Archive for September, 2011

Music Review: Sophie Milman – In the Moonlight

September 21st, 2011
Comments Off on Music Review: Sophie Milman – In the Moonlight

I’m not, as a rule, a jazz fan. I’ve given it a fair shake, even had a turn at playing jazz in my younger days, and it never took. It’s just not for me. sophiem_coverThere are, however, exceptions: I like the 40’s bebop, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and other classic jazz. I also like the sultry female singers. Give me a sexy sounding diva cooing how she’s got the Fever, I’m there. From Billie Holliday to Diana Krall, the girls have a real tendency to make jazz I can listen to.

Sophie Milman comes from the latter school of jazz. The Russian born, Toronto based, singer’s 4th album, In the Moonlight has a full slate of jazz and pop standards showing off her sultry vocal chops throughout.

From The Beatles (’Til There Was You) to The Duke (Prelude to a Kiss), covering Gershwin’s Do It Again and Antonio Jobim’s No More Blues, Milman covers the full range of styles without ever leaving the romantic jazz oeuvre.

Throughout In the Moonlight, Milman’s voice is it‘s great asset, giving the songs a light sexy touch. She has a voice I can listen to all day, but that lets the songs shine. And while it’s nothing you haven’t heard before, it’s one of the better examples of the vocal style. For that, the album is one of the better examples of the slow, romantic jazz style.

If you’re looking for romance, a background as a Prelude to a Kiss, you wouldn’t be going wrong putting on Sophie Milman’s In the Moonlight.


Review ,

The Freedom of Music: Parrothead Party

September 18th, 2011
Comments Off on The Freedom of Music: Parrothead Party


One likes to believe in the freedom of music.
Rush – Spirit of Radio.

Summer is in the rear-view mirror, labour day a few weeks past and the kids back to school. The work week, just weeks ago shorter, whether by shaving a few hours off the Friday or grabbing a day off mid-week to enjoy the few months of warm sun we Canadians get, is now back to full. sidebar-1

In July I made the long drive to New York, spending a day at some favourite haunts, and returning two days later for a concert in Toronto. Arriving at Ontario Place half hour before curtain-up, the parking lot was full of people in colourful shirts, bird hats and sandals. The beer was flowing freely, and at the entrance to Ontario Place there was a massive stack of plastic beer cups, confiscated on the way into the park.

Jimmy Buffet was in town, and a Parrothead Party was on.
For the uninitiated, Jimmy Buffet is a singer who’s songs are a mix of folk, rock, country and calypso. It is somewhat unique, and being based on Caribbean sounds, it runs on themes of drinking, sailing and the beach (his 4 CD boxset was subdivided into 4 types of songs: Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads). His songs are very well crafted – Buffet is writer enough that he has written a book of short stories, two novels and an autobiography each of them good – and their summer themes resonate with his fans.

The fans show up en-masse at his shows in beach attire: Hawaiian shirts, cargo shorts and hats decorated with colourful parrots or drinking paraphernalia (socks are virtually verboten). His concerts are an event as much as a show, and the fans are as much a part of the show as they are with any performer. Buffet, for his part, is the consummate performer, always playing his big hits, offering a minimal amount of new or unknown material. He is known to say mid-show, it’s his job, and a great job it is, to play the songs the fans want to hear.

In a list this summer of top ten boating songs by the American recreational boating industry’s awareness program, Discover Boating, Jimmy Buffet had two of the top five songs:

  1. A Pirate Looks at 40 – Jimmy Buffet
  2. Come Sail Away – Styx
  3. Redneck Yacht Club – Craig Morgan
  4. Southern Cross – Crosby Stills & Nash
  5. It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere – Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson

Of those five songs two are Buffet songs and another, Southern Cross, has been a concert staple for years. And the second Buffet song, It’s Five O’CLock Somewhere is really a drinking song. A Buffet fan could easily produce better sailing songs: Son of a Son of a Sailor, Fins or One Particular Harbour.

That aside it’s true, as far as it goes, that if your throwing a beach party or cruising in a boat, Jimmy Buffet is the perfect companion. But you don’t maintain a 40-year career singing Margaritaville every night. Buffet is a craftsman when it comes to song writing, offering up some of the nicest songs wrapped around the poetic ideas of travel, beaches and blue water. Take, for example, the number one song on the above list.

A Pirate Looks at 40 is the story of a modern day pirate, sailing the seas in search of a reason d’etre:

Mother mother Ocean, I have heard your call.
Wanted to sail upon your water, since I was three feet tall,
You’v seen it all. You’ve seen it all.

