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Iris Harrison
92.3 KGON, Portland's Classic Rock Station

It's like riding a bike...

Being off the air for six weeks, I was wondering if it would be incredibly strange for me to be back on again.  I was nervous, excited and had anxiety dreams about being on the radio and not having any songs that I recognized accessible to me.  This is the typical radio nightmare.  The other anxiety nightmare that I've had since I was in middle school, is where I would show up for the big test not wearing pants.  Many people I've talked to have this dream in one form or another.   According to dream books it's about feeling unprepared.  It never mattered how prepared I would be, I still had that dream.  Now I dream that they've moved the station and I don't know how to use the equipment, or that the music I play is nothing I recognize, or that the records (yes...records.  I'm that old.) all have white covers and are not in alphabetical order.  Anyway, I made it through the show and it sort of was like riding a bike.  I only fell off once. Seriously though, thank you for all the wonderful calls I got today.  Thank you to my friends who went to my various doctor appointments with me, brought me flowers, candy, cards, surprises, food, etc.   Thank you to Bob, Celestino, and Jose for the last part of the deck repairs at home.  Thank you to my wonderful co-workers who didn't call me once for a work related question.  Thank you to Jeff Mitchell who filled in for all that time and for his continued friendship.  Thank you to the KGON managers for having faith that I would beat the health issues, and thank you to my team of doctors who made it happen.  And most of all, thank you to my husband Marty who was the most amazing caregiver ever.  When he took those vows decades ago, I don't think he really thought "in sickness" would be what it has for the past couple of years.  So, I'm WAY better than I've been in two whole years, and looking forward to seeing Def Leppard and Heart at the Sleep Country Amphitheater!  I'm ready to rock! Cheers, Iris
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During my time away.....

Greetings from my home laptop computer while I sit in my favorite chair in the living room.  It became my favorite chair almost 5 years ago when I was sitting at home recovering from cancer surgery.  In the following 4 surgeries since then, it's really become my favorite chair.  It's like sitting in a big leather gloved hand.  This last surgery is hopefully the LAST SURGERY EVER.  I'm pretty encouraged actually.  I don't want to get into the gritty details because talking about it makes even me squirm, and I've had to deal with it.  Let's just say that I've learned more medical terms than I ever hoped to.  I'm getting better and intend to be back rockin' the KGON airwaves on August 29th.  Until then be good to Jeff Mitchell who is filling in with his usual professionalism and gusto.  Thanks Jeff! Time for lunch.  More when I feel like writing and have something to say. Iris
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R.I.P. "Big Man"

Everyone in the music business is tweeting or posting something about the passing of Clarence Clemons and while I only met the man in person...face to time, I did see him on stage with the E Street Band many many times.  When I heard about his stroke the week before, I thought that he would pull out of it.  I honestly did.  He was bigger than life, and as Bruce used to say when introducing him on stage "It's the Master of the Universe," "Socrates of the Saxophone," "King of the World," "The Big Kahuna," "Prince of the City" and the "Duke of Paducah."  Just one of those people who you think will never leave too early.  I know the age of people isn't really relevant in these things, but he left us too early.  The E Street Band were going to go out on tour in the Fall, and now, who knows?  I can't even imagine who they would replace Clarence with.  Danny Federici passed in 2008 and was replaced, but Clarence was so hugely visible and nobody played with the power of the Big Man. I didn't hear the news via any electronic media because it was a weekend and we had things to do around the house.  I picked up the Sunday paper and was enjoying a cup of coffee when I read the story.  It just hit me in the gut.  Another one of those moments where you realize things have changed and you're not ready.  I put on "Born to Run" and listened while doing things around the house with tears pouring down my cheeks.  I don't like this kind of change. But of course the music and memories live on.  Thank God for that.  When people ask me what is the best concert I ever went to it's an easy answer.  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Portland Paramount in 1975.  It was after the "I have seen the future of Rock and Roll" comment and after Springsteen had appeared on the cover of Newsweek and Time simultaneously.  Four friends drove to Portland from Eugene to see the show and it changed our lives forever.  No show has even come close to how I felt that night.  I have a personal "Top 10" list of shows, but that show is so far above the rest because it was deeply moving, and took me to a place that no concert before or after ever did.  So, rest well dear Clarence.  The world is missing you big time big man!
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Jethro Tull this Friday!

