Category Archives: The Beatles

The Day The Music Was Murdered

Hi folks. Today is a sad day for me, when it comes to some of my favourite bands and I will explain why, as you read the rest of this post.
Today marks the anniversaries of two murders in rock and heavy metal music and they have both affected me in varying degrees. On December 8, 1980 John Lennon, probably the most famous of the Beatles was shot and killed by mark david chapman, outside of his apartment in New York City. This took place after both him and Yoko Ono had finished a recording session for a song, which would appear on a Yoko Ono album years later. It’s all there on Wikipedia if you would like more information about the events that day. However I will say that John conducted his last interview that day, a few hours before mark david chapman murdered John. You will notice I didn’t capitalize his name because like the other murderer in this post, they don’t deserve to have their names written out properly, as they have killed two important iconic musicians who were and are loved by millions around the world.
Also on December 8th 2004, guitarist Dimebag daryl Lance Abbott was also murdered by a piece of nothing named nathan gail. The difference being that this murder took place in full view of everybody, who was at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus Ohio. This merger took place while Daryl was on stage with his band Damageplan and his brother Vincent Paul Abbott on drums, as they both were on their respective instruments and Pantera. The other big difference with the story is that in this case the murderer was killed, after he had shot, killed and or wounded various members of the road crew or fans. Then, a policeman came in and fired one shot and killed nathan gail, thus saving the lives of many people including Vinny Paul.
Now I will talk about where I was when I heard about both murders. In the case of John Lennon, I heard about it when I was at school when one of the staff mentioned it to me. He said something like “he was shot and he fell down” and I immediately thought that he was killed. I didn’t know yet that you could be shot and survive! I and many other fans of The Beatles were very saddened to hear of this and years later, it finally clicked and how important a figure John Lennon was to not just music but other things like politics. We’ve been robbed of a man who was a very good wordsmith and brought genres like musique concrete almost to the mainstream. If he was alive today I think he would be quite impressed with all the music out there, including the grunge, industrial, Brit pop and even ban such as Radiohead. Of course, he would always go back to his childhood music such as: Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, buddy holly and the other people he listen to before getting full-time into music. Also, I learned to write songs through a radio program about him called The Lost Lennon Tapes. Most of the demo recordings ended up on the Beatles Anthology albums and elsewhere and that gave me more of the drive to want to try to be a musician.
In the case of Dimebag Darrell, I had actually seen him back in June 2001, when Pantera and a number of other bands played at what was then known as Copps Coliseum, now known as First Ontario Center in Hamilton Ontario Canada. One thing I can talk about is that some asshole threw a beer on me during the first song of one of the opening bands sets. In case you’re wondering, I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt plus my shoes and socks at the time and yes, I did kind of smell like a brewery for a while. However, it was a great show and of course, the last time Pantera would set foot in Canada before both the September 11 attacks and their break up.
 When the album New Found Power from Damageplan was released in 2004, I bought it on CD the day it came out and I loved it instantly. A highlight for me is the guitar solo on the song Moment Of Truth, which should have been released as a single. Then December 8th happened and I had actually heard about it the next morning at home on the radio. At first nobody said if any one was killed but I learned soon after hearing about it that it was Daryl, who had been murdered. It also happened that I was doing my grocery shopping that day and as you can imagine, it was difficult to concentrate after hearing such tragic news.
As for how heavy music has changed since then, not much has changed except the increase in guitar solos from newer bands like: Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch. Even bands like Mud Vayne decided to start putting guitar solos on their albums to augment the sound.
As a guitar player, I was and still am impressed with all the things he is done on Pantera albums and on New Found Power. I’m also quite happy that Brian May of Queen spoke up about the death of Daryl and I have a sneaking suspicion that Daryl was influence partly by Brian and his playing as well. However, he has never said that in interviews that I know of. If Daryl was alive today, I think that he would still be making music and still have the chops. Both of these guys were taken from us too early and if I could go back in time, I would make sure that they were both out of the way, of any danger to their lives.
As for the killers, I am glad that mark david chapman hasn’t been allowed to be paroled and I hope it stays that way. He can say sorry for what he did all he wants but it won’t change the fact that he did what he did to John Lennon. As for nathan gail, he got what he deserved and I’m happy. As for the families, I am glad that everyone is doing what they are doing and I am on their side, with all the annual events and such. I the case of the Lennon estate, keep fighting to keep mark david chapman behind bars and when he dies I will be happy. Shouldn’t he be on death row? After all, he did kill somebody and he knew what he was doing.
Anyway, I will be listening to an album with John Lennons last interview, which is available on iTunes and as for Daryl, I will probably be listening to New Found Power today as well.

