100 words from March 17

Didn’t even realize I was writing 100 words way back on St. Patty’s Day 😉
Well, hoy de doy. I was!
And here they were…

I got in the car this morning and Modern Music by Be Bop Deluxe was on the radio. It took me back to one of the staples of my late teens/early 20’s. As the 12 minute masterpiece unfolded, I found myself turning the radio louder and louder and louder.

When it ended, Forbidden Lovers came on. What? Oh crap. I figured Bill Nelson must have joined the rock n’ roll heaven class of 2016.

“When will this journey be through?”

Good news. Unless the DJ knows something that the internets don’t, Mr. Nelson is still alive and well.

You’re welcome

Be Bop

100 words on Lennon and Martin

Watching a short clip of John Lennon speaking about George Martin; commenting “it’s hard to describe a relationship”.

As John speaks, it seems as if the more he verbalizes it, the more he acknowledges (to himself?) just how much George Martin brought to the party. It’s true, without George Martin, there is no Beatles; without the Beatles, we’re certainly not talking much about George Martin.

Together? We’ve been discussing this for over 50 years now and it’s not much of a stretch to predict that “we” will still be discussing them in another 50 years.

Rest in peace, Sir George.

https://www.facebook.com/johnlennon/videos/1161967817155263/

 

I’m Already Home

More often than not for me, the music comes first. Usually starts with a chord progression, then the melody will begin to surface. At some point, the lyrics will just sing themselves to me. It’s very strange. One minute I have an instrumental work in progress, the next minute I find out what the song is about. It’s always such a surprise! My favorite lyrics are the ones that show up all at once, as if someone else was dictating them to me.

For most of my life, I had never bothered to learn a lot of other people’s songs. Don’t ask me why; I just hadn’t. But one day in 2007, out of nowhere, I became obsessed with a particular song. I’d never thought to learn it before, but I found the chords and I played it over and over and over and over and over. I couldn’t stop. For days, I just played this song, must have played it nearly 100 times. I mentioned this bizarre phenomenon to my brother and he simply said (I paraphrase), “Change the chords around a little, alter the melody, make it your own”.

Okay, I can try that. So, I flipped the chord progression, added a little guitar lick, started coming up with something different; started making something that was mine. Cool!

And then, the chorus smacked me right in the head. It hit me so hard, I was shaken.

I can feel your heart beating inside me
I’m already home
I am love, there’s nowhere you can hide me
I’m already home

I had already written enough about death. And I had worked so hard to pick myself up, to put one foot in front of the other, to keep moving forward. Jean had visited me before, shortly after her death, to let me know everything was alright, that I was not alone, that I’d always have an angel looking over my shoulder. And she’d come to me a second time, in a dream, and said, “Dude, it’s time to move on”. I started to say, “No. No. No. No. No!” And I put my guitar in its case, closed it and put it away.

NO! THAT’S NOT WHAT THIS SONG IS ABOUT! NO!

But I guess I had no say in the matter. Like Jean herself, the song wasn’t going to go quietly. This song was going to have its say!

The rest came very quickly, the lyrics, the arrangement, the recording. As I recorded the guitar part, the bass line sang itself to me. I didn’t even have to learn it, it was just there. A vocal harmony, then another. The string parts… it all just flowed so easily.

Eventually, like so much from that first year, I kind of put it away, sort of a box in the attic…A week or so ago, I’m Already Home popped in my head. I put the song on, gave it a good listen and all these years later, without that first raw shock, without the fresh emotion, I’m able to listen to it a bit more as “just a piece of music”, a story, melody, harmony, performance…

And I just love it.

I’m Already Home
I can feel your heart beating inside me
I’m already home
I am love there’s nowhere you can hide me
I’m already home

Words cannot begin to tell you
Story of our life
But these few words were sent to me
Message from my wife

She says
I can feel your heart beating inside me
I’m already home
I am love there’s nowhere you can hide me
I’m already home

Past is in my presence
Future’s on my wings
Told me when I close my eyes
I’ll see everything

I can feel your heart beating inside me
I’m already home
I am love there’s nowhere you can hide me
I’m already home

Told me when the time has come
I’m gonna fly away with you
Til that day I’m by myself

And I can feel your heart beating inside me
I’m already home
I am love there’s no way you can hide me
I’m already home
I’m already home
I’m already home

words and music by bobwhite
©2007 Hannah’s Dad’s Music/Samsongs

 

How does this freakin’ thing work?

A-haha. Christmas Eve, 1:09 AM. Guess that makes it Christmas morning.
I’ve got my yawn on, but here I am at the computer, trying to get my website rockin’. I guess I’ve had bobwhitemusic.com for quite a few years (10?), but I never really turned it into anything. Man! It takes time, and knowledge I don’t possess. I have a big hosting plan with GoDaddy, enough to run the 20 or 30 business domains I want to put up (it will happen!), but I still had this ancient Yahoo plan I’ve been paying quarterly for forever. So a couple of months ago, I decided to finally move this domain over to GoDaddy and stop wasting money by having two different hosting plans. Took a little effort, but I got it done. As soon as GoDaddy confirmed that my domain was with them , I cancelled my Yahoo web hosting. OOPS! Uh… domain registration and web hosting are two different things, genius!. My website was gone, dead, kaput.

Long story short, I (obviously) got it restored and down the rabbit hole I go. SOOO much too learn, but it’s nice to have a hobby 🙂 Looks like I got all of my menus, pages and posts back, re-installed my main page music player and uploaded a handful of tunes. Need to reload all of my photos and galleries, so if you’re looking at my photo pages and seeing a bunch of broken links, I know… Sorry. But I’ll get ’em fixed soon.