Watched the men who rode you, switch from sails to steam.
And in your belly you hold the treasures few have ever seen.
Most of ’em dreams. Most of ’em dreams.

Yes I am a pirate, 200 years too late
The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothing to plunder
I’m an over 40 victim of fate
Arriving too late. Arriving too late.

I’ve done a bit of smuggling,
I’ve run my share of grass,
I’ve made enough money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast.
It‘s never meant to last. Never meant to last…

Mother mother Ocean, after all these years I’ve found.
Occupational hazard be my occupations just not around
Feel like I’ve drowned, gonna head uptown.

It’s pretty, it’s poignant, and it’s great song writing. Buffet’s catalogue is full of great songs, always in the storytelling tradition. He Went to Paris chronicles a life lived, happily and tragically; Son of a Son of a Sailor chronicles his family tree; Jamaica Mistaka tells the true story of his sea plane being shot down, mistaken for a dug runner, by Jamaican Authorities.

False Echoes is among Buffets finest pieces. By the mid 1990’s, his father was suffering from Alzheimer’s, the horrible brain disease that robs it’s victim of memory. The song tells the story of his father’s life, beginning with his birth:

The skies over Cuba, pink with the light.
And the waterfront ritual, began to ignite.
All the ships in the harbour, were warmed by the sun.
Twenty-fifth of November, 1921.

On the old Chicamauga, the signal jacks flew.
The signals they spelled out, caused a great bally hoo.
Every ship in Havana, then hoisted away.
All the pennants were flying, for my dad’s first birthday.

In the chorus, Buffet returns to the here and now, his dad suffering mid-stage Alzheimer’s. If you have ever had a loved one suffering with it, you‘ll recognize the stage where long term memory seems so vivid and now, short term memory, gone:

Enduring echoes, call out from his past.
Time ain’t for saving, no time’s not for that.
Chasing false echoes like a lost legionnaire,
He waltzes on memories, while he fades like a flare.

Jimmy Buffet is the ultimate summer concert experience, but when your looking for music that going to touch you deeper, that’s actually Buffet’s strength. Wanna know how to sustain a 40 year career? Bring them in the door with Margaritaville, then give them Pirate Looks at 40. Great song writing will work every time.

The Freedom of Music , , , , , , ,

Saturday Fluffernutter: The A Lot of Guys Wives are Back There Edition

September 17th, 2011
Comments Off on Saturday Fluffernutter: The A Lot of Guys Wives are Back There Edition

All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolorLife in Prison:

No, not another Lindsay Lohan story. In this case it’s Joseph Hyuangmin Son, more commonly known as Austin Powers villain Random Task.fluff2

Son was convicted of a 1990 Christmas Eve gang rape in Huntington Beach California. DNA evidence was unable to connect the actor to the rape until 2008.

He was sentenced this week to life in prison.

I’m not sure, but I’m guessing that life in prison in California is a bit nastier than taking up painting, the way Ms. Lohan performed her less severe sentence.

fluffincolorOh, this can’t be good. There’s a new show coming up called H8R (hater, for those of us over 40 (IQ) who don’t get the abbreviations kids are using these days), in which the some celebrity confronts an on-line “hater.”

Hosted by Mario Lopez, H8R sets up scenarios where celebrities ambush their biggest haters… the celebrity then spends a little time with the hater, to try and change his or her mind.

Jersey Shores Snooki, for example, walks up to one of her haters and says, “I saw your rant about me. You don’t even know me. What is wrong with you?”

A battle of wits with Snooki? The knees tremble at the thought. Good thing I have no clue who she is and don’t think I’ve ever mentioned her before.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going out front to wait Sean Penn and Mario Lopez.

fluffincolorThe envelopes are still sealed, but we already know Paul McCartney will be one of the winners at the 54th annual Grammy Awards on Feb 10th.

McCartney is going to be honoured as the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year for both his “creative accomplishments and his charitable work.”

The 69 year old Knight has won 14 Grammy’s previously.

fluffincolorOn Wayne’s World, Wayne and Garth attend an Aerosmith concert. Trying to access the backstage area after the show, Wayne protests to the security guard, “my girlfriend is back there.”

“A lot of guys girlfriends are back there,” the security guard replies.

It’s one thing being a young man, and losing the girlfriend to Aerosmith. It happens. It’s another world altogether when your middle aged, and the guy guarding the backstage area of the Casino, where the guys from Journey are popping Geritoil and drinking Midol, says, “A lot of guys wives are back there.”

