Wheneveryone had settled in their chairs, a hush fell over the crowd of excitedparents, grandparents, assorted relatives and friends. I knew that memorizingmy speech was crucial.
I can still remember the first lines of that speech "Thisceremony of Confirmation enlarges and enriches Jewish life The reception that my mother mounted that afternoon was impressiveand relatives appeared from all over.
Most brought gifts -- some of which I'mstill using. The day was a big success -- I had done well. The group met onSunday nights in the Temple community hall. We danced, ate light food andgenerally enjoyed each other's company. Many of us were in the same classesin High School, but this was a place to relax. From time to time, the Rabbiwould bring friends of his to speak to the group. On one occasion, we wereaddressed by his friend, poet Langston Hughes.
I regret I didn't appreciate thatoccasion with the respect it deserved. Other Sundays, there were movies andalways, a phonograph with dancing. It was a pleasant time. Inever did anything in conjunction with that job, but it seemed like a nice title tohave at the time. When my own family began to grow in the early 's, I rejoined theTemple.
I had gone to High Holiday services sporadically over the late HighSchool and my college years. Cynicism had set in with respect to all organizedreligion. But when it came time to pass the traditions down to my own children-- off to Sunday School they went.
The Temple had organized some sort ofAdult Programming for those parents who had dropped their children off forclasses but who lived too far from the Temple to make a second round trip topick them up. I attended on those Sundays when I couldn't arrange a car poolto have a friend make the trip to Temple. My first serious adult involvement with religion came with mymarriage to Lois. She had converted to Judaism as a matter of consciencewithout regard to our marital status.
But when we got married she told me "IfI'm going to be Jewish, so are you! Eventually, Dottylost interest in Sinai and we rejoined Sinai. I was encouraged to become Honkinvolved in adult education programming at Sinai. I wrote reviews of Jewishoriented books for the Temple's Bulletin.
My activities eventually led to my involvement in the Sinai Genesisprogram which was a massive adult education program involving hundreds ofpeople divided into small discussion groups for the study of the book ofGenesis. On occasion, all the participants would convene in the Temple forrabbinical input. During that same period, I was involved in reading a vastnumber of books on Jewish history and on ritual practice.
I organized anddelivered lectures on these subjects for Sunday morning classes. We organizedan oral history project involving older, more famous members of the city'sJewish community and I conducted the interviews, tapes of which are nowheld by Chicago's Jewish Historical Society.
Lois and I also acted as adultadvisors to the Sinai Youth Group. For two years, I served as the person who read the weekly services forthe Temple until a new Rabbi could be found. Unfortunately, the new Rabbiand I did not get along at all and ultimately I was felt obliged to resign from theTemple Board where I had served as a Vice-president, and eventually from theTemple itself. It was a painful experience. While I did not lose my firm beliefin the principals of Judaism, I felt mistreated at the Temple to which I haddevoted so much time and effort.
Eventually, we joined Temple Sholom on the north side of the city. Our involvement there is limited to occasional attendance at services andmembership in a small group of "empty nesters" senior adults whose childrenhave married and left home and who find common ground in discussions andcongenial activities.
Confronting my religiosity in this post-Sinai period hasbeen difficult. I have never lost faith in the principals of the religion, but havedeveloped some serious questions about the way in which organized religionapplies them on a practical basis.
In time, I may regain some respect for theorganizations of the religion and while I certainly appreciate their need in acomplex society, have developed some serious questions about the quality oftheir leadership. In time, I may rethink this skepticism but as of this writing, Iwant to remain on the periphera of the organizations.
NewspaperingThroughout all these slice of life articles, there have been references tovarious writing that I have done. From my first published poem -- at about agesix -- what I wrote reflected how I felt. I spent time working on school newspapers -- in grade school, in highschool, in College and at the Temple.
Prologuemedical school and the pre-med program at Chicago. For reasons that weren'tinitially obvious, he was rejected. I went into the problem because I felt he hadbeen unfairly treated.
After a lot of questioning, I discovered that he wasrejected because of an unpublished and relatively secret Jewish quota. Theschool simply did not admit more than a specific number of Jewish students toany medical school class.
