Top 5 On Friday

From The Mistress

Top 5 albums/songs/artists that you wouldn’t have known if not for a friend.

I thought this one might be tough as I was usually the one hawking music to my friends; all those years working in a record store and on radio stations put me closer to the latest stuff than most.  But then I remembered the one person I was closest to whose differing musical tastes opened me up (maybe not immediately) to a plethora of music to which my closed little mind may have never paid attention.  This would be my sister, who has been my friend (well, after I got bigger than her and she couldn’t get away with slugging me anymore) through thick and thin, even when I would disappear off the planet…sometimes for years at a time.  We grew up united; battling for the rights of Cheech & Chong in the house, turning the basement into a comfortable place to hide out, played endless games of Clue, Michigan,…oh and what was that other game on the maroon flip books….JOTTO???  I think that was it.

My sister help me get over my fear of jumping in the pool (it’s a long story, but she came up with a simple but brilliant plan that worked), we dove deep into The McCartney Mystery, being children of The Beatles, scouring (and ruining) or Beatle records playing them backwards looking for clues (and I think I still have the cassette of the CBS Radio broadcast of the special report on the MM).  At one point she got a portable cassette recorder…oh the fun we had with that…we put it on a table and the whole neighborhood showed up to beat out the drum solo from In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita.  We drove to Cape Cod by ourselves one summer in the VW bug that never seemed to die.  I taught her how to smoke (sorry about that – neither one of us do now).  We both got sick on some awful concoction labeled ‘wine’  – i mean no grapes involved here – that she had hidden, open in her closet.

Sure we fight.  We’ve had many tough ones over the years. But in the end, she’s my sister, and I love her.  And she always threw a whale of a party in Jamestown.  As this picture of three VERY relaxed folk (me, my BIL, and my sister) proves…

 joJohnMe

But onto the music…

These are five items I first heard from my sister…all of which I disliked at the time but have grown to love as my mind has expanded a tad….

1. Leon Russell & The Shelter People – This is a monumental album; the best thing LR has ever recorded.  I seem to remember a PBS special with this group of musicians in the studio.  Great stuff.

2. Allman Bros at Fillmore East – The gold standard of Allman Bros. albums.  See I was more the grunge/garage/metal bands of the late sixties early seventies…yer Grand Funks, yer Cactus (Cactii???), Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Mountain, etc.  The whole southern rock thing eluded me until much later.

3. Seatrain – I know.  Right now you’re saying..”Who???”…They put out two (or was it three?) albums.  The tune that still rattles around in my head is “Despair Tire”.  Every so often I’ll see one of their albums, Marblehead Messenger, in the few remaining independent CD stores.

4. Edgar Winter’s White Trash – This is pre-They Only Come Out at Night/”Frankenstein” days…when Edgar’s main axe was a sax and not the keyboard.  Gritty, raw stuff.  Go on iTunes and check out “Give It Everything You Got.”

5. Janis – Whether it was Big Brother & The Holding Company or Pearl, didn’t matter.  She liked the bluesy screamers…

6. Couldn’t not include this – Endless, endless one-hit wonder 45s – We were both record/music types.  It runs in the family.  Let’s see how many of her collection are still stuck in my head:  Echo Park – Keith Barbour, Itchykoo Park – Small Faces, Working in a Coalmine – Lee Dorsey(?), The Pied Piper – Crispin St. Peter,  Lies – The Knickerbockers,  I Fought The Law – Bobby Fuller

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4 Comments

Filed under family, music, Top 5

4 responses to “Top 5 On Friday

  1. You guys all look groovy! Good times~ keep on trucking and all that…

    It’s nice that you had an older sister who loves music as much as you do; not to mention she has great taste 🙂

  2. i love that picture. the smiles, the relaxation, whatever got you there it’s all good. what a wonderful tribute to your sister this is.

    ok, my list.

    ben harper-from a pal in seattle

    amos lee-from an online pal

    larry norman-from mr. lime a loooong time ago

    david rudder-friends in trinidad when i lived there helped me sort through all the calypsonians until i found my favorite

    norah jones-from my best pal and her husband

    kind of an odd list i guess but you don’t really expect normal from me do you?

  3. that was a sweet post coops! My brothers are both younger than I am, and the middle borther has devoured my love of music and totally geeked it out. He currently has a “secret lair” (a secured web site to access his server) which has more than 18 gigs of music on it. Sa-weet…. I know I have influnced him as i see Reaper, Madonna, Simon & Garfunkle and Enya…. all of which I introduced to him 🙂

  4. Janis is a great one. Its a shame her voice was silenced too soon 😦

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