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Archive for the tag “Ringo Starr”

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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Quirky T’s Favorite Christmas Songs (Updated)

Quirky T has previously stopped The Guitar Train to listen to her favorite secular Christmas songs. Here is the new updated list of those fun songs.

  1. “Jingle Bells” – Barbra Streisand
  2. “A Marshmallow World” – Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin
  3. “Shake Hands With Santa Claus” – Louis Prima
  4. “Sleigh Ride” – The Ronettes
  5. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Bruce Springsteen
  6. “Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On” – Ringo Starr

No Christmas season would be complete without hearing Barbra Streisand’s highly caffeinated version of “Jingle Bells”. It’s as if before the recording of this song, she was told, “Okay, we only have the recording studio for two minutes. As soon as you finish drinking your extra large espresso, we’ll start.” The result must be heard to be enjoyed. It brings me joy every time I hear it.

Christmas with The Rat Pack

“A Marshmallow World” from the CD “Christmas with The Rat Pack” portrays a lovely winter setting that makes me happy. I wish it would snow enough to re-enact this song.

Mob Hits Christmas

I put Louis Prima in the same category as Lou Monte. Louis Prima’s novelty songs are fun like Lou Monte’s songs. “Shake Hands with Santa Claus” is just a fun, upbeat song. It can be found on the CD “Mob Hits Christmas” which sadly doesn’t contain Lou Monte’s “Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey)”, another classic Christmas novelty song. That song is on the first “Mob Hits” CD which was released before the “Mob Hits Christmas” CD.

There are many versions of the song “Sleigh Ride” but by far my favorite is by The Ronettes. Their version is fast and fun. It cuts out the slow, boring verses and ends with you wanting to hear more.

I haven’t heard every single Bruce Springsteen song but from the ones I have heard, he seems to be quite a serious person. What I love about his version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is he seems to be having so much fun. It’s just a happy, energetic rocking song.

Ringo Starr’s Christmas song is a new addition to this list. Ringo released a whole album of Christmas songs called “I Wanna Be Santa Claus” in 1999. “Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On” is my favorite song from that album. It is a high energy song which I listen to over and over. As I mentioned in last month’s Guitar Train stop, I wish Ringo had played this song at his concert which I was lucky enough to attend.

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite secular Christmas songs and why?

The Guitar Train Stops to See Ringo Starr in Concert!!!

Ringo Starr marquee

Quirky T has been very lucky to see Paul McCartney in concert four times. I always thought he’d be the only Beatle I would be lucky enough to see live. That was until I saw Ringo Starr in concert!!! He was touring, as usual, with his All-Starr Band featuring famous musicians. This is such a perfect concept for Ringo in order to compensate for his lack of a huge catalog of hit songs. I wanted to see Ringo so badly that I didn’t even care who else was playing with him. This year’s line-up has actually been together since 2012. The musicians included Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie (from Santana and Journey), Steve Lukather (from Toto), Richard Page (from Mr. Mister), and Warren Ham (from Kansas).

Ringo Starr stage

The concert was amazing. Not surprisingly I loved Ringo Starr but I was also very impressed with all the other musicians. Before the concert, I had checked out the set list (at http://www.setlist.fm) from previous tour dates to see if I knew all the songs that could be played.  Surprisingly, I knew all the songs by all the musicians. The concert was set up with all the musicians on the stage at the same time and they each took turns as lead singer on their former groups’ hit songs. Before the concert, I had assumed other concertgoers were there primarily for Ringo. From the reactions of those around me, hearing the other musicians may have interested them more. So the concept works perfectly; there is something for everyone. I was not bored during the non-Ringo songs since the other musicians were so musically impressive and had great personalities.

Ringo Starr ticket stub and program

Ringo, or “the boss”, as the other musicians called him, was just as I thought he would be. He was funny and all “peace and love”. He was also very energetic; even doing jumping jacks at the end. I found it interesting that The Beatles were never referred to by name; they were called “the original band” or “that other band”. That could come off as bitter but not when Ringo says it. He even mentioned the band he was in before The Beatles – Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Todd Rundgren noted that this version of the All-Starr Band has been together for six years, almost as long as The Beatles. He added “it’s not that hard”. Obviously, there’s a huge difference between established musicians playing old songs together for fun versus a group of four young men with the whole world watching their every move. I was struck by the fact that Paul McCartney would not be playing in a venue as small as this 1,300 seat theater. (If he did, it would be amazing to be that close to him). He is still playing 80,000 seat stadiums.