If you are one half of publicity hound couple, and White House gate crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, that’s exactly what you were told, figuratively if not literally.

Tareq reported “Real Housewife of DC” Michaele missing this week, claiming she was kidnapped. She wasn’t.

It turns out she had run off with Journey guitarist Neal Schon, and didn’t want Tareq to know where she was. “She and Neil are together, in Memphis, for Journey’s concert tonight,” Journey representatives Scoop Marketing announced.

Translation: a lot of guys wives are back there!

fluffincolorFirst no Mario Lopez at my door, now I don’t receive a cease and desist from Scarlett Johansson’s lawyer.

Doing a celebrity column, it is possible I should hang my head in shame and I accept this judgement.

This week two pictures of Johansson, wearing nothing but her Keds, as the old song goes, was leaked online. The catch is, she took the picture herself. The leak itself seems to be the work of hackers, and therefore, the picture itself is illegally acquired. Hence, the ceases and desists.

Maybe if I say some nasty things about Ms. Johansson, she will knock on my door and ask, “what is wrong with you?”

Fluffernutter , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cool for Cats Friday: Boats Beaches Bars and Ballads

September 16th, 2011
Comments Off on Cool for Cats Friday: Boats Beaches Bars and Ballads

Here’s a sneak preview of what I write about in this weeks Freedom of Music. Bottom line thesis, there’s more to Jimmy Buffet than Margaritaville and drunk fans.

Ballad: False Echoes, a song about his father, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s at the time he wrote it.

Boats: This is a gorgeous song, one of my all time favourites and Discover Boatings #1 boating song.

Beach: the beach Buffet called home for a long time was the Florida Keys, and what better way to celebrate the keys but Lauren Becall, just because she made the movie Key Largo a must watch movie:


Bars: since we’re on the subject of Bogie movies, “of all the gin joints, in all the towns…”


Was there ever a more beautiful woman than Ingrid Bergman?

Of course, we can’t finish a Jimmy Buffet post without his most known beach and bar song, Margaritaville, at my favourite beach, Manhattan:

Cool For Cats , , , ,

Music Review: Alec Gross, Strip the Lanterns.

September 15th, 2011
Comments Off on Music Review: Alec Gross, Strip the Lanterns.

Dancing Music, the first song on Alec Gross’ inaugural album, Strip The Lanterns, begins with a small classical guitar like intro: a Sor Etude perhaps, quickly morphing into Dan Fogelbergs Leader of the Band. Alec Gross hasn’t sung a line yet, and I’m hooked. This is gorgeous.

So put on dancing music, and I’ll lead soft and slow,
put on your mother’s necklace, the one you wear for show.
And I’ll put on a younger me, the one you used to know.
Tonight we will remember us, before we both grew old.

And while it is a beautiful piece, lyrically and musically it gives you pause to worry too. Is this it? Is it going to be an album of slow, pretty songs, nice to listen to, great to fall asleep too.

Dancing Music ends with a blast from a horn section, leading directly into If You Don’t Mind, and the worries disappear. More up-tempo, steel string acoustic, pedal steel slipping in underneath the fine vocals, a blues harp solo. No, boredom won’t be a problem with this album. And yet it ends with that bit of guitar again, that Sor, like a leitmotif, comes back into end the song. So, a concept album, then?

Gross himself calls his song-writing Cinematic Americana, and it is indeed a concept album – although if it has a leitmotif it should properly be called rock opera. The story of a fictional mid-western gas station attendant, Strip the Lantern is not a throwback, doesn’t sound like it came from the 70’s. Rather it is the best of modern albums, carrying the concept album tradition into the singer/songwriter genre with grace and fluidity.

It’s an album I hope they have released on LP: I can see myself curled up on the couch, side 1 playing, following along with the words, studying the liner notes for that little joke, reading what kind of guitars and harmonicas Alec Gross plays. It lends itself to an amount of study, seems like it would be worth the effort.

Whether it’s the up-tempo Just a Little Girl, with double stop lead guitar and is sing along melody, or So In Love With You, returning to the horns of If You Don’t Mind, and the leitmotif popping up in the piano, the Fender Rhodes sound in the Band-like Burning Grounds, Strip the Lanterns is a collection of good songs, weaved together in a lovely album.

It’s always a fools game to predict a career based on a debut album, but I’ll be watching for new Alec Gross with expectation in the future based solely on how much I like Strip the Lantern.