Because of this quota system, Joe had been rejected. After documenting the school's prejudicial policy, I published a columnexposing the practice. The uproar that ensued caused the University topublicly admit to its quota system and change its policy. Joe was admitted toMedical School. I was fired from the paper's staff. Andthere were probably other efforts I don't even remember. I enjoyed the workwhile always realizing that it wasn't a practical occupation.
I had been raised tothink that the only way to make a decent living was as a businessman and that'sthe direction I went. Even the book that I wrote and which was published wasnot written to make any money -- it was purely an ego trip requiring thetranscription and editing of some lecture notes.
I worked as a newspaperman for a brief period after finishing college,but like so many jobs you enjoy, this one didn't pay enough money to raise afamily. I wasn't really trained to write, but more importantly, jobs were scarceand low paying. Instead, I spent the majority of my life working in thefinancial services industry with a nine year sojourn into the garment trades. During my career as a businessman, there was a lot of writing that wasneeded for reports and for presentations to clients.
This work seemed to beeasy. My "style" if it can be called that, was conversational. I still "talk" to thekeyboard and write what would come out of my mouth if I were to bespeaking. I learned the style of "conversationalwriting" while I was working in my father's office. That was the time I learnedto type using a hunt and peck method.
My Dad's bookkeeper, Frank Chalupa had been schooled in anobsolete style of letter writing. It was the only one he knew and he wouldconclude letters with "I am, sir, your most obedient servant and am veryrespectfully yours. In writing the letters that were sent out, therewas a direct, conversational and relatively informal style which seemed to meto be more friendly than Frank's. My real joy in writing for a newspaper began about ten years agowhen my grandson, Rob was visiting.
The two of us enjoyed cooking, and heultimately took that career direction as his life work. I had written somethinghe read and he suggested that I should get a "job" as a newspaper columnist. Ididn't think it was a practical idea but promised to make some inquiries at localcommunity papers. I checked the "free" papers that were distributed to thebuilding where we live and found the one I considered the best. The publisher Honkhad won a Pulitzer Prize and the paper appeared regularly on a semi-monthlybasis.
Calling the office, the editor suggested I bring in some samples of thematerial I was writing and a couple of unpublished columns. Editors arenotoriously skeptical when it comes to adding new writers to their staff. Theyare continually barraged by recent journalism school graduates who appearwith stars in their eyes.
I remember one interview that he conducted with anapplicant who said, frankly, that she wanted nothing less than to be hired as aninvestigative reporter. Normally, that's a job, if there's room for one on thepaper, which would go to the most experienced member of the staff. Thisapplicant had no experience whatever, so the editor asked her what she mightlike to investigate.
There was no answer for a minute and then she tentativelysaid -- "whatever it is you might want investigated. Most investigative journalism doesn't begin with aninvestigation -- it begins with a story that seems, somehow to not go away. One discovery of fact leads to another and possibly into another direction. Finally, there's a new story that is opened by the inquiries and a newsworthyrevelation is the result.
The editor agreed to let me write the column I had suggested and now,for the past ten years, through a couple of papers, I've continued to writecommentary. Occasionally, someone who reads it thinks enough of it torespond in writing to the paper. Some of the comments agree with the positionI've taken -- other violently disagree.
But those letters are comforting in thatthey tell me someone is reading what I'm writing. I analogize this to the treefalling in the forest and, if that happens and no one is there, it's asked, does itmake any noise? In addition to the column, there are frequent interviews, some withnoteworthy people.
I've found that the more famous the person, the easier theyare to interview. The celebrities I've talked to -- people like CatherineMalfitano and the artist Ed Paschke are easy to approach.
They expect the sortof questions that will be asked and are ready with answers. The most difficultpeople to interview are those so full of their own egos that they feel theinterviewer isn't a part of the process and they are being questioned to boosttheir personal egos.
The style of questions I use vary, but the interview isalways a conversation based on prepared questions. I know the direction Iwant the interview to take so that it will be of interest to readers. I preparequestions to fill in those needs.
