Posts Tagged ‘Beatles’

Say the word and you’ll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?

It’s so fine, it’s sunshine
It’s the word, love

— The Word, The Beatles

There’s a lot of things I could comment on today. The pandemic is raging with over 200,000 new cases a day the new norm and 3000+ deaths per day in its sights. We have a lame-duck president*** who ignores his responsibilities to whine endlessly and claim without a shred of evidence that he was defrauded in the election even though his attorneys have admitted several times in court that they are not alleging or showing evidence of fraud. Instead of accepting defeat graciously and doing his duty, he cries and blusters about an election in which he was defeated by 4.4% of the vote, a landslide amount in any election.

The current count shows him trailing by about 7,000,000 votes. To put that amount in perspective, it’s the combined number of voters– from both parties– in West Virginia, South Carolina, Kansas, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota. That’s a lot of folks.

But I digress. I don’t want to talk about that. Let’s talk about something more upbeat, say, the fact that the album Rubber Soul from the Beatles was released on this date back in 1965. It was their sixth album and marked the beginning of a remarkable four album arc — Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the White Album— that both ignited and marked a sea change in pop and rock music.

It is a great, great album that still stands up well after 55 years. Every song is a winner. I want to share a song but with every track being so memorable, it’s tough to choose one to highlight. Any one would be a solid choice but I am going with The Word this morning.

Give a listen — say the word and you’ll be free–then have a good day. Be careful out there.

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I have heard the big music
And I’ll never be the same


I was looking for a song to play this morning and I thought about a favorite track from an album, A Pagan Place, from back in the 1980’s from the Irish group The Waterboys. I was surprised to discover that in the nearly 12 years I’ve been doing this blog that the song hasn’t somehow surfaced.

The song is The Big Music and it’s about hearing a song or piece of music that just opens you up. Shakes up your whole world and changes how you see everything in it. Maybe even alters your whole life path.

It’s a song that really speaks to me. Growing up in the country at a time before digital broadcasts, satellite television and streaming services, we had two TV channels so reading and listening to music filled the void for a kid who was eager to learn about the world.

We had a big box of singles from the late 50’s and early 60’s that had by a cousin and somehow ended up with us. It had tons of good stuff including early rock from Elvis, lots of surf music from the likes of Jan and Dean and the Surfaris, goofy novelty songs and lots of pop chart hits that feel pretty dated today, such as Heart from Kenny Chandler, a song I listened to hundreds of time back then.

Plus, my sister was an avid music fan so there were always plenty of early Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan singles on the record player. That first ringing chord of A Hard Day’s Night still thrills me in the same visceral way that I remember feeling as a kid.

Through those formative years, there were plenty of songs that hit me hard and opened up the world for me in small ways. Too many to list, actually. But I don’t know that I can mark one song that was that single defining moment. The Big Music for me.

Well, maybe it was from the first time I saw Springsteen back in 1977. The show and sound was unlike any other rock show I had seen up to that point. I wrote about that show in one of my favorite blog entries and mentioned his performance of It’s My Life,a song that was originally recorded by The Animals. That song and performance changed a lot of things with repercussions that echo through my whole life.

When I think about it, I doubt that I would be writing this today without that song at that moment.

So, I guess that would be my Big Music moment. Do you have a Big Music moment or one big song that just does it for you?

Here’s the song, The Big Music, from The Waterboys. Have a good Sunday.


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The film Jojo Rabbit premiered on HBO over the weekend, which made me very happy. It hits a lot of sweet spots for me.

A great cast and a script filled with a beguiling mix of dark satire and tragic poignancy. Strong visuals. Big laughs and plenty of tears. Ridiculous (but still scary) Nazis.

Hitler eating a unicorn.

Yeah, you read that right.

There’s even some poetry from Rainer Maria Rilke as the film ends, a snippet from his poem Go to the Limits of Your Longing, which is shown at the top. Words that seem applicable to this time, for sure.

It also uses its soundtrack brilliantly. It begins with the Beatles singing their German version of I Want to Hold Your Hand over archival clips of Hitler’s adoring fans at huge nationalistic rallies that are chilling in their magnitude and fervor. Images from the infamous Nuremberg rally always puts a knot in my stomach. The film ends with the German performance from David Bowie of his always rousing Heroes.

