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Archive for the tag “Phil Collins”

Upcoming Guitar Train Stops

 

In the upcoming months, the Guitar Train will be making stops to continue my series on song performance requests from my favorite musicians. I have already written about my dream song requests for Paul McCartney https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/paul-mccartney-requests-my-song-requests-well-not-really-but-literally-in-my-dream/ and John Lennon https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/john-lennon-didnt-take-my-song-requests-in-a-dream-or-in-real-life/ . So coming up is George Harrison and Ringo Starr song requests. I will be including my saga of what I had to go through to get this:

After The Beatles, I will move on to my other favorite musicians – Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Phil Collins, Genesis, and Huey Lewis and the News.

So stay on board the Guitar Train for a fantastic fall, the best season of them all!

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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?

 

 

The Guitar Train Stops to See Phil Collins in Concert!!!

Phil Collins concert 2018

Quirky T was fortunate to be able to conduct the Guitar Train to stop to see one of her favorite musicians, Phil Collins, in concert. I knew it would be a bittersweet experience since Phil Collins is not the able-bodied man he once was. I knew he would be sitting in a chair for the whole performance and not playing the drums because of back problems and drop foot. Still, I was not completely prepared for the moment he slowly walked on stage with the aid of a cane. That moment made me very emotional. I really hope he wasn’t in any pain. As much as I and other fans want to see him, he doesn’t need to be performing live anymore. Obviously something is propelling him to perform. Maybe it’s the chance to share the stage with his teenage son, Nic, or to prove the title of his recent memoir that he’s “Not Dead Yet”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/how-much-do-you-want-to-know/

 

As soon as the music started, the fact that Phil Collins remained seated was not so obvious. He still can sing and had much energy despite having limited mobility. The songs played were hits from his Genesis and solo careers. The only song I wasn’t familiar with was “You Know What I Mean” which I’ll write more about later. With so many great songs to choose from, Phil said before he played the first Genesis song the chance that they would play the song we want to hear is slim. That was actually not true for me since I was happy with the three Genesis songs he sang – “Throwing It All Away”,

“Follow You Follow Me”,

and “Invisible Touch”.

I’m not used to him singing Genesis songs at his solo concerts. I liked how he always kept them separate but it made sense to sing some Genesis songs here because this tour may be his last performances. The only other Genesis songs I really would’ve liked to hear were my two favorites – “That’s All” and “Turn It On Again”. I realized that hearing “Abacab” and “Home by the Sea” would’ve been long shots.

 

As far as solo songs, I enjoyed all the songs performed except “Easy Lover” which has never been a favorite of mine. The only other solo songs I would’ve really liked to hear were “Don’t Lose My Number”, “I Don’t Care Anymore”, and my absolute favorite song of all time, “We Said Hello Goodbye”. So I can’t complain about his song selection except that it would’ve been nice to hear more songs but I understand if physically he couldn’t do more. One highlight of the concert was his duet with back-up singer Bridgette Bryant on “Separate Lives” which was slowly, beautifully done with drama and tension. Another highlight was the earlier mentioned song “You Know What I Mean” which Phil prefaced by saying his son, Nic, chose this song out of all his songs. The song provided a tender father- son moment as Nic played the song on the piano while his father was next to him singing it. Check out setlist.fm to see the complete set list for the concert. https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/phil-collins/2018/prudential-center-newark-nj-7b96aa74.html

 

I felt there was a fatalistic element hanging over the concert. Given Phil Collins’ ill health and age, some of his lyrics took on other meanings. He started the concert with the song “Against All Odds” which had the potent line “take a look at me now” which I was doing as a comparison to how he was in past concerts.  Also in the song, “Hang In Long Enough” (which Phil has done), is the line “It’s a long, hard road and the end is getting near.”

I guess all we can do is be happy that we had Phil Collins music in our lives and be happy he’s still with us now. Despite my reservations about seeing Phil Collins in a diminished state, I’m so glad I went to the concert. It was another amazing concert by an amazing musician whose music has meant so much to me throughout my life.

 

Guitar Train passengers, how would you feel about seeing your favorite musician performing in a physically diminished state?

 

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?

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 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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