 

I was happy with Ringo’s selection of his solo and Beatles songs. Just like Paul McCartney, Ringo performed Beatles songs which he never performed live with The Beatles. The song “Matchbox” which opened the show was more of a rocker than I had thought. I wish he had performed “Honey Don’t” but it wouldn’t be the same without Ringo calling out George Harrison to play for him. I enjoyed hearing “Back Off Boogaloo”   and I would love to tell off someone who angered me by saying that. I’m not sure it would go over well or be understood. If the concert had been in December, I would have loved to hear the band play Ringo’s “Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On” since it’s my new favorite Christmas song.

I really enjoyed this concert and am so grateful I was able to see another Beatle perform live. I was also entertained by all the other musicians in the All-Starr band. I would highly recommend this concert to everyone. It was a greatest hits set of several very talented musicians.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which musicians would you like to hear only a few hit songs from in all star format?

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?

The Guitar Train Stops to see Paul McCartney!!!

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Quirky T was extremely lucky to be able to conduct The Guitar Train to see the legendary Paul McCartney in concert on Sunday, August 7 at Giants Stadium (really called MetLife Stadium). It had been 14 years since I last saw my favorite Beatle perform live.  The concert was, not surprisingly, amazing.

Tripping the Live Fantastic CD

Before going to the concert, I checked out the set list for the concert prior to this one. I was a little disappointed that he would not be playing some of the songs that I really wanted to hear. (Click on the link for the set list for the concert I attended. http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/paul-mccartney/2016/metlife-stadium-east-rutherford-nj-2bfc9c2a.html) I wrote a Guitar Train stop called “Concert Song Requests of My Faves” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/concert-song-requests-of-my-faves/ where I listed the Beatles songs I would like to hear. So, Sir Paul, any time you need help coming up with the set list, I would be more than happy to help. (Incidentally, that list would include several songs from the album, “Help!”). I guess I was comparing the set list to the first Paul McCartney concert I went to at Giants Stadium (the actual name of the stadium then). At that concert, he played several songs from my favorite solo album of his, 1989’s “Flowers in the Dirt”. I bought the double CD of live performances from that concert called “Tripping the Live Fantastic”. So the memories of that concert have been kept alive for me.

 

I was also comparing the set list to the one from his October 21, 2015 concert in Detroit where he played several songs from my favorite Beatles album, “Help!” as well as other Beatles songs he doesn’t usually play in concert. It’s just so frustrating because he has so many incredible songs to choose from that I wonder why he chooses the ones he does. The crowd at this concert, at least the fans near me, was definitely into The Beatles songs (obviously) and less into the Wings songs, and even less into the songs from his 2013 CD called “New”. At one point, Paul mentioned that when the crowd is into the song he is playing, he sees all the lit up cell phones. When they aren’t into the song, it’s like “a black hole”. He added, “But we don’t care.” Since it is impossible to play every song that every fan wants to hear (and keep the concert time under three hours), he has to play what he wants and not worry too much about fan reaction. It’s not as if any song is so horrible that he will be booed.

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So let me move on from whining and write that I loved the concert and was grateful to be there. I really liked the fact that Beatles songs were played before the concert began. Some songs were sung by the Fab Four such as “Tomorrow Never Knows”, “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You”, “If I Needed Someone”, and “Day Tripper” and some were covers such as “Get Back” and “You Can’t Do That”. I really enjoyed listening to these songs because I have never liked any of the songs played before any other concert I’ve ever attended. It makes perfect sense to play Beatles songs, and not just Paul’s Beatles songs, because the audience will definitely like them.

 

Also before the concert, there was a rumor going around that a special guest would join Paul McCartney on stage. Someone brought up Ringo Starr. I quickly dismissed that as impossible. I doubt Ringo just happened to be hanging around East Rutherford, New Jersey and would pop up on stage for half a Beatles reunion. Another name brought up was Bruce Springsteen but that was quickly shot down as he was touring in Europe at the time. I did think a perfect song for them to duet on would be Bruce Springsteen’s “Jersey Girl” since Paul called his wife, Nancy, a “jersey girl.” I could only think of musicians of his generation that I hoped wouldn’t come on stage. Alas, there wasn’t any special guest and none was needed.

