Possibilities by Herbie Hancock

Possibilities by Herbie Hancock with Lisa Dickey; 2014; $29.95; 344 pages; Viking, New York, NY; 978-0-670-01471-2; purchased from Multnomah County Librarys’ Title Wave Used Bookstore; 2/19/16-2/23/16

Why did I read this?  Back in the day when I was attending South Eugene High School the school district had a radio station and some of us got to have a show on the station.  I remember playing almost all the cuts from Herbies’ album Headhunters, along with a lot of Dave Mason.  When I saw this come through the bookstore I knew I wanted to read this.

Herbie chronicles his life through all its various ups and downs.  He started playing classical piano when he was 7 and made his concert debut before he was a teenager.  As he attended Grinnell college he discovered jazz and has been redefining his music ever since.  He got a major push playing with the great Miles Davis, who always encouraged to try different sounds.  Herbie is not content to sit on his laurels and continue to make the same record over and over, even if that is what his fans seem to want.  His desire is to explore the possibilities of music and the many ways to make.  He details his Buddhism, his marriage and even his drug habit.  He explores his regrets and his accomplishments.

Grade-A

Did I enjoy it?  Yes as I fan of Herbie and all his various sounds I was interested in knowing his philosophy of music and why he has done what he has.

1000 Songs that Rock Your World by Dave Thompson


1000 Songs that Rock Your World 
by Dave Thompson; 2011;$19.99;318 pages; Krause Publications, Iola, WI; 978-1-4402-1422-6; purchased from Multnomah County Library’s Title Wave Used Bookstore; 2/17/16-2/19/16

Why did I read this?  Because as my cubicle mate Bess says music energizes me when I start the day with music.  Music is an important part of my life and I wanted to see what songs others thought important.

Synopsis:  This is a list of 1000 songs that many people like.  It is broken into categories and there are some long explanations about how the songs were written and what they mean to the people who recorded them.  Some of the explanations are longish and some songs have pithy or snarky comments about them and a few are just part of the list.  Everyone from ABBA to The Monkees to ZZ Topp are included.

Grade-A

Did I enjoy it?  Yes, it was an interesting look at the music of my lifetime going from Bill Haley and The Comets right up to 2007.ld

It’s so easy

Simple Dreams, A Musical Memoir by Linda Ronstadt; 2013; $26.00; 242 pages; Simon & Schuster, New York, NY; 978-1-4516-6872-8; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Library Outreach; 1/9-1/10

Why did I pick this up?  Because for as long as I can remember I have been listening to Linda Ronstadt and I used to have a poster of her on my wall.

What is the story?  The is the story of how music has affected and been a part of Linda Ronstadt’s life.  She tells stories about how her songs came about and how the songs and other musicians have affected her.  She is an avid reader and also understands how musicians emulate others that they respect.  It is a series of stories that takes you through her life.  There are all kinds of cameos by names that you will recognize but no dirt.

Did I like it?   Yes, Ms. Ronstadt doesn’t dish dirt, but it is an interesting ride through her life and the stories she tells about her songs, albums and performances are really interesting.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  One of my favorite songs by Linda is It’s So Easy and this book was really easy to read.

Monday Music

One day David and I were going through the drive thru at the KFC/A&W at 82nd and Powell and the voice comes through the speaker, “Hi, my name is Tennille, may I take your order.”  My first thought  was its’ come to this now, oh how the mighty have fallen.  When we got up to the window it was a young woman in her 20’s and we asked her if her parents were big fans and she rolled her eyes and said yes.

I must admit that I am a big fan of Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille, better known as the Captain and Tennille, but I don’t think I would ever name a child after one of them.  I am still a sucker for Muskrat Love, Disney Girls, Shop Around, Butterscotch Castle and a few more.  I like Toni’s’ voice and the poppy sound of the songs.  Also both Daryl and Toni performed with the Beach Boys for awhile.

Monday Music

To me one of the artist who really reflects America and especially small town America is John Mellencamp.  I have listened to him since he was known as Johnny Cougar and Joan Jett was singing his songs.  He has fought the music authorities throughout his career over his name, his music.  He is one of the founders of the Farm Aid movement.  Scarecrow is my favorite album by Mellencamp, I still like to listen to this album.  One of the more endearing tracks is Grandmas’ Theme on which Laura Mellecamp, Johns’ Grandma sings the lead.  So many of the songs on the album will make you stop and think, even the rockin’ R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A., has an important message in the lyrics.  I saw John in concert in the early 80’s at Memorial Coliseum, I remember that he didn’t have an opening act and he and the band played for three hours.  I think that my brother, Tim went to the concert with me.