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Is This Strange To You?

Hi folks. I’m back from my break from blogging! I actually stopped posting on July 31st, in my blog related to The Simpsons. In my last post here I recounted my tale of the frustration I am going through, while my apartment building is being renovated and the problems that have come up with it. I also mentioned having new windows being put in the next day and well… they are in and I will reserve comment on how good or bad they are in this blog… for now.
Today it is all about strange things in my iTunes Music library. I recently acquired a new iPod Touch because of iOS10. I mentioned why in a previous post about iOS10 earlier this summer, if you are interested in looking!
When I downloaded all of the music I wanted on this pod, I checked it all out the next day. I found something rather odd about one of the songs. It was the song N.W.O. By Ministry from their 1992 album Psalm 69: The Way To Succeed & The Way To Suck Eggs. The version I downloaded and purchased originally had a more thrash metal style and this new updated mix, had some of it taken out and replaced with some words from George W. Bush. Both the original George Bush and W Bush speeches about a New World Order are in this version, with George’s Father’s original samples intact at the end of the song. I also found it on the compilation Greatest Fits and a 2005 compilation, which listed the same mix as the “Updated Mix.”
I don’t know why this happened but I guess that it may have changed, dew to the current American Presidential Election going on now. I wonder if there will be any Donald Trump samples in any further updated mixes of the song in the future. If so, it would be very interesting.
Something else that is rather strange is the song Back In The U.S.S.R by The Beatles, from their White Album. At first it ran together on the album, with the next track Dear Prudence but lately, it has faded out like the version that appears on The Beatles 1967-1970. As Dear Prudence starts the airplane in the previous song is heard, as if it ended normally. I wonder why this is.
I also noticed a similar situation with the Cheech & Chong albums Big Bambu with the tracks Let’s Make A Dope Deal and Unamerican Bandstand. Dope Deal fades out, like it does on Cheech & Chong’s Greatest Hit and then goes into Bandstand, somehow with out missing a beat. There are 2 other examples with the Greatest Hit album that are Noteworthy to mention. The bits Sister Mary Elephant and Sergeant Stadanko are separated on the iTunes version of this album. Along with Cruisin’ With Padro de Pacas and The Continuing Adventures Of Padro de Pacas and Man are also separated. Those two beds along with the previously mentioned pair are normally linked together with each other. However, the rest of the album remains as it was released. So, why? Not that it’s bad but it does sound like someone put it together on their own iOS device, as a playlist. Then someone at the record label decided to take hold of it and put it out that way.
I noticed it very soon after purchasing both albums on iTunes and I find all of these examples very strange. Do you know of any examples in your iTunes collection, VS. Your cd, cassette or vinyl collection? There are probably more out there but I just wanted to point out the most obvious ones to you, that you would notice on first listen.
Well, that’s about it for today.

Annual Blog Review For 2015

Hi folks. This is the annual blog review, for 2015. This year I have continued my Simpsons Sunday posts and the Weather Wednesday posts have also continued, until recently. This is because I haven’t had much to write about on this topic.

In my Simpsons posts I have discussed recent episodes that have aired at the time. Another thing I have continued to do is talk about characters within episodes. One of them is Kevin, who is a blind boy who appeared in the Season 21 episode Stealing First Base. I like how the writers have been respectful to the blind community as they could, but also playing up that this is a comedy. One thing I don’t understand is why the entertainment industry feels the need to have blind people touch the face, in order to recognize people. I don’t blame anyone from The Simpsons for this though. I highlight this because I am also blind from birth.

