Classic Rock And Pop Music Blog

Month: March 2022

Big Bad BILL Is Sweet WILLIM Now – Birth-Day Celebration

In honor of my very own birthday, I thought I’d share a playlist of songs featuring my name.  How much more vain can I get (see Carly Simon reference below, lol!)?  I was named after my Great Uncle Bill, who was a marine infantry veteran of WWII, stationed in the Pacific.  I love that I am his namesake, as he was a wonderful, caring, loving presence in my life.

Born March 30th, National Doctor’s Day, I suppose I was destined to be a doctor.  The first Doctor’s Day observance was March 28, 1933 in Georgia.  It was decreed a national day by George Bush in 1990.  March 30th was chosen to commemorate the first use of general anesthesia in surgery in 1842 in Jefferson, GA.

I was also destined to be a lover of music, with several great musicians born the same day as me:

1913 – Frankie Laine
1942 – Graeme Edge, The Moody Blues drummer
1945 – Eric Clapton, solo as well as with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers,
Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominoes
1962 – MC Hammer
1964 – Tracy Chapman
1968 – Celine Dion
1979 – Norah Jones, daughter of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar
1984 – Justin Moore
1990 – Thomas Rhett

Also a few prominent artists were born on this day:

1746 – Francisco de Goya

1853 – Vincent Van Gogh

Not to mention some prominent actors:

1930 – Jon Astin , Gomez Addams in the Addams Family

1937 – Warren Beatty, actor in “Bugsy,” “Dick Tracy,” and “Reds,” a legend in his own mind, prompting Carly Simon to pen the song “You’re So Vain” about him

1950 – Robbie Coltrane, Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies

1957 – Paul Reiser, of “Mad About You” fame

1964 – Ian Zeiring, of “Beverly Hills 90210” fame

1971 – Marc Consuelos, husband to Kelly Ripa, both former costars on “All My Children”

Also on this day:

“Jeopardy!” premiered in 1964

“Romancing the Stone” was released in 1984

“Beetlejuice” was released in 1988

“Spy Kids” was released in 2001

The playlist includes songs featuring Bill, Billy, William, and Willie in their title.  Some prominent songs when I was growing up included Bo Donaldson’s “Billy Don’t Be A Hero,” Billy Joel’s “Ballad Of Billy The Kid,” Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Willie The Wimp,” Sweet’s “Little Willie,” Van Halen’s “Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now,” and though not in the title of The 5th Dimension’s “Wedding Bell Blues” it certainly figures in the refrain “’till you marry me Bill.”

There are 4 versions of the song “Willie and Laura Mae Jones.” I first heard this song as the Persuasion’s version when visiting a girlfriend at the time in Tacoma, WA. I was amazed at the vocal performance that seemed to come from the basement. This acapella style singing group with some other great songs on the album Chirpin’, including “Papa Oom Mow Mow,” “Moonlight And Music,” “Sixty Minute Man,” “Win Your Love For Me,” and “To Be Loved.” Check them out. The other versions were included as they were excellent and very different sounding interpretations of this song, originally performed by Tony Joe White.

I also included a song from each of the artists born on my birthday.  Additionally, a pediatric colleague of mine with whom I worked 20 or so years ago was also born on the 30th. I couldn’t find any songs with “Hector” in the title but did find an artist named Hector with 45+ million listens to some of his songs, so I included one here. Happy Birthday Hector (and me)! Definitely a playlist with some obscure songs, though the first and last handful of songs on the list are pretty great.

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

Taking It To The STREETS – Street Songs

March 27, 1987, U2 performed from the roof of a store in downtown LA to make the video for ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, attracting thousands of spectators and bringing traffic to a standstill. The police eventually stopped the shoot.  The song title lends the theme for this week’s playlist, songs with “Street” or “Streets” in the title.

Some classic “Street/s” songs include “52nd Street,” “Baker Street,” “Mean Street,” “Mercy Street,” “Sentimental Street,” “Shakedown Street,”
“Street Fighting Man,” “Dancing In The Streets,” and “Takin’ It To The Streets.”

A few songs on the list have “Street” in their title but not in the song lyrics, such as “Positively 4th Street” and “The 59th Street Bridge Song.”  And a few songs don’t have “Street” in the title but it figures prominently in the song lyrics, so they were included, such as “Peace Frog” and “Here I Go Again.”

