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axix

It is the 42nd aniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s American release of ‘Axis: Bold as Love’ recording.  This often overlooked powerful contemporary groundbreaking artistry is unique and shows Hendrix at his best with both the poetry of his lyrics and powerful and emoting guitar antics that made him the innovator that to this day, no one has come close to copying, even with all of the advancement in electronics. He among others such as Jeff Beck, used the natural feedback of overdriven amplifiers to produce harmonic overtones and controlled them to produce sounds unheard of for that time. not to mention playing with his teeth, behind his back and setting his guitar on fire..but when Eric Clapton came to see him in England – (as he wasn’t accepted here in the States in the beginning of his career). Their chance came when Paul McCartney recommended the group to John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas, one of the principal organizers of the Monterey International Pop Festival) – Hendrix asked Clapton to tune his guitar for him, because he always had a hard time doing it himself. Bending those strings so violently would always cause them to go out of tune. Note: In an interview Clapton recalled this incident and was ’embarrassed’ to do so in front of the audience.

 The lyrics reflect emotional ideas in terms of color- Hendrix stated, in explanation of his color-emotion interpretations, “Jealousy is purple; I’m purple with rage…”, paralleling the lyrical reference to the “purple armor” of a personified anger. ‘Little Wing’ is the Indian name of Hendrix’s guardian angel. Jimi himself said that it was his impression of the Monterey Pop Festival put into the form of a girl. It was also one of Hendrix’s most covered songs by other artists such as Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Phish, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Skid Row, Sting and the Irish band The Corrs.

Here in full from 1967 are the lyrics to the title song ‘Bold as Love.’

Bold As Love

Anger he smiles, towering in shiny metallic purple armor

Queen jealousy, envy waits behind him

Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground

Blue are the life giving waters taking for granted

They quietly understand.

Once happy Turquoise armies lay opposite ready

But wonder why the fight is on

But they’re all bold as love they’re all bold as love

they’re all bold as love

 Just ask the Axis

My Red is so confident

He flashes trophies of war and ribbons of euphoria

Orange is young, full of daring But very unsteady for the first go round

My Yellow in this case is not so mellow

In fact I’m trying to say that it’s frightened like me

 And all this emotions of mine keep holding me from giving my life to a rainbow like you

 But I’m, yeah, I’m bold as love

Well, I’m bold, bold as love I’m bold as love

Just ask the Axis, he knows everything, yeah, yeah, yeah……….

 and just for the fun of it from the same album ‘If a 6 Was a 9’

If 6 Was 9 If the sun refuse to shine I don’t mind I don’t mind

If the mountains fell in the sea, Let it be It ain’t me

Got my own world to look thru, And I ain’t gonna copy you

Now if 6 turned out to be 9, I don’t mind I don’t mind

If all the hippies cut off all their hair, I don’t care I don’t care

Dig it Got my own world to look thru, And I ain’t gonna copy you

White collared conservative flashing down the street

Pointing their plastic fingers at me

They’re hoping soon my kind will drop and die

But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high

Fall mountain, just don’t fall on me Hello, Mr. Businessman, why you ain’t dressed like me?

I’m the one who has to die when it’s time for me to die

So let me live my life the way I want to

Sing on, brother,

Play on, drummer

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richard-stockton-state-college

This was originally a letter to my college mentor, Dr. Leonard Klein, an incredible pianist, composer, and teacher who studied with the finest people ever known.  He paid homage to Darius Milhaud, a great composer by naming his son after him.  He taught at Mills College outside San Francisco that boasts alumni such as Dave Brubeck, Phil Lesh, Frankie Mann, Miya Masaoka, Rebeca Mauléon, Steve Reich, and many others.  At the time I had the absurd notion that somehow some lower middle-class cocky teenager with no previous musical experience (I was a drummer at least), that couldn’t read music, was not in “Band” in high school and was merely a beginning, self-taught guitarist that knew how to play along with the records of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and Dave Mason; who’s inert passion made me have the cajones to think I could actually walk into a Seminar II class in the winter (they had a trimester system), after not attending the Seminar I class………Such audacious behavior changed my life forever and taught me that anyone can do anything, if they commit themselves passionately to doing it.  I reprint this as I think it contains a very positive message for the young, the confused, and those who do not know who I am, and perhaps would like to know from whence I came.  At the least it makes me teary-eyed reading it. Just for that reason alone I think it has some value.

