Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Who's John Entwistle Isolated Bass

The Who's Late Great Bass Player John Entwistle

I couldn't pass up sharing this video which appears on YouTube. John Entwistle of The Who plays Don't Get Fooled Again. Make sure to watch the entire video if you can. There's a bit of delay in the beginning as Entwistle's part comes in a minute or so into the song. There's also a long delay before Entwistle's finale. There are some frames missing, but the video is definitely worth watching.

The Who - John Entwistle Back Center

My brother used to play bass guitar. He once showed me how difficult it is to play bass compared to a regular electric guitar. Bass players build up thick calluses on their fingers. The strings on a Bass are so much thicker, and heavier and therefore take more effort to move. It's difficult to find very good bass players not because there aren't any, but because the instrument is much more difficult to master.

John Entwistle was called the quiet one, but still waters run deep. He deliberately kept a low key performance so as to allow the other band members to shine. John Entwistle was a major influence a whole generation of Rock bass players who learned from his inovations. John died a few years back, but his music lives on.

Pete With Acustic - Say No More

YouTube Video - Pete Townshend on Acoustic Guitar 2000

This little video is a gem. Pete doesn't just play it, but he writes it, sings it, and performs it.

Pete Townshend of The Who

Pete Townshend has been one of the most influential Rock performers in the history of Rock. He is still performing today more than forty years after The Who's humble beginnings. From his high energy stage dynamics, to his intensely vunerable, and honest acoustic guitar solos he brings all of himself to each performance. Townshend, now in his sixties, is still quite capable of putting on a full fledged performance - just wrapping up a Who tour - the first in twenty four years.

Eminence Front - Then and Now

The Who - Eminence Front - Live 1982

Caught The Who on this 1982 concert tour at the Checker Dome in Saint Louis, Missouri.

We thought it would be absolutely the last tour for The Who - so did they at the time. Despite a few get together appearances The Who really did end in 1982 - some say 1978, but that's another story. Not to be taken away the group survived the loss of Keith Moon, and so there would be a final tour in 1982.

The Who - Rolling Stone Cover 1982

Pete Townshend was literally back from the dead, having come close to overdosing. He was drug free for the first time in over a decade, and was in excellent shape for the concert.

We debated whether it was right, and good for people in their forties to dare stay together and play on as a viable rock and roll group. To college age kids we just knew it wasn't meant to be. We'd revere them, savor them, and say good bye to them, and never forget them, but they had to go - for they were over forty years old.

My bud Dave of The11thhour managed to score us some third row tickets. Tickets were chosen at random, supposedly, but we knew it was God intervention. We knew we were The Who's greatest fans.

I swear I made eye contact with Pete a few times during the concert. We were stage left (right) just in front of Pete. Yes, Pete! It's me your biggest fan! Can you see the real me? Can you? Can you?

Man I couldn't hear for several days after that concert.

This next video is from The Who's Endless Wire tour this year (2006-2007). On tour for nearly two years the boys look a little bedraggled, and Roger's voice is definitely course as sand paper, but I can still hear it - it's still there - and it's good. Endless Wire is The Who's first studio album in twenty four years - since It's Hard (1982).

John Entwistle, and Keith Moon can not truly be replaced, we know this, but the voice of The Who survives, and so does its poet. And we WHO know better enjoy it for what it is, not what we remember or wish it was. That's the thing about getting older. What we could not know when we were college age kids was that it is not how old a person is that dictates their talent its their heart, mind, and soul - that's rock.

The boys are older, but for sixty somethings they do more than all right, and in the end isn't that what it's really about - staying in the game, and enjoying yourselves while you can? So why don't you come and join the party dressed to kill, dressed to kill - dress yourself to kill.

The Who - Eminence Front - Live 2007

The sound quality sounds much better in this 2007 concert doesn't it? Like night and day. The boys still sound pretty good too don't they? In my opinion this 2007 version of Eminence Front is actually better than the 1982 version. The difference between playing sports, and being a musician is that by forty your over the hill in Sports, but musicians can continue to develop, and improve to the day they die.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

ASPCA "Angel" Commercial Makes Me Cry

This ASPCA "Angel" Commercial Makes Me Cry

At first I thought it was "just me". I'm a guy for goodness sakes, I shouldn't cry over a commercial no matter how painful the images of neglect, and abuse to pets are presented. I'm supposed to be tough like - well, any of the guys we as a society are sending to Iraq to kill, or be killed. Yet the combination of Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" song, and the images of the little blinded cats and dogs brings out the tears. I guess I'm not the Rambo I thought I was earlier in life - thank God!

And I'm admitting it publicly. Because it's an important issue - not crying men - animal abuse.

By the way my brief research for this post revealed many links to blog post in which people commented on the ASPCA "Angel" commercial. Most of the post which I read were of bloggers sharing how heart broken they were from viewing the advertisement's painful images, while hearing the touching sadness of the Ms. McLachlan's lyrics.

I suspect the commercial is helping to raise badly needed money for this fine organization.

Photo by Wendy Rush (ASPCA) "Jack"

Adopting A Pet Demands Responsibility & Growth

Having a pet is a responsibility similar to having a child. There's a great deal to learn in the process - it's definitely a learning experience, and very rewarding.

One of the most important lessons I've learned since adopting four cats is that it's not about me - it's about the cats. Now that seems like such a shocking thing to say, but it's true, and if I ever wanted to be able to live with my cats I had to accept the fact that the cat's perspective on things had to come first.

I spent almost a year trying to turn my first cat into a dog. I felt that I could train my cat. It was an effort bound in failure, and caused a great deal of tension, and guilt. It was only after learning that I was the one with the problem, that I was the one with the "control issue" that I understood that there had never been a problem with my cat that wasn't caused by me.