Re-watching the U2 video of “Where The Streets Have No Name,” I’m struck with the thought that it has to be among the best impromptu free public performances ever recorded.  And how young they all were!

Some other great live video performances of songs on the list follow:

Bruce Springsteen performing “Backstreets” in 1975, a young bearded Bruce still not yet the rock superstar he was to become, with a very R&B vibe from the band.

And then a performance sometime in the 80s, a very polished Bruce and the E Street Band, more what we think of as classic Springsteen, among the best live rock performers:

Simon & Garfunkel’s song “59th Street Bridge Song” here from the Concert in Central Park, which I prefer to the original recording:

Billy Joel here tickling the ivories with some masterful jazz piano on “Big Man On Mulberry Street”

Interetingly when I first listened to my addition of Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” on this playlist, I was dumbfounded as I sang along and got the lyrics wrong.  I was signing “Like a drifter I was born to walk alone” but the song lyrics were “Like a hobo I was born to walk alone.”  Had I been singing the song wrong for 35 years?  The answer is no.  I was listening to the original version off the album “Saints & Sinners” released in 1982. The version most of us are familiar with was released in 1987 and became their first big hit on the radio and MTV, featuring American actress and model Tawny Kitaen cartwheeling across the hoods of two Jaguars.  A star of TV and film, including “Malibu,” “California Girls,” and “Bachelor Party,” she performed in two other Whitesnake videos “Still Of The Night” and “Is This Love” as well at Ratt’s video “Back For More.”  In the more widely known version, the lyrics were changed from “hobo” to “drifter” as the band felt “hobo” sounded too much like “homo.”  Here Tawny graces those Jags in “Here I Go Again”:

The Rolling Stones live performance of “Street Fighting Man” in 1969, with Mick Jagger and company performing with a little attitude:

And then performing at Madison Square Garden in 2003, Mick appears much more animated, really strutting his stuff:

Here Van Halen demonstrate why they were among the kings of hard rock in the late 70s and early 80s, with a young Eddie’s wailing guitar and David Lee’s onstage antics in “Mean Street”

And Sting sounding almost Harry Connick-ish or lounge singer-eque with “Moon Over Bourbon Street”:

And now for the playlist.  I hope these songs have you dancing in the streets!

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

From The Beginning – Great Acoustic Guitar Intro Songs

March 20, 1991 Eric Clapton’s 4 year old son, Conor, fell to his death thought an open window from the 53rd story of his mother’s New York City apartment.  Clapton was staying nearby in a hotel after taking his son to the circus the previous evening.  The tragedy inspired his song “Tears In Heaven.” As I have discussed previously, music can be therapeutic, helping process sadness, grief, and even death, as well as promote healing.  This touching song appears in my playlist “From The Beginning,” a playlist celebrating the best acoustic guitar intros in rock and pop.

Some of my favorites, my top 25, if you will, with just amazing guitar intros, in order of the playlist, not necessarily in order of greatness, include “From The Beginning,” “Suite Madame Blue,” “Little Guitars,” “Roundabout,” “Closer To The Heart,” “More Than Words,” “Dust In The Wind,” “Solsbury Hill,” “Time In A Bottle,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Crazy On You,” “Hitch A Ride,” “Here Comes The Sun,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” “Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Over The Hills And Far Away,” “More Than A Feeling,” “Hotel California,” “Stairway To Heaven,” “Operator,” “Romeo And Juliet,” “Night Moves,” and “Time In A Bottle.”

Some of the great rock guitarists on the list are Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Eric Clapton, each with 4 songs on the playlist, Brad Delp (Boston), George Harrison (Beatles), Alex Lifeson (Rush) and Nancy Wilson (Heart).  Absent are a few high-profile guitar greats, including Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, as electric guitar was their axe of choice.  Some great folk guitarists/groups include James Taylor with 7 songs on the playlist, America, Jim Croce, Dan Fogelberg, and Cat Stevens, among others.

These intros aren’t rock solos or necessarily the most amazing or intricate guitar playing, though some are, but many are just icon intros to beloved songs.  And one song, “Going To California” is more about the melding of beautiful harmonies between Jimmy Page’s guitar and John Paul Jones’ mandolin.