I'm looking forward to this Friday because of the Jethro Tull concert at Edgefield.  This season at Edgefield has been sadly lacking in Classic Rock artists, and after the past few seasons I've gotten pretty spoiled going to the venue.  It's been years since I saw a full on Jethro Tull show so that's good too.  I saw Ian Anderson's show at the Schnitzer with the Oregon Symphony last year, and it was really good.  Ian Anderson is such an intelligent man and I'm so lucky to have interviewed him a couple of times.  Here's a link (I think...they keep changing things on our website so who really knows) to the podcast interview.  Mostly I just like to go to Edgefield.  I love the venue.  I love the art.  I love the food.  So this year, one show for me, so I'm looking forward to this Friday. I'm also planning my night of Rush at the Sleep Country Amphitheater, which I also adore because my friend Keevin works there and always takes care of me.  I plan on making it to the Doobie Brothers and War show there as well.  After that, it's a crapshoot.  I go in for surgery....again....on July 13th, so there's massive recovery time and if summer ever arrives for a long stay, I'll be enjoying my deck at home.  Maybe.  The deck that we built 15 years ago is sadly slumping with rotting beams.  We've had 2 guys come out and look at it, none of which have returned with bids.  I'm losing hope for my backyard recovery.   Oh well, I'll enjoy what I can before I go under the knife again.  If I don't get fixed this time, I'm just giving myself up for scientific experiments like in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life."  Just don't ask for my liver.
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Roger Daltrey's coming to Portland

In an earlier blog, I was talking about Daltry's tour of "Tommy" in the UK and trying to figure out a way to afford a trip to see the show, and then the news came that he was coming to Portland! My wish came true! One of many wishes, but I'll take it. My infatuation with Roger Daltry started when I saw a poster in my favorite record store on Cannery Row called Odyssey Records. It was one of those great old vinyl vaults with lots of posters, black lights, incense, oils, rolling papers, and R. Crumb art that would disturb most parents at the time. It was a haven for me. I could spend HOURS in there, inhaling that sweet smoky perfume, listening intently to everything that was selected for in-store play, wondering if I would ever dare to buy that great poster of Dennis Hopper from "Easy Rider" flipping off the camera, and trying to be way cooler than I actually was. The poster of The Who featured Townshend in the front, but I was drawn to that blue-eyed lead singer. Fast forward to the summer of 1970 when the film chronicle of "Woodstock" came to the Steinbeck Theater, also located on Cannery Row. The performance of The Who was something that lived in my dreams for years to come. Roger wearing that fringed jacket with no shirt and ripped abs...oh the things I would dream for years to come.  Fast forward again to my first job in Eugene and the release of the album "Ride a Rock Horse,"  his solo album.  The cover alone was enough for me.  Good thing I liked the songs too.  I played it a lot at KFMY.  Then came the move to  Portland, Oregon, home of the Memorial Coliseum, where I would finally see The Who live in concert!  It's ironic that I lived in the city where The Who played that legendary set at Monterey Pop and I didn't see them until I moved to Oregon.  Ah well, it all worked out.  I've seen them several times now, and yes, even when Keith Moon was still with us.  I'll never forget the wake at Gloria's house after we heard the news of his death.  We were devastated.  I'm glad they carried on through the years and that my son got to see them at the Rose Garden Arena last time they performed here in Portland.  I won't miss a Who show.  Love them.  A lot.  And I've never met any member of The Who.    It's time.  My friend Nancy Walton actually had the coolest experience of working with Roger Daltrey when he was doing a showl for The History Channel called "Extreme History with Roger Daltrey" in Montana.  She told me some great stories about what a great "man's man" he is.  He even gave her the recipe for his favorite potato soup, which she sent out in that year's Christmas letter.  I still have it in a place of honor in the kitchen.  I hope he is open to meeting with industry types backstage at the show this October.  I hope I wouldn't say anything stupid, but I can't guarantee that.  He's such a hero to me, and just keeps getting better with age.  Rock on Roger.  See you in October, even if it is just from the seats at the Rose Garden Arena.
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It's Be Kind to Animals Week!

So don't tease the dog....enjoy the video.
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Taxes, Record Stores, and Rain

If I hadn't watched Jon Stewart and the evening news, I would have naturally assumed that today was the dreaded Tax Day. But they moved the line this year and for some reason it's a "holiday" and you don't have to submit your taxes until Monday, April 18th. I can just hear the procrastinators rejoycing right at this very moment. Tomorrow, April 16th, is Record Store Day, so it's a great time to go to visit Music Millennium. Here's just a taste of what will be available: Bruce Springsteen: a two-song live 10-inch of "Gotta Get That Feeling" and "Racing in the Street ('78)." Queen: an unreleased version of their debut single, "Keep Yourself Alive," backed with "Son and Daughter" on seven-inch vinyl. Eric Clapton: Unplugged on two vinyl LPs; a seven-inch single of Derek and the Dominos' "Got to Get Better in a Little While" with newly finished vocals by Bobby Whitlock, backed with "Layla"; and a seven-inch single of "Lonely Years" backed with "Bernard Jenkins" by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton. Jimi Hendrix: a seven-inch single on vinyl and CD of "Fire" backed with "Touch You" and an unreleased track. The Doors: a seven-inch vinyl single containing the original stereo single of "Riders on the Storm" paired with a previously unreleased mono mix and packaged in one of three picture sleeves originally used for international release. AC/DC: a seven-inch vinyl single of "Shoot to Thrill" and "War Machine" from their forthcoming concert DVD, Live at River Plate. And Ozzy Osbourne, the Record Store Day Ambassador will release a 7" vinyl single of "Flying High Again" with a live version of "I Don't Know" on the B-side, along with full-length vinyl versions of the newly expanded 30th anniversary editions of his Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman albums. So relax this weekend, knowing that you have until Monday to submit your taxes, go get yourself some great music, and wait for the sun to arrive.
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Writing exercise

