This category contains 8 posts

Different Drummer – A Musical Lifetime

I’ve always been a little different musically…

My real mother (who passed when I was in the second grade) had lots of 78 RPM records of classical music – including The Nutcracker Suite done straight by Spike Jones!  I still have some of them.

My dad was a big band kinda guy.  And 50’s crooners.  Perry Como, etc.

And my exposure to music didn’t include most rock-and-roll or folk.  (My sister worshipped Elvis, though.)

In grade school, a friend asked me if I liked ‘popular music’.  I said no.  He replied, “not even Mister Tambourine Man?”

I had never heard it.

I was too busy listening to Johann Sebastian Bach.

I loved – and love – this piece:

My leg disability developed between Eighth Grade and High School.  No P.E. for Guffaw.  The high school principal ask me if I could play an instrument.  I could not.  He said, “Well it’s Choir for you!”, as if it were some kind of punishment.

I loved choir.  They taught me how to sing (in the baroque manner), and  how to read music.  And how to appreciate Jazz! (Stan Getz, anyone?)

We even made All-State when I was a Senior, and we got to sing on the stage at the university’s Grady Gammage Auditorium (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright!)

It was after I graduated and went on to college that I developed a liking for popular music.  The Beatles, The Eagles, Credence Clearwater Revival, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and many others.  Jethro Tull.  I even taught myself a bit of flute to play along!

But Bach will always be my first musical love.

We Are Told, Part Deux

From Joel, in part:

‘Sovereign Citizen’ Terrorist Group May Be Growing in U.S.
American law enforcement officials view sovereign citizens as the No. 1 potential terrorist threat in the United States, according to a 2014 study.

For those who ask, “Uncle Joel, in your deep wisdom and experience, could you please explain the ‘Sovereign Citizen’ movement for your audience?” I must reply…

No. I really can’t. I’ve hung with these guys and I can’t tell you what it’s about. It’s sort of a cargo cult law-as-ritual thing where if you add this particular incantation to a legal document any judge in the land is forced to throw up his hands, exclaim “Curses, foiled again” and let you off to do as you will, and everybody knows about this one guy who did that and it worked. Somewhere. Fringes on flags in courtrooms have something to do with it. People have sat me down and tried very earnestly to explain it, but I’m hopeless as a lawyer. Or a whacko.

So Sovereign types as the #1 terrorist threat in the land? Having a hard time buying it. And the article’s narrative isn’t helping…

Certainly there are enemies of the Constitutional Republic.  Both foreign AND domestic.

Remember the Sons of the Gestapo, who pulled off the train derailment of The Sunset Limited in Arizona a few years back?  More like the Sons of the Pioneers!

Or perhaps the result of an agent provocateur in place, stirring up the faux-militia crowd.  You know, a community-organizer sent by government to enrage the weak-minded of the patriot crowd.

Remember your Criminal Law – When the idea of the criminal act originates with law enforcement, it becomes entrapment!

We DO have enemies – both foreign and domestic, including those who would foment crimes to solve them to make their stats look good!

These government agents, too, are enemies of the Republic.


More Than Just Creepy…

c leeI always thought Christopher Lee the actor to be good at his craft, because he creeped me out!  But blogger friend Borepatch linked the esteemable Mr. Lee to some amazing facts:

Christopher Lee: Metal Rocker and total bad ass (in part)

But his life is nothing short of astonishing.  He witnessed the last execution via guillotine in France.  He fought in the Winter War in Finland in 1939.  He was in the SAS in North Africa during the War.  He was cousin to Ian Fleming, who tried (and failed) to get him cast as Dr. No (he had to wait until Man With The Golden Gun to play a Bond villain).

And, at AGE 90, he’s doing symphotic metal!

You really should visit the link and see what he did and does!

More than just creepy – who knew?

The Beatles

The Silicon Graybeard (and many others on the ‘Net) reminded me tonight is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles performing on Ed Sullivan.  Their big American break.

A real snooze for me.

1)  I was into classical music – popular music (like Rock and Roll) just didn’t do it for me.  And, I had memories of my Dad ranting about Elvis (and my Sister, the Bobby Soxer, fawning over him) years earlier.

2)  My Dad’s rant continued regarding The Beatles long hair.  “Unkempt, unclean, like a beatnik”, etc.

AND 3)  (most important) being a 6th Grader, I was extremely jealous of the 6th Grade girls fawning all over these British invaders!  What was so special about them, anyway?

Of course, regardless of my and other Dad’s rants, they went on to super stardom and changing the face of music forever.

Used to be there was a derisive term for classical music – longhair music.  Obviously that went out of favor!

Childhood Music

(caution – earworms ahead)

The other day, I placed a YouTube video of Dave Brubeck’s music to connect with the jazz master’s passing.  Then, I put The Addams Family TV show theme song on my blog’s You Tube link.

Music from my youth.  And it got me thinking.  Where did most of the tunes with which I identified when I was a kid come from?  Why, television, and movies, of course!