Review, Weekend Magazine ,

Poll Dancing

September 13th, 2011
Comments Off on Poll Dancing

Well, the polls tell us I’m not the most popular guy in the country. I accept that. Doing what’s right is not always what’s popular.

The above is from Premier Dad, Dalton McGuinty on a Liberal TV commercial. Speaking in the third person, he knows we aren’t happy with him. And how does he know? Well, the polls tell them. Hey, Dad’s a tough job: it’s not his job to be Premier Friend. If you don’t like the decisions he makes on your behalf, his big Premier shoulders can take it. If it wasn’t for him you would be in your bed, instead of running about, doing dishes and washing clothes until all hours of the night.

pole-dancing-leanbackHere’s a question: how much better would life in this country be, how much better would politics be if the Premier didn’t need a poll to tell him he’s unpopular? If he knew because the guy in the donut line told him so, wouldn’t he also have a much better idea the real cost of some of his policies?

Here’s another question: what tough decision has Dalton McGuinty made? In his 8 years on power government spending has increased between 50% and 80%, depending on who’s study your reading. Inflation, meanwhile, has been in the 9% mark in that time. In other words, government growth has outpaced economic growth by a factor of between 6% and 9%. What’s tough about that kind of spending, unless you’re the poor sap paying for it?

Oh sure there’s been unpopular decisions. If you live in a rural area and now have a forest of 60 foot tall wind turbines in your backyard, your none too happy. But unpopular decisions are easy when you don’t have to face the people who’s property value you ruined. Nothing tough about Warren Kinsella – or some other lackey -walking in the room with a piece of paper and saying, John Smith of Leander Street, Wolfe Island is not happy. But meeting John Smith at Tim Horton’s waiting for his morning coffee, having him tell you what you have done to his property value, how he has to go back to work at 75, because you just screwed him out of his retirement income, that’s tough. And when you need the polls to tell you that you are not popular, then you aren’t meeting the people who vote for you at Tim Horton’s.

Besides, who voted for Dalton McGuinty to make unpopular decisions? This is a democracy, and we vote for politicians to enact our wishes, not to make decisions we won’t like. Of course he hasn’t done that, never asked anybody of they want an HST, never asked the people of Wolfe Island if they want their community turned into a wind farm. He has decided, without the authority of the electorate, against the wishes of communities. Yes, that’s unpopular.

Its also undemocratic.

Dalton Dalton Dalton ,

Picture of the Day: 911 Survivor – Bent, not Broken

September 11th, 2011
Comments Off on Picture of the Day: 911 Survivor – Bent, not Broken


Picture of the Day ,

At the Heart of the Madness

September 11th, 2011
Comments Off on At the Heart of the Madness
To the Greater Glory of God and in Recognition of the Enduring Links Between the City of London and the City of New York: Forged in Adversity - 11 September 2001

"To the Greater Glory of God and in Recognition of the Enduring Links Between the City of London and the City of New York: Forged in Adversity - 11 September 2001"

In the courtyard of St Paul’s Chapel, New York.  The base of the bell shows a map of the World Trade Centre site.


Uncategorized ,

Remembering The Victims of 9/11: Susan Huie

September 11th, 2011
Comments Off on Remembering The Victims of 9/11: Susan Huie

Originally Posted Sept 11, 2010 as part of Project 2,996


On Sept 11, 2001, Dr. Gordon Huie was stitching up victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack on a conference room table. Anxiously he wondered to himself, “Where are you?” When the phone call came, he collapsed in grief.

His sister, Susan Huie, 43, was on the 106th floor of World Trade Center Tower 1. Susan was at a meeting when the planes hit the 92-98th floor of Tower 1 at 8:46 that morning. Nobody above the 92nd floor survived. It would be almost four months, January 1, 2002, before Susan Huie was confirmed dead.

The devout Huie, from Fairlawn New Jersey, wound up at the Windows of the World on Sept 11 2001 by chance. She was a financial analyst for Compaq and a graduate of Pace University, class of ‘79.

Susan Huei was one of 184 victims on Sept 11 who were of Asian descent, 6.7% of the total.

I hope that your religious beliefs have taken you to the beautiful and peaceful place that you deserve.

Norm Choy


Project 2,996

9/11 Victims of Asian Descent


Saturday Fluffernutter: The Ice Cream or Politics Edition

September 10th, 2011
Comments Off on Saturday Fluffernutter: The Ice Cream or Politics Edition

All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolorLove this: New York Times fashion reporter Cathy Horyn said of designer Donatella Versace, after seeing Lady Gaga’s outfits, “be choosier, Ms. Versace.”

