Chirstmas Card from 1971

14 Dec

mom and pop

As I was walking down 24 street near Mission in San Francisco, I saw this poster inside a store window. I am sure they would want me to post it because it links to their website. It is a store that sells sports memorabilia. I looked at that mini dress and I was like wow, outrageous, as Jem would say. The store was not open at the time, but another sign, said they had been in business since 1972.

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Living in your Camper in San Francisco

11 Dec
Chinook Parked in San Francisco

Chinook Parked in San Francisco

Where can you park your camper?
What kind of camper can you park on the street?

Living in San Francisco is so expensive that many people live in their cars. When living in a car, it’s good to have a more comfortable vehicle like a van. I often see great RVs and campers from the 70s parked in San Francisco. The two best places to go search for old campers that are parked are the panhandle and in Pacific behind the Manor shopping center. But, they are found parked in any area of the city that does not have a two hour residential parking restriction. These RVs are small enough to park on the street. I don’t know if anyone lives in them or if they are just don’t want to pay for storing them and so they park them on the street. The number one most fun camper to see is the Chinook. The Chinook was made from 1938 and they stopped making them in the 2000. The later models of the Chinook are really big and high tech and can’t be parked on the street. The best models are of course from the 70s, with the Toyota Chinook being the best looking of all. The Dodge Chinook tended to look boxy. The Chinook company bought the chassis from other companies. You can also find Ford Chinooks. The upper part is what Chinook made and they were all top of the line luxury and expensive. The theme was a futuristic space age type of vehicle. The Toyota Scat is a super rare find. They have pop up tops. The Tioga made by Fleetwood was a smaller unit, then what Fleetwood normal built and they called them mini motorhomes. There are also many other smaller ones. Most look like a truck with something sitting on top of it. But the VW campers are one piece vehicles. I don’t see any many VW campers as I used to see in San Francisco. They are rare and too valuable to park on the street. The climate in San Francisco is the best for living in your car. Neither too hot nor too cold, but the fog does rust out these beautiful 70s campers. If you want to spot vintage campers you have to be alert to the fact, they can show up any where. In the parking lot of grocery store or on the freeway. I never see those large metal ones like Airstreams parked around San Francisco, they are too big to be allowed to be parked on the street. Those huge metal RVS are difficult to cool down or heat. There is one of them parked on El Camino Real in San Mateo near the Yumi Yogurt shop. There is also a 70 Fleetwood Bounder parked in the parking lot of a church near Lagoon Honda Senior Home and Forest Hills Station. I sometimes see Rvs parked on Sloat Blvd near 19th Ave and Stern Groves. This area can accommodate larger rvs.Great Highway there is a smaller street which often has campers parked. I don’t know if they are just surfers. There are also some rv parks but they are located just outside of San Francisco, and the rents are expensive. I read it is possible to rent parking spaces. I know certain people try to rent their garages or driveway, because parking at all in the city is very difficult. It is illegal to park in Golden Gate Park at night, but one can park nearby Golden Gate Park at night. One would be better off it the vehicle can move. There is weekly street cleaning. If you vehicle can’t move you can’t live in at all. It would possible to move the vehicle around frequently so as not to look like one is living inside. I would say about every 8 hours or 12 hours at the very least it should be moved. It is not nice to hog up parking spaces near people homes.

Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami at the Dolphin Hotel

1 Dec

The Dolphin Hotel is a place in the book Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami

I did not finish book, because it got kind of depressing and had grisly killing of young lady.

I liked the part at the Hotel. He says the name is very ominous.

There must be a link between the Japanese killing dolphins and the hotel. See the episode of South Park in which Japanese keep dropping in to kill dolphins. I don’t know why they do this. I think they eat them. It must be like the same as eating a chimpanzee, since they are not fish and are very intelligent. It is almost like cannibalism. I am sure many Japanese are concerned and they should refuse to eat dolphins. Surely some bad luck will happen. Upon staying at the hotel in Japan due to the killing of the dolphins.

I found there is a Dolphin Motel in San Diego that was around before the book was written. They have a website if you want to look it up. The Motel started in the 70s, I am not sure of the exact date. The motel looks like a nice place. I would stay there. I like the neon dolphins.

I only have the book as an audio book, so I can’t skip ahead very well to see how it ends. I stopped at the point in which the hero is driving the young girl around at night.

we got to pitch in to clean up America

14 Oct

we got to pitch in to clean up America

we got to pitch in to clean up America

and if everybody keeps pitching in we can all our America

America the beautiful once again

oh no

This is a lost song/public service/commercial from the 70s

It was about not littering and cleaning up population in general back when we still believed, things were not completely hopeless due to climate change.

