Don't cry. The world was intended to be a painful place.
Today my puppy gets her bath. I hope we both survive.
On that pet picture page, where they entered my puppy without consulting me. Her poor picture is now number one for the day. I feel like I cheated.
The cat continues to stay alive.
So do I.
I have a cold. Fighting it my usual way.
As I mentioned I find it hard if not impossible to fall asleep in silence. My friend can't sleep while the radio plays. So my hare brained solution is to go to sleep wearing earbuds listening to a special sleepy time playlist.
Aside from not being able to sleep on my side its working fine. Last night I fell asleep in ten minutes. Woke up an hour later to The Dream Syndicate covering "Let It Rain". Its a great song to wake up to and fall back to sleep to. I keep wondering if anyone outside of Southern Cal has ever heard of Dream Syndicate. They're a great band. Anyone who can make an Eric Clapton song memorable is great to me.
(By the way - I've gone back to my more aesthetically pleasing but more aggravating to you mode of not having any links show up unless you hover over them. More than ever I dislike the underlines or other methods of calling attention to "this is a link!")
One good thing, at least good for me, is that I got to listen to my two new acquisitions yesterday.
Most of you know that my personal pantheontology contains Jan Berry and Del Shannon. Most of you can't understand where I'm coming from.
I mean, you'll cut me some slack on Del Shannon - he had hits and all that, but Jan Berry of Jan & Dean bewilders you. He gets called kiddy pop and the like. I consider him one of the great song writers and performers of the 20th Century. So do most of the people who live West of the I-5.
When Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) was sitting in a Gardenia High School penning "Be True To Your School" 15 year Old Jan Berry was listening to Doo Wop and arranging old songs, teaching those old songs how to rock. He paired up with an older guy, Arnie Ginsberg and made a recording in his basement. "Jenny Lee" became Jan Berry's first Top Ten hit. He was almost 16.
Jan & Arnie made a few more successful records when Arnie abruptly got drafted. Jan was furious. Wanted him to. well, not abandon the band.
Its impossible to say what might have happened if Arnie had become had draft dodger. It might have made a cool scene at a concert when the Marshall's came to arrest him. Arnie just went into the army and Jan found Dean Torrance on the beach.
A high school kid who's a national celebrity has a lot of cachet. Dean sought Jan out and demanded he sing with him. Together they had about 26 top 40 hits, 5 Top Ten albums. They were the biggest thing in pop when Jan got his draft notice.
Leaving the draft board after getting his 1A classification (that meant he was next) Jan was tooling in his Porsche Spyder when he smacked into a stopped on the freeway dump truck.
He was brain damaged. The prognosis was irrecoverable brain damage. It took him two years to learn how to speak and to walk. He had the mind of a 5 year old.
His recovery and his return to the stage are the stuff of Lifetime TV movie legend. My pal, Dalene Young, even wrote it. It was as good as it could have been with Richard Hatch (!?!) as Jan and Bruce Davison as Dean it was as inaccurate and about as good as it could be.
Onstage Jan & Dean were great performers. Always dressed in the height of beach fashion Jan was the sexy cool one while Dean was the crazy cool guy. Dean's jokes and antics reeked of class clown but that was the point. On stage they were us. The stage act at the concert halls was the same stage act when they bash acoustic guitars and dance and sing at their impromptu surf side parties. (Everyone invited).
Here's the two of them doing "Do Wah Diddy Diddy". If you've ever played in a band you've had that moment when you've played a totally scorching number, every note just right and power dripping heavy in the air and you stop and all you hear is the buzz of conversation and a couple of half hearted hand claps, usually from your girl friend. Your front man has made himself hoarse exhorting the crowd to dance or at least listen. Even legends like James Brown and Wilson Pickett would have to lead the audience with "Say YEAH!" or the like. That they could get a response says an awful lot about their juice.
In "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" Jan & Dean are doing a cover. Its hard to hear with all the little girls screaming but when Jan & Dean get to the chorus its clear they were listening. Because Jan & Dean just stop singing and after just a beat the audience sings the chorus, unbidden, uninvited but knowing that this was their cue.
Its chilling. Its more chilling that it was done so good naturedly, so happily.
I think about that and a million other things whenever I listen to Jan Berry. The album I got is called "All The Hits". It has better copies of all the hits and a lot of stuff I never heard before: Radio chatter, studio chatter commercials and promos. Cool stuff.
It also has some of the obscure tracks like "Batman" from the totally bizarre concept album (in the days before anyone ever heard of a concept album) that saw Jan writing songs about his favorite comic book and all the characters there in!! Strange stuff but cool.
Jan was an awesome arranger and producer. He also put together the greatest bands ever. One of the treats of the album are some tracks laid down before adding the vocals. Listening to Hal Blaine and Billy Strange is always a thrill like in this blinding take of "Deadman's Curve".
It it also includes the strange but wonderful track "A Beginning From An End". The sweet song with the soaring chorus about losing a wife to gain a daughter all told from a teen husbands perspective . . . YOW!
If you don't know Jan & Dean this is an album worth having. Its not complete but its the best I've seen. It would be cooler if it had some of the uncredited stuff Jan did with Brian Wilson and the dozens of other groups that sprung up imitating Jan's unique sound.
This has gone on too long. And I've barely said anything about this great band.
I've got a dog to bathe so I'll try and remember to tell y'all about the second album tomorrow.
I mean, if you're interested. Who couldn't be?