This week, Gaga hit back:

Shouldn’t columnists and reviewers, such as Cathy Horyn, employ a more modern and forward approach to criticism, one that separates them from the average individual at home on their laptop?”

Speaking as an average individual at home on my laptop, who doesn’t get paid to be snide to the vastly over-rated, yes, some level of sophistication would be nice.

But then again, professional singers should be more modern and forward, separating them from the average teenage wannabee on YouTube, but you can’t have everything.

fluffincolorAlec Balwin and George Clooney, two guys who suppose to tell us little people how we should vote (i.e. like them), have both eschewed politics in no uncertain terms. Alec Balwin, for example, asks rhetorically

Would I rather be handcuffed to the emergency command centre in Maspeth during a hurricane, holding down the fort and making sure all the ploughs are working… or would I rather spend some of that 30 Rock money traveling the world with my girlfriend?

Er, yes well. George Clooney on the other hand – a person not afraid to criticize those who make the tough decision, at least until three years ago – doesn’t have the stomach for tough decisions:

If I make a mistake it’s not going to cost 100,000 people their lives. I’m very happy telling stories. Films don’t hurt people.

What is the antonym for putting your money where your mouth is?

fluffincolorIf not politics, how about ice cream Alec Baldwin?

In a 1998 Saturday Night Live skit, Alec Baldwin played Pete Schweddy, a baker who was trying to market rum, popcorn and cheese balls, known as “Schweddy Balls.” Now Ben & Jerry has created a vanilla and rum-flavoured ice cream with fudge-covered rum balls. The name? Schweddy Balls Ice Cream.

Ice cream or politics… ice cream or politics… yea I’d pick ice cream too.

fluffincolorThis is a small blog, 100 or so visitors a day. On top of that, I play in a band that performs for 100 people once every six months or so. What this means is I am famous enough to be on Dancing with the Stars, if only I would lower my expectations.

Case in point, Chaz Bono, famous by being daughter of Sonny and Cher and changing her status from maiden to man. He is now “losing weight,” by dancing in preparation of the show.

Now, I am aware Chaz has not been a man for long, so I’m willing to extend the courtesy of explaining certain inalienable facts to Mr. Bono: Men don’t dance to lose weight. Women dance to lose weight, women dance because they enjoy it, women dance with other women and women dance like no one else is watching. Men dance to meet/impress/please the women. Men play basketball, jog, ride a bike or box to lose weight. They dance cause they have to. And men never, ever, dance with other men, especially to lose weight.

fluffincolorSo I’m driving down the road, and a sweet, petite blond is jogging along the sidewalk. Hey, is that perennial cutie Reese Witherspoon? I slow down, half checking out Reese, half watching where I’m going, when to my horror I turn into Reese Witherspoon. I can see how it would happen.

However, when Witherspoon was hit while jogging in Santa Monica this week, it had nothing to do with some guy checking her out. Rather it was an 84 year old woman, who was driving 20 miles and hour because she’s an 84 year old woman.

Nonetheless, Witherspoon was taken by ambulance for minor injuries, and released.

fluffincolorKeith: The Movie.

Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards autobiography, Life, is set to get the big movie treatment. The big question is, who play’s Keith? Johnny Depp seems obvious, but what if he’s not available? Who do you get to handle that character?

Here’s my cast choices:

Kieth: Johnny Depp
Brian Jones: Owen Wilson
Mick Jagger: Ben Affleck
Bill Wyman: Benicio del Toro
Charlie Watts: George Clooney
Anita Pallenberg: Olivia Wilde
Mick Taylor: Kevin Bacon (he has to be in every movie)
Ron Wood: Hugh Lawrie

fluffincolorThe Academy of Motion Picture &tc. have announced that this years Oscars will be hosted by… Eddie Murphy. Yes, the guy who voices Donkey.

Because apparently Ray J. Johnson was unavailable.

Fluffernutter , , , , , , , ,

Toronto the Not in a Death Spiral

September 9th, 2011
Comments Off on Toronto the Not in a Death Spiral

The flowers have to be at a certain height to water them and the signs have to be at a certain height to see them — unfortunately, it’s the same for both, so they need to put flowers elsewhere.


To paraphrase James Carville, It’s the stupid, stupid. And actually, the flowers don’t need to be put elsewhere, the flowers don’t need to be there period. How does a city with a $700M hole not know that?

