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/how-much-do-you-want-to-know/

I really don’t want to know too many personal details about Paul McCartney especially if they are gossip and not fact. Still, I will read the book without necessarily believing everything that is written.

 

On a non-music note, I am also reading Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”. I have seen movie and play versions of the book but I hadn’t read the book. I’m reading it now for a book club meeting in March. Since I have a deadline to finish the rather slim book, I think I’ll have no problem finishing it. So I am back on the reading track.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which Beatles book is your favorite and why?

 

 

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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?

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?

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?

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