Posted by: suek2001 | November 14, 2016

“…To the preachers I’m a sinner Lord I’m not the only one…”

So…we’re in the middle of November….the Presidential election is over…and we have a new leader…and it’s Donald Trump?

..and the reaction has been swift…shock..anger..sadness…riots…joy….

The last emotion doesn’t get any press…and it really isn’t even that valid..especially within some Trump supporters….relief is their main emotion….keeping Hillary away from the Supreme Court..away from any more private email servers..away from any more history….

I will freely admit I wasn’t on board the HRC train….I had my reasons…..and this won’t be about that….but it will be a bit of a collection of randomness…

…as this last month has felt random….the polls were all off..and we got a president….a college is giving puppies to students scared by a Trump administration…hateful chants are being uttered in schools…and the streets are filled with protesters over an election result….

..and then in the musical realm, Bob Dylan got a Nobel Prize for literature (I’ve been trying to work up a blog entry about that but I just don’t care..)..and the march of the dead continue….2016 has been horrible to be a performer…

Bobby Vee passed away….and that one hit me a bit hard….He has a place in rock history…he was on stage in Fargo…15 years old….and had to step in for Buddy Holly….as Holly had died in a plane crash the night before…Think about that…he was a local teenager..starting out in the business..and he had to fill in for a man that had had so many hits and made so many advances in music in his short three year career….That was a tall order…but Vee did it..with style….and the hits came…Red Rubber Ball…..More Than I Can Say….Take Good Care of My Baby….and the earworm that gave me insomnia for three straight nights about ten years ago….

 

….and he never forgot his roots….and loved Minnesota through and through..

We also lost Kevin Meaney….a great comic that appeared on Carson a number of times….and made me laugh hysterically….there were lines from his standup that I quoted for years…..Here’s a sample….

…His voice was a strong one for comedy….not exactly a household name but that didn’t matter….He also had ONE line in a Tom Hanks movie…ONE line….but the movie was so huge that he was able to live comfortably on those residual checks for years…the movie was “Big”..one of my favorite Tom Hanks movies…

…and then we lost Leonard Cohen…..a man whose musical and spiritual path took him to some strange places..Jewish by birth but Buddhist by choice,  he let his pain…his joy…and his reflections seep into his work…I knew two songs by him..mostly performed by others….”Suzanne” is a folk staple…for the seriously minded in their folk endeavors…(John Denver covered it in his coffee house phase)…and the gospel-tinged “Hallelujah”….a song that rose to prominence as an anthem of sorts during times of sorrow….a song that Cohen said was about the end of a relationship….and the meaning of it is still lost on me..but the lyrics and the melody are haunting enough for it to linger in my head for days…..Jeff Buckley is the one that had the biggest hit with it..

 

…just watch any television drama with a tragic arc from about 2002 to the present and this song was used….and award shows loved it too….Thankfully, they dialed the usage back so it wouldn’t become a cliche at some point…but that didn’t stop some Christian songwriter from composing a Church-friendly version of the song..I wonder if Cohen knew he would impact the Evangelical church with this song….

 

…and then today, we lost another musical giant….Leon Russell…Leon’s voice was distinct…a high whine but aged through tough experiences….and he lent that voice to a Dylan classic that is easily one of my favorite covers of all time…”A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall”…Some of my liberal friends are playing this song a lot this week due to the election results….I became familiar with it through the great movie “Remember The Titans”..a great scene of the players running through the woods as this song played over it….and it lingered long after the movie ended…Leon’s gift was a funky, thick piano sound with gritty guitars…and a fantastic gift of making any song his own….

So, I shall close this blog with Leon…singing Dylan…..and think of all the events of the past few months…and wonder what the future holds for music…for the United States…and my prayer is one where the rain ends..and rebirth begins…and healing is restored….

 

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