I found it on you tube under the name “we got to pitch in”

The you tube version ends with “oh yeah”, but I remember one that ended in “oh no”, but also I remember “oh yeah”, there could have different versions of it.

It was written by Steve Karmen known as the Jingle Man because he wrote a lot of these great commercials, that I still often come into my mind from time to time.

I have complied lists of them with the lyrics that I can remember. I have to publish them when I have some free time.

Image

Blue Walrus stuffed toy from the 70s

8 Mar

Blue Walrus stuffed toy from the 70s

On the event of the Party Animals House burning down it reminds me of my childhood stuffed toys. The photo is taken in Park Merced, in front of our house at 502 Arballo Drive.

Cross Eyed Mary and Aqualung by Jethro Tull Song Meanings

27 Feb

Essay on Jethro Tull song lyrics

Aqualung Album Song Lyrics Meanings Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson

Cross Eyed Mary and Aqualung by Jethro Tull Song Meanings and a longer discussion about song lyrics.

What lyrics enhance a rock song?

Aqualung, the Jethro Tull album was released in 1971

The first song is Aqualung and the second song is Cross Eyed Mary. Why is he called Aqualung? He breathes like someone underwater in some kind of driving apparatus. Locomotive Breath is also on the album. You can think of these songs as the three stages of Life. Young Mary, middle aged loser Locomotive Breath, and old and homeless Aqualung. Mary should of saved her money for her old age, I guess.

updated:

I wrote a blog about this song and later I read Jethro Tull’s Aqualung (33 1/3)  by Allan Moore, and he confirmed all of the conclusions I had, plus he said the Jack Knife Barber is an abortionist and she has an abortion on her lunch hour and then gets dropped off back at school.

Original blog post

I looked up the lyrics and read the interpretations, and I found I had the wrong idea about this song. I did not think Mary was a hooker, but merely a Party Girl.

She’s the robin hood of High Gate

High Gate is supposed to be Mary’s expensive school, but because I did not have access to the internet or the lyrics in the late 80’s, so I could not read any interpretations of the song. I would not have thought of High Gate School. That would not mean anything to me and I could not understand it anyway.

Another song by Jethro Tull mentions a place in England, “Jeffrey goes to Leicester Square” (from the album Stand Up 1969) predates Aqualung . I know Leicester Square is in England, but the song is just about a man rejecting a woman, and there is nothing about Leicester Square in the song. The man singing the song could be Jeffrey who goes for a walk Leicester Square and makes a decision to break up with the woman he sings about in the song, and this song is his way of telling her he is breaking up. Or maybe she is just friend of his but he wants to end the friendship.  Why not have the song be about the good looking woman who he loves instead of despises? If one wants unhappy lyrics then maybe one wants a dark metal type music to express unhappiness instead of a cheerful flute? Consider about the Fire Suite by Arthur Brown. The music is unhappy and the lyrics fits the music.

This song I believe is the case of weird title thrown on to the unrelated song. When the song title does not appear in the lyrics, you can’t know the name of the song if you hear it. This is always a mistake. Led Zeppelin did this often.  The Led Zeppelin song Out on The Tiles is the one that goes “All I need from you is all your love”. No one knows this song by the name if they are not a serious fan.

If you are not familiar with the places in England, you won’t understand Cross Eyed Mary.  Even more misunderstanding occur because people posted that High Gate is the school that the jack knife barber drops her off at, but it was a boys only school, so she can’t attend High Gate.

At first I thought maybe Mary preferred rich men, so she would not be poor. The song starts out with the lyrics “who would be a poor man, a beggar man, a thief, if he had the rich man in his hand?” But, of course, the lyrics says “his hand” so this is someone else not Mary. Who is this person? Or is he just a person in general and not one of the characters in the story?

Considering the Rolling Stones song “Playing with Fire”. The song mentions places in England, but it is very clear what Mick Jagger is singing about in the song. Playing with Fire translates to something universal we can all relate to without knowing the ends and out of those places in England.

It ruins the song to a certain extend to always thing about a homeless old man each time you hear Aqualung . A song like Aqualung  takes you up and down emotionally in the way Nietzsche described how music can make you soar to great heights. For Aqualung one wants lyrics that will make you feel like celebrating something, instead of fretting over something like the plight of the homeless. If the goal is to properly make a song about the homelessness something by Bob Marley would be more fitting as a social change anthem. The entire set of lyrics for Aqualung is a terrible mistake that cannot be undone.  Once the lyrics settle into one’s brain they will become trapped there forever.