Two songs that made the list but are absent from your listening pleasure are by Crosby, Stills & Nash.  They in coordination with Neil Young have removed much of their music from Spotify over concerns regarding COVID misinformation being shared on Joe Rogan’s podcasts.  Thus I’ve included YouTube video versions of the songs.  “Find The Cost Of Freedom” has a great folk guitar intro. The video gives a few glimpses of the Live Aid concert from 1985 that I have referenced in previous blogs.  The song additionally features beautiful harmonies.

And the same goes for “Helplessly Hoping”:

My uncle Joey, a lifelong musician, turned me on to Monte Mongomery.  He felt this was one of the best acoustic guitar performances he had ever heard.  After watching, I felt it was hard to argue with that:

While a great guitar intro song in its own right, Jack Black and Jimmy Fallon’s video cover Extreme’s song “More Than Words” is pretty ridiculous. Here’s a side by side comparison, though you can search either to watch on their own.  Just amazing:

Perhaps the best all time acoustic guitar performance from perhaps the most bad-ass woman on guitar, Nancy Wilson, performing with Heart “Crazy On You”:

Here Nancy breaks down the intro of the song, called “Silver Wheels”:

Mark Knopfler, of Dire Straits fame, one of my favorite guitarists, and possibly one of the most underrated, here explains some of the intricacies of playing guitar.  For those interested in a genius’ approach to the guitar, give it a watch:

For those of you less familiar with his guitar work, here’s one of his signature acoustic songs, “Romeo And Juliet”, played on a dobro (metal resonator guitar):

Included twice on the playlist is “Hotel California.”  The first appearance is the original album cut, which has one of the greatest guitar intros in rock history.  But then if you can believe it they improved upon near perfection achieving sheer genius with Joe Walsh and Don Felder’s live flamenco style improvisation intro during their Hell Freezes Over Tour.  It’s not available on YouTube, though you can watch it if you buy the concert video, which is well worth the money.  The Eagles’ music is so great and harmonies so tight that they sound better than they did in the 70s, again if you can believe that.  It’s that great.

So continuing on with the flamenco theme from that version of Hotel California is the Gypsy Kings interpretation of the Disney classic “I’ve Got No Strings,” available on the compliation “Simply Mad About The Mouse.”  The recording has some other greats, including Harry Connick’s cover of “The Bare Necessities,” LL Cool J’s “Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf,” Soul II Soul’s “Kiss The Girl,” Michael Bolton’s “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, and “Billy Joel’s “When You Wish Upon A Star.”

My brother had a CD of Al Di Meola when I was in college.  He is an acoustic and electric jazz guitarist.  My favorite song on the disc was “Mediterranean Sundance.”  Here is a performance of the song by Di Meola along with flamenco great Paco De Lucia, and jazz guitarist great John McLaughlin, in likely the greatest collection of instrumental guitarists playing together ever:

A great influence for Paco de Lucia was a Spanish flamenco guitarist Agustin Castellon Campos, better known as Sabicas.  Born in Pamplona, where the running of the bulls takes place, he was exiled to Mexico in 1936 during the Spanish civil war.  He was eventually regarded as one of the premier flamenco guitarists in the world. Here is a video of Sabicas performing “Malaguena”:

And yet another offering, with “Fantasia”:

When in college I spent a semester in Granada, Spain.  I developed an increasing love of flamenco guitar in particular, and acoustic guitar, in general.  Trying to immerse myself in Spanish culture, I sought out activities with the Spaniards rather than just hanging out with my Dartmouth classmates.  While I still enjoyed drinking a 65 cent beer that came with free tapas, paella my favorite, if you were lucky, I wanted to chat with the Spanish patrons, and find cultural activities with the locals.  That sometimes led me to the Albaicin and Sacromonte.

The Albaicin is the old Arab quarters of Granada, located on the hill across from the Alhambra, had a previous population of 30,000 inhabitants and housed 30 mosques.  When the Moors were vanquished from Spain in 1492, Granada their last stronghold, the mosques were razed and churches were built.  Luckily the mosques in Cordoba and Sevilla were saved.  The Albaicin, with its narrow cobblestone streets, bars, and terraces is still old word Spain.  The following song, much in the flamenco style, “Entre Dos Aguas” by El Chalo y El Lirola is sung from the Albaicin across from the Alhambra.  The “dos aguas” are the two rivers of Granada, the Daro and Genil.