Years later in 1994 when I first wrote what ended up being just a fair draft for my novel “Only Moments” (published in 2007) he was one of the first to read it, and the high praise he gave me, was as though he was my father, and it inspired me even more to move forward – as did his teaching twenty years earlier.

Stockton State College in New Jersey was founded in 1971 and I attended the very first classes in a hotel at the somewhat sleazy Mayflower Hotel (since torn  down for a casino) on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. We were known as the Mayflower Pilgrims. A construction strike had delayed the actual campus opening in the middle of the Pine Barrens that I knew as my mother’s sisters lived close by.  The lake and backroads where it was built were the same areas I had rode a bicycle years earlier when my mother was giving birth to my two younger brothers and I stood at my aunt’s houses, being too young to be at home alone with a father working two jobs.

There were over 1000 professors that applied for a mere 90 teaching jobs.  Unemployment was much higher than now, the stagflation had started and money was tight. Stockton hired the cream of the crop. the best minds from the most forward-thinking colleges in the nation (Antioch, Berkeley, UCLA, etc.) and I was lucky enough to be there and be taught by some of them.

You can imagine a 17 year-old first out-of-the-house experience at a hotel-converted state college with a hard core red light district on one side, and the transgender/transvestite/gay district on the other with “Feeleys Bar” in the middle (Now the Irish Pub).  Stockton State College was voted the #1 party school in the nation for that and a few years after.  I dropped out after the first semester and came back in the winter of 1974 after I realized that Child Psychology was not going to work for me, and partying like a fool didn’t require one to pay college tuition. I graduated in the Spring of 1977 with a degree in Musical Composition.

Passion……..the miracles it can perform when one mixes it with a little discipline.

Here it is and forgive me Leonard if you have any objection.

Dearest Leonard,

Last night I went to see the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra because I had to….
Here’s the program:
Masterworks III
All-Tchaikovsky Concert

Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique”
Roccoco Variations
Nocturne for Cello and Orchestra
Romeo and Juliet
Overture to Fantasy
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Guest Artist: Zuill Bailey, cello

It was magnificent and I thought of you, and how much you really taught me. I thought of Trudy Weaver and how she helped me learn how put notes to paper. The music flowed and I listened to the permutations, the note for note genius, the pianissimo and triple forte –  the 5/4 time signature of the waltz-like second movement of ‘Pathetique’ – all of those things that I learned – but could not do in 1974, as I begged you on my knees to allow me to be taught and then fought with valor to learn, with every drop of my own human passion, intellect, determination, and ability would allow. 
I knew that I could never have been a concert instrumentalist, a great musician-as when I met you I knew nothing about music other knowing I had a good ear.  I don’t know if you remember but I graduated in 2.5 years with a 4 year degree with honors in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and had 50% more Music Program credits than I needed to graduate AND worked full time the last year with the Atlantic City Press as a dispatch driver while managing triple overloads……..not to mention that I had no money, no parental financial support and had to pay my own way – all to be honored by being taught by the pedigree of your lineage from Nadia to Darius – that few understand and know, but for those who are classically trained.  I know that I may have not made you proud for my musical endeavors, but know that you enlightened a young man, now in middle age and allowed me the enrichment of life itself and provided much happiness, regardless of the genre of music I’ve been associated with during my life. 
I truly wish I could have been your Tchaikovsky, but if not for you and my fight to conquer ignorance I would have never studied the masters of photography, the anthropological and religious aspect of human existence by the genius of Joel Rubenstein, the connections of Stan Leavitt and the Navaho tribe, the poetry of Steven Dunn, electronic and Balinese music, and most importantly –  the ability to interact with the finest minds of the world in a Pine Barrens dream that I rowed my boat through so quickly, that I wish I had stayed longer. 
And lastly while I listened to Pyotr Ilyich , I was astounded at how much I’ve not forgotten through all these years, and as I sat there dissecting every note and nuance, the tears fell uncontrollably from my eyes in happiness for what I was allowed to be given…the long length of time gone by forever, but lessons not forgotten…and now many years later I am reminded once again of being honored and humbled by a man now in his 80’s who shall never know how much he has done for a once young, stubborn but passionate kid, who was cocky enough to “dare” to tackle the seemingly impossible and improbable and change the course of his life…………a life that would be filled with dreams but thankfully given the knowledge to make some of those dreams a reality.  For that I can never repay you.  Thank you is not enough, the world is not enough to show my gratitude to you and to a young student named Trudy who’s unselfishness helped me tremendously so I could prove to you I could do it and try to make you proud of how far I had come.  I have lived my life by so many of your words and disciplines.  It is hard not to do the right things and expect it of others………those who are hard workers and true disciples of knowledge are so far and few between that life does become frustrating and at times mentally unbearable………hence the art that flows from the soul to take that sorrow and build bridges to understanding through the humanities.  I am so grateful for all of this and for you.
love to you,
nick

