I remember thinking to myself, gee we missed this music and arts festival because we are in Seattle a week too early….maybe we can attend some other year. The year I am shooting for now is 2012. This will also be the 50th year celebration of the Seattle Space Needle.
Let’s hope we Bumbershoot next year and celebrate Seattle, a place we really love to visit. 🙂
I wish I had more wall space in my house to accommodate rock poster art. I have several rock posters hanging on my walls that I really enjoy looking at and studying for hours.
What brought this subject more into focus today were two points of intersection. I was looking at the Europe ’72 Vol. 2 CD on the Grateful Dead Web site. The new artwork from my favorite poster artist, Stanley Mouse for the Europe ’72 Vol. 2 CD, (which releases on September 20, 2011), captured my imagination once more. 🙂
I began to browse more about Stanley Mouse’s art when I discovered the Rockin Roses Web site. I became enchanted with the poster art I found there by Stanley Mouse and others…
“Stanley Mouse drew and painted from inside the music. The spirit that drove the music of the ’60s was the same spirit that drove his art.” — Joel Selvin
This browsing then lead me to the American Artifact Web site which furthered my excitement when I learned that a rock poster artist documentary film by the same name had premiered last year. The DVD of the American Artifact film was for sale on their Web site and I soon placed an order for it for our movie night consumption.
I love that San Francisco serves as the origin of rock posters and also has The Rock Poster Society (TRPS) where you can become a member. I think I might join this fine organization in celebration of my 60th birthday later this year. I’d love to be able to attend the TRPS Festival of Rock Posters event held on October Saturday October 8th, 2011 at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park in the beautiful city of San Francisco.
As I thought further about art rock posters even more resources came to mind. I must come back to this topic again soon 🙂
I was in the midst of writing a music blog series about Patti Smith‘s curated collection of songs Outside Society (which I will get back to shortly). Major weather events of this past weekend altered that path of writing the past two days. Hurricane Irene’s landfall surge up the east coast had a major impact on our lives and the lives of millions of others.
Rosemary and I began the weekend with earnest Saturday morning as we drove to upstate NY for a Janis Ian concert at Great Camp Sagamore, in Lake Raquette, NY. We had trepidation about leaving our home in the wake of Hurricane Irene. I was thankful that we might escape the wrath of the swath of the hurricane. Little did I realize what was in store for us.
We had never vacationed in the Adirondacks before, save for the times we had stayed in Lake George, NY. We found our roadside motel in Old Forge, NY, registered and headed out to find the concert site.
It was an adventure to find the Barn at Great Camp Sagamore. The dirt and gravel strewn road to the private land preserve was a three-mile drive through the woods. When it ended it placed us on the former Vanderbilt property, where we sequestered as “visitors” to Great Camp Sagamore. The tour guide at Sagamore asked us not to roam the property as it was a private estate. He did offer us the chance to watch a video about Great Camp Sagamore while Janis Ian did her sound check in the barn. It was an exciting proposition to see Janis Ian perform for an audience of 120 people in such an intimate setting.
Janis Ian was superb. It had been 36 years since we last saw her at the Pinecrest Country Club folk festival in Shelton, Ct (1975). She performed two one hour sets for us. She wove stories and personal reflections with her tapestries of music. Janis Ian was in great voice. I was very impressed with her guitar playing. I found myself mesmerized with her picking style as it occurred to me that she lived now in Nashville, Tennessee.
This is a picture of her set list taped to her floor monitor.
Rosemary encouraged me to buy her paperback autobiography, Society’s Child, My Autobiography and 2 CD set, Best of Janis Ian, The Autobiography Collection before the show. I’m glad I took her advice as they sold out of both items early that night. Janis Ian stayed after the concert to sign each for us. We loved the chance to speak with her. She commented on my Grateful Dead t-shirt as she recognized the Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY. I said to Janis Ian, “I am happy to meet you after all these years.” She was so gracious to us, which made the evening even sweeter. Rosemary has been devouring Janis Ian’s book ever since. I can’t wait to read it next 🙂
The following day we tried to decide if we should stay in Old Forge, NY one more day due to Hurricane Irene or head back to Connecticut. We decided to embark for home. It was raining with a slight wind in the Adirondacks. As we travelled amidst the rain of the storm’s surge we soon learned that I-90 and I-87 were closed. We were forced to take an alternate route on I-88 West. It took us 9 harrowing hours to get home to our destination instead of the five hours it took to arrive in Old Forge the day before.
The ride was scary and exhilarating at the same time. We found ourselves out running the water on the roadsides as it poured through the rocks in waiting trenches. The water was travelling the troughs as fast as we could drive. The wind pushed the trees all along the roadside as we called relatives and friends to get help find our way back home. The Hudson Valley was flooding and we were moving as fast through it as we could to get back home. We met an entire flooded valley that was blocked off by a huge tractor on I-145 in Coblesville.
