Friday, May 23, 2008

Classic Rock Friday

Hey ya'll -

I didn't like the Funnnky Friday thing too much. I may pop it in from time to time, but for now I want to change gears.

I was driving home from work listening to a classic rock station this week when Bungle in the Jungle by Jethro Tull came on.

Now, I have to admit when their songs first came out...I wasn't a big fan. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was more the pop queen, but some of these songs just kind of grow on you.

When I was married ( to a man) my husband owned a gas/service station and the guys working on the cars always had some kind of rock station going. I was the bookkeeper and had a little office just next door to the shop. It was hard not to get into the music after a while when you listen to it day in and day out.

Jethro Tull was kind of a dark secret for me. It was a strange combination of like and dislike. The flute in their songs really intrigued me (Ian Anderson is a freak on the flute) and the complexity of some of their songs was amazing.

Sometimes the lyrics didn't make sense and they didn't rhyme (oh no...what's a pop queen to do...words that don't rhyme?), but I liked them. For some strange reason.

My brother had one of their albums, but it was long after they had been out for a while...probably in the later part of the 70's when I was entering my short lived "punk" phase. I remember my Dad teasing my brother about the lyrics to Aqualung especially the part "snot is running down his nose". He would sing it with a fake cockney accent that cracked us up.

I didn't realize the song was about the homeless until much later when I looked up the lyrics and read something about the song. I always thought it was just about some creep in a park watching the girls and getting aroused.

I had to go to NYC yesterday for a seminar and walking down the streets I saw a LOT of homeless people. There are homeless in Philly too and I see the same ones everyday, but for some reason the NYC homeless seem much more desperate to me. Maybe it was the day...or my mood, but NYC on the whole just seemed angrier and dirtier than what I usually remember. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the area in Philly that I work in, which is clean and vibrant and sort of self contained.

Philly is NOT a safe city...quite the contrary. Philadelphia has more murders, rapes, robberies and assaults than NYC. Anytime that I romanticize about living there for a while...I think of this fact and put it out of my head. I like feeling safe and my little hometown has always been in the top five places to live in the US since we've moved here.

Anyway...I'm off the track.

Bungle in the Jungle and Aqualung are two songs that I've heard this week on the radio, so I thought I'd pick one.

I will dedicate this blog post to the many homeless people in America - either by choice or by circumstance they have a very tough life. We pass them by and don't look at them or when our conscious gets the better of us we give them our spare change. Some people are very good at volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens and many of us will donate our old clothes and blankets so that they will find some comfort in their situation.

We have to remember - they are people. They have a soul and a personality in there. They are dirty and smelly, but they are humans...they deserve some respect.

One of my favorite stories is when I was in Seattle a few years ago for a conference, I took a walk down to Pikes Market. I had to walk down these stairs that seem to go on and one forever and a gentleman sitting at the top of the stairs looked at me as I passed by and nodded. I nodded back...smiled...a little nervously. I became even more nervous when he started to follow me. My pace did his. now I'm a bit freaked. He said something to me...and I couldn't understand him...he repeated himself: "would you like to hear a song?"

"No thanks!" I replied

"Just a quick song." He yelled again

" to go!" Now I'm walking faster.

Then he started singing and THE WORST SOUND ever came out of that semi-toothless mouth of his!

I couldn't help by laugh!

Hysterically laugh!

"You're horrible" I told him.

"I know I am! ...and I'll stop if you can spare some change!"

He got me good on that one!

I gave him $5 and told him to invest in some singing lessons.

He smiled...winked at me and tipped his "invisible hat" towards me and said, "Thank you very much pretty lady."

I was serenaded and called a pretty lady.

He may have been butt ugly, smelly and had only two teeth in his head...but somehow I felt very happy and a little flattered at that particular moment!

So to you my song singing friend...I hope you are well and are still serenading all the pretty ladies around Pikes Market!

For those of us in the US...we start a long holiday weekend here. Memorial day. Please stop and think about all of the men and women who have served and lost their lives for us. They deserve our deepest respect even if we don't agree with the why they are doing it.

Have a safe and happy weekend all!


the only daughter said...

With few exceptions, I'm not a "rocker" either. JT is not one of those exceptions, at least I don't think so. I realized some time ago that I liked songs without having any idea who recorded them. They were just -radio- likes though, it's not like I'd ever buy them.

dive said...

Woohoo, Shazza!
Hoorah for Ian Anderson!
My band used to play Aqualung in the seventies. Tull were always good value for money.
Weirdly, I was at a gig last week and some kid wandered past with a Jethro Tull teeshirt on. I though WTF?
Thanks for the video; it's got me grinning like a loon and all nostalgic.

Have a great weekend, pretty lady!

Sharkbuttocks said...

Most excellent story and reminder!

Fireblossom said...

Oh my. I thought I was the only woman fan of Jethro Tull. After all the music Ian Anderson has made, some of it rather ambitious, I think it is telling, and perhaps galling to him, that his former wife wrote the words to his biggest hit, "Aqualung." I always liked the line "and the flowers bloom like madness in the spring." That's actually true, the incidence of madness increases in the spring.

I have "Stand Up" and some double cd retrospective. In LP form, when you opened Stand Up, a cardboard reproduction of a woodcut depicting the band members would actually stand up, in the manner of a pop up book.

I've always found Stand Up both musically and lyrically interesting, and without the misogyny present in a lot of Tull's later stuff. Still I take precautions: on warm summer evenings when I listen to it, I am careful to wear my funny nose/mustache/glasses thingie. A girl can never be too careful.

Shazza said...

OD - Jethro Tull is not for everyone that is for sure!

Dive - I wonder if that kid even knows who Jethro Tull is? AT least he wasn't promoting one of those EMO bands that kids are into nowadays.

SB - Good to see you as always my dear friend.

HI Fireblossom - thanks for stopping by. I think everyone should have a "funny nose/mustache/glasses thingie" around the house for special occasions!

sam said...

your songsinging friend - perhaps a reminder from god. no less human.

The Village Carpenter said...

That's a great story about the serenading homeless man.

Where I attended university in Richmond, there were tons of homeless dudes right on campus. They'd practically hang out with us. I walked by one guy and he said, "Hey! You look just like Patsy Cline."

Wish I could serenade like her!

Presbyfruit said...

Jethro Tull rocks!