. Something else I have mentioned throughout this year and once last year was the stories written by fans, based on The Simpsons. I have read a few complete and partial stories this year and I must admit, the fans have a great imagination. Some have even created their own characters and used existing stories from episodes as a basis for their own story. One story involves Lisa and Nelson becoming a couple again, while Bart finds a new girlfriend. No, it’s not any of the girls we know of and it’s a new character created by the author.

I have even found some Sideshow Bob based episodes in which he wishes to make amends with Bart and in one episode, Bart dies from illness. If you would like the links to them, just let me know and I’ll send you the links.

I have even dabbled in some writing in the past couple of years too and my stories are based on blindness. One has Homer going blind because of a work related accident and Bart just goes blind out of the blue. They are their own plots and I haven’t completed either one of them yet but hope to at some point. I am using existing characters in my stories except for my Krusty one, where I create a character based on me. It involves Krusty’s father and was written before he was killed off in 2014. I may change it but I’m not sure yet. I’m not really sure if I will include the stories in the blog but I’ll have to think about it. Oh, my Krusty story does not mention blindness but involves Krusty retiring, again.

I can’t forget about the people who have also been a part of the history of The Simpsons from 1989 to present day, who have passed away this year. In particular, Sam Simon in March and Alex Rocco in July. I have written posts acknowledging the passing of both these two men and their contributions to the show. If you’d like to read them, check out the archives for either March or July.

Another thing I have also done is commented on recent events such as iOS 9 and new album reviews. I have published 2 such reviews this year on new albums by Disturbed and Queen. Thankfully the Disturbed album debuted at No. 1 as I had hoped. Another previous album I reviewed .5: The Gray Chapter by Slipknot also debuted at the top spot on the album charts. I wish I could take credit for this but I don’t have proof that my post had any impact on this.

I have also been writing about things such as: how the new music release day has changed from Tuesday to Friday. I think it is a win win for everyone, if everyone cooporates with each other. This post did not appear in this blog and was a guest post in another blog by Alan Cross. Here is the link to it. http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/guest-blog-new-music-fridays-is-a-good-idea/

If you have followed Alan on Twitter, you will have noticed that my 2 previous album reviews I mentioned earlier have also appeared in the blog as links to this one.

Another thing I have continued to do from time to time, is write about random things that have been on my mind. One such point of discussion was my dream about the school bus. I have yet to ride on one and well, hopefully I get to soon.

This year I took a further dip into the iTunes waters and besides the bands and albums I have reviewed in the past 2 years of the blog, I have managed to collect the entire essential albums from The Beatles. I have some other albums to purchase and I will have all the songs.

My favourite period of their Development is from 1966 onward and especially The Beatles (White Album) and Abbey Road. Don’t get me started on Let It Be, because I don’t like it except for a few songs And moments.

As for 2016, the blog will continue as long as I can write and for as long as I have idea’s coming out of me, about things that interest me. In writing about those things I insert points about my own life that go along with what I am discussing. It’s not that I don’t want to write about my life both past and present… I feel it may come off as I am complaining about how things have gone for me and how they are now. Actually, I have things to say about my life course that aren’t exactly flattering to people involved, in some cases and in others I have a great deal of gratitude for what they have done for me.

I would like to thank everyone who has followed me through the blog and also on Twitter and Facebook throughout the year. I haven’t been Tweeting much lately because of having to watch my data for this month. I will hopefully be back tweeting and retweeting and posting again in 2016. I also hope to have my Weather Wednesday posts return to the blog. It’s just been so quiet on the weather front that I have had nothing really to write about, without repeating myself. I like sameness but I also know that there is a need to move forward and I wouldn’t want to be writing the same post over and over again.

Anyway, this has been a great year for me and hopefully 2016 will be even better for all of us, no matter where we are in the world and in our lives.