There are at least two different schools of thought on this issue.  One has a vested interested in how it all turns out for profitability and survival, and the other wants content and intellectual ideas to become available for a cost close to free as possible, if not completely free.  The parties are on opposite sides of the pendulum and archaic laws that never were designed to handle the “immortality” of human expression in art have been altered slightly to accommodate Disney and the mouse money to be generated in the billions-for years to come.

Rather than argue laws, let’s debate common sense or what’s left of it here in the infancy of interconnectability.  What I’m writing right now as you read this is a culmination of my experience, education, and imagination.  It is by law, owned by me and supposedly not to be redistributed, copied, or reproduced without my permission.  The “Fair Use” doctrine holds that I can be quoted on various media in small part by anyone so long as the proper crediting is maintained -as this being an original “work” as defined by the original copyright statute.  We all know damn well that this will appear on mirror blogs, lifted by automatic reaper spiders, cut and pasted in whole or part by individuals without any such adherence to the above laws.  Why is that?   What is the cause of such “free for all” attitudes and practices?  Look no further than the humans we are.

The day mimeographs (and that strange compelling smell) were doomed by Xerox we opened the gates to a pilfering society.  The ease of theft was promoted by technology, sort of like having automatic glass doors that open on infrared sensors instead of steel security entrances to bank vaults that are 24 inches thick.  Why wouldn’t you just walk in and take a few bundles for your needs?  Ah yes, but then the needs turn into wants that turn into human basic instinct of insatiable greed –as long as there are no repercussions– stuff your pockets full while you can.  Computer technologies are the automatic glass doors, and when was the last time you cut and pasted someone else’s music, photos, research, or content and emailed it to someone else?  How many minutes ago?

I have read articles on giving content away and how it will supposedly promote the sale of books, music, and the like.  I can only react quizzically as I see how well that works with blogs.  No one pays for blogs and all the advertising in the world isn’t going to really compensate you for your effort, although there are some ingenious few that can wring money from Google-but that’s more of a function of commerce merging with know-how than art for art’s sake.  Remember “Net Zero,” the free web portal? That didn’t last long-so much for advertising paying the way for “free content.”  Musical groups have fought on both ends of this philosophy, the most impressive for me being the most magnanimous and “free” bands of all time.  You could tape them in concert, exchange them with your friends pre-internet, and up until last year there was a data base for every concert they ever played in the last 40 years-completely free for your downloading pleasure.  Then something happened.  The surviving members totally disagreed on how to further proceed with this free-wheeling philosophy and shut the access down to free downloading.  No more burning and exchanging live concert experiences-and that had turned into a huge non-profit enterprise.  Fans that just wanted more of their favorite band, were willing to buy new CD’s but there were none after Jerry Garcia died in 1995.  A new production company took over the immense vault of all the shows of the last 40 years and there is no further free downloading of old Grateful Dead concerts.  That prevailing philosophy is what this is all about.  For the first time in our history we can preserve all art that is viable for profit as it’s immortality is somewhat assured by the digitization of it, for hundreds, possibly thousands of years.  It is now possible to have the heirs of this art to pass the profits of these works to their children’s children.  Is this not a good thing?  Which side of this would you stand if you were the person involved in doing the actual work that made all this possible?

