Tag Archives: george harrison

Music on Mondays—He accepted my offer and conditions

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Over on Facebook, people are doing all sorts of things to stay connected but without all the political negativity and dystopian COVID-19 news.

Some of them are posting games requiring someone to tag you so that you can play. Then you have to tag someone else.

I have participated in some of them, but no one has tagged me for the one I really want to participate in: Post ten albums that influenced your life and your music interests, one per day. Just the album covers. Nothing else.

Well screw that.

I want to know what about the album influenced them!

Since I want more than just album covers, and I haven’t been invited to play with them in spite of all my friends knowing how much I am involved in music, well, I’ll play with myself.

Wait.

No.

I’ll play by myself.

Better.

So here they are, with explanatory material.

My wise old grandmother gave me a small, portable reel-to-reel tape recorder for Christmas 1968. That complemented the transister bedside AM/FM radio she had given me for my birthday in March 1968. It was hard for anything to drag me away from my radio and tape recorder, especially after I discovered KLOL FM in Houston. Lots of music, very little talk.

When friends would come over, we’d listen to my recordings. When I turned 18 in March 1973, all of those friends threw me a surprise birthday party. Since my wise old grandmother could not afford to buy me a senior ring, my friends presented me with one at my birthday party. Still have it. Although I wore it until I received my Texas A&M University ring in Fall 1976, it was not my favorite birthday present. Along with everyone contributing to the cost of my senior ring, each friend had bought me an album, so all ten of the albums listed here were given to me at my 18th birthday party, and they really have influenced my listening because some of these—Black Sabbath & Led Zeppelin—I never would have bought on my own.

It’s difficult for me to list albums according to which is my favorite, and after spending thirty minutes trying to do that with these ten, I gave up. Here they are in alphabetical order by title of album.

  1. Abbey Road by The BeatlesAbbey Road by The Beatles—Everyone knew that I was a huge Beatles fan. I knew the words to all their music and you could often find me singing Beatles songs on my walks between classes. “Come Together,” “Something,” “Here Comes The Sun”…. I was in heaven.
  2. All Things Must Pass by George Harrison—This was an expensive triple album given to me by Larry All Things Must Pass by George Harrisonand Sharon. Larry probably was my best friend then and is the one who got me interested in motorcycles. He had a paper route in the rural areas between Corpus Christi and Kingsville. One night I sneaked out my bedroom window and went with Larry on his motorcycle to Corpus Christi to get the papers. I threw papers left and right on the 45 miles home. Since we finished early, we went out to the caliche pits to do donuts on his bike. Caliche is gravel; we hit a soft spot and laid that bike down. My whole right side was bloody and full of gravel. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. Until I got home. I was grounded until high school graduation a few weeks later.
  3. Best of the Beach Boys Vol. III by The Beach BoysBest of the Beach Boys Vol. III by The Beach Boys—The Beach Boys were right up there with The Beatles and The Who as my favorite singers. Every song was singable, and the harmonies were just gorgeous.
  4. Black Sabbath Vol. 4 by Black Sabbath—When I put Black Sabbath Vol. 4 by Black Sabbaththis on my little Sears stereo turntable, I was stunned. My wise old grandmother, on the other hand….. Well, she wasn’t thrilled with The Beatles, so you can imagine what she thought about black satanic death metal music. Steve gave me this album. Steve and I played violin in orchestra. I never would have thought he was into this kind of music, and I never would have thought that he would think that I was into this kind of music. Well, he was, and I was.
  5. Made In Japan by Deep PurpleMade In Japan by Deep Purple—Jaime’s family owned the local lumber store. They lived in a beautiful brick house (brick!), had awesome cars (Jaime had a Pontiac Trans Am) and awesome stereo systems (Jaime loved bass; he probably had the nation’s first boom boom boom bass stereo system in his car). In other words, his family was one of the richest in town, so he could afford to give me this double album all by himself.
  6. Led Zeppelin IV by Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin—This album made me a Zep fan for the ages. Physical Graffiti, however, is my favorite Zep album. This is #2.
  7. Paranoid by Black Sabbath—Ooopsy. Two black satanic death metal music albums. When “Iron Man,” came on, well, my wise old grandmother Paranoid by Black Sabbathcame storming into my room wanting to know what the hell I was listening to. At the time I did not know what black satanic death metal music was, but now I find it funny that she asked what the hell I was listening to. I told her, “I am Iron Man.” She did not think that was funny.
  8. Ram by Paul & Linda McCartneyRam by Paul & Linda McCartney—Paul McCartney was, and still is, my favorite Beatle. This album was released in May 1971 and had “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” on it. This was my favorite solo album by any of The Beatles until Wings released Band on the Run in December 1973.
  9. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles—What I thought then was The Beatles’ greatest album. Every. single. song. was immediately singable since the words were printed on the album cover, the first album in history to print the lyrics to all the songs.
  10. Who's Next? by The WhoWho’s Next? by The Who—I had been a fan of The Who since 1966 when they released “I’m A Boy.” When my birth mom enrolled me in first grade in Utah, in the gender section she checked the female box. I never forgot that, so when “I’m A Boy” was released, I picked right up on those lyrics—I’m a boy, I’m a boy, but my mom won’t admit it. By that time, though, I was living with my wise old grandmother in Kingsville, Texas, the city of my birth. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is on this album and is my favorite song by The Who, although just barely beating out “Love, Reign O’er Me” from Quadrophenia.

