For twenty plus years from the 70s through the early 90s my brother Bill was very active in the Chicago Theater scene. In 1974 he and his colleagues from Harper Community College put on a play titled “She Stoops to Conquer.” My brother Chris, his friend John Kennedy and myself had bit parts in the production. Chris and John played “men at the bar” and I, being in the 4th or maybe it was 5th grade, played a “young servant boy”. I remember a lot of sitting around, practicing a line, I think I had two, and the driving to and from rehearsals. The big AM hit at the time, which came on every 20 minutes or so, was the Doobie Brothers Black Water. The three of us, Chris, John and myself sat in the back of that car and sang the words to that song over and over, every time it came on. We rocked out to it!
I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama come and take me by the hand
By the hand, take me by the hand pretty mama
Come and dance with your daddy all night long…
Chris actually did quite a bit of theater at St. James, where he was in several of the annual plays put on by the school. I remember going to them and keeping a look out, trying to track where he was up on stage. The Music Man, Oliver, classic.
Today’s Runner is the Doobies What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, just one of many snapshots of us growing up so many years ago. As I run, through Another Park, on Another Sunday, the memories come pouring out like tears, that I just can’t hold back as I’m about to say goodbye to my brother Chris.
I’m sittin’ in my room, I’m starin’ out my window
And I wonder where you’ve gone
Thinking back on the happy hours just before the dawn
Outside the wind is blowin’
It seems to call your name again
Where have you gone…
Detroit, Michigan – A city for most touring bands, music is king here, well maybe 2nd to any sports team that reps Michigan. When I found this concert on Polestar.com, I thought, do it! So, I talked to my friend and said “Hey Everclear and Eve 6 are going to play downtown at the Hard Rock Café and “we can have dinner with the band before the show with VIP status”. I know it sounds creepy, but WTF, why not! So we did. Dinner was great, I drank more than I ate, but hell, I’m with two bands that I really love even at my age. Art Alexakis lead singer/songwriter/guitar player from Everclear was so genuine. We talk about kids, money, starting over, missing out on seeing his 5 year old daughter’s mermaid costume for Halloween. It could not have been more real.
Eve 6 lead singer and base player Max Collins is a true rockstar, he walked around the VIP dinner introduced himself and said to us “glad you could make it tonight, would you like a picture?” I said “sure why not!” nuff said.
So the concert started Eve 6’s set was awesome, they could headline any venue easy. Then Everclear played and rocked a grand slam performance, just down the street from home of the Detroit Tigers. There is nothing better than seeing bands that have been a mainstay on my playlist for at least 20 yrs. What really made it so special was it took place in a venue that might handle 100 guests total.
Listen to the double take. Eve 6 on top and, Everclear’s newest recording Invisible Star below. Go see them live if you have the chance!
Enjoy the music DB
“As long as there is democracy, there will be people wanting to play jazz because nothing else will ever so perfectly capture the democratic process in sound. Jazz means working things out musically with other people. You have to listen to other musicians and play with them even if you don’t agree with what they’re playing. It teaches you the very opposite of racism and anti-Semitism. It teaches you that the world is big enough to accommodate us all.”
In the 1980’s Wynton Marsalis led the charge of the “Young Lions” movement and resurrected classic acoustic jazz, which lay dormant under the electric syth and fuzz of the late sixties and seventies. Today’s Runner Standard Time, Vol 1 is a throw back to the future of Jazz, a tribute and renaissance to its forefathers.
“A Modest Proposal” for a “Swift” end to all our troubles by Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Swing to the Right came out two years into the Reagan era in 1982. That was a decade that would see the national debt triple in size under Reagan’s trickle down economics. 10 years later in 2000, after receiving a balanced budget and surplus, Bush 2 would add 7 trillion dollars by giving huge tax breaks, and starting two unfunded wars. Now we have a Republican running for the office of president that wants to go back to that economic policy of increasing military spending, and gutting programs at home like health care and education.
Like Jonathan Swift’s essay, A Modest Proposal, electing this republican ticket would be absolutely ridiculous and totally self-destructive. It would prove the old adage that history repeats itself and that we are stuck in a perpetual cycle of stupidity and short-sidedness that we will never escape.
Also Like Swift’s essay, Swing To The Right starts out satirizing the state of the nation, pointing out the crapola; the societal shift toward money, self and personal ambition over the commonwealth. But, Rundgren flips the coin and concludes this album on a positive note, reminding us all that “we are only human”, and we share this one world together, and that we the people “out here on the streets” can bring it under control.