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Archive for the tag “Phil Collins”

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?

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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?

 

How Much Do You Want To Know?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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?

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.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

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?

Fave Dance Songs for Quirky T’s Fave Month

 

Welcome, Guitar Train passengers, to my favorite month – October! I’ve written in the past about why October is my favorite month. Check out this Guitar Train stop which explains why. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/happy-month-on-the-guitar-train/ To add to those reasons, October is my favorite month because it leads into the best time period of every year – the holidays in November and December. So let’s dance through the great times coming with these dance favorites of mine.

 

The Beatles

  1. “Can’t Buy Me Love”
  2. “Back in the U.S.S.R.

 

Phil Collins

  1. “Sussidio”
  2. “Dance Into the Light”

 

Gloria Estefan

  1. “You’ll Be Mine (Party Time)”
  2. “I Just Wanna Be Happy”

 

Jon Secada

  1. “Always Something”
  2. “It’s Enough”

 

Barry Manilow

  1. “Daybreak”
  2. “Bandstand Boogie”

 

Other Faves

  1. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” – Wham!
  2. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite dance songs?

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