Next to the Albaicin is Sacromonte, with its caves carved into the hillside, home of many gyspies.  There you can hear emanating from taverns and bars the music of Cante Jondo, or “deep song” is a vocal style in Spanish flamenco, an unspoiled form of Andalusian folk music.  Federico Garcia Lorca wrote “Poemas del Cante Jondo” in 1931.

The cante jondo approaches the rhythm of the birds and the natural music of the black poplar and the waves; it is simple in oldness and style. It is also a rare example of primitive song, the oldest of all Europe, where the ruins of history, the lyrical fragment eaten by the sand, appear live like the first morning of its life.  …It is the only song on our continent that has been conserved in its pure form, because of its composition and its style and the qualities it has in itself, the primitive songs of the oriental people.

Federico garcia lorca

One evening my professor took me to the outskirts of Granada for an evening of flamenco that was serving as a retirement of sorts for a local flamenco and cante jondo legend.  Before the performance I was privileged to share company with my professor and this flamenco star sipping cognac, a taste for which I had not yet acquired, while they smoked cigars, a taste I never acquired.  The music was deeply moving, a night I’ll never forget.

One day a decade and a half or so ago, while listening to a pop radio station, I heard a flamenco-ish instrumental song that was just fantastic.  I couldn’t believe it was on pop/rock radio.  It was “Diablo Rojo” by Rodrigo y Gabriela, a Mexican guitar duo who got their start in playing heavy metal in Mexico, then journeyed to Europe, settling in Dublin and developing their own acoustic style with roots in neuvo flamenco, rock, and metal.

I had the privilege of seeing them at a small music venue in New Hampshire on Cinco de Mayo.  They were spectacular, their guitar prowess undeniable.  When Gabriela percusses the guitar, it sounds like bass drums exploding in time with the rhythm of flamenco guitar and muted string melodies of Rodrigo – simply amazing.  All of their sound is created with just 2 acoustic guitars, with the guitar bodies providing all of the percussion – no drums allowed!  If you ever have the opportunity to see them, do so.  You won’t regret it.  Here they are performing “Diablo Rojo.”

And similar in styling, though a bit more etherial, is my favorite busker, Estas Tonne.  Born Stanislav Tonne in 1975 in the Ukraine, of German and Jewish descent, he moved to Israel, and eventually New York.  He now travels the world performing, often on city streets.  Here is the first song I ever heard him play, finding him on YouTube, “The Song Of The Golden Dragon”

And while I remember Roy Clark hosting the country variety show “Hee Haw” as a kid, I never know how accomplished a guitarist he was.  Here he is performing “Malaguena” on, of all shows, “The Odd Couple”:

Then there’s the Tommy Emmanuel, an Australian guitarist often hailed as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists of all time.  Known for his complex fingerstyle, here is his cover of “How Deep Is Your Love”:

And my son found Kent Nishimura, who plays a version fingerstyle acoustic guitar as well.  Give him a listen on his cover of the Chicago great “25 Or 6 To 4”:

Now circling back to the playlist – I’ve included some of these instrumentalists at the end of the the list.  While not acoustic guitar intro songs, their feel and the beauty of their acoustic style and artistry just seemed appropriate to be present.  So on to the playlist.  I’m certain you will find it one of my best, with each song fantastic in its own right, but additionally due to its amazing acoustic guitar intro.

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

You’ve Got A FRIEND – Friend Songs Celebrating Friendship

A few days ago marked the birthday of one of my best friends.  Though she lives half a continent away, there is great comfort and reassurance in my mind and heart that we are close no matter the time and distance. 

True friends are always together in spirit. 
― L.M. Montgomery, “Anne of Green Gables”

And when we do get together, we pick up right where we left off, as if no time has passed.  I’m transported back to college with her or a few of my other close friends, hanging out in our dorm rooms or walking across the green, to the river or Bema.

Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say, but because we don’t have to say anything.
– Khaled Hosseini – “The Kite Runner”

We didn’t talk about anything heavy or light. We were just there together. And that was enough. – Stephen Chbosky – “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

Or having dinner at the Hop, swimming in the Connecticut River, dancing at a frat party, having fun at a formal, having margaritas and fries at Bentleys, skipping class and having drinks on the terrace at the Hanover Inn, or just chatting late into the night.

