Interviewing a legend, and one of my heroes, tends to make the night before the interview a bit restless. I prepared a boat load of questions, and due to time issues, I didn't get to so many things that I wanted to know about. Well, next time, right?
I've had a big crush on Stephen Stills since I first heard Buffalo Springfield's "Sit Down I Think I Love You" and "Bluebird." I was hooked on that voice. Then came Crosby Stills Nash...and Young, and all the combinations thereof, the Supersessions album with Bloomfield and Kooper, and Manassas! Whew! All great stuff, and all in my collection.
Now if you don't have all that in your music library, then you will want to get yourself the 4 CD set, "Carry On." There's the songs you know, rarities, previously unreleased stuff, and a huge book of liner notes for geeks like me!
I'm looking forward to a chance to talk to this amazing man again, becuase I have a whole page of questions that never got asked. But just having a conversation with him was pure bliss. I hope you enjoy the conversation.
My first love affair with a record store was with Odyssey Records on Cannery Row in Monterey. It was right next door to Doc Ricketts place, the man made famous by the John Steinbeck novel about the legendary Row. I’ve always been a big Steinbeck fan, and I loved hanging out around Cannery Row. I had dancing classes at a studio that’s now an expensive fish house called The Sardine Factory in the area for most of grade school. As a result, I knew Cannery Row pretty well. I also knew the studios of KMBY were in the Bear Flag Building where Flora’s whorehouse really was. That’s where my first love of radio started, but that’s another story.
In my little hometown, you could walk from my house to Cannery Row in less than an hour, so that was a common destination for me. It was rich in history and smells. There was a coffee roaster sort of near Doc’s place, a candy store, a tea house, an import place, and the Outrigger which was a fancy place that my folks would take me as a kid. The smell of the working canneries, which my mother described to me when Monterey Bay was full of sardines, was no longer there. There was just the smell of the ocean and the things that lived in it. Odyssey Records had a smell that I loved wafting out the door…incense.
I remember that I first noticed Odyssey when John and Yoko’s “Two Virgins” album was released. The reason I remember it clearly was because they were both naked on the cover, and Odyssey had the poster with all their parts proudly displayed in the store window. I stepped into a world that I loved. The smell of incense, really great music on the big speakers, racks and racks of dreamy vinyl, and the walls covered with posters. There was a black light room for the special posters painted in Day-Glo and I bought The Endless Summer poster there. I wish I still had that poster because when I met the artist, Jon Van Hamersveld, he told me that the original run of those were worth pretty good money. Plus, he could have signed it for me.
So, I spent many hours wrapped in the womb of Odyssey, discovering music, and buying what I could with my babysitting money.
When I moved to Portland in 1976, I found Music Millennium. The store had the same vibe as my beloved Odyssey, and the smell was pretty much the same. Incense, candles, paraphernalia, posters, t-shirts, stickers and lots of lovely vinyl. Odyssey is no longer on Cannery Row. The old location is now part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but Music Millennium is still around at the original location of SE 32nd and Burnside. Thank God for Terry Currier for keeping the banner flying high! Thank God Portland is weird and proud of it. Thank God we can actually celebrate National Record Store Day this Saturday, April 20th, at an actual independent record store that has been around since 1969 serving the needs of Portland’s music fanatics.
Plan on making a visit to the store this week. You don’t have to wait until Saturday, but if you do, you’ll get in on some freebies, and coffee and muffins if you wait in line before the store opens at 8am. While you’re there, register for the KGON prize pack: Doors CD’s, John Densmore’s new book, and a secured place at the front of the line to get the book signed in May when he visits the store!
In fact, I think I’ll head there now. Just because I enjoy being there, and I know I’ll find something I can’t possibly live without.
I think we humans are all sort of nerds about something. There's at least one thing in our lives that others would probably consider uncool. I'm a garden nerd. Also a Monty Python nerd. There's other things, but I just basically wanted to set up a reason to read this cool blog.
Portland came in at #2 in the "10 Nerdiest Cities in America" and I think that's so cool. Not only has Portlandia put us on the map for being weird/nerdy/cool, but now this.
Well, what do you know, it wasn't a dream at all. Joe Bonamassa is one of the coolest guitar slingers in the world, and he's coming to Portland on Saturday April 13th! The show is almost sold out, so if you were waiting for the day of the show, in typical Portland behavior, don't wait!! Here's our conversation.