There is this quote on Wikipedia where Ian Anderson describes Cross-Eyed Mary as a fun song about a school girl prostitute who goes with older men because she wants to. I can’t see who could think of this as a fun song. Maybe in his dreams  young school girls are like that? I wonder if he being truthful, maybe he doesn’t want to give the real explanation for the song?   Cross Eyed Mary used to be more abstract to me before I decided to analyze it. Why not make the song about blue eyed Mary, why cross eyed? Is she is really is cross eyed or just has twisted values?

Paul McCartney just throws down some kind of nonsense lyrics that he thinks up off the top of his head, because he is very stoned when he writes the lyrics. Being stoned those lyrics seems like a good idea to him at the time. John Lennon wrote meaningful lyrics. As long as Paul was with John and the Beatles his songs had good lyrics such as “Yesterday”, but upon breaking up with the Beatles he descended into infantile lyrics.

 For a small digression, consider that the lyrics to the song Imagine. Mark David Chapman cited as Imagine causing him to want to kill John Lennon. He said John Lennon was phony to say, image no possessions, when he was rich.  John Lennon ‘s lyrics were too meaningful and Paul’s were too frivolous. Imagine no Heaven or Hell, consider believing that today is all we have, and there is no afterlife and no God also made Mark David Chapman upset. I saw several biographical movies about Mark David Chapman. This was a pattern for John Lennon. He seemed to enjoy lyrics that pushed limits and made people uncomfortable. If you look at his earliest album after leaving the Beatles, which was not as well known as Imagine, the song “God” has the same theme. When Lennon and McCartney were together they balanced each other out, and the songs lyrics of the Beatles were much greater then the lyrics of either of them without the other one.

Tull has a song called “Hymn 43” (Jesus Save Me) but the song is sarcastic. It is not so much saying Jesus is fake, as it is saying people claim faith in Jesus to push their own agendas. But, don’t like that song, I barely tolerant it, so I don’t mind that I don’t like the lyrics.

Aqualung would have been more popular if it had different lyrics. The song is only popular in spite of the lyrical handicap, because it is such a great song and so well performed and sung with such conviction.  Aqualung is not played that often on classic rock stations, at least not on Sirius XM.

What statement does the song Aqualung make? Does it say homelessness is a bad thing?  The narrator does not feel pity for Aqualung.  Nor does he offer to help him. He is just singing about this homeless guy.  I wish Ian Anderson would give a better explanation so I could understand his thought process.  Maybe the narrator of Aqualung is in fact Aqualung himself. The lyric “is you see it’s only me”. I read this means Aqualung is Ian Anderson. Consider the TV show the Prisoner in which Patrick McGoohan asks “Who is number one?” and get this answer “You are number 6.” People like to read the lyric in this way.

On Wikipedia, Ian Anderson mentions a photo of a homeless guy who we assume model for the Cover Art for the album. His ex wife took the photo.  I would rather see that as the cover then the poorly drawn cover art. It is a matter of taste that I don’t like that cover art of the homeless guy. Ian Anderson had the photo of the homeless guy, and he was going to write song lyrics for his greatest song, and the photo inspired him to write the lyrics.  Was there really a photo of the original homeless guy? If so would he not deserve some royalties from the song? He would become no longer homeless if he was still alive which he couldn’t be at this time. What if there was no photo, and it was just what Ian Anderson wanted to do at the time. He wanted to pose as a old homeless guy for the album art, like the artist who did the cover art claimed. None of this was addressed in the book about the album Jethro Tull’s Aqualung (33 1/3) . What is the point of writing a book if you can’t come up with answers to the most pressing questions about Aqualung the album?

There are some artists who insist on making references pop culture. These songs become dated over time. The artists don’t want to be bound by the rules of universal concepts when writing a song. Then later on the lyrics age, and become more and more obscure, as time slips into the future. Consider the song “Orange Crush” by R.E.M.. If that drink stopped being made, the song lyrics would become less relevant.

Consider A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Anthony Burgess made up his own slang. Anyone can understand the movie version of Clockwork Orange, but reading the book is a chore, as one needs to stop and consult a glossary. Oddly enough on Wikipedia, it states that Anthony Burgess thought using made up slang would prevent the book from becoming dated. At least if one uses current slang it is possible for the devotee of the work to then study the slang from that period, but made up slang is like a time capsule time that dates the work to exactly when the it was written. If you hear someone using words from Clockwork Orange you immediate think of that novel or the movie if you have not read the novel.

By adding locations in England to songs do the lyrics become dated more quickly?  If the neighborhood changes it makes the song frozen in time. If  low class neighborhood became high class or vice versa, the whole thing is dated.  “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys is an example. In Manhattan there is the upper and lower parts and one is supposed to be richer and another poorer, but that could change over time.  West side, East side, uptown are all location based concepts.  The song “Shattered” from the Some Girls album released in 1978 by the Rollingstones, mentions locations in Manhattan but the song works. You don’t need to know what Uptown is like to know the singer is complaining.