The problem is that we are trying to cope with this prolonged copyright protection with such a heavy hand, we are ignoring and doing harm to those who want to use such works to enhance and create new art from the ashes.  For example, I recently tried to get permission for use of music over 35 years old for use in an audio book, as the my book “Only Moments” utilized music of different eras as a thread because the book was about two musicians in love and their lives that spanned over decades.  The Harry Fox Agency in New York is supposed to handle these types of (what we used to call “needle drops” on an actual record) snippets but after months of futile emails to their legal department, they would only defer to the original publishers.  Now, we are talking about a possible audio book that may sell about 100 copies if successful, and to hire someone to flush out 16 different publishers for permission to use 6-10 seconds maximum per song (of songs that are 35 years old) is not only expensive and time consuming, but the attempts were ludicrous.  By the time I had contacted four of publishers there was so much paperwork and confusion, it just wasn’t worth the effort.  So much for a fun project that would have been unique.  Why?  Because the intensive protection prohibits further creativity to use an art form from the past to enhance a new piece of art.  I’m not about to expose myself to a legal liability that could cost me tens of thousands of dollars to be made an example by those corporate lawyers who chose to be vicious.  The prosecuted cases of illegally downloading music cost some children’s parents and grandmothers incredible amounts of money in the recent past.  I would have gladly handed over a small fee for a small project but there is no structure for this type of consideration.  I know this affects people who shoot video for weddings, events, and corporate training, but legally they cannot use any music other than purchasing licensed musical “beds” that are available and generally work only with radio commercials.

I understand the need for making money.  I would like some protection myself, however there are extremes and at some point if we expect to have everything free, then the motivation to create art, to dedicate one’s life to do so-becomes possible for only those who have been financially endowed by rich parents or some such trust fund.  You can have my ear for my art, but I draw the line at my reproductive system.  Of course if it’s already past functioning ability, then what difference would it make to me?  There has to be a legal middle road here, I don’t like driving at night without headlights.

Here’s the latest irony of the issue.  The Chicago Digital Rights Agency recently gave recently deceased multi-media artist Ed  Paschke an award for his acheivements in art.  Take a look at his art.  It is mostly using other’s images and photos that have been altered or inserted into other media.  Is this not copyright infringment?  http://www.edpaschke.com/  And that’s an award from an agency committed to protect copyrights.  It get silly when you start to think about DVD’s being produced in China, fake clothing lines, and all other intellectual property.  Hell, I wear a fake Rolex because if I could afford a real one I’d be afraid that someone would rob me of it.  This one costs $350 and I bought it not because it is a status item, but because I like the way it looks and I don’t have to worry about it being forcibly taken from me.  But whatever reason I have, it doesn’t take the issue away.  The fact that there are positive aspects to copyright infringement doesn’t make it any more illegal by present law.  The enhancement of knowledge is created by building on the past and always has.  The digitization of knowledge may inhibit such knowledge growth by the laws passed by those who stand to profit forever on concepts they essentially stole from someone else as well.  Everything comes from some source, my own writing is heavily influenced by authors of the past and present that I have absorbed into my being.  It is a difficult thing to take control over and be fair, as in fair use.

After all is said, we are talking about business and the business of business is business.  In the words of Milton Friedman the famous United States’ economist, “there is no free lunch,” no matter how good it looks, smells, no matter how bad you want it…..eventually, we all pay the price.  I don’t mind paying a price as long as it doesn’t prohibit the progression of knowledge and expansion of the arts.

Now, if you want to reproduce all or part of this article you have my permission, as if you needed it anyway.

 

Next-Part III- Immortality, the Ultimate Goal

The surviving members of the sixties Bay area band, The Grateful Dead, are now in partnership with the University of Santa Cruz and will be giving them a warehouse full of memorabilia collected over 40 years for a permanent collection of what the university calls music and “social justice and tolerance and community spirit.”  Their music will not be part of the donation but will include backdrops from concerts, photos, and many other items that the university is calling “Dead Central.”  Considering that Santa Cruz has alway maintained a gestalt of the “the land that time forgot” throughout the 80’s and to present day, it is fitting to have this pop culture memorabilia on display there. 

For more go to: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_9036864 AND http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_9050818

My wife has been pestering me for the last few months to take her to see Barry Manilow.  I have been resisting her for many different reasons.  Having been a musician seeking work in the recession era of the mid-70s, and experiencing the repercussions of the disco era disc jockeys that put many a musician out of work, I had a little bit of bitterness at just the sound of his name.  It’s not that I didn’t listen to the songs, I just had a bad attitude towards any of the popular music of that time.  Give me the Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, and The Band anytime.  After all, that was the era that produced the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie starring the BeeGees-how much more sacrilegious can you get?  Having spoken to other people who had seen the show, I was aware that, not only was it entertaining, but that many people went back a second and a third time and that Mr. Manilow had to rotate his musical selections to accommodate that.  Not many shows in Vegas have that repeatability factor so I was a little impressed.  I broke down and bought tickets for my wife’s birthday and then had to endure the ridicule of my brother a former metalhead 10 years younger than I.