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I had heard and read that lately Paul has been bringing fans on stage during the concert. I’m so glad that he didn’t do that at this performance. Unless it’s me, no fans belong on stage with him. There were plenty of fans vying to get on stage with the clever signs they made. Paul commented that he couldn’t read the signs and remember the chords and words at the same time.

 

I found it interesting when Paul said, “we played our first song and now we’ll play our latest song” because there is no “our”. He is the only one who played on that first song, “In Spite of All the Danger”, the latest song, “Four Five Seconds” and all the songs in between. There’s no “we” who played with him in The Beatles, Wings, and solo. If anyone can say, “I”, without being narcissistic, it’s him.

A Hard Day's Night CD cover

Not surprisingly, The Beatles songs really held up after all this time. As he played “Can’t Buy Me Love”, I thought of how that song is over 50 years old and still played and still loved. I doubt that in the 1960’s, people were listening to songs from the 1910’s. Also, as always, I think of the fact that Paul is performing Beatles songs which he never performed live with John, George, and Ringo.

 

Another observation I had was about the songs he performed which he had written for the loves of his life – 60’s fiancée Jane Asher, his late first wife, Linda, and his current wife, Nancy. “And I Love Her”, a Beatles song, was written for Jane. “Maybe I’m Amazed” was a solo song written for Linda. “My Valentine” was written for Nancy as part of his album of standards. (I wrote about this CD in a Guitar Train stop called “Quirky T’s Favorites Sing the Standards” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/quirky-ts-favorites-sing-the-standards/ ). I think Nancy has the worst song written for her out of those three but I guess since she’s the one who is with him now, it doesn’t matter. I like the fact that Paul still sings “Maybe I’m Amazed” and prefaces the song by saying he wrote it for Linda. He seemed to get choked up before he sang “Here Today” in tribute to John Lennon. He also paid tribute to George Harrison before playing the ukulele and “Something”. It’s sad that there are so many tributes for deceased loved ones.

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For me, the highlights of the concert were Paul McCartney playing one of his earliest songs, “In Spite of All the Danger”, a surprising Beatles song, “You Won’t See Me’, a different version of “Here, There, and Everywhere”, and two upbeat Beatles songs, “Lady Madonna” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. I absolutely loved the fireworks set off during “Live and Let Die” and set off again at the end of the 2 hour and 40 minute concert. I was a little concerned because they were set off from the seating section I’ll be in for an October New York Giants football game. I hope the seats weren’t damaged!

 

Guitar Train passengers, if you went to a Paul McCartney concert, which songs would you want to hear?

Concert Song Requests of My Faves

 

 

The Guitar Train has been lucky enough to make stops to see all of Quirky T’s favorite musicians (except The Beatles) in live concert performances. While I have thoroughly enjoyed all these concerts, there are some songs which I love that I have never heard performed live. I know musicians are limited as far as which songs they can play because of time constraints, technical production issues, and catering to the audiences’ desires. Or as Huey Lewis says during his concerts when the audience yells out titles of songs they want him to sing, “So many hits, so little time.” So putting all practicality aside (including life and death), here are the songs I would love to hear my favorite musicians perform live at a concert I’m attending.

Help!

For The Beatles, obviously I’d love to have just been at any of their concerts, even with all the screaming. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Paul McCartney perform Beatles songs that the band never even performed together in concert. I would love to hear my favorite Beatles album, “Help!” in its entirety. During the October 15, 2015 concert in Detroit, Michigan, Paul McCartney did play “Another Girl”, “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, and “Yesterday”. I would have loved to have been a part of that concert experience. Aside from the album “Help!”, these are the other Beatles songs I would like to hear, broken down by whose songs they are.

  • John Lennon – “It Won’t Be Long”, “All I’ve Got to Do”, and “In My Life”
  • Paul McCartney – “I’ll Follow the Sun”, “I Will” , and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
  • George Harrison – “Old Brown Shoe”, “Here Comes the Sun”, and “Don’t Bother Me”
  • Ringo Starr – “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Honey Don’t” (I know it’s not an original Beatles song but it’s a fun song for Ringo).