I haven't been blogging lately because I just couldn't muster the passion. The weather sucked until last Friday, and I'll be damned if I will waste a Friday afternoon at the computer, blogging away. No, it was a day to head out into the much too elusive Spring sunshine. I swear that I smiled all the way home. Just seeing that bright ball of light in the sky, and seeing blue, instead of gray, was enough to bring thoughts of hope, flowers, vacations, bar-b-cue, and other cheery subject matter to mind. Saturday was okay, and I got some things planted. I love to garden. It's where I can completely shed the worries of life and just be happy in the moment. Unfortunately, after the past three surgeries for an incisional hernia, I'm not supposed to garden like I used to. Marty has acually seen me go after a tree stump with a shovel and by the end of the day have that sucker in pieces in the compost recycling bin. The dirtier and sweatier the better. However, this is not good in my current condition, awaiting another surgery, so I stuck to doing little things with putting colorful flowers in small pots to either hang or adorn the deck in the back yard. It was still theraputic. Then Sunday rolled in with it's cold and wind. I still defied this trend of nature and went to Home Depot in search of more flowers. I got a few plants, and then when the wind blew over the larger plants, I figured it was time to go before the rain started again. I know I'm stating the obvious, but this has been one tough winter and spring in terms of just being blah, miserable, and gray. This is when I need a vacation, but I'm saving days for that much needed impending surgery. I swear I did call the Mayo Clinic in Arizona to see if I could at least spend the time recovering in hot weather. They sort of laughed at me. I sort of laughed back. I'm thinking now that I could have qualified it with saying that my mental state needed that sun, told them I was from the Great Pacific Northwest where it rains all the time, and gotten some sympathy. Oh well. By the time the surgery is scheduled it will probably be beautiful anyway, and I'll spend the time languishing around looking at the flowers I planted on the gray day. I think I'll write daily as well. The wonderful and lovely Pamela Des Barres, author of "I'm With The Band" and other wonderful memoirs of her adventures with rock and roll holds writing workshops which I've attended. One of the most helpful things I've learned from her is that if you take just 15 minutes a day to write, after a few months, you have quite a lot of pages written. Plus, it sort of gets it off your mind and on the page. Therapy. Cheap! Oh, and Pamela is coming to do another writing workshop at the end of this month. I thought she'd come back to Portland while Robert Plant was in town for the concert on April 19th and take her writing "dolls" with her backstage to see the Golden God, but alas, she has other plans and will see him at several other shows anyway. Oh, I've met Mr. Plant before, a couple of times. But going backstage with Pamela would have been fun to observe. Ah well. So, here's my 15 minutes of writing for today. Not profound, but more of a complete thought than my Facebook posts, which seems to rob more and more of my time, and I like it less and less. Speaking of long do you think it will be before Facebook goes the way of My Space? Or will it?
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Lawrence Welk plays Velvet Underground

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Update: Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks. Second show, duet a go!

UPDATE:  The first show's duet didn't happen because of Rod's illness.  The second show which took place last night had the crooners doing a duet on two songs, so it looks like things are in full swing now. This pairing of artists has appealed to me since we heard the news after they announced the tour on Ellen. Stevie told a story on the show about meeting Rod Stewart for the first time at a party at his house. They seemed really chummy on the Ellen show. They even sort of led us to believe that there would be some sort of duet in store, at least at the show. Last night, after a couple of cancellations due to illness, they kicked off the first show of the tour in Tampa. Word has it that they didn't do any duet. Really? I wonder if this was due to the illness that delayed the start, or that they gave the duet a try and it sort of didn't work. Stevie Nicks has proven that she can pretty much sing harmony with anyone. Think about it. Tom Petty, Don Henley, Fleetwood Mac, even Taylor Swift have all harmonized with Ms. Nicks. Why not Rod? Oh well. Here's the list of songs that they did at the show, seperately: STEVIE'S SET: 1) Fall From Grace 2) Secret Love 3) If Anyone Falls 4) Dreams 5) Sorcerer 6) Gold Dust Woman 7) Stand Back 8) Rhiannon 9) Landslide 10) Edge of Seventeen 11) Rock and Roll 12) Love Is ROD'S SET: 1) Love Train 2) Tonight's the Night 3) Young Turks 4) Having a Party 5) First Cut Is the Deepest 6) Heartache 7) Forever Young 8) Rhythm of my Heart 9) Downtown Train 10) You're in My Heart 11) I Get a Kick Out of You 12) Proud Mary 13) Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? 14) Hot Legs 15) Maggie May 16) Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? See them live at the Key Arena in Seattle on April 23rd.  Here's a link to the KGON Concert Calendar if you want tickets and all that!
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