Toronto: Not in a Death Spiral

Cool For Cats Friday

September 9th, 2011
Comments Off on Cool For Cats Friday

Alec Gross’ first album, Strip The Lanterns came across my desk a few weeks ago. Finally got around to listening to it this week. I absolutely loved this song, Dancing Music:

Meanwhile, over n England a Cool for Cats Friday favourite, Abbey Clancy (now Crouch) created a stir when she stepped out this week in a see through-ish dress.


Personally, I don’t see the problem.

Finally, I’ll be thinking of my favourite city as it prepares to remember it’s worst ever day this weekend.

Cool For Cats , , , ,

The Day the Music Was Born

September 7th, 2011
Comments Off on The Day the Music Was Born

Everybody talks about Feb 3, 1959, the Day Buddy Holly, along with The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens died in a plane crash soon after takeoff from Mason City, Iowa. We talk about the details of the crash, we talk about the three singers as a group, as if they played together, we talk about the tour they were on, we mention that they were rocks first fatalities and we ponder on the lyrics to Don McLean’s American Pie, the fabulous song that documents the crash as “the day the music died.” But what we really don’t mention is just how good, and how important, Buddy Holly was.

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of his birth, it’s worth considering then short yet remarkable musical legacy Buddy Holly left us.

Holly began recording in 1956 with a single release. His second release was also his biggest, and his only US #1, That’ll Be the Day in May 1957. His next hit, the second biggest of his career hitting #3, before 1957 was out was Peggy Sue. Those two songs are the obvious Buddy Holly songs, and probably the most loved among those who were there, who remember Buddy Holly. But, they are not his best songs.

Nineteen-Fifty-Eight saw his writing mature, saw songs that would influence generations of guitar players, singers and songwriters: Maybe Baby, Think it Over and It’s So Easy as well covers like Rave On and It Doesn’t Matter Anymore. Holly left behind a legacy of great songs, and guitar playing that is being copied still by people who don’t realize it’s Buddy Holly they are copping.

Of the three stars who died on Feb 3, 1959, Buddy Holly is the big one: Ritchie Valens was a kid, a teenager a few songs into his career, an unknown entity. The Big Bopper had a novelty song, Chantilly Lace, and was no doubt destined to be a one hit wonder and go back to disc jockeying. But Holly has had too much influence, his songs still sound interesting, fresh and great.

On the 75th anniversary of his birth, it’s worth considering that if he was still alive, Holly would still be considered a star, very possibly still performing. Buddy Holly, in short, was a serious rock and roll artist, and deserves serious consideration when conversation turns to the greats. He was one of them, one of the first.

On this day, September 7, 1936 one of the greats of rock and roll was born, Buddy Holly.


Happy Birthday…

September 7th, 2011
Comments Off on Happy Birthday…

I once played in a band with a guy who had a major crush on Chrissie Hynde. “She is a guys women,” he would say, “she’s so sexy.” This is true, and she has an aura as the kind of women who can be one of the guys when it is called for, or all women when it is called for. She has classic good looks and is indeed a sexy women.

However, it is also unfair. Hynde is an accomplished musician and songwriter, singing and fronting the band that performed Brass in Pocket, Don‘t Get Me Wrong, Precious and Back in the Chain Gang. The Pretenders have had a thirty-three year career, Hynde and drummer Martin Chambers being the only constant members.

It is for none of the above that I wish Chrissie Hynde a happy 60th birthday. Middle of the Road is a great, straight up rock and roll song. It is one of the most underrated songs of the rock and roll era, and one off the best songs of the 1980’s, admittedly a weak era for song writing. Hynde’s harp solo at the end may be the best one in rock. For Middle of the Road alone, Hynde deserves recognition and honour.

So Happy 60th Birthday Chrissie Hynde, still sexy after all these years.

Birthday Wishes ,

Cool For Cats Friday

September 2nd, 2011
Comments Off on Cool For Cats Friday

In support of Gibson guitars on their battle with big government this week, it is Gibson Guitar day:

Nobody defines the Gibson Les Paul like Jimmy Page, and one was rarely played better than Page played it in 1973.

Gibson isn’t just about Les Pauls, although it may seem it sometimes. Not my favourite band, but AC/DC’s Angus Young simply rocks the Gibson SG, while brother Malcolm is rock steady on his Firebird:

As a kid I would read the album covers like they had the secret to the world in them. This was always on the back of the Kiss albums, “Kiss uses Gibson guitars and Pearl drums.”

Cool For Cats, Guitar Greats , , , , ,