Usually, I tape the conversations, whether they're done in person orby a speaker phone. In that way, I can get the gist of the interviewee'scomments and clean up the language. I'm always amazed at how fuzzy andungrammatical responses have to be cleaned up for printed publication. I havediscovered that this clean-up process is used all the time. I've never received acomplaint about the fact that the material between quotation marks is notexactly the words that were used over the phone.
It's context that's important Prologueand experienced interviewees know that when talking casually, they oftenmisspeak, use poor grammar, run-on sentences and misused words. Correctingthose errors is the job of the interviewer. Infrequently, something will be brought to my attention which has notbeen covered by the large daily papers.
A couple of examples include theimminent closure of Meigs Field, the city's small downtown airport. The storyI wrote revolved around the Mayor's intention to shut the airport down. Noneof the major papers had printed anything about it, but within a couple of weeksafter the original story appeared under my by-line, the major papers haddiscovered the facts and were running page one headlines about it.
Anotherincident happened last summer when a group of businessmen complained thatsomeone was abusing the terms of the Americans With Disabilities Act andbringing frivolous lawsuits which, though technically valid, were misuses of acity system for dealing with those problems.
The article brought a hugeresponse from other merchants who had been cited, a meeting with the localalderman and a concerted effort to stop the practice and change the City'ssystem of dealing with them. Weeks later, a citywide paper decided that thiswas something they could use and ran a similar story as their page one feature.
The feeling that comes with being the first to uncover some sort of wrongdoing is intense and very satisfying. Travel writing is another aspect of what I've done and with Lois as anintegral part of our team, we have gotten the benefit of reduced price or freetravel to many places throughout the world. This has also provided insightsinto places with travel professionals from the local communities we havevisited. Those people have a considerable amount of knowledge of their areaand give it freely.
We see and learn a lot more than we might have been able tograsp otherwise. We have often felt that a two or three week trip to a Europeandestination that is assisted by local professionals would have taken monthswithout their help. The quid pro quo for receiving this professional help ishaving the articles published. It's a form of payment for the benefits we getfrom national tour offices and local convention and visitors bureaus.
Our travel schedule has been reduced, butnot eliminated. Because writing is sedentary, it's an easy way to continue a vitalinvolvement in the world around me without excessive physical strain. I see noreason to slow down these activities and I hope that the work I do keepsimproving and broadening. I'm having fun. Remembering WhenI'm old enough to remember: Ice Delivery and the signs hung in the window telling the iceman how many poundsto bring upstairs Honk Bakelite, Celluloid and cellophane being the only plastics we knew about Shopping at the five and ten cent stores like Kress, Woolworth and Kresge andactually finding things for five or ten cents.
Sales tax tokens worth "mills" or tenths of a penny. Running boards gas pumps in stations that had to be pumped up by hand and then drained into the carby gravity. DeMille Colonel Robert R.
Renfrew of the Mounties Balsa wood models of War planes from the first world war. Standing for a moment of silence on Armistice Day, November Remote broadcasts from "ballrooms" around the country with the big bands of thetime The Big Five cigarette brands and the cheaper ones like Spuds, Twenty Grand andRaleighs.
Prologue Lottery Books bought by high school teams and sold to earn enough to buy teamjerseys. The excitement when the jerseys finally were delivered by the Fair Store. It was in an old abandoned warehouse building. Even underage kids couldget in and buy very sophisticated "pink ladies. Roller Skate Hockey with manhole covers as the goals. Mom and Pop candy and school supply stores formalwear that was called "soup and fish. Maid's night out on Thursday for the rich kids -- everyone went to Chinatown.
Chapter 3. But in those same years -- roughly , everything wassurreal. It's true that there were very fewdeductions from a paycheck. Income taxdeductions didn't begin until the onset of the second World War. There were no paychecks in those years.
People were paid in cash forseveral reasons. It reduced the bookkeeping expense of the company and themajority of workers didn't have checking accounts. One reason for this lack ofchecking account presence was the fact that people paid their bills, if they hadany, in cash.
There were no credit cards, no debit cards and only a very fewcharge accounts. People also lacked faith in banks in general following thehuge number of bank failures beginning in and continuing until FDRdeclared a "bank holiday" shortly after he was inaugurated in March of Income taxes were equally low in those years.
