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Reelin’ in the Years – 1998

Time Magazine – Fair Use / Fair Dealing rationale

So it’s 1998 and I’m 36 years old. I’m still living in Ottawa, in a slightly rundown apartment beside the Union Mission. I’m getting pretty used to hearing street people making noise because, well, I live right beside them.

One night I had to call the cops because a big guy was pounding on my door screaming “Mother… Mother!” He was pounding so hard I felt it was only a matter of time before he’d break in.

After calling 911 I scrambled out the window onto the roof of the first-floor extension below me. I was pretty scared but kept cool.

When the cops arrived I had a choice… press charges or let it drop. I let it drop but told the guy – now subdued – to his face that he really scared me. He looked like a nice guy. Just drunk and upset. Or maybe stoned.

Whatever. I don’t think he understood too much at that moment.

People did practically everything near the Mission. The basement of our house was broken into with needles left behind. My bike was stolen from that basement. Another inglorious moment.

This place (cars in front) redefined the meaning of “student digs!”

I was sad and upset about my bike because I worked hard to buy it and a friend’s brother, who owned a bike shop, had customized it. Many summers of getting up early and working hard as a city gardener probably went toward a case of beer.

But I figured the theft was a form of global welfare so let it go.

Having graduated, I no longer had access to the university computer room, so migrated over to the Ottawa Public Library. The library had computers, internet, and email through National Capital Freenet. NCF also had free web space. This is where Earthpages began. I talk about that here, so won’t elaborate.

The library has changed a bit since I was there in ’98

In my last entry, 4FUN HITS, I mentioned having a hard time finding anything I liked in 1998.  Since then I realized that Frank Sinatra’s work was remastered in ’98.

Ha! This was the year I first discovered Frank—oddly enough, the same year he died.

I recall making a post-student dinner of noodles and stuff, stirring away and listening to a Sinatra album I’d picked up from the Ottawa Public Library.

Hey, this guy is really good, I thought to myself. What incredible timing.

It would be almost another two decades before I’d go full bore into Sinatra. But I’ll get to that. For now, I’ll just share some of my favorite Sinatra tunes.

Now this is music. I wonder how many pop tunes churned out in ’98 will be remastered 40 years after their release?

“I’ve Got the World on a String” was released in ’56, Come Fly With Me in ’58. And yes they reflect the times. But are we immune to reflecting our own cultural landscape?

It’s now 2018… 60 plus years after the release of these tunes. 60 to 70 years from now I imagine our cultural biases will be just as awkward. Maybe we’ll be scandalized. Maybe we’ll just look back and smile.

I tend to smile with Frank Sinatra.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Breaking: Conductor is suspended in Canada (slippedisc.com)

 Graceland marks Elvis’ Army stint with free day for military vets, active duty (triblive.com)

 Who Is Eva Marie Saint? Reintroducing the 1955 Oscar Winner (time.com)

 Drake’s Degrassi-era notebook is being auctioned for $54k (thefader.com)

 THE SMASHING PUMPKINS Officially Announce Reunion Tour (Without D’arcy Wretzky) (metalinjection.net)

 

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Reelin’ in the Years – 1973

In 1973 Skylab paved the way for the International Space Station – via Wikipedia

It’s 1973, I’m eleven years old, and mankind has been to the moon so many times it’s like “Oh did they do that again?”

People being the fickle creatures that they are soon lost interest in the moon shots. And the manned (peopled?) lunar program was all washed up by ’73.

Skylab quietly ushered in a whole new era in space research while we on Earth watched more sci-fi on TV and in theaters. Also, blockbuster disaster movies were being hatched like spray painted golden eggs. The Towering Inferno, Earthquake

Afros, blow-dried hair, flares and bell bottoms, big collars, wide ties, floppy hats and peace signs. Long Caddys. This was the style. Punk and New Wave were brewing with bands like Roxy Music but the revolution hadn’t really hit the scene in ’73. This was pure 70s time.

Image via Pinterest – A popular Gillette hairspray TV ad declared, “The wethead is dead.”

My favorite pop tunes for this year once again happen to be two Canadian songs. Honestly, I’m not tipping the scales in some hokey attempt to promote Canadian culture. It’s just that I, having been born and raised on Canadian soil, happen to like these tunes best.

And yup, I said “tunes” not tune. This year I’m breaking the rules again and, like with 1962, declaring a tie.

The first tune relates to my exploratory, sci-fi side. I remember driving around downtown Toronto (being driven, that is) among the tall buildings and having a “moment” when this song came on the AM radio.

This uncut version is longer than what I’m used to. I grew up with the heavily edited rendition on K-Tel’s Fantastic – 22 Original Hits, 22 Original Stars, which I almost like better.

The second song speaks to the mystique of women. It’s psychological and spiritual, using nature and the garden as metaphors for personal growth, self-actualization, call it what you want.

I also like the apocalyptic guitar riff in this tune. Pretty tame for today but in ’73 it captured the balance between destruction and hope that we all felt on some level.