The crowd became restless when the preshow music repeated itself 15 minutes after the show was scheduled to open.  We were directly in front of the soundboard and there was some hubbub related to the show’s late opening.  Finally the lights dimmed and the show went on.  His voice seemed a little off key and scratchy which is not unusual for a singer in Las Vegas.  Due to the very low humidity and dryness “Vegas throat” can strike at any time.  His band consisted of three very multi-talented and beautiful female dancers/backup singers and one equally talented male, three keyboard players, a more than adequate horn section, and a very tight rhythm section that replicated those pulsing sweaty disco beats that brought a bevy of inebriated John Travolta wannabes to the wooden parquet dance floors as part of the mating call rituals of the late 70s.  Not having heard these songs in over 25 years I was able to judge them without prejudice and indeed I was extremely impressed at Mr. Manilow’s arrangements and especially the complexity of each song’s developmental middle sections.  The little Jewish boy from Brooklyn really did a monumental job of taking influences from jazz and the big band era and infusing them into sugary teenage love ballads that struck a chord and delivered to him the most of commercial success.  For that he should be given his due, and the passion that he evokes from his audiences cannot be ignored.  He IS “Music and Passion” as is aptly the name of this production.  There are film clips and an audio piece of a recording from his childhood that plays into a wonderful true story of how Mr. Manilow began his travels on a path to stardom.  Overall, the music was more than entertaining, it brought you back to a time of innocence a time when you shook your thing (as he did more than once calling himself “a boney ass”), did not worry about tomorrow, and merged with the flashing lights and disco ball’s splintered starlight and didn’t worry about what it all meant.

As he warmed up his voice got stronger and stronger as each song demanded more and more of his upper register, something I do believe was preplanned and smartly executed, as age begins to diminish one’s vocal range.  He performed everything that one would expect him to perform and delved into some Motown and other 60’s songs that were most entertaining.  The grande finale was of course Copacabana and a giant steel staircase with a huge disco ball dropped from the ceiling and he danced and cavorted with his fellow singers and mimicked the bygone era of disco.

Objectively, I must admit I was fascinated listening to his arrangements and the complexities of this man’s music.  He was indeed the king of the pop ballad back then and he deserves his due.  And as much as I despise that whole era of mindless music, his music is anything but mindless.  His words may appeal to the heartstrings of female adolescence, but so did that of the Beatles in the very beginning of their careers.  Yes, I have to admit it, I thoroughly enjoyed the show and would highly recommend it.  That, in itself shows you how much I’ve matured as well.  No hard feelings Barry, you indeed were the man who wrote the songs and lived your dreams.

I was lucky enough to procure a ticket for the second night of a performance by Boz Scaggs at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, a longtime veteran of the musical world whose whose music, although very popular, is difficult to define.  The closest definition to Mr. Scaggs unique voice is silky, smooth, utterly romantic.  The last I had heard Mr. Scaggs, the circumstances were nowhere near the current gestalt of what his talent offers.  Apparently after a concert at the House of Blues a few years back, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, there was a bit of a tirade after Boz could take no more heckling from the audience in insistent on hearing his big disco hit from the 70s “Lido Shuffle.”  One can only imagine this jazz inspired talented singer and musician having to put up with the bad manners of those whose memories of prowling the disco floor was the only connection they had to his wonderful music.  A few days later, he appeared at the Las Vegas House of Blues, apparently still seething from the previous concert in Atlantic City.  As he and his band came out, and took up their instruments, without hesitation they played “Lido Shuffle” apparently to shut those people up  who he anticipated would cause the same heckling at the previous concert.  The audience however, was quite shocked at this, as the song is usually the last number played.  He then began to play many of his current cuts that showed the sophistication of the cross-currents of jazz and the lifelong musical education that Mr. Scaggs gained from the roads of his life and the evolvement from the many years of performing. The audience, over the shock, then gave him the attention he deserved and he might have been a bit embarrassed by his over-reaction as he has always been a humble man, at least on stage.

