Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Mamas and The Papas

John and Mitchie were gettin' kind of itchy
Just to leave the folk music behind.
Zal and Denny workin' for a penny
Tryin’ to get a fish on the line.
In a coffee house Sebastian sat,
And after every number they'd pass the hat.
McGuinn and McGuire just a-gettin' higher in L.A.,
You know where that's at.
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass.

Zally said, "Denny, you know there aren't many
Who can sing a song the way that you do; let's go south."
Denny said, "Zally, golly, don't you think that I wish
I could play guitar like you."
Zal, Denny, and Sebastian sat (at the Night Owl)
And after every number they'd pass the hat.
McGuinn and McGuire still a-gettin higher in L.A.,
You know where that's at.
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

When Cass was a sophomore, planned to go to Swathmore
but she changed her mind one day.
Standin' on the turnpike, thumb out to hitchhike,
"Take me to New York right away."
When Denny met Cass he gave her love bumps;
Called John and Zal and that was the Mugwumps.
McGuinn and McGuire couldn't get no higher
But that's what they were aimin' at.
And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass.

Mugwumps, high jumps, low slumps, big bumps---
Don't you work as hard as you play.
Make up, break up, everything is shake up;
Guess it had to be that way.
Sebastian and Zal formed the Spoonful
Michelle, John, and Denny gettin' very tuneful.
McGuinn and McGuire just a-catchin' fire in L.A.,
You know where that's at.
And everybody's gettin' fat except Mama Cass.

Broke, busted, disgusted, agents can't be trusted,
And Mitchy wants to go to the sea.
Cass can't make it; she says we'll have to fake it---
We knew she'd come eventually.
Greasin' on American Express cards;
Tents low rent, but keeping out the heat's hard.
Duffy's good vibrations and our imaginations
Can't go on indefinitely.
And California dreamin' is becomin' a reality...

California Grievin' On Such A Winter's Day
The seductive melody opens with a seven-second guitar riff that introduces a distinctive voice singing haunting lyrics, about a man pondering whether to leave his bleak winter…..more

Denny Doherty Profile - Canadian Encyclopedia
The year is 1966. A 26-year-old Denny Doherty, riding a wave of fame as part of the California foursome The Mamas & the Papas, is enjoying a quiet drink at an exclusive club in the heart of….more

The Mamas and The Papas [Bob Lefsetz]
I dig the Mamas and the Papas at ‘The Trip,’ Sunset Strip in L.A.
And they got a good thing goin’ when the words don’t get in the way
And when they’re really wailing, Michelle and Cass are sailin’

Hey, they really nail me to the wall!……more

Monday, January 22, 2007

Woke Up This Morning

You woke up this morning. Got yourself a gun.
Mama always said you'd be the Chosen One.

She said: You're one in a million. You've got to burn to shine.
But you were born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes.

You woke up this morning all that love has gone,
Your Papa never told you about right and wrong.

But you're looking good, baby.
I believe you're feeling fine. (shame about it)
Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes.

You woke up this morning the world turned upside down.
Thing's ain't been the same since the Blues walked into town.

But you're one in a million you've got that shotgun shine.
Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes.

When you woke up this morning ... you got yourself a gun

A good friend of ours…a Wise Guy from the Hood…a man of respect
...gets the 3rd degree after leaving the witness protection program…
Listen to the interrogation in the YouTube video evidence clip below

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Mystery Inside Us All

So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And music shall untune the sky

from John Dryden's A Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687 [Grand Chorus Stanza]

A rash of famous deaths marked the season of winter trees this year creating an interesting contrast with the many activities and events surrounding our Christmas and New Year's celebrations. For starters, my old buddy, John Allen Cameron, passed away on November 22nd of a rare bone marrow cancer that had seen him deteriorate in hospital for a year before his death. He was 67.

John Allen Cameron was a very kind and wonderfully talented man. We were great music friends in Toronto years ago and I grieve his loss. He was a very special soul whose boundless energy and life were gifts to all who knew and loved him for his rare personal qualities.

He was also one of the best entertainers in the world. Few, if any, could even come close to John Allen Cameron when it came to captivating an audience. I've personally witnessed a sold out concert theatre crowd being lifted up right into the palm of his hand while John Allen performed alone on stage with nothing but his 12 string guitar and an exhortation to dance, dance wherever you may be.

The Godfather of Celtic Music is home at long last conducting the joyous eternal fiddle symphony for The Lord of The Dance Himself.

St. Cecilia's Day is November 22nd incidentally. No mere coincidence in the greater dimensional spiritual spectrum of all things that pass.

Closer to Christmas, news from Nashville of the passing of my former Combine Music rostermate and legendary songwriter, Dennis Linde. In quick succession, the Godfather of Soul James Brown, former US President Gerald R. Ford and 60's country music legend Del Reeves also checked out. And, in Nova Scotia, my old stompin’ ground, the legendary iconic musician Dutch Mason breathed his last blue note.

All in all, a sad passing parade of melancholic rememberances especially of those whom I've known and had personal connection with such as John Allen Cameron and Dennis Linde. Christmas was warm and full of love & life this year for me and my family, but the frequent familiar death notices that became interspersed with the spirit of our sharing and thanksgiving served to remind me in a subtle and yet very powerful way that all is so fleeting and temporary here in this world. Nothing is forever except the love of God.

George Harrison died of cancer about 5 years ago at age 58 having realized clearly many long years earlier the fleeting nature of our temporal life and the ephemeral stardom that surrounded his every waking sensibility. Despite fame, money and the pure adulation of millions, George Harrison's first post-Beatles solo album All Things Must Pass reflected an effusive spiritual statement expressing transcendent values. All Things Must Pass is arguably the most important "solo" Beatle album historically. Certainly it is the most ambitious in its scope and intent emerging as it did from the "quiet" Beatle. Some truly great songs on it. Still his guitar gently weeps.

Art Of Dying
by George Harrison

There'll come a time
When all of us must leave here
Then nothing Sister Mary can do
Will keep me here with you
As nothing in this life that I've been trying
Can equal or surpass the art of dying
Do you believe me?

For my part, I simply count my blessings and try my best to somehow express my deepest gratitude for life to God and my family and other loved ones in attempting to impart meaningful and soulful human purpose wherever I encounter the opportunity. I'm a lucky man.

As George Harrison once put it in 1974 "Why live in the past? Be here now. And now, whether you like me or not, is where I am."

CBS 60 Minutes TV journalist Ed Bradley died just recently too.

Ed Bradley was a great interviewer. One of his last interviews in fact was with Bob Dylan whom Bradley had long wanted to talk with.

Here's the YouTube video clip of that CBS 60 Minutes interview:

Happy New Year.

Stay in touch with the mystery.

The universe is unfolding as it should.

Things should start to get interesting right about now.
. .