We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is, at last, a drop which makes it run over; so, in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.
– Ray Bradbury – “Fahrenheit 451”

I’m lucky enough to have a few close friends that, despite my foibles and flaws, I’ve managed to hang onto over the many years.  Who would have known that a love for The Hobbit in 5th grade at a new school would translate to making a best friend who would accompany me through junior high, high school, college, and medical school?  Or that a freshman trip hiking through the mountains of New Hampshire would be a source of two great friends?

“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.” “You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.” – E.B. White – “Charlotte’s Web”

A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you. – Elbert Hubbard

Some friends are forever.  My wife has a best friend since she was 2 years old.  What a treasure.  It is truly a blessing to have such lifelong friends, through thick and thin, always there, wherever there is, to share life with. 

Close friends contribute to our personal growth.  They also contribute to our personal pleasure, making the music sound sweeter, the wine taste richer, the laughter ring louder because they are there. – Judith Viorst

Other friends have a role to play, but often in a more temporary fashion.  A best friend in childhood, who every day playing Legos together, building forts, riding bikes, playing sports together, whatever – never got old.  But alas divergent high school and college paths led to a gradual fading of our bond.  But what memories remain!

Wasn’t friendship its own miracle, the finding of another person who made the entire lonely world seem somehow less lonely? – Hanya Yanagihara “A Little Life”

Or a friend in college who spend almost every waking moment in my presence, like twins, or a shadow, sharing casual chats and deep conversation, music, working out, many a football road trip, continuing our friendship through graduate school and beyond.  But alas the distance, life circumstances and changes brought such friendships to a close.  While sad, such a friendship is no less important.  It can be invaluable in shaping that portion of our lives, filling our days with fun times and wonderful moments shared together, though providing only a temporary companion on our life journey.  We should embrace such friendships, and be ok with letting them go as well, as for whatever reason they were not meant to last.  Such friendships have been great, intense, rewarding, albeit briefer relationships for which I continue to be grateful.

A fellow Dartmouth graduate, Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss offered insightful advice:

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
– Dr. Seuss

And I think of the times when my friends were there for me in dark moments, in the death of my father and brother, or when spending time with them in their times of trial and tribulation, in the passing of a parent, or other tragedies that life threw their way.  Such shared moments of comfort, compassion and love are worth more than gold.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. – Henri Nouwen – “Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life”

And yet again from Geisel:

Sometimes you will never know the value of something until it becomes a memory. – Dr. Seuss

And so as we continue our life journeys, we remember and cherish our friends, whether relationships short or long, and the value they have provided and memories they have made, but more, the place in our heart they hold.

“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery – “The Little Prince”

Our friends come to mind in memories of mutual moments shared in the past, or in a song, a scent, a place, an activity.  If not physically, they are always near in mind and heart.  And often that is enough.

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever. – Alfred Tennyson

And yet another Dartmouth attendee, Mr. Rodgers, an institution from many of our childhoods, offered as only he can:

When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed. – Fred Rogers

Thus this theme of friendship inspired today’s playlist, songs with friend or friends in their title, though a few exceptions come with the theme songs to “Friends” and “Cheers,” two shows whose whole premise was based on the importance of friendship.  And again on this playlist as with others, Garth Brooks original of “Friend In Low Places,” absent on Spotify, is covered here.

One of my all-time faves Amy Grant delivers a beautiful vision of friendship:

When every moment gets too hard
End of the road can feel so far
No matter how much time we’re apart
I’m always near you

I’ll be the shelter in your rain
Help you to find your smile again
I’ll make you laugh at a broken heart
Wherever you are

Cause I’m never gonna walk away
If the walls come down someday
All alone and you feel afraid
I’ll be there when you call my name
You can always depend on me
I believe until forever ends
I will be your friend

So many people come and go
Nothing can change the you I know
You’ll never be just a face in the crowd
And time will show

Through the seasons and the years (and the years)
I will always hold you dear
Never you fear

Buzz, Woody, Jessie, and Andy show what friendship means to a child:

And Robin Williams’ Genie provides his version of friendship:

And how many of us wanted a group of friends like Rachael, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe.  Friends to hang out with share life’s ups and downs, joys, trials and tribulations with?  People who’d be there for you, and you for them?

Or hanging out at the restaurant or bar with those close to us. I always felt a little sense of loss of not having the carefree young adulthood presented in “St. Elmo’s Fire” where Jules, Billy, Kevin, Kirby, Alec, Leslie, and Wendy all hung out in the evening at the restaurant/bar sharing a cup of friendship.