Filmmaker Taika Waititi also makes brilliant use of the song Everybody’s Gotta Live. It’s a song from 1972 from a band of that era, Love, that is very underappreciated. Led by the late Arthur Lee, it was an interesting group, a multiracial group that dabbled in folk rock and psychedelia a la the Byrds. Their 1967 release, Forever Changes, is on the Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Rock Albums and was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2011.

Even so, I am sure most of us haven’t heard much of their work. But it shines in Jojo Rabbit and is certainly worth examining further.

Here’s a video with the lyrics and images from the film just to give you taste. If you get a chance to see the film, I recommend it highly. But be forewarned, that it is art and, as such, is a subjective thing. What I love may not move you at all.

Take a look and give a listen then have a good day. We all deserve one.

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Each day just goes so fast

I turn around, it’s past

You don’t get time to hang a sign on me


Love me while you can

Before I’m a dead old man


Beatles, Love You To



Running late but wanted to share this little bit. On this date, August 5, back in 1966, a favorite album of mine, the groundbreaking Revolver from the Beatles, was released. With its daring technical innovations, it set the tone for pop and rock music then, bringing the psychedelic era to the wider audience of pop music. It was like they kicked their machine into a higher gear that challenged every other musician to follow them.

It’s good stuff.

I have quite a few favorites on this album but the two that jump out at me are Tomorrow Never Knows and Love You To, both heavily influenced by George Harrison‘s affinity for the music and rhythms of India. I’ve never played Love You To here and thought today would be appropriate.

Give a listen and have a decent day.

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I Got Life

I woke up tired this morning. So tired. Stumbled over here in the already blooming heat which did nothing to revive me. Plunked down in front of my laptop with a cup of coffee and just wanted to close my eyes.

Certainly didn’t want to write this. But I felt a certain obligation to my routine to play a Sunday song here. I could at least say that I did something.

I at first thought that I’m So Tired from the Beatles would fit. It’s from their White Album released in late 1968. That made me think. I wondered what album was sitting at #1 on the charts back on this date in 1969, fifty years in the past. It was such an interesting time, one filled with monumental events and people who shaped the world we live in today.

We were still reeling from the murders of MLK and RFK, Nixon took office in January, the draft was still sending young men into battle in Viet Nam, protests and race riots raged in the streets, our astronauts walked in epic fashion on the moon, and hundreds of thousands of people gathered together on Yasgur’s Farm outside Woodstock for a concert that immediately entered into the mythic realm.

But going back to seeing what the #1 album was on this date in 1969, I found that it wasn’t the White Album. No, it was the self titled second album from Blood Sweat and Tears which knocked the Original Cast Recording of Hair from the top of the chart. Looking further, the chart that year was topped by iconic albums from several genres. The White Album held the top for 8 weeks early in the year. There was a week with a compilation album from a TV special featuring Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations Then Wichita Lineman from Glen Campbell held the top for a month, the Johnny Cash at San Quentin album for another month, Blood Sweat and Tears for 7 weeks, and Hair for 13 weeks. The year finished with 2 weeks from the supergroup Blind Faith, a month of Green River from Creedence, 8 weeks of the Beatles’ Abbey Road until Led Zeppelin II closed out the final week.

That is an epic year of music on the charts. Probably at least a hundred songs on those albums alone that most people my age can sing along to. But when you consider that the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, the entire Motown roster and just about every other musical rock, pop and soul god was still alive and at the peak of their creative powers, it only seems fitting. I was just a kid then but I am so grateful to have been influenced by that time and its music.

Don’t feel quite so tired now.

Here’s I Got Life from Hair. That was an album that was ingrained in my mind from an early age and I can still listen to it over and over. I think this song speaks to people in any time. Have a good day.

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There are sensory perceptions that we carry throughout our lives.  It might be a sound, a smell, an image that once brought to mind brings forth the atmosphere and feeling of the time in which they first entered our consciousness.