There were deductionsfor children, but only a few others were a part of the then-simple code. When you picked up your new sedan, there was no sales tax on it andwhen you drove into the gas station to fill it up for the first time, you paidbetween 11 and 15 cents a gallon for full service.
At the station, you couldexpect an attendant to clean your windshields, check the water in yourradiator, check your oil level and tire pressure and, of course, pump your gas. During the depression, premiums were given to people who bought more than8 gallons of gas -- dishes and glassware were common. Some stationsrewarded their customers with towels and other housewares. You had a choicebetween regular gas and ethyl which contained lead and was supposed toincrease car performance.
Parking meters were rarely seen in those years though some showedup on the main business streets of small towns. In the city, they simply hadn'tinstalled them. To raise money, some states instituted a sales tax. Some of those tokensare still around as collector's items. So, your cost for an item might be nineteencents plus 2 mills in sales tax. Illinois issued aluminum tokens and I rememberMissouri tokens were squares of chipboard in the shape of the state.
Some kidsactually had collections of these tokens from different states. En route to the food store, you might want to stop at the post office forsome stamps.
Local postage was 2 cents; intercity postage was 3 cents and, inthe rare occasions where you wanted to use it, airmail was 6 cents. Localdelivery was twice a day -- morning and afternoon postal deliveries werecommon in the city.
At that same time, phone calls were a nickel. Longdistance rates were terribly high and people used telegrams to quickly transmitnews. Telegrams were hand delivered by messengers on bikes and usuallycontained bad news except those sent on congratulatory occasions. Receivinga telegram was a major household event. There were two competing telegraphcompanies, Western Union and Postal Telegraph. Both had offices throughoutthe city, but you were able to phone a telegram to one of the companies andhave the charges billed to your telephone.
Entertainment and dining was also very reasonable by today'sstandards. A movie cost 25 cents for an adult and a dime for kids.
Downtownshows, including stage shows with top name performers were a little moreexpensive -- perhaps fifty cents. The Chicago Sundidn't begin publication until December 4, -- only a few days before thewar began. It merged with the Times in the years after the war. Newspaperscost 2 cents for the weekday editions and 5 cents on Sundays.
The Sundaypapers included color comics and a rotogravure section -- photographs printedon glossy paper with higher resolution printing than the normal half-toneprints that appeared in the daily papers. Color advertising didn't exist. In the theaters, for your quarter, you would also get newsreelsshowing a magazine of current events. There were also news features like"The March of Time" which was a longer feature on a specific topic.
Thesedealt with matters in greater depth than the newsreels. Newsreel photographerswere considered daredevils, putting themselves in the thick of action in orderto send the best pictures back to their headquarters. Beginning in about ,there were newsreel theaters which featured nothing but newsreels fromvarious sources.
Fox, Paramount and other Hollywood studios produced anddistributed the newsreels. Entreechoices ranged from steaks and fried chicken to pork roasts, lamb, roast beef Gourmet and ethnic foods were limited to a fewrestaurants out of the mainstream.
There were certainly Italian restaurants, butthey were considered "spaghetti joints. Chinese restaurants abounded and there were occasional Germanrestaurants in areas where the population was primarily of Germanic origin.
Food prices obviously varied, but according to some Internetinformation that's available, a few staple items can give you an idea of howmuch it cost to feed a family. Coffee was 17 cents a pound, Wheaties were 11cents a box, a 24 ounce jar of peanut butter was 25 cents. Grapefruit were anickel, prunes were 2 pounds for 19 cents, and Jell-O was a nickel a box. Peaches were 3 cans for fifty cents, Bisquick was 33 cents a box.
Sirloin steakwas 37 cents a pound, hamburger was 22 cents a pound and iceberg lettucewas a dime a head. Those were prices from May of before the depths of thedepression began to be felt.
In at the beginning of the war, onions sold 3pounds for. Strawberries were. These prices were in standard outlets. There were street peddlersoffering fresh produce from the backs of their trucks. These men would go tothe produce market, pick up a load of fresh produce in the morning and offer itfrom their tailgates at much lower prices. I can remember buying sweet corn at10 cents a dozen ears. And because I delivered the corn to my mother, thepeddler threw in a couple of extra ears.