Phil Collins t-shirt

From Phil Collins, I would request his angry songs – “I Don’t Care Anymore”, “Do You Know, Do You Care?”, and “Who Said I Would”. To counter the anger, I would love to hear my all time favorite song of all songs I’ve ever heard in my entire life – “We Said Hello Goodbye”.

Genesis glitter T-shirt

I have been lucky that at the two Genesis concerts I attended, Phil Collins sang many of my favorite Genesis songs. To those favorites, I would like to also request “Abacab”, “That’s All”, and “Just a Job To Do.”

gloria!

I’ve been to many Gloria Estefan concerts but I haven’t heard her perform songs from her 1998 CD titled “gloria!” So I would love to hear that CD performed in its entirety since the songs flow into each other non-stop between tracks. If that’s too much to ask for, I’d settle for just my favorite song from that CD – “I Just Wanna Be Happy”. The other Gloria Estefan song I’d love to hear her perform in concert would fit in with the angry Phil Collins songs. It’s appropriately titled “Go Away.”  I’ll add one Spanish song to my requests – “No Me Dejes De Querer (“Flores” Del Caribe Mix)”.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

Huey Lewis and the News concerts are way too short as it is so I can definitely request many more songs for the band to play. They could stand to play a few more hits. In 2013, they played their 1983 album, “Sports”, in its entirety to commemorate its 30th anniversary. That was such an amazing experience that I would love for the band to do that again. In addition to that album, the song I’d most like to hear them perform live is the hard rocking “Couple Days Off”.

Jon Secada and Cadbury Creme Egg

The one Jon Secada concert I attended was also very short. Of course, at the time, he had only released two albums. So I would be happy to hear more songs from those two albums as well as other songs he’s released in the 21 years since then. I would definitely love to hear the songs “La, La, La’, “Whipped”, and “I’m Free”.

Barry Manilow Greatest Hits Album cover

For Barry Manilow who I’ve seen in concert twice, I would like to hear my three favorite songs of his – “Break Down the Door”, “Beautiful Music”, and “All the Time”. I would also request a song that he probably plays at every concert – “Can’t Smile Without You”.

 

Steve Winwood ticket stub

Steve Winwood ticket stub

One bonus musician that I have song requests for – Steve Winwood. He’s not a favorite of mine like the others are but I do enjoy several songs of his. I saw him in concert six years ago and I was disappointed that he did not play those favorite songs of mine. Those songs are “While You See a Chance”, “Back in the High Life Again”,  “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?”, and “Roll With It”.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are the songs you would request your favorite musicians play at their concerts?

The Guitar Train Delivers Good News

 

The hard part about liking musicians who were popular in the past is that new music from them is hard to come by. Obviously, my favorites The Beatles, John Lennon, and George Harrison cannot make any new music. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still make new music but it’s not the same. Gloria Estefan hasn’t released a CD of original songs since 2011 and Jon Secada since 2005.

Phil Collins t-shirt

So that leaves just two of my favorites – Phil Collins and Huey Lewis and the News. Luckily I have good new music news about those musicians. Phil Collins, after being retired for years, has decided to record new music. I never thought I’d have the pleasure of hearing new sounds from this fave. I was so sad when he announced his retirement in 2011. I couldn’t imagine going through the rest of my life never hearing more from him. I understood he could no longer play the drums because of injuries. I understood that he might not want to go on grueling world tours anymore. But I wanted him to still make music. And now he is! My friend, another Phil Collins/Genesis fan, sent me the link to this article about Phil’s unretirement. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/entertainment/phil-collins-ends-retirement-feat/index.html This friend cautioned me that since Phil is only going into the studio now, it could be awhile before his new CD is released. I can wait. I need new songs of anger from Phil Collins. I need new songs of happiness. I need more Phil Collins music!

Sports poster in hotel

The other favorite of mine who will release new music is Huey Lewis and the News. For the past 4 years, at their concerts, they have been performing a new song they wrote but haven’t recorded called “While We’re Young”. I like the song and I want to hear more. I read an article in which Huey Lewis talks about the possibility of releasing an EP or LP of new music. Make mine an LP! The more Huey Lewis and the News the better. Since the group is still together touring every year, they could easily spend the time when not touring in the recording studio making new music for all their fans.

 

I can’t imagine that new music from either of these two favorites would be disappointing. There have to be some songs that I like. After the music is released, it will be reviewed for The Guitar Train.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which of your favorite living musicians would you love to hear new music from?

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