Category Archives: Tribute

Our 50 Year Journey with Livingston Taylor

I was chuffed to find out that our warm friend Livingston Taylor is celebrating 50 years as a musician, performer, and educator. Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18th, will officially be declared “Livingston Taylor Day” by both Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. It gave me pause as I reflected on what Livingston Taylor has meant to our lives.

My wife and I have been dedicated fans of Liv’s music for 47 years. We have been blessed by Livingston’s charm and wit 10 times in concert.

I recall the first concert at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, in July of 1970. Livingston Taylor was the opening act for Jethro Tull and unknown musician to us but he melted our hearts quickly. He sat directly on a stool in front of us playing acoustic guitar. We became enthralled as Liv sang, “Carolina Day”. We hunted down his first vinyl LP the next day and played it often during our dating years.

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The next concert was three years later, in December 1973 at the University of New Haven. I made arrangements with his manager Don Law to interview Livingston before the concert. I was forced to conduct the interview with a fellow WNHU-FM air personality. I warned this person NOT to mention James Taylor during the interview. I had been warned it infuriated Livingston Taylor to be asked or compared to his brother. That person swore to me he would not do that.

We get to the locker room before the show and Randy Newman, Liv’s opening act is pacing the floor and frequenting the restroom.  He stood off to the side as we interviewed Livingston Taylor. Don’t you know the idiot I am doing the interview with asks Livingston, “So what’s it like to have a famous brother like James? Livingston looks at him and then me and says, “Sorry, interview is over.” I pushed the saboteur off the locker bench, telling him, “Thanks for screwing this up for the station.” Randy Newman then said, “Hey guy, you really blew it for your buddy there.”

Many years later I had a good laugh with Livingston recalling that moment with him at The Towne Crier Cafe in Pawling, NY. We saw him perform there four times, once with his sister Kate Taylor. Livingston was always cordial after the show, willing to sign his CDs and chat with us. We would get seats right next to the stage and order dinner/desert. Livingston would come out of the kitchen, ascend the stage and ask us, “How was the desert? They have the best deserts at The Towne Crier.”

Note: Livingston Taylor will be performing the debut of his new album, Safe Home at the Towne Crier Cafe which is now located in Beacon, N.Y., on Saturday, Jan. 21.

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His signed book Stage Performance has proven invaluable to me as an educator. It has helped me refine how I connnect with my students. I have a peer in music and education with Liv giving me solace 🙂

So that has been our cherished 50-year journey with Livingston Taylor. We’re looking forward to seeing him receive his honors in Boston tomorrow. We won’t be there in person but we will be attending in the music of our hearts.

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Day Of The Doors, January 4th, 2017

50 years to the day of the release of their début album, January 4, 2017 will be proclaimed “Day Of The Doors” in the city of Los Angeles. The proclamation will be made Los Angeles City Council member Mike Bonin during a public event at the intersection of Pacific and Windward Avenues, the location of the iconic “Venice” sign.

Founding Doors members John Densmore and Robby Krieger will be on hand at the event as will family members of the late Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison.

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The special Day of the Doors sign made by local Venice artist Alberto BevacquaI.

I recommend a couple of Doors publications to enhance the celebration.

First, try to find the Music Icons magazine on your local newsstand, The Doors, 50 Year Salute to the Dark Poets of Rock, The Story Behind Every Album. 

It is  well-organized. I took my time with the magazine, listening each day to a Doors album and reading the related pages. I found the content comprehensive and an entertaining read.

Second, I suggest acquiring the coffee table sized book, The Doors by The Doors with Ben Fong-TorresIt is a structured reference of The Doors history, told directly by Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore. It is illustrated with lots of their private archive Doors photographs which I have never seen before.

The book  is available from amazon third-party sellers.

Finally play some Doors music to take part fully in the “Day Of The Doors”.

 

Celebrate Ornette

Celebrate Ornette – SONG X RECORDS

A deluxe, limited edition box set paying tribute to the legendary Ornette Coleman. The set includes two dozen performances from some of modern music’s most iconoclastic artists, all centered on the visionary saxophonist/composer/bandleader/thinker’s incomparable legacy of music, ideas, and revolutionary spirit.

