I want to warn you that the picture I posted at the bottom is a bit graphic, but it also extremely moving and captures the day’s events in a way that many people never saw it.

This past Tuesday the 4th marked the 40th anniversary of the Kent State Shootings. On May 4th 1970 the Ohio National Guard opened fire on college students who were protesting America’s invasion into Cambodia as a part of the Vietnam War campaign that President Nixon put into motion.

 I didn’t realize it was the anniversary till I was on the Rolling Stone Magazine website and saw their piece about it. 40 years ago Rolling Stone was right there reporting on all the breaking news and tragic happenings that were occurring at Kent University in Kent, Ohio. These students were simply voicing their opinion about the war, unarmed and non-violent and yet they were shot at with over 67 rounds in a matter of 13 seconds.

Four were killed and nine were wounded

I can’t imagine something like this happening at one of our college campuses around the country, simply because I think our generation is too preoccupied with other things going on their life to really care about politics and current events. We care too much about whose texting us, what new comment we have on Facebook and what our plans are for the weekend. Things just aren’t like they used to be and I always wish I could go back in time and be around to experience these events first hand.

One of the things I find fascinating about the 60s and 70s was the way the people were so invested in the current happenings going on and how free and willing they were to voice their opinion. These students had planned to protest this day, but the campus sent out flyers warning against it. Still, 2,000 gathered on the university’s commons and this is when the National Guard was brought in to handle anything that got out of hand. They were told to disperse a few hours later, but many students refused and soon things got out of hand.

Two out of the four students killed weren’t even taking part in the protest. They were just walking to their next class.

The craziest thing to me about this event is the fact that brutal violence was used to stop this harmless protest, which was just trying to stop the war in Vietnam, which many people at the time were against. Of course there were mixed emotions about that day’s events, but in the end no criminal convictions were obtained against any of the National Guardsman, and to this day these shootings are still considered murders and I believe they will forever remain that way.  

John Filo’s famous Pulitzer Prize winning photo from that day

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As I sit here watching the 100 Most Shocking Music Moments on VH1, number 36 comes along. Who is it about? Keith Moon of The Who, one of my favorite bands ever. The story that they were talking about was one that I had heard about, and it’s just too wild and outrageous not to share it with the rest of the blogging world.

 Moon has been known as one of the greatest drummers ever, but he also had a reputation for being quite the irresponsible citizen, with little regard for himself and others. He loved living the true rock n’ roll lifestyle, but this particular event takes the cake.

 In 1973 during their Quadrophenia tour at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA Moon had decided to take a lovely mixture of brandy and horse tranquilizers, supposedly given to him by a fan.

“Of course I can take it. I’m Keith f*cking Moon!”

Mid-drumming, he passed out cold on his drum set and had to be carried off the stage. Backstage, he was able to be revived and went back on stage to play “Magic Bus”. He passed out again. At this point Pete Townshend yelled out to the crowd

“Can anyone play the drums?-I mean somebody good.”

This was the chance of a lifetime, and 19 year old Scott Halpin knew it. He jumped on that stage, and being the super fan that he was, knew every song and jammed with the band for three songs. He was by no means the next Who member, but he held his own and never showed an ounce of frustration.

 To do this day, this outrageous performance remains one of the best moments in rock history. Leave it to Keith Moon to pull such a stunt. Thanks to the quick thinking of his band mates, the show was saved and Scott Halpin, for only a brief moment, became the fifth member of The Who.


Fire and Rain

05Apr10

One of the best songs ever written by James Taylor. Think of the scene in Remember the Titans when Gary is driving through the town, admiring the people and cheering around him, enjoying life and feeling the support after a great game. That movie has one of the best soundtracks ever and this scene is just another example of how great music was used with such an inspirational movie.

 I might get a chance to see James Taylor in concert over the summer. I was introduced to his music through movies, and through my dad who is a huge fan. His songs and his voice are amazing to listen to and leave a lasting impression. Below are the lyrics to “Fire and Rain.”

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can’t remember who to send it to

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus
You’ve got to help me make a stand
You’ve just got to see me through another day
My body’s aching and my time is at hand
And I won’t make it any other way

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again

Been walking my mind to an easy time my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around
Well, there’s hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things
to come
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you, baby, one more time again, now

Thought I’d see you one more time again
There’s just a few things coming my way this time around, now
Thought I’d see you, thought I’d see you fire and rain, now

According to Taylor, each part of the song represented a certain time in his life and some of the difficult things we was facing.

  • The first part was indeed about Taylor’s friend Suzanne, who died while Taylor was in London working on his first album after being signed to Apple Records. Friends at home, concerned that it might distract Taylor from his big break, kept the tragic news from him, and he only found out some time later.
  • The second part details Taylor’s struggle to overcome drug addiction and depression.
  • The third part deals with coming to grips with fame and fortune, looking back at the road that got him there. It includes a reference to James Taylor and The Flying Machine, a band he briefly worked with before his big break with Paul McCartney, Peter Asher, and Apple Records.

