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Reelin’ in the Years – 1964

English: The Beatles wave to fans after arrivi...

The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Kennedy Airport – Wikipedia

So it’s time once again to pick my fav song for a particular year. This time 1964.

’64 was the year of the British Invasion. Take a look at the Billboard top 100 for that year and you’ll be amazed how many Beatles tunes fill the chart. I started to get mixed up counting at around 10 or 11. The top two songs are also Beatles songs. Simply amazing.

Oh, did I already use that word? 🙂

We all know about the Beatles, so I thought I’d skip those tunes, as fabulous as they are, and focus on another one I really like. My brother had this 45 record and I remember playing it as a young boy and being entranced by the storyline.

Basically, a guy loses his gal in a car wreck and vows to be good so he can reunite with her in heaven.

I guess that was the beginning of my turn to spirituality, but I didn’t know it then.

Enjoy the tune.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

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Alpha Omega

When David Bowie’s last lp Blackstar came out, I remember thinking that I’d get around to listening to it. After a couple of days I thought, Oh, I really should give it a listen. After all, Bowie has been one of my favs since my childhood and early teens. His music resonated through many of my changes.

As a kid I drummed to Pinups. As a teen I grooved to ChangesOneBowie, Ziggy StardustStationToStation and Scary Monsters. And a young man I explored everything else he had to offer, from Low to Another Face. And even though I felt Blackstar would be a dark and jagged lp, I knew I’d have to hear it. It’s just like that with Bowie. Even if you didn’t slice with some of his material – I wasn’t wild about most of The Next Day – you still had to see what the ol’ Jean Genie was up to.

The Collection (David Bowie album)

The Collection (via Wikipedia)

So all this was going through my head when I began working on this tune. After a quick listen to Blackstar, I went downstairs and learned of the sad news that was breaking across the TV screen.

David Bowie has died at age 69.

Returning to Alpha Omega, I gave it an extra dirty mix. Rough, distorted guitars. Not much light. All very heavy. I never knew nor met Bowie. But I was hurting.

After some time I started feeling better and lightened up the mix. I considered dropping the fuzz guitar but decided it had to stay. If this was turning into some kind of nod to Bowie, it definitely needed fuzz guitar.

Anyhow, ’nuff said. Here’s what I wrote at SoundCloud:

This is dedicated to David Bowie. Some call him the Picasso of pop. But I prefer to think of him as the Sibelius of pop. He’s both, actually. And a whole lot more.


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Sad about David Bowie’s passing

English: Duncan Jones with his father David Bo...

Duncan Jones with his father David Bowie at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for the exhibition of Jones’s film Moon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As much as I believe in the afterlife, I have to admit that I’m still pretty sad about David Bowie’s passing. It’s a strange thing. Especially for those of us who claim to be “contemplative” or “mystically inclined.” We have certain experiences that lead us to believe there is an afterlife. But when people pass, we feel just like anyone else.

I always had a hard time understanding why Jesus cried when he heard that John the Baptist had been killed. I mean, if he’s the Christ and God, why would he cry? Didn’t he know that John had just moved on to the next realm?

Well, it’s not that simple. Jesus was also fully human. So he felt like the rest of us. At least, that is the Christian story.

English: David Bowie's guitar. Located in Hard...

David Bowie’s guitar. Located in Hard Rock Café Warsaw. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my case, I don’t claim to be near the level of sainthood, let alone the grand stature of Jesus. And I feel… all that human stuff. Even though I do firmly believe that we pass on to a better place after death. If we’re good at heart, that is. I don’t know about the scoundrels and rogues in this world.

Only God can judge.

Here’s one of my favorite tunes from the “peak” of David Bowie’s career. I used to listen to this after coming home from high school. A few friends would drop by. It seemed so alive and relevant. Loved it and still do.


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After the fall

When I went to Mass yesterday (I tend to go almost every day) there was a sign on the Church door saying that the pastor had passed away on Saturday. He was quite young and it was an unexpected shock. A very nice, gentle priest, I sat through the Mass feeling the emotions beginning to surface. He was not the priest who converted me to Catholicism, but he did head the parish where I converted (priests relocate every few years). So it’s pretty sad. But on the plus side, afterward it seemed like I could feel his presence a bit as I went about my day, like an angel with his personality stamp watching over me. That’s what it felt like, anyhow.

But what I really want to write about is the photographs I took a few days back. Turns out Father might have actually passed on Friday night (November 1). A friend told me that he was scheduled for a Saturday morning Mass but didn’t show. That’s when some other priests discovered him. He’d already left us by that time. So quite possibly Friday Nov. 1st was his last day on Earth.

Earlier on Nov. 1st I attended Mass at his parish and soon after went outdoors for the photo shoot. I was in super good spirits, just having been to Mass. It felt like God was with me big time during that shoot.

Now, I recall while posting my photos here, thinking it a bit strange that I was captioning one of them with a poem about dying (Joy Will Find a Way). I mean, as far as I know, I’m not ill and I wasn’t aware of anyone else being unwell either. I also called another photo “Ready to Fall.” That photo was of a red maple leaf about to fall off a branch. The red maple leaf is a strong Canadian symbol (central to our flag) and this priest was a very proud Canadian. He never failed to sing Canada’s praises on Canada day (some priests entirely overlook it).

So I’m wondering if on some intuitive, artistic level I was picking up that Father was about to leave us. (A similar mystery occurred when I wrote a rather foreboding poem about “death in the skies” a couple of years before 9/11.) Anyhow, I’m not sure, and quite possibly I was just thinking about Remembrance Day, which is coming soon. But I might also have been subconsciously sensing that these photos were taken on the last day of Father’s walk on Earth.

So I dedicate both of these photos to him. A very nice, intelligent but, above all, humble priest.


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Appleton – don’t worry (video)

I first heard this song while driving downtown to a Sunday night Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral… seemed appropriate…


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Carl Jung Clip

Carl Jung Speaks About Death