This supreme set includes all 24 performances from the two events, Ornette’s last performance at the “Celebrate Brooklyn” show and his Memorial at Riverside Church. The limited edition of only 1600 hand numbered sets boasts 4 LP’s, and the Deluxe 5 Disc Gatefold which is composed of 2 DVDs, 3 CDs, an exclusive black and white Ornette poster and a 26-page collector’s booklet with extensive liner notes by James Blood Ulmer, John Snyder, James Jordan, and Denardo Coleman. The albums are pressed on 128-gram vinyl at the legendary United Record Pressing in Nashville, Tennessee.

As a special bonus in the Gatefold, an original Ornette Coleman 10-page linen Memorial Program, signed by Denardo Coleman, is also included.

Featuring: Master Musicians Of Jajouka, Bill Laswell, Branford Marsalis, Bruce Hornsby, Cecil Taylor, David Murray, Flea, Geri Allen, Henry Threadgill, Jack Dejonette, James Blood Ulmer, Jason Moran, Joe Lovano, John Zorn, Karl Berger, Laurie Anderson, Nels Cline, Patti Smith, Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Savion Glover, Sonny Rollins, Thurston Moore, Yoko Ono.

36th Annual John Lennon Tribute Honors Donovan

Theatre Within’s Annual John Lennon Tribute joyously celebrates John Lennon’s life, music and timeless message of peace, love and social activism. It is the only ongoing John Lennon Tribute concert in North America or Europe officially sanctioned by Yoko Ono.

This year’s Tribute will feature folk-rock legend Donovan, who will be honored as the recipient of the 2016 John Lennon Real Love Award. Having accompanied the Beatles on their historic journey to India, Donovan will perform a special extended set dedicated to John Lennon, which will include Beatles songs and his own classics.

“I am delighted to be honored at this year’s ‘John Lennon Real Love Award.’ And I am amazed to say that John has written a song through me which I will sing at the Tribute with special guests. Please support Theatre Within and remember, PEACE BEGINS WITHIN.”  — Donovan

Dear Jerry Let’s Play 2

Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 two epic concert events honoring the diverse musical talents of Jerry Garcia. Set to take place Friday, October 14, 2016 and Saturday, October 15, 2016 in the MD/DC/VA metropolitan area, the milestone events pay tribute to the iconic musician with two-nights of unprecedented performances by an extraordinary lineup of musicians. Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 follows Blackbird Presents’ and the Jerry Garcia family’s acclaimed 2015 concert, Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia, set for release on Friday, October 14, 2016 and currently available for pre-order.

Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 – kicks off October 14th at Washington D.C.’s DAR Constitution Hall with “Jerry Uncovered: Exploring Jerry Garcia through the JGB Songbook,”. Featuring performances by Warren Haynes (on lead guitar and vocals), Alison Krauss, John Medeski, Don Was, Jamey Johnson, Raymond Weber and more.

The following night, at Fairfax, Virginia’s EagleBank Arena, Haynes, the Avett Brothers and other special guests will lead “This Is 30!,” a performance that recreates a classic Jerry Garcia Band show from October 1986, a gig that marked the Grateful Dead singer’s return to the stage.

Pre-sale tickets go on sale, today, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 12PM via ticketmaster.com. Use code: JERRY to purchase pre-sale tickets.

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Killer Road – Soundwalk Collective w/Jesse Paris Smith featuring Patti Smith

I find myself, yet again, happily transported by the art and symbolism of Patti Smith and her talented daughter, Jessie Parris Smith along with the collaborative known as Soundwalk Collective. They give us pause to show how fragile life is in this garden universe.

Killer Road is a sound exploration of the tragic death of Nico, Velvet Underground vocalist and 60s icon, while riding her bike on the island of Ibiza in the summer of 1988. A hypnotic meditation on the idea of perpetual motion and the cycle of life and death, the composition features Patti Smith lending her unique voice to the last poems written by the artist. Soundwalk Collective uses a travel log of field recordings and samples of Nico’s signature instrument, the harmonium, to create a magnetic sound scape.