I always read TV credits as a kid.  Hell, I still read them (and movie credits) now.  Helps me to identify actors, directors, technical folks and music I like from the show.  Or perhaps dislike.

I remember Frank DeVol.  He did music for TV and the movies from the 40s into the 80s.  Richard Diamond, My Three Sons, The Brady Bunch, even taking time out to conduct the orchestra for The Dirty Dozen!  And many other works.

Then, there was Vic Mizzy.  The poor man’s Frank DeVol.  From the 60s to the 80s.  Highlights include The Addams Family, Green Acres, The Munster’s Revenge, and even Quincy, M.E.

And Henry Mancini.  Where do I start?  Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky.  Hatari!

John Barry.  James Bond movies.

Bernard Hermann.  Hitchcock.  Psycho.  Vertigo.

I just can’t get into the truncated theme songs of today, with their rap/hip-hop motifs.  If there even IS a theme song?  Guess they’re just too expensive to produce.

Guess I’m old…

The Mostly German Philosophers Love Song

(For all you linguists, geeks, philosophers and music nerds out there – The mostly German philosopher’s Love Song!  Seriously, play the free link at the bottom!  This IS GUFFAW in AZ, after all!)

germanHegel, I Goethe Goethe have ya,
‘Cause I Nietzsche, Nietzsche, Nietzsche
So bad.

I’d like to Leibniz the stars with you.
But I know you’d Schopenhauer late, like you always do.

So I say, Hegel …

Heidegger lovely ways, she’s got all I want.
And I’d like to Hess some of her goodness, but I Kant.

So I say, Hegel …

Spinoza long since I have seen your face.
And so be-Feuerbach I shall not leave this place.

But I say, Hegel …

I Gadamer-ciful reply from her.
But as to Husserl-ove, I cannot say for sure.

So, I say, Hegel …

Well I don’t Kierkegaard my heart with all my strength.
But now I’ve been in such a Ficht(e) for such a length.
And I don’t know if my Wittgenstein to sing this lonely song.
That’s why Einstein away from you from now on.

But I say, Hegel …

Play it here!
(c)all rights reserved J. Boor
(FTC – Guffaw is just providing this for humor and entertainment; received nothing for it – now GO AWAY!)

Dave Brubeck R.I.P.

I’ve written before about the many Daves in my life, Dave the genius mechanic being the most prevalent.  But there’s yet another Dave.  Dave Brubeck.

Nope, never met him.  Dave the mechanic and I did see him in concert, in 1977, I believe.

Musically, I was first interested in Classical, then Jazz, and later Rock.  Being into Classical was terrific when my high school choral teacher Ken Wells had us sing in Latin(!)  Bach is my first musical love.

But Mr. Wells also taught us about jazz.  And Brubeck.  And he gave me my first jazz record, Brubeck’s Adventures in Time.  I still remember the liner notes, recounting therein Thelonious Monk receiving a gift of a potted plant.  His comment?  “With fronds like these, who need anemones?”  Priceless.

Many folks don’t know that Dave Brubeck stood up against racism, refusing to play segregated venues in the South when his bassist Eugene Wright was banned from staying in the same hotels, or from being shown in TV broadcasts, because he was black.  Brubeck simply refused to play unless Wright was offered the same accommodation and exposure.  This was viewed as going-against-the-grain, but Dave didn’t care – right was right!

His musical experimentation with time signatures is phenomenal.  As was his life.  He passed earlier today, at age 91, one day before his 92nd birthday.

He will be missed.

And, if you don’t know Brubeck by name, you certainly know him by sound.  Give a listen:

Peter Gunn

One of the recent little joys in my life is the (re)discovery of some classic television.
I was raised in the 50s and 60s, and even though I didn’t understand all the subtlety or theme of a Playhouse 90, or Requiem for a Heavyweight, I knew sometimes something important was being told.
On of my childhood memories was the TV show Peter Gunn (1958-1961).
Here was the quintessential TV PI, no office, his contact telephone was in a bar, where his girlfriend sang.  He had a loose relationship with with the police, specifically a Lieutenant Jacoby, who always says his first name is Lieutenant-no name is ever offered.
Thievery, blackmail, murder, drugs, alcoholism, race-relations, the mob – all filmed in darkness.
And the ubiquitous Henry Mancini theme music.
As a kid, I was especially drawn to the ‘walking bass’ in the backgrounds.  This was TV NOIR at it’s best.
Edie Hart (Lola Albright) was the girlfriend, who at first seemed to be just eye candy. but, then she sang.  They actually let her sing whole classic tunes.  She was great.
And now, I get to see all of them on RTV (Retro Television).  In glorious black-and-white.
And marvel in the cheesy sets, no-name big city, and the police lieutenant with no first name.
And, some decent plots, fair acting and good music.  Noir.
(Attention FTC – no one pays me for this or anything else – get lost!)
For the unfamiliar, I’ve placed Lola Albright on the You Tube sidebar, today.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw



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