Stones

… as in the Rolling variety…

Okay, so I was itchin’ to write a blog post. It get’s sort of habit forming and I feel somewhat empty if I haven’t shared my innermost thoughts with cyberspace. I’ve been kind of a broken record lately about my new CD, so I thought I’d write about something different. Something more recreational. Like about a book I have been reading.

But for just a moment, here’s a status update on THE PROJECT. I think we’re finally done with the mastering of my new CD, “Passage”. I had it done at a place near Madison Park in Seattle. The next step is cover design, artwork, mugs of my mug, and then on to manufacturing. Yipee! Progress.

So, I leave the mastering place with yet another reference CD to evaluate–I think this will be the one–and something astounding is happening. The sun is out. Really, that’s groundbreaking news. Those who see my status updates on Facebook are aware of my ongoing litany of complaints about the weather this year in the Northwest. It has been simply dreadful, and when you read the word “dreadful”, imagine Simon Cowell saying it.

Yes, the sun is out, I’m done with any real work for the day, so I find a spot down in Madison Park where I can grab lunch and sit outside, basking under the glorious orb. Lately, I have been reading Keith Richard’s memoirs, and it’s a total loser thing to eat alone somewhere without at least a book to keep yourself company. So I’m munching away and reading when a guy at a table nearby asks me, “What do you think of the book?”.

“I’m really enjoying it”, I replied. Then, after a pause: “He is a self-proclaimed degenerate.”

“Aren’t we all?”, my new friend asked.

Hmmm… how to respond… “It’s definitely better than being boring!” said I.

“Well , we can’t all be librarians!” he quipped.

Yes, this is very interesting reading, indeed. Not for the faint of heart, Keith’s book is an intriguing combination of charming, shocking, humble, profane, yet also very informative about music and the times. As a musician, I especially enjoy his many digressions into music speak: chords, melodic lines, progressions, where he learned this lick, etc.

I was just reading about when he wrote the song “Gimme Shelter” and then the song came on the radio at the place I was having lunch. Funny how things happen that way.

Reading about that period in the Stone’s history reminded me of an interesting incident from my childhood when I first heard their preceding album “Beggar’s Banquet”. My sister had a record player. My brother preferred to listen to music on 1/4-inch reel-to-reel tape. So he would take our Sony tape machine, which was portable, and go to his friend’s house and tape stuff off his records. I first heard Beggar’s on our reel-to-reel. The album starts out with their classic “Sympathy for the Devil”.

Now, I was raised in a church-going home, a Lutheran, and the song honestly gave me the creeps. Nonetheless, it certainly had an infectious beat. The Stones knew how to make a song groove in a way the Beatles never could. Now here is where the story gets interesting:

The tape broke while playing Sympathy. Okay, that’s sort of weird. The tape breaks during the devil song. So I get out the scotch tape and splice it back together.

On another occasion when I played that tape, it broke again during that song. In a different place in the song. I kid you not. I don’t recall ever playing any other tape and having it just break like that. Talk about heebie jeebies! This might have happened a third time, I don’t remember, but I know it happened at least twice. What are the odds? Yeah, I know. It was just a defective tape.

But to this day, I can’t hear that song without thinking back to when I got spooked as 10-year old by the tape breaking during that devil song.

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