Strawberries, in season, sold at 4quarts for a quarter. A case of 12 quarts went for fifty cents. At the end of theday, the peddler had to get rid of anything he hadn't sold and offered the goodsat substantial discounts. There were almost no prepared foods and nothing was offered asfrozen food. Clarence Birdseye, who invented the fresh frozen process hadn'tpenetrated the markets yet. Any prepared foods were sold in cans and youcould buy things like corned beef hash -- which was loaded with potatoes,baked beans, canned soups and vegetables.
Canned fruits were also available. But fresh fruits and vegetables were always preferable and, if you could affordthem at all, very reasonable. The amount of refrigerator space available in grocery stores wasvery limited and supermarkets were an idea that was just beginning to develop.
There were chain stores, but the individual units were small -- not the vaststores we're accustomed to now. HonkClothing was also cheap. In , a man's shirt sold for. By So was a woolsweater.
I sold kid's clothes at wholesale in the late's so I knew the retail prices that were being asked. Blue jeans wereretailing for. How about rents? It all depended, then as now, on location. My grandparents had an apartment on University Avenue.
Itwas two bedrooms with an Murphy bed that folded into a closet when it wasn'tbeing used. Usually, apartmentswere rented on a one year lease with moving days on May 1 and October 1.
Alltoo often in those years, you would walk along the street and spot a houseful offurniture on the curb after the owners had been evicted for non-payment ofrent. Naturally, the landlords had taxes and heating bills to pay, but they werealways considered the villains in evicting poor families down on their luck andunable to find work.
Prices were low for everything, but times were really tough. It's hardto imagine, now after so many years of prosperity, how difficult it was to beready, willing and able to work, with job skills and no work to be found. And factory workers were not all thatwell off, either. The labor union movement which, until the depression hadbeen pretty much confined to craft unions, became the province of IndustrialUnions like the Auto Workers and Steel Workers who organized against thegiant companies.
Sit-down strikes became a popular tool to keep the industriesfrom hiring readily available scab non-union workers off the streets. Riotsand occasional deaths were common. One, in the city, was the development of the 55th Street Promontory Point. Most streets until that time, had very square corners. WPA workers roundedthe corners making it easier for automobiles to turn. Times were tough on the farms, too, as farmers couldn't sell theirproduction. Milk was being poured into ditches, fruit was allowed to rot on thetrees and in the fields.
Farmers couldn't afford to pay labor to pick them and,by the time produce would get to market, the farmer couldn't recover his costs. Thedust storms of and drove many off their farms.
But there was always a thread of hope during that period -- thingswould get better. But it took a wartime economy to make it better after TraumasThere were a few times in my life when I was traumatized either by anaccident or a family event.
Those traumas are easy to remember. In fact, theystand out even going back to a time when I was a three year old. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son Creedence Clearwater Revival - Porterville Creedence Clearwater Revival - Hey Tonight Creedence Clearwater Revival - Ramble Tamble Creedence Clearwater Revival - Feelin' Blue Creedence Clearwater Revival - Molina Creedence Clearwater Revival - Commotion Creedence Clearwater Revival - Travelin' Band Creedence Clearwater Revival - Pagan Baby Creedence Clearwater Revival - Susie Q Creedence Clearwater Revival - Lodi Creedence Clearwater Revival - Down on the Corner Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cross-tie Walker Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cotton Fields Creedence Clearwater Revival - Lookin' for a Reason Cursive - After the Movies Cursive - Downhill Racers Cursive - Ceilings Crack Cursive - The Dirt of the Vineyard Cursive - Target Group Cursive - Eight Light Minutes Cursive - Dedication to Desertion Cursive - Warped the Woord Floors Cursive - Retirement Cursive - The Farewell Party Cursive - The Rhyme Scheme Cursive - A Career in Transcendence Cursive - The Road to Financial Stability Cursive - Tempest Cursive - Break In the New Year Cursive - Proposals Cursive - Semantics of Sermon Cursive - A Little Song and Dance Cursive - Northern Winds Cursive - The Casualty Cursive - The Martyr Cursive - Shallow Means, Deep Ends Cursive - Making Friends and Acquaintances Cursive - A Red So Deep Cursive - The Lament of Pretty Baby Cursive - The Radiator Hums Cursive - Sink to the Beat Cursive - The Great Decay Cursive - Tall Tales, Telltales Cursive - Fairytales Tell Tales Cursive - Am I Not Yours?