The smell of a cooking turkey instantly returns me to my childhood and the farmhouse where we lived. It would be Thanksgiving and  I can see Mom’s old formal dining table with the heavy chairs that surrounded it. It’s a long table with all the extending leafs in place and it’s surface is covered with the bounty of Thanksgiving, the mashed potatoes, canned cranberry sauce, stuffing and so on. Just the tiniest whiff of a roasting turkey always — and I mean always–sends me hurtling through time back to that table.

The same is true with certain songs. Take for instance, the song In My Life from the Beatles. Hearing those opening chords always sends me back to same big old farmhouse that played such a big part in my formative years. I can see the old floral wallpaper in the living room and there’s a big console record player with cloth covered speakers on its front and two sliding panels on top that uncover a turntable on one side and the controls for a radio on the other. Those opening chords have me immediately standing in front of that record player with the light from the large windows in that room filtering through Mom’s frilled white cotton curtains. On the wall there was a reproduction of a schlocky painting — I think it was a red covered bridge–printed on thick cardboard that was bought at the Loblaws grocery store.

It’s a good memory. I felt safe in that place, free to imagine places and adventures I hoped for in the future. It was a good place to foster some of the thoughts and observations that direct my paintings to this very day.

That’s my intro for this week’s Sunday morning music. I thought instead of playing the original Beatles version of In My Life which is understandably a favorite of mine, I would opt instead for one from Bette Midler with a beautiful accompaniment on ukelele from uke wizard Jake Shimabukuro. The feeling of his playing on this song works for me as much as the original in bringing back that earlier time and place.

Give a listen, think about some of those sensations that trigger your own memories and have a good Sunday.


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I am in a real hurry this morning but wanted to at least share my Sunday morning song and I thought that my choice this week fit this particular painting very well. This painting, The Way of the Master, has spent a couple of years in Kuwait being displayed at the American Embassy there. When Ambassador Silliman’s appointment changed to being Ambassador to Iraq, the painting returned to me. It was a favorite of mine from the time I painted it and I was thrilled to have it back. It’s showing at the West End Gallery as part of my Self Determination show.

I am sharing what I wrote about this painting a few years back. The accompanying song is Tomorrow Never Knows from the Beatles, off their classic 1966 Revolver album. Give a listen and have a great Sunday.


GC Myers- The Way of the Master

“There is one single thread binding my way together…the way of the Master consists in doing one’s best…that is all.”

– Confucius 


I originally had a different title in mind for this new painting,which is 24″ by 36″ on canvas. I saw it as being about the end of a journey, about coming to a point that marked the highest level of emotional  and spiritual development. But then I remembered this quote from Confucius and it had immediate resonance.

It all comes down to effort in the end. Everything that comes to us, everything we desire and value,  ultimately depends on the amount of effort we choose to put forth.  Things done half-heartedly and with little attention never prosper or develop. Those things you take for granted never grow into something more.  They only diminish with less attention. You can witness  this in every aspect of your life. I know I can see it in my own. Everything I value– my marriage, my work and my peace of mind– requires hard work and maintenance, my very best effort.

This full effort ultimately leads to a deeper sense of connection with those things we value, emotionally and spiritually, and I suppose that’s what this piece signifies for me. I believe that any thinking person wants to reach their highest point of development, wants mastery over their own physical and spiritual life. This painting reminds me that it is obtainable if I am willing to give my very best.

As Confucius says: and that is all.


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change_-masp-fotolia-com_-640x229I hear all the time that this election is about bringing change to our country. While that sounds pretty good for some folks, especially those who feel like they’ve somehow ended up with the short end of the stick, I want to speak a word of caution:

Be careful what you wish for.

You may get something in the bargain that you could never foresee and find yourself looking back at these past few years with fond recollections and a bit of nostalgia.

First of all, what is so absolutely awful that we need to change everything? Where is this hellscape that America has become? You know, the one Donald Trump so often points to in his rants on the campaign trail, the one where you get shot the moment you set foot out in the street?  I live in an area that is not booming economically and has one of the higher crime rates in NY state but it certainly doesn’t feel  much different than it did in decades past.

Despite the claims and misrepresentations of Donald Trump, violent crime and murder are at the lowest rates since the early 1960’s.

The stock market in the month or so after Barack Obama came into office was down to around 6500.  It now stands at over 18000.  If you have a 401k for your retirement, your investments have no doubt grown appreciably.