This was not to be tonight, this was a night for celebration.  The audience was primed and ready for the master of mellow to dig his heels in and as he always does builds, and builds, and builds his music to a fever pitch bringing the audience along on an emotional delightful ride that only Boz can deliver.  He opened with “Lowdown” and then made his way to all his familiar hits stifling somewhat, the cries for “Lido Shuffle.”  Unfortunately as my prime seats eight rows back gave me a full view and put me right into the band’s interplay, two younger girls directly behind me talked incessantly throughout the concert.  It was obvious by their conversation that they were the band’s “little groupies” and had seen the show numerous times.  They knew every word, every line, every song but they were so young there would have been no way for them to have been alive during the years they were popular.  As Boz was using younger musicians (himself approaching 70), I can only assume the cute little girls were given complementary seats assigned for the band to use.  I just wish they would’ve shut up and even after numerous people hollered at them to do so they didn’t.

One of the highlights of the evening was “Street Life” an old Crusaders song made popular in 1979, and it was brought to a extremely high-pitched level of excitement by the scatting of Ms. Monique, one of two very talented black backup vocalists, that filled every nuance and emotion of Mr. Scagg’s classic repertoire.  His new young guitarist had it all down carefully reproducing every timbre of the past superlatively for each song.  He took over many of the solos Boz himself would have played in the past and his execution was right on the money, as Boz looked over in a fatherly way smiling at him for each well-played solo.  Of course, the highlight of the evening was “Love, Look What You’ve Done To Me.”  There’s not much to say about this song other than it’s one of the most soulful, personal renditions of a man’s complete surrender in falling in love again.  Shortly after the song ended, a young woman from the center of the crowd yelled “I love you Boz” as the many women in the audience buzzed about with the same emotion.  Boz Scaggs is an American institution, one that won’t be around forever as we are all getting older and ultimately become more irrelevant to the generations of today.

And then of course the ultimate dance song for those who have spent their money just to hear Lido Shuffle began and a rush to the stage ensued. As a matter of fact, the first girl down there I was sure was the same girl who rushed the stage at the last Boz Scagg’s concert two years ago at the House of Blues and probably was.  Suffice it to say that now everyone was loose, screaming, rocking and rolling, and having a jolly good time as it seemed Boz was as well, a good sign, one that seemed to me that he had made peace with his past and wasn’t going to let the popularity of his own making, interfere with the audience’s enjoyment of his art.  After the song, they waved to the crowd and walked off the stage surprisingly, as the show had not even come in at 70 minutes.  After a rousing from the crowd they returned on que and went into the classic “Somebody Loan Me A Dime” (I’ve got to call my same old used-to-be) and again Ms. Monique stole the show capturing the full essence of the blues and the pain that the title implies.  The dynamics of this very simple blues song are the key that make it emotionally charged.  Beginning with a basic blues riff the song ends up eventually with the guitar player flailing double time at the highest range of chords he can play on his guitar and the rest of the band leaving it all on the field.  The crowd responded with a roar as Boz went into “Breakdown Straight Ahead,” and got everybody dancing.

This sweet sounding balladeer and rock ‘n roll artist has written some of the most romantic lyrics and combined them with a perfect timbre and chords to create songs that will last lifetimes.  His art is of a high order his keys and changes far from typical, brand him with the unique silky smooth sound that will endure for the generations.  As he took his bows, he thanked the audience for allowing him to be there on the stage for them.  Yes, he was now at peace with his craft and his attitude was all positive and humble.  It is hard for a great artist to be content with what they have done.  The drive that makes them great, makes them want to do new and different things.  He has done more than enough for a lifetime. I hope his songs will never end. Boz, look what you’ve done to me.