Geez, it looks like my personality was almost fully formed by 1973!

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1967

Front cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Clu...

Front cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, “probably the most famous album cover in popular musical history”Ashplant Smyth 2001, p. 185. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 1967 and I’m five years old.

I definitely remember hearing Sgt. Pepper’s on vinyl. The song that first caught my imagination was “Lucy in the Sky.” That guitar riff at the beginning has been copied and morphed by so many other bands.

They probably changed it just enough to avoid a lawsuit. I learned how to play that riff as a boy. Not so hard. But getting something simple that unique, well, that’s the challenge of pop, isn’t it?

I don’t mean to pass over The Beatles. It’s the Summer of Love in ’67 and their groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’s blew away most other bands. Actually all other bands. And most everyone admitted it (maybe not Quincy Jones).

A rose is a rose is a rose. And genius is genius is genius. And at that moment, The Beatles with George Martin were genius. No doubt about it.

English: Quincy Jones attending an after-party...

Quincy Jones attending an after-party of a tribute to his work at Life Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA on October 1, 2008 – Photo by Glenn Francis of http://www.PacificProDigital.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To think they did all that on a four-track recorder! Anyone who knows studio tech will understand how amazing that is.

I really should list “A Day in the Life” as my favorite song. But that was me in the basement, looking over and trying to play some sheet music on our old piano. Right now I want to focus more on stuff that really made AM radio what it was.

From 1966 you can see that AM radios were all rage back then. Most cars, except for the odd luxury vehicle, were standard equipped with a thin, overly compressed sounding AM radio. Basically music in a tin can.

That was it. So pop songs had to sound good on AM radios. And they had to go a full cycle (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.) in about 2 and a half minutes to fit the AM radio format.

If they went much over two minutes, the DJ would just start talking and fade into the next song or go to a commercial. So really, no long sagas like “A Day in the Life” would work on AM. That was for FM, which would find its full voice in the 70s. (get out the tape deck!)

Image – Wikipedia

One tune that did sound good on AM was the Rolling Stone’s “Ruby Tuesday.” I remember hearing this on vinyl – we had lots of vinyl kicking around – and sensing it was somehow different.

“Ruby Tuesday” proved that the Stones could do mature work. I think it’s a great song with fabulous instrumentation. That recorder, or whatever it is, adds an almost medieval, courtly flair that only the Brits could pull off.

Fantastic lyrics. Fantastic song. Enjoy.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1962

Billboard Tenth Anniversary Issue, 1904

Billboard Tenth Anniversary Issue, 1904 – Wikipedia

Okay, it’s mid-winter in Canada and, frankly, I need a little diversion that’s just sheer fun. So I thought it would be a great idea to do a top song for each year I’ve been alive, starting at 1962, the year I was born.

After a quick look at Billboard for 1962, I decided I’d begin with two songs instead of just one. I may do that again, I may not. But since ’62 is the year I came into this world, I think it’s okay to start with a bang!

Both of these songs are familiar to me. I had older bros and sis’s. And I can still see their 45s (those are vinyl singles, for those who don’t know) in my mind’s eye. Also, they’re just good songs that have enjoyed a lot of airtime and cover versions through the years.

So here’s my beginnings… 1962. And two songs I know and like from that year.

Stay tuned for next time… 1963!

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Now Charlie Puth Has Candles (stereogum.com)

 Lil Uzi Vert says he’s finished a new project (thefader.com)


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tor_cybercafe

Flashback to when cybercafe’s existed in Toronto… now everyone can go to the library or a coffee shop if they don’t have internet at home… the date on this file says “modified 2004” but it might be earlier. The faces have been blanked out, which would have been the mod date… a bit of web history..


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modern rome

I find it interesting that this cross sits above what looks like a roman arch… probably a lot like the entrances that Christians used to have to pass thru (to their gruesome deaths) in the ancient Roman Colosseum.. – via Flickr


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Female World War II Airforce Service Pilots

Women Airforce Service Pilots pilots Frances Green, Margaret “Peg” Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn, leave their B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft, called Pistol Packin’ Mama, during ferry training at Lockbourne Army Airfield, Ohio, 1944. Air Force photo

Halloween is over and we have a little bit of time to remember before beginning Christmas celebrations. I’m already feeling the Xmas buzz a tiny bit but that’s probably driven partly by consumerism. In the old days Christmas was never hyped before November 11. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not. The change, I mean.

This morn I found this amazing CC shot which I’m using for the earthpages banner. A crop that is.

Follow these links for pertinent info:

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/684660/female-world-war-ii-pilot-proud-to-be-a-wasp/

http://www.dimoc.mil/resources/limitations.html

Non-Commercial Use Authorized. Except in cases of “Production Authorized for DoD Assistance” described below, DoD VI may be distributed, copied, and used, for non-commercial, personal use, as well as historical, educational, or newsworthy purposes or activities. Display of the non-DoD endorsement disclaimer is requested.