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Iris Harrison's Blog

 
Posts from October 2012


Girl Crush on Grace Slick
Recently I was with a group of women who I adore and we were talking about music and our favorite rockers of all time.  There were a lot of male rockers who were named, and I threw in names of women who I've always admired in rock, soul and folk.  Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Christine McVie, Ann Wilson, Lydia Pense, Etta James, Joni Mitchell, Maggie Bell, Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, Signe Anderson, Mama Cass, Bonnie Raitt and of course Grace Slick.  A comment that hasn't left me from that conversation was from one of the women who said for her, it was always about the men, and she never bought a record by a woman.  WHAT?  Really?  NEVER???  I was stunned. Still am.

I wanted to be able to sing like all of those women.  I knew I could never sing like a guy, so I bought the albums of women who's voices I admired, and could appreciate their point of view.  I'm drawn to strong women who sing, and Grace certainly fits that description.  

If you ever saw Jefferson Airplane or Starship with Grace, you know how riviting she was.  Every eye was on her, and she also made you feel like she looked right into your eyes, through you, and into your soul.  One of my boyfriends said it was the cocaine that Grace was known to do, but I just think it was her aura or intensity.  I don't know, maybe it was the cocaine. 
She quit touring and all that a while ago.  She made wise investments, didn't need to keep touring or doing music, does her art work, and I think she's still beautiful with snow white hair.  I never got to meet her or interview her, so she's the illusive artist that I guess I still would love to talk to. Who knows, there's still time.   
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Happy Monday
I'm a bit lethargic today, but I'm sated and happy, so I can deal with the lazy part of my soul.  I'm happy because I've heard a few wonderful stories from friends today that I can't share, but let's just say the world seems like a better place because of these things.

With Hurricane Sandy ripping into the East Coast, it's good that there's something to be happy about because that tragedy is enough to have to deal with.  I was watching the constant coverage of the weather conditions with the crane on the top of a New York City building waving in the wind, a news camera and crew getting hit by a sneaker wave, the Jersey Shore getting hammered and now parts of the famous Boardwalk being swept out to sea, and thinking of how really fragile it all is.  Some days it's easier to take the "news of the world" than others.  Usually because of some personal thing going on.  I mean if we all just looked at the bad stuff going on around us, we'd never get out of bed. 

I have been accused by a fair-weather "friend" of going through life with rose-colored glasses on, and for the most part, it tends to be true.  She said it to wound me at the time, but I took it as something to be proud of. 

Growing up, we didn't have a lot, but as it turns out, other family members thought we did because we always were pretty happy to just be together.  We had the essentials, and my Dad worked his ass off to make sure we were paying the bills and had a home and food, but he also understood the power of fun.  Even if we didn't have a lot of money (he was a builder, and the nature of the beast was pretty much like it is now...there's great times and horrible times) he made sure there was fun to be had.  Fishing was always a good time with my Dad, and he snuck off to fish at every opportunity.  Little did I know that there were times he did that because he had to bring home something for dinner.  To me, it was just fun.  I loved going to work with him too.  He would invent things for me to do, and I would spend all day thinking I was helping out. One time at about age six, he told me I could paint the garage door on a house he was working on.  He put out several cans of paint, wrapped my hair up in a bandana, gave me a brush and let me create. I can still remember how fun that was.  After I was through, he had to go over my creation with one color, but he never said a word about it to me.  Mom said that he had the best time watching me ponder what color to use next.  I guess that's why I still love to paint...rooms and works of "art."  Ah, that's another reason I feel good today.  I spent the weekend with brushes, canvas, music, and conversations that went on until 3am.  Nothing better for the soul.  Believe me, I'm no great artist, but it's something I enjoy.  It's FUN!
One time Dad found an old book that had been tossed in the trash called "Billy Whiskers" and brought it home.  The book was so beat up that he had to tape it together so he could read it to me.  Coming home he announced "Babe, look what I found!" like it was a big deal!  It made me look forward to Dad coming home every night after that so he could read me the adventures of that darned goat.  Something from the trash made me incredibly happy because that's just how he made the world look to me. This was a man who had been through The Great Depression, the Oklahoma dust bowl, and World War II and was so positive about life.  I'm forever thankful that he and my Mom adopted me.

So, Happy Monday!  Yeah, the world is doing it's usual thing, and we can find out how horrible it is on the internet, or TV, or paper, but right now, at this moment, it's a Happy Monday. 

