Archive for December, 2010

Happy Xmas (War is Over)

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas all. In my last post, I talked about the all-girl, tween rock band that Jim recorded recently, and with their permission (or, at least, permission from dad) I am sharing their recording of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” on this Christmas day.

Thank you for all the rock-n-roll love you, dear reader, have given me over the past 16 months. Starting in January, I will be posting new recordings, maybe a few covers, maybe some new songs I have simmering on the back burner of my cranium.

In the meantime, enjoy this holiday favorite from future superstars, Electric Graffiti, and be peaceful with one another.

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It was 30 years Ago Today

December 8, 2010

Last night, I accompanied Jim to The Tempermill, where he recorded a four piece rock band — a gang of 12 year old girls performing “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”. I thought it a heavy choice for such young people. Turns out, they are quite unlike the young people I wrote about in my last post, unfavorably commenting on the irrelevance to their lives of the release of The Beatles catalog on itunes. These girls L-O-V-E The Beatles. OMG! They all sounded great, singing together, shaking sleigh bells. I’m not one to speak for dead people, but I think John Lennon would have been proud.

I have to admit that I was a bit envious of them. When I was 12, I had a few girlfriends that played music and we sort of tried to get a band together. We called ourselves The Fedoras (we all loved Duran Duran) and we took many photos with my Polaroid camera in the basement of my parent’s house (I will not be posting them on Facebook). My brother Stephen had a gold sparkle Ludwig drum kit in the basement that my parents bought him for Christmas. (F.Y.I. – Don’t buy your kids a drumset for Christmas. They’ll figure out how to buy one if they really want to play and you will curse all the crashing and smashing while you’re trying to watch t.v.). My best girlfriend Michele liked to play Stephen’s drums and we’d try to work out songs by The Go-Gos (with little success). Michele and I joined the St. Robert’s basketball team together when neither of us made the cheerleading squad. It’s such occasions that brings people together to start a band. I found my ex-brother-in-law’s Hondo bass hidden under my mom’s bed. He pawned it to my mother for $150 when he needed cash. I still have it. It’s one possession I’ve had longer than anything else. No idea why. I don’t even play it anymore since I bought a frankenstein Fender Jazz bass years ago. My bad-girl friend Julie played an acoustic guitar and loved, loved, loved Prince. She used to roller skate down to Hines Park and make out with boys she’d meet there. Little Miss Trouble. My neighbor Christy was a big fan of Journey and Air Supply and actually practiced the piano, so she was the keyboard player. We both wore braces. Sexy. And yet, with all those resources, we just couldn’t pull it together.

Aaah! Da yute!

I hope these 12 year old girls stick it out a little longer than me and my girlfriends did. Inevitably, two of them will like the same boy and the other two will have to take sides, because you have to take sides, then the band will break up and someone will make the cheerleading squad. Maybe only one of them will continue playing music into adulthood. The others will get “real” jobs that pay, and have a career, or a baby, or both. All good choices. At least they will have the memory of playing together when they were young, having fun listening to The Beatles when no one else their age seemed to care.

Here’s a song from the Holiday Hootenanny that came out a few years ago. I wrote the song while I was working in the cosmetics department at Neiman Marcus during the holiday feeding frenzy. I don’t like to be thought of as cynical when I’m thinking that I’m just being realistic and I hope this song doesn’t sound cynical to anyone. It’s Christmas time and I like getting presents as much as any girl, but I don’t have much space in my little bungalow for much more.

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