Dark Side of the Moon by Pink FloydIn the ensuing three months between my birthday and high school graduation, Jaime, Larry, Richard, and Steve introduced me to more Black Sabbath, more Led Zeppelin, more Deep Purple, and Pink Floyd.

After high school graduation, Jaime, Larry, and I went on a driving tour of every Lower 48 state west of the Mississippi River. Larry had bought himself a 1973 Buick Apollo with savings from his paper route, so we decided to put some miles on it…. as soon as he installed an 8-track tape player in it so we could have some listening music. We took off on June 1 and got back on August 15 after having visited every state, ever national park, every national monument, every national forest, and every city of more than 100,000 population.

And the music! THE MUSIC!

After 10 weeks on the road with no wise old grandmother to supervise my listening interests, I was into all sorts of deviant music.

We were in Yellowstone Park on the Fourth of July when it snowed on us. Throughout our journey, we were just stopping anywhere and setting up camp. We had a tent, but we rarely used it. We went to bed with starry skies and woke up covered in snow. After that, we decided to always set up the tent.

Who Do We Think We Are by Deep PurpleAs we were leaving Yellowstone through Gardiner, Montana, we stopped for gas. The gas station convenience store had a huge selection of 8-track tapes for sale. I bought “Who Do We Think We Are” by Deep Purple. When we got back to Texas, I gave the 8-track to Larry for his collection, providing that he took me to the record store so I could buy the vinyl. He accepted my offer and conditions.

I have a vast music collection of both classical and non-classical music, over 3,132 hours. All of the groups noted above are represented in my collection with their complete discographies.

Music on Mondays (8/21/17)—I don’t believe in the sun

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

With all the fascination about the eclipse today, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many Republicans and Regressives didn’t call predictions about the eclipse’s path and its totality as fake news like they do with climate change, vaccines, evolution. Even at the age of 62, I always find myself amazed at people….

Here are seven sun & moon songs from my music collection:

“Eclipse” by Pink Floyd, 1973
When the sun is eclipsed by the moon

“Silver Age” by Pet Shop Boys, 1999
Earthquakes predicted and someday soon,
a total eclipse of the sun and the moon

“Total Eclipse” by The Alan Parsons Project, 1977

“Here Comes The Moon” by George Harrison, 1979
Everybody’s talking up a storm

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969
I see trouble on the way. I see bad times today.

“I Don’t Believe in the Sun” by The Magnetic Fields, 1999
I don’t believe in the sun.
How could it shine down on everyone and never shine on me?

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The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays—Heavy metal?

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I started collecting music when I was just eleven years old. My very first album was “The Best of The Beach Boys, Volume 3.” It was an album that my older brother left when he moved out. I liked it so much that I bought Volumes 1 and 2. After that I started collecting The Beatles and The Who.

When I turned 18, my friends threw a surprise birthday party for me and albums were the gifts of the day: “Ram” by Paul & Linda McCartney, “Made In Japan” by Deep Purple,” “The White Album” by The Beatles, “All Things Must Pass” by George Harrison, and the most unusual of all, “Black Sabbath Vol. 4.” My wise old grandmother wasn’t thrilled with my friends, especially after she listened to Made In Japan and the first side of Black Sabbath Vol. 4. She didn’t even like the name Black Sabbath, and forbade me from getting Black Sabbath Volumes 1, 2, & 3. Of course, there was no Volume 1, 2, or 3, but I soon bought “Black Sabbath, “Paranoid,” and “Master of Reality,” and kept them hidden behind books on my bookshelf. Ultimately she found them but didn’t have time to listen to them right then, so I played one short song for her, which she liked. Here it is, from Master of Reality.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Whaddaya think? Is that heavy metal, doom metal, satanic metal?

Here are a couple of others from Black Sabbath, not what you would expect:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not quite what you were expecting, eh? A softer sound from one of the founders of heavy metal music. Don’t judge a book by its cover………….lol

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays — #8: She’s a rainbow

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

#8
She’s a rainbow

 

The Beatles are my #1 singing group of all time, so I’ve necessarily not been a big fan of The Rolling Stones. lol

However, once I got to college at Texas A&M University, I was introduced to more music than what the American radio stations presented to me. Now I also have World Music — The Music Journey right here at WordPress to help me expand my tastes in music.

I currently have 53,114 digital music files, exceeded only by my 73,071 photographs.

I started collecting music in 1965 when I got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and recorded music off the radio. For my sixteenth birthday, while all my friends were getting cars, I got a stereo and my first vinyl records: Black Sabbath Vol. 4, The White Album by The Beatles, All Things Must Pass by George Harrison, and Wings Wild Life by Paul McCartney.

I eventually had over 15,000 vinyl records which I sold to a record store in Austin, Texas, in 1993 when I moved to San Diego. That allowed me to start collecting CDs, eventually growing it to over 5,000 CDs, which I stripped and sold in 2007 when I moved yet again. Now I’m just a digital file person. I’ll make CDs for long road trips, or to listen to when I’m gardening or at the beach but that’s it. Once I listen to them, they get thrown away.

One of the groups that I caught up on, beginning in 2007, is The Rolling Stones. My favorite song of theirs is “She’s A Rainbow.” It took me forever to finally find out that this song was by The Rolling Stones, off of their fantastic album (and my favorite of theirs) “Their Satanic Majesties Request.” I have no idea what the lyrics mean; maybe they were just a decade or two ahead of their time in describing today’s young women with all their weird hair colors, jewelry, piercings, tattoos……….

 

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