 
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Locations: East CoastNew York CityOklahoma




 
Pumpkin Fun
Halloween's coming and I need to get pumpkins this weekend.  I enjoy pumpkin carving.  I love pumpkin seeds, and while I'm not a great artist when it comes to the actual craft of carving, they look okay with a candle inside on Halloween night.  This year I want some different colors.  Those white ghost pumpkins look cool.  I like the ones that are sort of vareigated shades of green.  Of course there's the standard orange ones that I need as well.  I wonder how many "Beaver Believers" will honor their team with a pumpkin carving this year?  I'm sure there's going to be several "O's" as well.  GO OREGON TEAMS! 

Anyway, have fun with the carving and if you want to be blown away by some amazing artistic pumpkin carvings from Villafane Studios, then click here and check out what this man can do.  He also is a sand sculpture artist.  I've tried that and the whole thing is magic as far as I'm concerned.  This kind of art is not only intricate and hard, but temporary.  If I created anything as amazing, I'd want it to outlast me. 
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Locations: Oregon




 
Peter Frampton and Iris
This morning I woke up early, as usual, and jumped into the thick of morning drive traffic.  At the moment when I was going north on I-5, near the curves, I knew I would be driving into the KGON parking lot right as I was supposed to be in the production studio getting a call from Peter Frampton.  In other words, I was going to be late.  Crap!  It's a good thing I have a pretty decent relationship with the producers of Premiere who organized this interview for me.  Right as I was parking, my cell phone rang and it was Peter Frampton.  I had to tell him I was running a bit late and would he PLEASE give me a couple of minutes to get headphones and RUN to the studio for the interview.  He laughed and said sure, I was the last interview of the morning.  Whew...so I ran. 

As usual, Peter Frampton was a lovely gentleman to speak to and we talked about his new Blu-Ray, DVD, CD release of the Anniversary Concerts he did for Frampton Comes Alive.  Remember the show at the Oregon Zoo in 2011?  Yeah, that tour.  We talk about several things and the coolest was when he was talking about his son, who plays in his band and also does vocals.  You can hear the fatherly pride from Peter.  That melts my heart.

Enjoy!
Iris
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One Night Bands!
I was going to write about pumpkins and Halloween stuff today, but I got terribly sidetracked by the lovely and talented Miss Pamela Des Barres.  Not in person, that was last week.  It was the post on her Facebook page about her latest release "One Night Bands." 
It's available on Amazon right now, and I'm downloading it for reading tonight.  Actually I should be doing my homework which is now one week overdue, but I'm not up for a guilt trip right now.  Not when I just pulled my head out of a dark gloomy funk that I've been in for a few weeks. 

If you're wondering what in the world the legendary Miss Pamela Des Barres and homework have to do with each other, let me enlighten you.  She's my writing teacher.  She comes to Portland a couple of times a year to lead writing classes.  I've been attending these sessions since the first one she held in Portland.  I'm not sure if I'm into the writing aspect of it as much as the gathering of women who adore rock and roll and share our innermost secrets.  Well, at least some of those secrets are shared.  I'm keeping some for my own memoir that I shall write...someday.  Oh yeah, I need to do homework. 

Anyway, buy this book if you want to know the gritty, salty, sexy stuff that groupie one night stands have to say.  When it comes to Miss P, it's guaranteed to be entertaining.
I'll write about pumpkins tomorrow.  Maybe.
~Iris
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Locations: Portland
People: Pamela Des Barres




 
Which family?


In the spirit of Halloween, which family do you prefer...The Munsters or The Addams Family?
I'm a fan of both of the old black and white TV shows.  Never missed them as a kid, and still think how funny and bizarre they were.  Gomez going nuts when "Tish" would speak French.  Cousin It.  Wednesday and Pugsley.  Thing.  Lurch.  The Munsters "pet" named Spot.  Poor ugly (to them) Marilyn.  Grandpa doing whatever experiment in the basement.  Fred Gwynne stealing every scene he was in.  The exotic matriarch of each family...Lily and Morticia stunning, sexy, and scary.  Loved them both. 

The Addams Family only ran for two seasons, from September 1964 until April 1966, a total of 64 episodes (which would be about 6 seasons on current "series" on HBO or Showtime).  The Munsters also ran for about the same length of time from September 1964 until May of 1966 for a total of 70 episodes.  The weirdest thing about The Munsters was that it was created by the same people who brought America "Leave it to Beaver."  Well, it was a tight family unit with little lessons along the way.
So, which was your favorite, and why?  Munsters or The Addams Family?
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