Cats are highly independent creatures because they have evolved to survive without help from human beings, and understanding that is the key. Yet cats share themselves in the most honest sense with people - they don't conceal who they are for any reason.

Photo by Krystal Buskirk (ASPCA) "Kryptonite"

I've seen such soul, such child like vulnerability in cats. This honest nature is tempered with a complex cat like independence - almost an old knowing soul that inhabits the cat - that I have felt moments in awe in realizing just how special they are as creatures, and how lucky we are that they share their time and space with us.

I know other people feel the same way about dogs.

So when I see how people abuse cats, dogs, and other pets and animals it makes me tremble in anger. I believe that if God, or an alien race were to come to this planet right now they'd see all the horrible things people do to each other, and to the planet, and they'd know instantly what had to be done - and it would spell the end of our species.

Sarah McLachlan "Angel" Live

Sarah McLachlan's voice is so beautiful, and her "Angel" song is so beautiful. It's such a wonderful thing that she's employed its use in the commercial.

- Sarah McLachlan -
In The Arms Of An Angel

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that will make it o.k.
There's always some reason to feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day.
I need some distraction oh beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins.
They may be empty and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight.

In the arms of an Angel fly away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

Photo by Jenn Woodward (ASPCA) "Nibbles"

In the arms of an Angel far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

Springfield Illinois' Bird Cult Exposed!

A Birds Eye View of Springfield, Illinois' Bird Cult Symbol

Watch the video below for additional clues of the location of this cult symbol, and beware the Cult of the Bird!

Video: Springfield, Illinois' Cult of the Bird Exposed!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Groking Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln's Life Face Mask - Based On AP Photo by M. Spencer Green

We are still trying to understand the man that was Abraham Lincoln. What does his face reveal? Lincoln's face was asymmetrical, but beyond that observation what do we really see when we look at Lincoln? What can we intuit of the man's nature from his worn face. The life mask upon which the image above was based was created just two months before Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

What Do We See?

Do we see the effects of the Civil War?

Do we see the loss of his beloved sons?

Do we see his struggle with Mary Todd?

Do we see his depressions?

Do we see a prescience of his fate?

Do we see his better nature?

Do we see his valor?

Do we see his sense of humor?

Here is the image of a man who shaped himself from humble beginnings, a man who never stopped growing. Here is the image of a man who met the challenge not just of a lifetime but the fate of a nation, and of history itself.
About the Image: I did some digital enhancement, but it's still very Much Abe's face.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Brooke Astor Noblesse Oblige Personified

Brooke Astor Used Her Millions To Help Society

We live in a time of self interest. Everyone trying to make a living, trying to make as much money as possible. For most it means just making ends meet, but for a small percentage it means keeping score.

No one has to mention the degree of disparity of wealth in the United States, or the world. A small percentage of people are rich beyond imagination while most are just getting by. In decades past that may have created a smidgen of guilt in those well to do, and perhaps inspired them to do good deeds. Easier it is to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven. It is difficult to serve two masters.

Gordon Gekko's Greed Is Good Philosophy Appeals To Many

"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good.

Greed is right.

Greed works.

Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind.

And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA".

YouTube: Gordon Gekko Exemplifies Self Interest Above All Else

As the American economic empire of the late nineteenth, and twentieth centuries grew so too did the accumulated fortunes of the elite families. Fabulous fortunes were passed down one generation to another. Most inheriting this amount of wealth came to conclude that they deserved their riches simply because they were born into a well to do family. However, some came to the conclusion that they were just lucky.

It was the combination of a sense of good fortune paired with the twinge of guilt that led many of these more enlightened elites onto the path of Noblesse Oblige. These individuals decided that they wanted to do something with their money other than buy another Mansion.

Brooke Astor married into money, however she could have wasted her good fortune believing that she was somehow special for having hundreds of millions of dollars. Instead she chose to spend her fortune on helping cultural institutions, as well as smaller projects, in New York City.

I haven't been to New York in decades, and I'll probably not return, but just knowing of the good Brooke Astor has done for the people of New York gives me hope that people do indeed have a chance after all.

Brooke Astor passed away yesterday at age 105. For having dedicated your golden years, and your hundreds of millions of dollars to the betterment of mankind I dedicate this post to your memory.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Haze Scuttles Sunday Night Perseids Viewing

A Perseid Meteor Descends Across A Stary Sky 1997

I mistakenly put my Perseid observations off until Sunday night, and found to my dismay that clouds had moved in to obstruct any view of the stars over Springfield, Illinois.

Oh well.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Did JFK Ever Watch The Jetsons?

ABC - The Jetsons Promo 1962-1963

While watching the YouTube Version of a black and white promo for The Jetsons I wondered whether President John F. Kennedy ever had the time to relax in front of a television, and watch some mindless entertainment. If he had he might have watched an episode or two of The Jetsons.

The Jetsons Would Have Aired In The Last Two Years Of JFK's Life

The President would have had a color television, and so would have seen The Jetsons in color. With nearly forty years left until the beginning of the 21st Century there might have been some crazy notion that the future might turn out like that portrayed in the Jetson's Cartoon series. What with flying cars, and robots, etc.

The Jetsons series was originally aired on ABC in the evening for adults, from 1962 to 1963, with a total of twenty episodes being aired. Later in the 1980s dozens more episodes were created.

The 21st Century just started less than a decade ago, and so there's still plenty of time for flying cars, and robots. I don't know about the high rise platform houses as they look a little dangerous even if they do afford a beautiful view.

JFK Inspects Mercury Capsule - 1962

JFK was married and had two children living in the White House at the time at the time The Jetsons was on the air. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was also the first space age president, and may have found such a cartoon series humorous if he had ever watched the show.

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