I've been reading a lot of resolutions on various people's facebook pages. Also there's lots of unsolicited healthy suggestions that we should all practice in daily life that come from everyone from the company who owns this radio station to Oprah and Huffington Post about how to have a wonderful, healthy, richer, uncluttered life. Bah! Here's my list:
1. I will say NO to things I really don't want to do more often that aren't work related. I really can't say no to work that often because then I will not be working. Besides, I mostly like doing things that are work related. Reminder to myself, I need to be more thankful that I like what I do. The NO factor comes into play when it's something that I think someone needs to feel better about themselves, when it makes me feel worse, or pressured, or anxious. Nope.
2. I will find a physical activity that I LIKE that is good for me. I am not a gym rat (see pictures, any pictures of me and you know that in spades!) Maybe it's time to take up hockey. I have a friend in Seattle who did this when her son started playing and she loves it. My husband suggested roller derby, which appeals to me, but I'd probably break something I like having intact. Like my teeth.
3. Make more of an effort to see the people that I truly love and care about this year. This sounds like it's easy, but it's not. Schedules don't always mesh, I'm tired at the end of the day (see resolution #2) and it's tricky, but it's necessary for me to feel whole. Plus, it's a great reason to go on vacations if they live far away.
4. More vacations.
5. Get the things from the attic down and figure out what to keep and what to throw away. I haven't been up there in years, and while I guess the ultimate answer is to throw it all away, I shudder to think that there's a letter from my Mom or Grandma that is up there that I would like to read again.
6. Paint. Rooms and canvas.
That's enough. If I get this list done, then I will wear my Northern California DeMolay Sweetheart tiara for one whole day and have others address me as "My Queen!"
I had intended to blog when I got back from vacation because it was such a great week, spent in the sunshine and we had a relaxing wonderful time. But you know how Monday after vacations are...busy...catching up with things around work, and it was also time to get going on the holiday to do list. So I put it off until Tuesday.
I was sitting here at my desk when the first reports of the tragedy at Clackamas Town Center started coming in. At that point it was all we could do to just get through what needed doing and go home and wait for more news to come in. It was news we couldn't imagine hearing. Our dear friend and co-worker for 14 years was gone. How could this happen? Not Steve. No way.
Then the horror of what happened in Connecticut on Friday just brought us all to our knees.
This last Monday was the celebration of life for Steve Forsyth. He touched so many lives, and we heard so many stories about him as a son, brother, husband, father, and friend. Great stories. Simple stories. Funny stories. Steve was a great storyteller, so I'm sure the stories continued after the service as people went back to their homes, or to gather at the Corner Saloon, or on the way to the airport to fly back to places all over the country. People gathered to celebrate this man because he made a difference. He inspired, he mentored, and he made us laugh. He had so much more to do, and we all will miss him terribly.
We grieve for his family because he was a bigger-than-life-itself kind of man. Nobody can fill those shoes. But the thing I came away with after the service, was that it's now up to everyone who knew him to pass along the laughter, light and love that Steve gave to the world. Time to step up and be better people. Time to help and support others on that path. There was such a feeling of love from all who knew him, that I was no longer in despair, but lifted up.
Today I felt the need to write in this little blog. I don't care if nobody reads this, it's just something I needed to do. Mostly to remind myself to keep the light on. To shine in a dark place. To do what's needed. To be helpful and kind. To do this in honor of a friend who isn't here to do it himself.
It's on us now. I will gladly bear the task, even when tears are falling from my eyes.
The holidays are such a huge deal, and I know that sometimes expectations are not met. In other words, the holidays are not always a picture perfect greeting card. We have holiday movies that usually show the comedic (A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, Christmas with the Kranks, Elf, etc) or dramatic (It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street) and at the end there's some kind of wonderful resolve. A lesson is learned. Hearts melt. Scrooge learns his lesson. That's not always the case though. Sometimes expectations are so high, that nothing short of Santa and his eight tiny reindeer on the roof will make people happy. Or winning the 245 million dollar lottery, and that may not happen at all...for anyone. It may roll over to another week.
Today I got my weekly newsletter from Zig Ziglar. I started subscribing to it quite a while ago. I first learned about Mr. Ziglar when our sales department had these training tools available at the station when we were at the Kelly Street studios. They had access to a number of cassettes in a plastic holder and each one was a motivational talk from Zig himself. I checked out one of the packages, and listened to all of the tapes. I liked his down home southern accent. I'm very comfy with that sound, even though when I went to part of second grade in Louisiana the other kids told me that I talked funny. I still laugh over that one.
Back to Zig...I loved the stories, the inspirational moral of the tales he told. In fact when the station moved to it's present location, those packages were to be thrown away (cassettes...who needs them...) and I took one of the sets home. Whenever I need a good kick in the butt (often) I pull out a tape and give it a listen. I get something new out of it every time.