 

I do hope I get the chance to see him live in concert this summer. He has been popular for over 40 years, and still has a large following. His songs are classics and I will be sure to blog about the night I see him perform, if and when it happens.


March, 1st 1973. Sir Mick Jagger graces the cover of Rolling Stone magazine Issue number 129, costing its readers a whopping 60 cents.

 Now, I enjoy the music that the Rolling Stones have made over the years, but I wouldn’t say I am a huge fan. I just never got that into them. Many of there songs are recognizable by people all over the world, but I tend to prefer their songs that aren’t known by all. My song of choice by them would have to be “Wild Horses”  from their 1971 album “Sticky Fingers”. Tons of other bands have done covers of this song, but there is nothing like the original. Mick Jagger’s lead vocals in this song are amazing and the melody composed by Keith Richards is haunting and timeless. Rolling Stone ranked it #334 in its”500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, but in my opinion it should be a little closer to #1. 

Here is a great video of Mick J, Keith, Charlie Watts, Mick T. and Jim Dickinson listening to a recording of the song. Amazing

 I feel like everyone has a little bit of “stone” love in them. I mean their songs are catchy and heard all over the world, and the faces of Brian, Ian, Mick, Keith, Bill and Charlie are all icons in the rock n’ roll world.

You might be wondering how I came across this particular cover of Rolling Stone. I owe it all to my amazing Rolling Stone 1,000 Covers: A History of the Most Influential Magazine in Pop Culture. I flip through it every couple of days and look back at the hundreds of faces and headlines that were put on the cover. I happened to come across this one of Mick Jagger and noticed that it was dated March, 1st. How perfect!

Shot by Annie Leibovitz, it was one of the first covers she ever did in color, and found it much harder than black and white. But, like a true professional, she did an amazing job and captured a great photo this of this Rolling Stone rocker.


Now, many of us think of Bob Dylan (real name Robert Allen Zimmerman) as musician, so who would have thought that he was an avid artist, particulary with painting. I saw this story on perezhilton.com and wanted to check it out for myself.

The first ever art show displaying his paintings, opened up Saturday, February 13 in London. Below is a link to his “Drawn Blank Series” that he did.

 http://www.bobdylanart.com/standard-2009.asp?artID=7

Now, I totally think it’s great that Dylan had a hidden talent like this that he wanted to share with the world. He is a great singer/songwriter and I think his paintings are just another way that he is choosing to express himself. I’m not a particular fan of art, but I like how is stuff looks. It’s simple, but unique and almost doesn’t seem like something a rocker like Dylan would produce. I think that is why I like it so much, because I enjoy seeing that other side of him, something that I would not expect.


Yesterday in my JMS 440 class we watched All the President’s Men. For those of you who have not seen this movie, it is based on the Watergate scandal that occurred in June of 1972. This movie is quite fitting for this class, seeing as how it’s based around the two main reporters from The Washington Post, Bob Woodward, and Carl Bernstein that covered this story. This presidential issue resulted in Nixon resigning from office, and many prominent figures in our country being charged with conspiracy and many of them spent time in jail.

This was just one of the many issues the American people faced in the 70’s, but it changed the face of journalism and changed the lives of Woodward and Bernstein, who were given the chance and trusted by others to cover one of the biggest political stories of our time.  

The “Watergate 5”

H.R. Haldeman-American political aide businessman

John Ehrlichman-Counsel and Assistant to Nixon for Domestic Affairs

John Mitchell-United States Attorney General under Nixon

Robert Mardian-Served in administration for Nixon

Kenneth Parkinson-Counsel to the Committee to Re-elect President Nixon

And of course…President Richard M. Nixon

He announced his resignation on August 8, 1974 to a stunned nation. He knew he no longer had the support of the American people, therefore making the decision to bow out gracefully. Vice President Ford was sworn in the follwing afternoon.


Almost Famous. That’s where it all began for me. I can’t even begin to explain how every scene in this movie affected me. From that moment on I wanted to learn everything I could about this time in our history. I started listening to the music, buying various books and submersed myself in everything 60’s and 70’s. I couldn’t even tell you one specific thing that I like about this era. For me, it’s everything combined. I think it’s the way that the music, the people and the events all affected each other and had such an impact on our culture. I wish I could go back in time and experience everything for myself, but looks like I’ll just have to keep on dreaming.

Below are a few of my favorite Almost Famous quotes…I couldn’t have said them better myself

“Some people have a hard time explaining rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t think anyone can really explain rock ‘n’ roll. Maybe Pete Townshend, but that’s okay. Rock ‘n’ roll is a lifestyle and a way of thinking… and it’s not about money and popularity. Although, some money would be nice. But it’s a voice that says, “Here I am… and fuck you if you can’t understand me.” And one of these people is gonna save the world. And that means that rock ‘n’ roll can save the world… all of us together. And the chicks are great. But what it all comes down to is that thing. The indefinable thing when people catch something in your music.”

“I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriously, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.”

They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.”

And of course, my favorite scene of the movie with music by the amazing Elton John.