The story is told of the power of gold and its lure on the unsuspecting
It glitters and shines, it badgers and blinds
And constantly needs protecting
Balance the cost of the soul you lost with the dreams you lightly sold
Are you under…the power of gold

Love when you can
Cry when you have to
Be who you must
That’s a part of the plan
Await your arrival with simple survival
And one day we’ll all understand

And here is a sunrise to set on your sill
The ghosts of the dawn moving near
They pass through your sorrow and leave you quite still…
Sitting among souvenirs

My brothers’ lives were different for they heard another call
One went to Chicago and the other to St Paul
And I’m in Colorado when I’m not in some hotel
Living out this life I’ve chose and have come to know so well
I thank you for the music and your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough
And, papa, I don’t think I said ‘I love you’ near enough
The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band 

 
There’s a ring around the moon tonight and a chill in the air
And a fire in the stars that hang so near, so near
There’s a sound in the wind that blows through the wild mountain holds


Like the sighs of a thousand crying souls, crying souls
There’s a time when the traveler is fated to find
That insight has turned his gaze behind, behind
And the steps taken yesterday will beckon again
And lead to his weary journey’s end, his journey’s end
I will die by a river as it rolls away
Bury me in the nighttime…do not waste the day
High above the waters that roll on to the sea
All the angels in heaven will laugh at me
They will laugh at me….they will laugh at me
They will laugh at me


Through the years as the fire starts to mellow
Burning lines in the book of our lives
Though the binding cracks and the pages start to yellow
I’ll be in love with you………..I’ll be in love with you

Funny how the circle turns around
First you’re up and then you’re down again
Though the circle takes what it may give
Each time around it makes it live again
Funny how the circle is a wheel
And it can steal someone who is a friend
Funny how the circle takes you flying
And if it’s right it brings it back again


There’s a magic every moment
There’s a miracles each day
There’s a magic every moment
Oh won’t you let the music play
Oh won’t you let the music play 


My life was naught but a river rolling through my brain
Made of so many teardrops…made of so much pain
And I will always see you dancing through my dreams
And as hopeless as it seems, I will always love you
And now if you think we’ve said it all


Let the final curtain fall on us at last
And just put it in the past and say our last farewell

I take my place along the shore and I wait for the tide
It seems I’ve passed this way before in an earlier time
To every man the mystery sings a different song
He fills his page of history, dreams his dreams and is gone

Goodbye to a man that influenced and taught me the art of a song comes from the emotion within and the story told.

Big Sur is the focal point of fate for the characters in this new novel. I care not that the book makes me large sums of money or that my blog site makes money through ads or pass-throughs; I only want “Only Moments” book’s readership to expand in order to touch souls without egocentric satisfaction, and to promote the introspection of the self. There is force of God within, therein lies the answers to the “secret” of life, not ancient papers and codexes throughout the dawn of man; of words mistranslated, misunderstood and held up defiantly as an excuse for the right to kill one another. I take no superior attitude as some would accuse me, I have been dead, literally and allowed back to the land of the living and even as I suffer great pain daily, I am thankful. I count every day as a miracle, everything around me as such. Thank you for taking the time to look at the site and reading mere words.

See www.onlymomentsbook.com for reviews and excerpts.

The story opens in the year 2020, with a romantic/erotic dream sequence and waking of one lonely sixty-six year-old widower Chris Vadia, a retired professional musician, and his sullen celibate perspective due to his wife dying fifteen years earlier.  After establishing the time period and the impossibility of replacing human intimacy with the high-tech devices of the period, we flashback fifty years to 1970.  The story then leads to the serendipitous and comic circumstances of how he met the love of his life, while on a wild summer vacation driving through California with three friends.  A beach in Big Sur is the dramatic background for the fairy tale loss of their virginity.

Time then shifts chapter to chapter, through their college days, marriage, their struggling and successes, parental deaths, the World Trade Towers disaster, their Carnegie Hall debut, and then the crisis of having grown so far apart despite being with each other 24 hours a day. The novel explores how the deep flaws of both individuals bring them together through life, and how the chance actions of childhood experiences run so deep that they ultimately affect an entire life.  At age 51, she dies; the cause of Chris’ mental downfall.  The reader then finds Chris in the present and the reason for the quick flashbacks of time from when he first began reminiscing on his beachside outdoor deck. The book’s climax occurs as Chris goes through a body/soul separation that is literally the culmination of all the previous chapters by using a device of repeating phrases (shown in italics) from previous chapters that now bear new meanings. The reader can now also understand that the opening dream in the first chapter was a foretelling of the entire book.

In the last chapter, his finds his life dramatically changed for the better as a result of his experience from a powerful singular event.

The unforgiving world, the false hope of technology, the commonality of human emotion throughout history ties into an uplifting romantic fairy tale.  The underlying theme is the imperfection of all things human and the unrelenting passage of time, but is written in a very positive manner. The road, throughout the novel is representative of one’s life path and sense of discovery.