Today's message from Zig had a lovely Charlie Brown story that he wrote, but that's not the one that hit the spot. It was a message from Simon T. Bailey. Here's the part that I think is useful to pass along for the holiday season:
"Whoever has rejected you this year or in times past, bless them and wish them the best. Send positive vibes their way. You don’t need the negative energy you’d otherwise incur, and there is simply too much work to do now.
As we approach another Thanksgiving and Christmas season, we should accept rejection, bless it, and move on. In fact, we should thank the following:
All of those who de-friended you on Facebook. Bless them and wish them a brilliant future.
Thank you to all those who stop following you on Twitter. Bless them, too, and wish them a brilliant future.
Thank you to those who didn’t do business with you. Those who rejected your pricing, your proposal, and your value. Be so grateful and thankful that they found their happiness elsewhere.
Bless all of those who didn’t return your call, who ignored your e-mail, deleted your text, or didn’t post a comment on your blog.
Bless the company that didn’t hire you and wish them a brilliant future.
Bless the homeowner who didn’t list his home with you and wish him a brilliant future.
Bless the boss who gave you a less than stellar review. It won’t change her, but it will change how you choose to see her.
Thank you, Rejection, because you are an amazing teacher who invites us to look within and decide how we will soar to the next level. My friend Willie Jolley says that “a setback is a setup for a comeback.” Boom! There it is.
Give thanks because you are finally waking up to the reality that rejection is the greatest gift in the world."
Awesome! Bless you this Holiday Season! No matter what, bless you! Bless you for what you did, and didn't do.
If you want to get more of Zig's stuff, you can subscribe by clicking here. Plus, you'll get that cool Charlie Brown story about Night Cookies.
Today, November 20th, is Joe Walsh's birthday. He's just a young thing of 65, and since he decided on a life that is clean and sober, he's in great health mentally and physically. Everyone who saw him this August at the L.B. Day Amphitheater, knows that he delivered one hell of a great show.
Today would have been my Dad's birthday as well. He was MUCH older than Joe, and wasn't a musician, but he could whistle. He also put up with all my childhood, adolescent, and young adult loud music passions. I actually got him into listening to MY music somewhere along the line. I also listened to his country and western when we were in his truck. One time when he was working on some honeydo that Mom wanted out in his shop, I walked in and he had Judas Priest's "Living After Midnight" just cranked to maximum volume. When I commented that I never thought he listened to KGON other than when I was on, he said, "It's the only music I can hear over the drill." Always the joker, that guy, and always my biggest fan. The picture here is when I was just a little stinker.
Until today I never realized that Joe Walsh and my Dad shared a birthday. November 20th just has always been Dad's day to me. That's one of the reasons I love doing Connect the Classics. I like to start the set with a birthday celebration if possible. It would have also been the late great Duane Allman's birthday, but he left us way too early on his motorcycle. I know Dad liked the Allman Brothers music. I mean Jimmy Carter loved the Allmans! It's also the birthday of Dr. John, who I got to meet and introduce on stage at the 2008 Bite of Portland. What a lovely southern gentleman. God, I love his voice!
Dad was the oldest of 9 kids, and one of the people who came from Oklahoma to California and then up to Oregon with his family during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. They were from the Eastern part of the state, and his father wanted to build. Two of my aunts worked in lumber mills, and several uncles all worked in the logging industry. My Dad followed his heart and went into building after dabbling in a few other businesses. I just watched the Ken Burns documentary on The Dust Bowl last night, and I kept thinking about Dad. What a wonderful and remarkable man with the biggest heart in the world.
I just have a feeling that if all these musicians would have known Dad, they would have all gotten along. Who knows, maybe he and Duane are swapping stories right now.
Today I'm suffering from a football hangover. Seriously! Since it's Monday, I'll probably go home (no probably about it...I just said that to half-way lie to myself) and watch more. I just love watching the games. Sometimes I'll watch random high school stuff that winds up on TV. It's a sickness and it won't end until the Superbowl is over. Then I go into a deep lack-of-football depression, until the weather gets better and I can start dealing with my garden. I used to work with the Tualatin Valley Youth Football League and I would spend all day on Saturday watching the kids play after a night at the High School game. I'd have made a great groundskeeper for a football field. It combines my love of football with gardening...sort of.
Maybe I just got up too early today. 3:30am. Yep. Eyes wide open and brain going 100 mph! Thinking about...you guessed it...football. Not like I can do anything about it, so I just got up and started working in my office and listening to music. That got my mind off of it for a while....a little while. A very little while.
Hope your team won...whoever they are. And don't let that Van Pelt girl hold the ball for you.
Since it's Tommy Thayer's birthday, I just thought I'd post the interview we did before his induction into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. Through all his incredible success in his career, he remains a well-grounded, cool, handsome man that I'm proud to have known before he was of legal age to be in the bars he was playing in.