Now, if I could just figure out how to have a different featured image on each page. It works on some pages and not on others and I’ll be doggone if I can figure out why.

Oh. And guess what? No one is going to read this post, so I’m just having fun talking to myself here. Hang in, imaginary friend, you’ll be seeing my photos soon.

One thing I do know, it’s how to put a picture and a song into a post. I think…

Here’s a self portrait:
.Paris selfie

I took this shot of a very odd piece of art at the Pompidou Center in Paris in fall of 2012. It wasn’t until months later that I noticed that there is a perfect reflection of me in the glass.

Um, I mean, I did it on purpose because I’m so freakin’ brilliant. Uh, yeah… that’s it.

And this here is my nearly completed cover of the Beatles’ Cry Baby Cry. I love it. Hope you do too (whoever you are).

 

 

All Things Must Pass

So, I hear that Colin Hanks’ Tower Records documentary is being screened in Los Angeles. I didn’t hear about this from the director or from the Tower brass. A former employee posted it on my Facebook timeline. I thank her for recognizing that I had a role in this company’s rise and fall.

I don’t delude myself that I was one of the top 25, or even 50 or 100, all-time MTS employees. I don’t imagine, if Tower had a Hall of Fame, that I’d be an inductee. I recognize that when I arrived on the scene, while not yet a worldwide, or even national, company, Tower Records was indeed already an iconic and revolutionary chain. Heck, that’s why I applied for a job within days of moving to Los Angeles in 1980. It’s the only place I wanted to work.

Still, I am a bit surprised, disappointed and curious that, other than a brief introductory email exchange in 2011 (“we’ll be in touch soon”), Mr. Hanks did not feel that I was worthy of even a five minute phone pre-interview by his lowest staff member. After all, I did work for Tower for 26 years. I was the Manager of Tower Sunset, “the most famous record store in the world” during its peak years. I was the pioneer of computerized inventory management for the chain. I founded Tower Israel (employee #1) and opened three stores in the Middle East. To my knowledge, I was the only person in Tower history to manage Store of the Year award winners at three different locations. And, for the last four difficult years of the chain, I was the Director of Purchasing for all US stores, overseeing $1.6 billion in sales. When they finally shuttered the place, I wonder how many staffers remained with an employee number lower than my #3047.

I look forward to seeing Mr. Hanks’ movie. I’m sure it will be glowing with well-deserved and sentimental, nostalgic praise for his hometown chain that conquered the world. I’m sure I’ll learn new things about those first ten years, gain new insight into the legends and mentors that preceded me and feel my own swell of pride for any tiny role I played in this iconic American success story. And I’m particularly interested in seeing how he portrays the demise. For long after the titans had left the building, after the passing of Bud Martin and Tony Valerio, the departures of Hopson, Sockolov (Ross and later Kenny), Barton, Viducich, Goman, Scarlett, MTS himself… and after Russ had lost all relevance, the fight went on. I wonder if this is covered in any detail. Is there mention of those who struggled through those last couple of years to keep the old gal afloat with smoke and mirrors, baling wire and duct tape? Is there any sentiment for the thousands of employees who fought on with no glory, no pay raises, no golden parachutes and, in the end, no severance packages whatsoever? Will their love, passion and selfless dedication be acknowledged?

And, will Russ ultimately take any responsibility for his epic financial blunders and loss of vision? Or will it be his usual litany of blame: Napster, the internet, downloading, record companies (that wouldn’t listen to him and produce more singles and classical records) and “those fucking banks”. Will Tower’s demise just be chalked up, like buggy whips and steam locomotives, to all things (such as record stores), must inevitably pass?

As an insider, and an eyewitness to the bitter end, I ain’t buying that story!

I recognize that this post is not likely to be embraced, but I feel I’m entitled to my point of view, my perspective, my feelings.

And, all that aside, I do sincerely thank Russ Solomon for signing my paycheck for 26 years. It was indeed, a great ride. Thank you sir.

Employee #3047:
1980-1991 Tower Sunset – W. Hollywood, CA
1991-1993 Tower Topanga – Woodland Hills, CA
1993-1995 Tower Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Israel (employee #1)
1995-2002 Tower Stockton – Stockton, CA
2002-2006 Corporate Headquarters, 2500 Del Monte, West Sacramento, CA, USA

P.S. In the Facebook post, I included a photo that I had sent to Kickstarter by way of introducing myself. I call it Hallow Ween (from Tower Sunset,1980). Facebook took it down.

As far reaching, and invasive, as their tentacles are, I don’t believe they can remove it from MY website. Here it is:
Hollow Ween

 

the Beatles

That was so awesome! And what class.

“We have to mention that we were in a band and it was called the Beatles”.

So many bands out there, R&R Hall of Fame bands, still playing their hits even though 1/2 of the original members are long gone. As far as I’m concerned, if those two legends had gone out there last night and played those songs under the banner “the Beatles”, I wouldn’t have found it one tiny bit less thrilling. The live audience sure seemed to agree!

If you had a choice to BUY tickets for one concert tomorrow, featuring real live current line-ups, would you go see:

1) the Rolling Stones
2) the Beach Boys
3) the Allman Brothers
4) the Who
5) Fleetwood Mac
6) the Eagles
7) the Beatles (billed as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr since they’re too cool to pimp the brand without John and George).

Me? I’d see “the Beatles” 10 times before even thinking about one of the other bands. No contest.

And hey, just saying, with all due respect to Anderson, Laboriel, Wickens & Ray, I’d rather see Paul and Ringo with Ringo’s current band. Lukather & Frampton are a SERIOUS upgrade!