Killer Road is an ambient sound scape and spoken word tribute to Nico, eight interpretations of her lyrics, predominantly taken from classic albums such as Desertshore and Drama of Exile, arranged by fellow poet and kindred spirit Patti Smith. Originally executed as a live performance piece with Jesse Paris Smith and Soundwalk Collective, Killer Road sees the light of day in album format for the first time in stores, next week, September 2, 2016.

I ordered the limited edition online as a collector, ***Limited Edition Version: Edition of 300 hand-numbered copies, comes with alternate screen-printed wrap around sleeve, wax sealed, and available by mail-order only. ONE PER PERSON LIMIT.***
Directed by Stephan Crasneanscki
Produced by Soundwalk Collective for Bella Union & Sacred Bones Records
Video by Tina Frank

Leadbelly at 125 Tribute

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will top a star-studded lineup for “Lead Belly at 125: A Tribute to an American Songster” on April 25 at the Kennedy Center.

Lead Belly is one of the mainstays of American folk music. A master storyteller through song, he (Huddie William Ledbetter) blended the sound of traditional folk with blues, work songs, and spirituals to create a body of music that ranks with the catalogues of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, America’s other folk music stalwarts.

Saturday Night Live. The Book

Saturday Night Live (season 1)
Saturday Night Live (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow has it been 40 years since Saturday Night Live premiered on late night NBC television. Amazing. We love SNL. It is a Saturday night tradition for us. We have been watching since the beginning show on October 11, 1975.

Taschen the art book publisher has published the ultimate tribute to the show, Saturday Night Live: The Book. Author Alison Castle was given not only full access to SNL’s archives, but also the rare opportunity to watch the cast and crew at work. She spent the better part of Season 39 in the trenches, learning how everything comes together in just six days for the live performance. Part encyclopedia and part behind-the-scenes tour, Saturday Night Live: The Book covers both the making of the show and its remarkable history.

Features include:

  • Over 2,300 images from SNL‘s archives, many previously unpublished
  • An illustrated breakdown of the 6-day week at SNL through the years, with an expanded section for the live show
  • Seasons reference guide with complete cast, host, and musical guest lists
  • Exclusive interview with founder and executive producer Lorne Michaels

Bob Dylan AARP The Magazine Interview

Bob Dylan has granted AARP The Magazine an exclusive interview to help promote his forthcoming album, “Shadows In the Night” which will be available on February 3rd.

I must admit that Bob Dylan’s PR team  did their homework when it comes to demographics because AARP The Magazine has the world’s largest circulation of readers (estimated to be 47 million). AARP The Magazine’s over 50 crowd is Bob Dylan’s target audience.

The interview was conducted by Robert Love, the Editor-In-Chief  who crafted a well structured series of questions for Bob Dylan to answer. Robert Love was with Rolling Stone Magazine for 20 years which  grooves the interview like a tight playlist.

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The album features songs from the 1920s to the 1960s, including such standards like “Autumn Leaves,” ”That Lucky Old Sun” and “Stay With Me.”

The songs also were recorded by Frank Sinatra. Dylan says he thinks Sinatra would “be amazed I did these songs with a five-piece band.”

My favorite quote from the interview is, “if I had to do it all over again, I’d be a schoolteacher.” He adds that he “probably” would have taught Roman history or theology.

Being a teacher myself who loves music I take pride in learning Dylan’s aspirations. Imagine yourself as a student in Bob’s class, wouldn’t that be motivation to attend school every day. 😉

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble
Ancient footprints are everywhere, When I Paint My Masterpiece – Copyright © 1971 by Big Sky Music; renewed 1999 by Big Sky Music

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/when-i-paint-my-masterpiece#ixzz3Peqzt3xQ

Well, a lot of those readers are going to like this record. If it was up to me, I’d give you the records for nothing and you give them to every [reader of your] magazine.

Bob Dylan is following through on that notion by giving 50,000 readers of AARP The Magazine a free copy of his album.