But, when the entire meaning of the song is placed up one’s ability to know that High Gate is an expensive school or an expensive part of town and Mary is not poor, the meaning of the song is lost without the ability to look up the song on the internet.

If Aqualung was a concept album, Ian Anderson claimed it was not supposed be.  I have never listened to the whole Aqualung album. I only bought the greatest hits CDs. I did not buy Aqualung as an LP. Maybe the ugly cover art put me off? I found a lot of classic rock records in the basement of my building in the 80’s that someone was throwing away. Aqualung was not among them, or I would have listened to the whole thing.  I was a bit improvised back then. I now have means to listen to the whole album if I wanted to, but now I have neither motivation nor time to listen to concept album.

In the 70s one could mull over the LP to decide if it was a concept album.  Why would you spend money for just three songs on Aqualung, when could buy the greatest hits CD or buy them one by one on ITunes or Amazon? The concept of listing to the whole album while staring at the cover art while you listen is dated.

I checked Wikipedia for the album Aqualung and found a reference in a book called  Jethro Tull: A History of the Band  which is not on Kindle so I won’t bother to buy that and read it, however, I did see that Ian Anderson also is in favor of using “the original photo”(if there was one), and not the cover art on the album Aqualung.  I was teenage girl in a record store looking at the covers of records to decide which one to buy. If I saw the Aqualung cover I would never buy that record due to the ugliness of the cover.

I saw also the album Country Life by Roxy Music with the two models on the cover, and I wondered what was inside that record, but I could not hear any samples, so I did not buy it. But, if you placed Country Life next to Aqualung and asked people if they knew nothing about the music inside which would you buy, I am sure no one would buy Aqualung. If they did pick Aqualung instead of Country Life it would be like a Rorschach test which would prove depravity. 

Also on Wikipedia I noticed Robert Christgau, a critic, also has the same feeling I have about the lyrics of the songs on Aqualung.  I would like to add I did see Jethro Tull in concert in the late 80’s and Ian Anderson was wonderful.  Clearly he cared about his music and Cross Eyed Mary was first song of the night. I would have wanted it to be a later song, because it was a mistake to play his second song first, leaving Aqualung for the last song. Ian Anderson wanted to give a good performance unlike other Older Rock acts whom just want to do the show with as little effort as possible, such as Robert Plant. I saw him on tour to support the album The Principle of Moments featuring (my love is in league with the freeway) . The worse concert I ever saw was Adam Ant, and the best was Peter Gabriel, but Ian Anderson could be considered a very strong second best concert. So, I don’t think he has a cynical personality, and hates the whole world and wants to write unhappy lyrics for this reason.  

Just one more song before I close, “Thick as a Brick” by Tull has a light hearted flute, and makes one think of skipping in the park, but thick as a brick means someone is stupid to people in England. In the USA we don’t use this term or use it. I only learned this because Princess Di, said she felt this way.

 

Reds by Jack W. Thomas 70s book review

27 Feb

Reds is about two girls who run away from home. They come from a nice middle class life, but one of them, Dorcie, has problem with her mother’s boyfriend. It is not like one thinks of a “real problem” with the mother’s boyfriend.  Anyone who came from a real broken home will find it ridiculous that they want to run away because the materialism around them is just “a drag.”  He did not molest her. The author is making a statement that the hippy values are not meaningful. The character Dorcie is shown early in the novel to be a sociopath. The other girl Polly goes along with Dorcie because she likes her, although there is no clear motive for Polly’s blind allegiances to Dorcie. Especially after Dorcie’s Evil Plan is reveled to the reader. They meet a nice boy named Cole. He gives them a ride to Santa Barbara.  It is the sort of book one thinks parents would give to their children to convince them not to run away to San Francisco and try to join the hippy scene. My husband who was there says that by 1968 it has already degenerated.  The summer of 1967 was the only time in which it may have been pleasant. I think the book could have been first published around 1970, but I am not sure. But, this is definely a 70s book, even thought it was about the 60s and the book does not say what year it takes place, but I assume it could be anywhere from 1968 to 1975. I have one of the only rare and hard to find copies of this 70s book. I read a note it was published November 1976 by Bantam Books, but this may have been one of  but this may have been one of the second printings. This book was really popular in back in the 70s. I know it had a few printings. I do not want to give the ending, but the ending is just awful. So, you want to know the ending, email me, I will tell you.

 

reds

I hope you can recognize the cover. I don’t own this image, but I like the art work and I thought to post the artwork, it could jog your memory. The art work cover is also on Amazon.