Legacy: Phil Everly – Bye Bye, Love

EverleyBrothers

Their perfect harmony nonpareil, their catalog too mammoth to fully convey, Don and Phil Everly – The Everly Brothers – created some of the most gorgeous and ubiquitous recordings in the annals of Rock N Roll. I mean, Bye Bye Love, All I Have To Do Is Dream, When Will I Be Loved, Cathy’s Clown, Wake Up Little Susie, Let It Be Me and on and on and on.

Phil Everly (Photo courtesy the WSJ)

Phil Everly (Photo courtesy the WSJ)

Sadly Phil crossed over to Rock N Roll Heaven. Earlier today, Everly died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, at 74.

Rest in peace, Phil. And thank you for the music.

And their 1984 “comeback,” written by Paul McCartney:

Happy New Year!!!

(Source: Photo found online; Text added by moi!)

(Source: Photo found online; Text added by moi!)

Happy, healthy, prosperous New Year to all. Love, peace and all that jazz. I don’t like the whole resolution keeping – which most seem to break by January 4th – but I promise to try to blog more in 2014 and moving forward. I love writing and writing about what I love, but time is so limited in a (real) job that is overwhelming. But, a promise is a promise. And I promise to try my best.

For those who do visit this tiny blog on the mammoth web, and to those sweet enough to subscribe, I thank you from the bottom of my wild heart.

(PS – I found the above photo online, I don’t know the owner. I just added the HNY text.)

Music Box: Merry Nicksmas!!!!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all the Chiffonheads in all the lands, no matter how you observe the holidays. As Stevie brings us tidings of great comfort and joy every day of every year, I wish the same for you and your loved ones.

And, Stand Back, 2013 – because, For What It’s Worth, After The Glitter Fades from this holiday, and the winter Storms pass, I’ll be like a Gypsy, and like Rhiannon, spinning in the Enchanted 2014, No Questions Asked, like I’m on the Edge of Seventeen! I Can’t Wait!

Christmas Angel, Sing To Me…

Peace On Earth

(Annual Repost)

Even as a non-believer, and even with all that the holiday entails (the myths, the inventions, religion), I’ve always adored Christmas. To me, and for me, it’s always been the ethos of the holiday – the carols, decorating the trees, the tidings of great comfort and joy from loved ones, the spirit of love and compassion and the conceptual peace-on-Earth-good-will-toward-men. Naive, perhaps, maybe even foolish; some might proclaim (as I’ve done so very often) that reality dictates it is not love that makes the world go round, but money, greed, hate and intolerance. And, more often than not, they are masqueraded in the religious dogma that, ironically – and speciously – enough, they allege opposition to.

But it is not – and never was, for me – the religious doctrine or the mythology; rather the ideal of the season, and I never let that aforementioned reality imbue my unabashed immersion of Christmastime and the power that rescinds that reality. You don’t have to believe in a virgin birth to hold tight the tenor of Christmas.

Sorta how (Calamities of Nature’s version of) Linus’ soliloquy from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” explains it (click to enlarge):

Linus: the REAL meaning of Christmas

More specifically, his last paragraph.

For me, Christmas is my love. Christmas is my friends. Christmas is family. Christmas is battling the vampires and dragons to the death for the ones that you love. Christmas is progress, not regress. Christmas is believing, if even for a nanosecond, that perhaps love – and not hate – actually does make the world go round. Or at least our love makes our worlds go round – those fortunate enough to have love, family and friends. Christmas is a community that lends its hands – and hearts – to those in most need during this holiday.

Platitudinous? Perhaps. But I’m not ashamed to own it. The “Christmas spirit” should be the spirit of the “every day.” We are the captains of our own souls and create our own fates…so, we need to be the person who we can actually look into the mirror at. Perhaps be even more than that reflection, not less.

Many, many years ago, once upon a time, when I was a wannabe songwriter and self-proclaimed poet, I wrote this little poem below, and while the innate message is of “hope and love,” this Christmas poem was crafted during a period I call my dark ages – a chapter in my life I look back upon only in abstract awe that I actually ever survived. Perhaps those stories are better left hidden within the storehouses of my soul. But even then, as now – whatever demons resurrect(ed) in my life, I, again, never let them deter my adoration of the holiday spirit, even when it seems an impossible task.