The ride along I-88 West finally calmed down some and offered us the majestic beauty that upstate NY has to offer. When we drove along I-84 in Goshen County the bright, setting sun alighted the green hilled mountains ahead of us like two giant spotlights. Then we saw the most beautiful rainbow at the top of I-84. It was a most encouraging and reassuring sign for us. Rosemary took a picture of it with her iPhone camera.
We arrived back home safely to find our house untouched but without power. We were very thankful to be home again once more.
Desire’s hunger is the fire I breathe, Love is the banquet on which we feed
(Writers: Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith)
My wife and I attended the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts at Madison Square Garden. We were treated to many guest star surprises that evening. Our favorite moment was when Bono of U2 introduced both Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith to do Because the Night with them. It was electric.
“Pissing In A River” is the second track Patti Smith curates on Outside Society from Radio Ethiopia. I heard Patti Smith sing this song live from the stage of the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I found her rendition to be poignant and captivating, especially in such an artistic setting.
Should I pursue a path so twisted ?
Should I crawl defeated and gifted ?
Should I go the length of a river,
[The royal, the throne, the cry me a river]
What about it, what about it, what about it ?
Oh, I’m pissing in a river.
The ballad that grew from Ivan Kral’s moving and relentless chord progression is still one of my favorite songs to sing. It exhibits the best of Jack Douglas’ production and arranging expertise and Kral’s depth of expression. The lyrics grew from my own concerns as I considered what path to pursue and remain just as meaningful to me now.
There are two tracks from Radio Ethiopia on the Outside Society collection. The first of these two tracks that Patti Smith selected is “Ain’t It Strange”. I don’t own Radio Ethiopia so “Ain’t It Strange” is one five tracks on Outside Society that are new experiences for me to absorb and learn.
I love the reggae sway this song generates as it plays against the staccato style invoked by Lenny Kaye’s guitar. The Patti Smith Group were revolutionary in dress, mannerisms and music making on Radio Ethiopia which shouted urban guerrilla warfare to the masses.
Patti Smith’s reflection’s about “Ain’t It Strange” state:
“Merging our devotion to reggae music with my personal experience as a youth in southern New Jersey, we created a playing field containing a manifesto of freedom from the fetters of dogma of any kind – moral, political or religious.”
Although we had improvised many pieces with our pianist Richard Sohl, “Free Money” marked the first time that Lenny Kaye and I consciously collaborated on a rock and roll song. It reflects the atmosphere of the East Village in 1974, our humble yet hopeful existence and the communal energy of CBGB.
(Courtesy of Patti Smith’s reflections from the Outside Society CD liner notes, Copyright 2011, Sony Music Entertainment)
A slight hint of the lyrics…
Every night before I go to sleep
Find a ticket, win a lottery,
Scoop the pearls up from the sea
Cash them in and buy you all the things you need.
(Written by Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye)
Patti Smith OUTSIDE SOCIETY was released today, August 23, 2011 on Audio CD, Vinyl (2 LPs) and digital bits (Amazon MP3, iTunes AAC, Spotify) . I am savoring with relish Patti Smith‘s landmark collection of 18 personally supervised songs. This stellar chronological collection represents Patti Smith’s entire body of recorded work (released to date) on the Arista and Columbia labels. Each song has been remastered by the team of award-winning engineer Greg Calbi and Patti Smith band member Tony Shanahan.
The collection begins with Track 1, the definitive, energy building, “Gloria” from Horses recorded in 1975.
Patti Smith speaks the opening line over the lilting stride of Richard Sohl‘s piano chord progression.
Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.
That ode has cycled in my head and soul for 36 years. I have gone back and forth in my consciousness trying to interpret what Patti Smith meant by her use of those specific words. Was she saying that since she was born in 1946 A.D. her sins are not accountable due to Jesus’s earlier passing? Or did she mean that Jesus perished for the world’s sins at that time in history?
Just lately I learned more specifically what Patti Smith meant when she recorded the opening line to “Gloria”. I heard her speak from page 247 of her audio book, Just Kids…
Lenny showed me how to play an E and as I struck the note, I spoke the line: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” I had written the line some years before as a declaration of existence, as a vow to take responsibility for my own actions. Christ was a man worthy to rebel against, for He was rebellion itself.*
In the CD liner notes to OUTSIDE SOCIETY Patti reflects…
With respect for Jesus Christ as a great teacher and revolutionary, the opening of “Gloria” was meant to serve as a declaration of existence.
Finally I had the answer from the poetess herself and my heart was put at ease.
I played Horses often on my Sunday radio show on WVOF-FM 88.5. I was given the station copy of Horses by the program director as a holiday present 🙂
I recall vividly the Patti Smith Group appearance on Saturday Night Live, April 17, 1976 where they performed “Gloria” that evening.
*Just Kids. Copyright 2010 by Patti Smith. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, N.Y.