And similarly the crew of friends at the bar in Cheers:

I recently had the privilege of seeing James Taylor perform with Jackson Browne – they still are great entertainers, worth seeing if you have a chance.  Here JT is singing Carole King’s classic, with her accompanying him on piano in 1971:

When you’re down and troubled
And you need some lovin’ care
And nothin’, nothin’ is goin’ right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know, wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’
To see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there
You’ve got a friend

If the sky above you
Grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep your head together
And call my name out loud
Soon you’ll hear me knockin’ at your door

And I just love Sara Bareilles cover performed in tribute to Carole King at the Kennedy Center Honors.  If you have the opportunity, see “Beautiful: The Carole King Story” musical.  Beyond fantastic, it’s amazing how accomplished a songwriter she has been over the years, writing many songs for many other artists.:

As always, my favorite American Idol alum comes through with a wonderful song on friendship (if you have the opportunity, see Crystal live – she’s fantastic):

I know you’re out there somewhere
Even though we’re far apart
Yes, I can feel you with me
I carry you inside my heart
Like a moment in my light
You’re never really gone
And everything I do
You’re the melody when I sing this song

I said amen for my friends

And Michael W. Smith relates perfectly what it means to be a friend:

So many memories and so many miles
The road that stretches behind us
We’ve had some laughter and our share 
Of tears
But all these moments unite us

I’ll be your friend for a lifetime
Against the wind and the rain of every season
Won’t walk away in the hard times
I will be your friend
I’m saying I will be your friend

Sure as the river runs to the sea
High as the mountain that reaches
You were there by my side till the end
(And) helped me on my feet again

So in the valley walk on
Don’t have to face it alone
Cause in the hard times 
We keep growing strong
As we learn, as we live
That we live when we give

And now for the playlist.  I hope when listening to it you conjure up many fond memories of times spent with friends over the years.  Enjoy!

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment

Enjoy the moment

Love the moment

Listen to the MUSIC!

Bottoms Up – Colonoscopy Rock & Pop Playlist in support of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  It is a topic near and dear to me having lost my maternal grandfather and and maternal great aunt to colon cancer.  Early detection through prevention and screening is proven to dramatically reduce fatalities from colorectal cancer.

Current recommendations have shifted to starting screening at 45.

New guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) state that all average-risk people aged 45 and above should begin screening for colorectal cancer. Lowering the recommended screening age from 50 to 45 will impact more than 20 million people between the ages of 45 and 49 years old. These guidelines will save lives with earlier screening.

The Affordable Care Act requires almost all private health insurance plans to cover USPSTF-recommended screening at no cost to patients. Unfortunately, many plans don’t have to comply until 2023.

Colorectal Cancer statistics:

  • 1 in 23 men will develop colon cancer in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 25 women will develop colon cancer in their lifetime.
  • Colon cancer is the 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women combined in the US.
  • Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the US, only exceeded by lung cancer.
  • In 2022 an estimated 151,030 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
  • In 2022 an estimated 52,580 people will die from colorectal cancer.
  • Young onset colorectal cancer is on the rise, with rates for people under 50 increasing 2.2% each year since 2007.
  • African Americans are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 40% more likely to die of colorectal cancer.

Everyone worries about the prep being awful.  Miralax has revolutionized the prep, if you will, at least in terms of taste.  No more awful Go-Lytly (and what a misnomer, you don’t “go lightly”).  You still have to drink several quarts of fluids, but it can be water or add a clear flavoring.  And yes you still spend lots of time on the toilet, but hey, now that we have portable streaming devices, you can catch up on all those missed episodes of “Game Of Thrones” while on the throne!  And this past colonoscopy, I used a prep called Sutab.  It’s tablet based, and you just drink plain water.  It was very tolerable, even better than the Miralax prep.

Katie Couric’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Efforts

Katie Couric, world renowned American journalist, tragically lost her husband Jay to colorectal cancer in 1998, at the young age of 42.  She has since become a spokeswoman for colon cancer awareness.  She underwent colonoscopy on the air in March 2000.

Her continued efforts have inspired others to get screened as well, with data documenting an increase in the rate of colonoscopy associated with her efforts.