What has made my heart smile over the years is knowing that friends I cherish love this poem. Especially those with children. After copyrighting it years ago, a few years after writing it, I hand-wrote it (ah, the lost art of the handwritten word!) inside the Christmas cards I sent that year and the response was lovely and surprising. It was such a simplistic thing (it actually rhymed!) literally written while on a ten minute walk home from the subway, passing glorious neighbourhood  holiday decorations while kids were running around the local park. Yet, throughout the ensuing years friends told me they actually read it to their children! How can my soul not gleam at the thought that my unsophisticated words of optimism in darkness would bring such light to others? I was honored and deeply humbled. As I still am.

And, as uncomplicated as it might be, it is how I feel throughout the holidays…and I share it here because if it can possibly put the smallest smile on a face, then it’s worth sharing. It’s not a monumental work; hell, it ain’t even the opposite of that. It is not of epic proportions. It’s merely guileless and mildly sanguine. But it, simply, is.

I want to wish all my family and friends…near and far, tangible and intangible, a most extraordinary holiday beyond our dreams and aspirations, and a new year filled with promise. Enjoy your days surrounded with people you love. I wish for all who read this – friends, family, strangers – the most magical Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Chanukah, Happy Festivus, or however you choose to observe. Set asunder your beliefs or non-beliefs, whatever your religious or non-religious persuasions. Forgo the animosity you might imbibe in a world you might find indifferent.

Even for a scintilla of a moment, will it hurt for anyone to just…believe?

Christmas Angel
(a holiday dream…)

Where is the snow at Christmastime?
Where are the songs that I sing in rhyme?
They’re inside your heart and they ring in time
Open your soul…let your soul shine

Christmas angel
Sing to me
Meadowlark
Don’t abandon me
Santa Claus
I need you now
Don’t want the Grinch
Coming around

So I dance in the flight of the snow-white dove
As I swallow the flakes as they land on my tongue
And I carol all night to the ivory and pine
With chestnuts afire…an intervention divine?
While the children playing with the snowman, pleased
Creating snow angels at the trunks of the trees
And I thank you, Christmas angel, for bringing me here
Even Mr. Scrooge, full of holiday cheer

Christmas angel
Sings to me
Meadowlark
Lets me fly on her wing
And Santa Claus has come to town
I knew he’d never let me down
He never ever lets me down

@1998 Sage Song Musings

Music Box: Christmas Cheer With David Archuleta

(all video footage found on the web – I do not own this footage – I’m merely utilizing it!)

While promoting his Christmas CD Christmas From The Heart, 2008 American Idol runner-up, Latter-Day Saints missionary, and overall sweetheart David Archuleta met up with Pop Culture guru Jim Cantiello in October 2009 for an interview and a round of Christmas caroling at the offices here at MTV. Jim had told me a day before the schedule and asked if he could bring David on one of his stops. “OF COURSE!!!” I yelled. While I wasn’t always kind to Archuleta’s weekly performances on my American Idol Report Card blog (which I also wrote a few times for MTVs Idol coverage), I never denied his inherent talent – the boy had a gorgeous voice.

Before arriving at my office, David and Jim decked our halls with sounds of laughter and cheer – the final edited video could be found all over the web – but when they got to me and requested which song I wanted to hear, I chose one that surprised both – “O Holy Night.” It’s my favorite traditional carol and I’m always interested in hearing new versions. David’s pure voice is somewhat drowned out by a far-too schmaltzy arrangement on his CD, but his vocals more than shine. Once I had him trapped in my office, I wasn’t going to allow him to leave without serenading me with my favorite Christmas song – a capella. He obliged and…wow.  He startled Jim and nearly briought me to tears. It was astonishing (as I exalted in the video). Sure, we knew he could sing, but to hear it live, in person, 2 feet in front of me…well, it haunts me still.

God bless the internet! For years I promised David’s fans that if I could find a way to post this performance, I would – and, lo and behold, spelunking the world wide web, I found this footage, so I’m happy to finally be able to share this with all of you Archuleta fans! David, Jim and I spent about 10-15 minutes together laughing and enjoying our post-performance, limited time together (missing here is when David offered to help me clean up the mess that Jim made when, during the opening of David singing and at the end of the interview, he threw cotton balls into the air from his Santa bag. Perhaps, if my skills are sharpened, I could find the whole interview and, next year, post the whole thing – that is, if I’m not too concerned at how fat I was at the time.)

Enjoy, Archies, ArchAngels, FODs and Archinoys – as well as lovers of beautiful singing – everywhere!!! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that jazz.

Music Box: Stevie Nicks – Wild Thing

In a short 1981 interview, Stevie waxes philosophic about her guest appearances during Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ 1981 tour, and the magic of music television. Ah, remember those days…

(PS – the audio during this interview was recorded extremely poorly – a sign of the times for the then-fledgling TV network. I tried to clean it as much as I could.)