Friday Morning Quarterback 01.01

I was just looking over my blog posts and I, literally, have seven articles that I have started over the last three weeks that I have not finished. I feel bad that I haven't gotten anything done but, between being sick, things picking up at work and last minute preparations for the coming baby, I just have not had time.

I have a tendency to jot little notes to myself during the week and then put them together in a weekly review of sorts called Monday Morning Quarterback. I keep most of these notes in my back-left pocket but there are so many that they are overflowing to other places and it has been so long that I don't understand what some of the inscriptions mean when I run across them. I have decided that I have to take a few minutes to record these thoughts before I lose them forever. Who knows? I could have a fleeting million dollar idea in here somewhere!

• I have this thing about people getting in my pockets. I won't even let MLW or M3S get in them whether my pants are off or on. I also transfer everything in my pants pockets that I am taking off to the pockets of the pants I am putting on every time.

Grammy Notes (Boy, it has been a long time since I have written):
- I didn't know more artists than I knew.
- Do you think anyone tells Stevie Wonder how silly he looks with all of his hair pulled back into the back one-third of his head? Is that from so many years of wearing those tight braids?
- Speaking of silly: All of the under-age artists look ridiculous. Just because Disney gives you enough exposure that millions of kids idolize you, does not mean that you have the talent to be able to even carry the amps of the legends that you are being allowed to share the stage with.
- Kanye (Twitty) West looks like he is going to a 1986 prom. What do they call that hairstyle-- a frolet?
- I like to listen to British people speak-- not only because of the accent (although it is cool) but they have a casualness about them that I enjoy.
- Whitney-- say no to crack!

• It is absolutely amazing to me what women will say to you when they understand that your wife is pregnant. When I was single, there is no way that they would ask me anything as personal as they seem to think it is OK to do now!

• I expected the baby to show up today because we have a music trivia to do tonight, but it looks as if he is going to take after his mother's side of the family and show up late.

• The only thing cooler about this time of year than it being trivia season is the fish fries will be starting in a week or two.

• I promise to burn my firewood where I buy it.

• Are three-year-olds supposed to have a vocabulary that includes words like actually and really and are they supposed to understand how to use those words in the right context?

• I have several new designs in the works and have made available a classic T-shirt from the movie, Can't Buy Me Love, starring a pre-McDreamy, young Patrick Dempsey as Ronald Miller.

• This Facebook thing is really cool but I don't know how healthy it is as it can be very addictive. It took me a while to join but now I like Mafia Wars a little too much.

• If I ever start writing regularly again I will have to do a feature on Facebook because I am studying several books on Social Networking and have developed some pretty interesting theories on the whole concept.

Okay, it is now Wednesday. I started writing this post last Friday and am frustrated enough, at this point, that I am just going to publish it as is. The baby is due tomorrow and I feel that we have just hit the pause button on the remote control of life and we are waiting for MLW to go into labor. I have got nothing done in the past week because I am having a terrible time concentrating on anything and this blog story is a perfect example.

I'm going to count this one as done and post it because I have to, as Walt Disney would say, keep moving forward! Read this. Buy T-shirts. Peace.


The Day the Music Died

Fifty-years ago today, news was broadcast about a plane, on it's way to Fargo, North Dakota, that went down in bad weather new Clear Lake, Iowa taking the lives of J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, 28; Ritchie Valens (originally Valenzuela), 17; and Charles Hardin Holley, 22, better known as Buddy Holly. A tragic story, indeed but, having occurred nearly a decade before my birth, I didn't feel that the event impacted my life in any way-- even though I had a great interest in music... especially Rock 'n Roll. 

The sad event, however, did influence Rock 'n Roll and many of the early artists that would leave a mark and, in fact, lay the foundation and several of the main-floors of the giant structure that the music has become in pop-culture. Legends such as Paul McCartney and John Lennon from the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and Rolling Stones-- Keith Richards and Mick Jagger have declared Buddy Holly a foremost contributor to the success of Rock 'n Roll and a major influence on their own career-paths.

There have been two movies made that recount events in the lives of the men leading up to the accident. The 1987 film, La Bamba, gave Lou Diamond Phillips, playing Valens, his big break and 1978's, The Buddy Holly Story, even earned, crazy-man, Gary Busey, an Oscar nomination for his role of Holly. Although some of the facts have been altered for dramatic effect, either flick is worth a rental on a Saturday afternoon or weeknight.

These motion pictures brought the story of the musicians to people my age and younger some 20-30 years after their death but many in the mainstream had heard the story before in song. Though they may not have realized it, Don McLean tells us about it in his 1971 hit, American Pie. The song is an abstract story of his life and Rock 'n Roll's part in it that starts with the accident and ends in 1970.

The eight-minute 33-second song is the longest in Billboard's history to make it to number-one and spent four-weeks there in 1972. Because of it's length, Top 40 stations would originally only play the shortened B-side, but the song's popularity eventually forced them to play the whole thing. It is now considered a rock anthem and it's importance to America's musical and cultural heritage has been recognized by many sources.

When I was a Freshman in high-school, I wrote a paper on the symbolism found in the song. At the time, I had to spend many hours in the local library, researching scholarly interpretations of the lyrics. Today, on the Web, everybody and their brother is ready to explain what they think it means. This, for one reason, is why I will not bore you with my analysis (the other reason is... I'm not sure what it all means) but this one is pretty good if you should want to check it out.

When they asked the writer what it all meant, McLean replied, "It means I never have to work another day in my life!" On a more serious note he claimed, "...long ago I learned that songwriters should make their statements and move on...", though later he did admit to hearing about the plane crash while folding newspapers to be delivered on his paper route on February 3, 1959.

I like that because, when you think about it, everyone is going to have their own interpretation of any song, or piece of art, or event, or conversation and even if I tell you what mine is-- it isn't going to change what it means to you... or at least I don't want it to.

So... I'll be moving on now.

...and the rest is Rock 'n Roll.