Further information on the importance of colorectal cancer screening is presented here by from my former work institution, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

The Walk to End Colon Cancer

To raise awareness and charitable contributions toward this worthy cause, consider being part of The Walk to End Colon Cancer, a family friendly, hope-filled fundraising event in 15 cities open to all ages. It includes a 5k walk and 1-mile turnaround to make it inclusive for all abilities. It’s a chance for anyone who’s been affected by colorectal cancer to come find strength and support, collectively.

Today’s support for early detection and research means more tomorrows with loved ones. Register, fundraise and join a nation of allies that are committed to seeing the end to colorectal cancer in our lifetime. Start a team, join a team, or walk as an individual – because tomorrow can’t wait. 
Register for a walk near you, here.
For more fundraising tips click here.
For more helpful resources and guides click here.

For more information on Colorectal Cancer and Screening

Bottoms Up! – Colonoscopy Spotify Music Playlist

And on to the music.  While in the waiting room, awaiting my date with an endoscope, I had the eureka moment of why not make a “colonoscopy” playlist, as I have made over 200 playlists already with various themes.

see my Spotify profile:

I imagined the playlist featuring songs related to the clean out, being hungry, being scoped, and being relieved it’s over, all to bring a lighthearted humor to a task almost no one finds funny.  But I think you’ll agree, this playlist, when considering the theme it is relating to is, well, pretty humorous.  Not to mention just packed with great songs.  Below are some great videos of a variety of eras and genres that are worth a view, but if you want to skip straight to the music, you can access the playlist here:

And now for some great music videos of songs on the playlist for those interested:

The Moody Blues, before they headed down their psychedelic mood music path, sounding like mainstream 60s rock with “Go Now” (Miralax will make you do that) 🚽

And classic 70s fare from The Doobie Brothers with “It Keeps You Runnin’” (again, that Miralax) 🏃

And if Miralax doesn’t work, maybe Jackson Browne will help you get “The Load Out”💩. But maybe by doing so, and getting your colonoscopy, you’ll be able to “stay just a little bit longer…”

Whitesnake must have been early adopters of colonoscopy cleanouts as they proudly proclaim “Here I Go Again” 💩💩💩

And well, Lynyrd Skynyrd couldn’t miss what was going on, with “That Smell”👃💩

And even Trolls got in on the act with “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” 😈

And Creedence Clearwater Revival must have been GI docs, seeing that “Bad Moon Rising”😂

Or maybe it was Men At Work doing GI work “Down Under”

And Bill Withers knew that scope goes where there “Ain’t No Sunshine”☀️

But Poison tried to make the best of it with “Nothing But A Good Time”!

And is this really how the Beach Boys felt “Good Vibrations”?

And 5th Dimension knew where that scope was going, “Up Up And Away”🤪

And I’m glad U2 wasn’t my GI doc, as they “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” 🤔. Though on second thought perhaps they’re just the GI doc we want, finding no polyps or cancer.

And The Beatles when having their scoping just might have yelled “Help!” 🤣

But the Pretenders (and Kinks) took a no sympathy approach, just “Stop Your Sobbing” 😭 and get that colonoscopy done!

But the Pet Shop Boys wanted to know “What Have I Done To Deserve This”? 🤷‍♀️

And Fats Domino weighed in “Ain’t That A Shame”! 😩

And Queen lamented “Who Wants To Live Forever,” though the answer is most of us, well not forever, but at least a little longer, so get that colonoscopy! And if you haven’t seen it, give the movie “Highlander” a watch – a cult classic, with Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert. And among Freddy Mercury’s best with Queen one of the best pairings of movie and song.

And Howard Jones tried to look on the bright side, despite being scared, not stopping or faltering, so get that colonoscopy done and over with, as “Things Can Only Get Better”

Treating today as though it was
The last, the final show
Get to 60 and feel no regret
It may take a little time
A lonely path, an uphill climb
Success or failure will not alter it

And do you feel scared? I do
But I won’t stop and falter

And if we threw it all away
Things can only get better

And in the end 😂, when all is said and done, we can get, as Gene Autry did, “Back In The Saddle Again” 🐎

For those who missed the playlist link above, I’ve included it here as well. Wishing you an easy colonoscopy for those who looking for, as Poison sings, “nothing but a good time.” This music should assist in achieving a more enjoyable time, if not during your procedure, which you don’t remember anyway, due to the wonderful anesthesia, then at least before and after the procedure, and anytime, for that matter. You don’t need to be scoped to enjoy the music!

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

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