Unemployment was around 10%.  It is now under 5% and real wages are actually rising.  The demand for labor is now exceeding supply.  Plain and simple: We don’t have the people needed to fill the good jobs that are open now.  Even in my area with an economy that often underperforms on a state and national level, a large CVS warehouse/distribution center has turned to running television ads looking for 60 new employees with starting wages from $12-15/hour.  You would think there would be lines of people waiting to fill these jobs.

Interest rates are still near historic lows and the housing market is strengthening as we move away from the horror story of the Great Recession.

Gas prices have remained relatively low and we are closer to energy independence than ever before.  The USA is the largest producer of oil in the world and we are adding huge chunks of solar and wind capacity every year.

More people have health insurance than ever before with fewer people with chronic conditions being denied coverage or being forced into medical bankruptcies.  You’re probably thinking about the reported rate increases at this point.  Let me tell you, being self-employed, I have been buying my own health insurance for many years now and long before the ACA, rate increases such as these were the norm.  Obamacare or not, you are going to pay a steep price for health insurance until there is some sort of comprehensive reform that encompasses the whole of the medical, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

There are many other ways in which we are not doing so badly after all despite what Fox News tells us.  Perhaps we don’t need to burn the whole thing down after all.  Maybe we need to affect change in our own perceptions of the world and our reactions to it.  Say , for instance, that we looked at the positive job growth that has been taking place for the past 80 months or so as a good thing, something to build on, instead of perceiving it through partisan goggles as just not being good enough.

Maybe if we stop giving in to fears and those who try to play on them, those who try to push wedges between us.  Maybe if we pay a little more attention to the world outside our little spheres of self, we would see beyond partisan opinion and see truth wherever it might be in whatever form it might come.

The general situation of this country has been much, much worse in my lifetime. Okay, there are problems in this country that have to be addressed.  There always have been and there always will be problems.  To think otherwise is foolish.  But there is nothing so terrible that we can’t figure it out if we work together.

That has always been our answer as a nation when faced with adversity in the past– we work past the obstacle before us and on to the next.

And that is why, despite what conservatives might claim, we are a progressive nation.  We have never settled for what might be good enough in the present.  We always strive for better.  We only look back in time for guidance in moving forward– not as a place to which we can return.

So, don’t let me down– get out there and vote.  Vote for a future that takes what we have built as a nation and moves forward. Please don’t vote for stagnancy and obstruction. Vote for people that want to help us all move ahead, that don’t want to return to a past that is long gone because of a fear of the future.

The future is what we make it.

Okay, for this Sunday’s musical selection I have a Beatles double-header.  First, there is Don’t Let Me Down followed by Revolution.  Have a great Sunday and when you’re listening to Revolution, remember: Be careful what you wish for.



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Beatles Magical Mystery Tour GIFI have been busy with some personal matters but definitely wanted to get in my Sunday morning music.  Whatever else is going on, it seems there is always room for a little music.

For this week’s selection I went deep in the archives, almost 50 years back to 1967.  In the aftermath of their classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles released this song, Hello, Goodbye,  as a single.  It was also included in their film, Magical Mystery Tour.

It was penned completely by Paul McCartney and plays on the duality of the universe– hello/goodbye, yes/no, black/white, man woman and on and on.  To me it’s just another good song that I hope will start your Sunday off on a good note.  So give a listen and have a great Sunday.


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In My Life

I thought I would show a little piece I recently finished.  It’s 5″ by 6″ and is on paper.  I finished the blocks that make up the background almost a year ago and it has sat on a cabinet behind my painting table ever since.  I would periodically pick it up and study it, trying to decipher what it was and where it was going but always put it back in place without doing any more to it.  There was a moodiness in its tone that made me wary of how I completed it.

But the other day I finally began to see where it was headed.  Simple. let the piece be about the texture and light.  let the figure be mere counterpoints to the drama of the environment.

I always like these pieces but am sometimes surprised when others do as well.  I consider my little figure paintings to be for my own viewing pleasure so I never have high expectations that others will find anything in them.

Still don’t have a title for this one.  I’m considering calling it In My Life, after the great  Beatles’ song.  In case you’ve forgotten, here’s how it goes:

happy birthday, linda

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