Cursive - Escape Artist Cursive - May Flowers Danger Mouse - Public Service Announcement Danger Mouse - Encore Danger Mouse - December 4th Danger Mouse - 99 Problems Danger Mouse - Moment of Clarity Danger Mouse - Change Clothes Danger Mouse - Allure Danger Mouse - Justify My Thug Danger Mouse - Interlude Danger Mouse - My 1st Song Deftones - Back to School Mini Maggit Deftones - Feiticeira Deftones - Digital Bath Deftones - Elite Deftones - RX Queen Deftones - Street Carp Deftones - Teenager Deftones - Knife Party Deftones - Korea Deftones - Passenger Deftones - Change In the House of Flies Deftones - Pink Maggit Dimmu Borgir - Alt lys er svunnet hen Dimmu Borgir - Broderskapets ring Dimmu Borgir - Sorgens kammer Dimmu Borgir - Da den kristne satte livet til Dimmu Borgir - Antikrist Dimmu Borgir - Vinder fra en ensom grav Electric Light Orchestra - Eldorado Overture Electric Light Orchestra - Boy Blue Electric Light Orchestra - Laredo Tornado Electric Light Orchestra - Mister Kingdom Electric Light Orchestra - Nobody's Child Electric Light Orchestra - Eldorado Electric Light Orchestra - Eldorado Finale Electric Light Orchestra - Fire on High Electric Light Orchestra - Waterfall Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman Electric Light Orchestra - Nightrider Electric Light Orchestra - Poker Electric Light Orchestra - Strange Magic You Turn Me On Explosions in the Sky - Snow and Lights Explosions in the Sky - Magic Hours Explosions in the Sky - Look Into the Air Explosions in the Sky - Glittering Blackness Explosions in the Sky - Time Stops Explosions in the Sky - Greet Death Explosions in the Sky - Yasmin the Light Explosions in the Sky - Memorial Explosions in the Sky - Your Hand in Mine Huang - FF7 - Aeris theme reborn version 2 Huang - FF8 Balamb Garden reborn Huang - ff9 - fairy battle reborn Nobuo Uematsu - Prelude Nobuo Uematsu - Opening Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Cornelia Castle Nobuo Uematsu - Garland's Temple Nobuo Uematsu - Matoya's Cavern Nobuo Uematsu - City Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Shop Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Sailing Ship Nobuo Uematsu - Underwater Palace Nobuo Uematsu - Dungeon Nobuo Uematsu - Menu Screen Nobuo Uematsu - Airship Nobuo Uematsu - Gurgu Volcano Nobuo Uematsu - The Floating Castle Nobuo Uematsu - Battle Scene Nobuo Uematsu - Victory!
Nobuo Uematsu - Ending Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Dead Music Nobuo Uematsu - Save Music Nobuo Uematsu - Battle 1 Nobuo Uematsu - Revivification Nobuo Uematsu - We Meet Again Nobuo Uematsu - The Rebel Army Nobuo Uematsu - Town Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Castle Dandemonium Nobuo Uematsu - The Empire's Army Nobuo Uematsu - Chocobo!
Nobuo Uematsu - Magician's Tower Nobuo Uematsu - Flee! Nobuo Uematsu - The Old Castle Nobuo Uematsu - The Revived Emperor Nobuo Uematsu - Battle 2 Nobuo Uematsu - Victory Fanfare Nobuo Uematsu - Finale Nobuo Uematsu - Waltz Nobuo Uematsu - The Queen's Temptation Nobuo Uematsu - Fanfare Nobuo Uematsu - Welcome to Our Group Nobuo Uematsu - Shop Unreleased Nobuo Uematsu - The Airship Unreleased Nobuo Uematsu - Battle 3 Unreleased Nobuo Uematsu - Farewell!
Final Fantasy World Nobuo Uematsu - The Prelude Nobuo Uematsu - Theme of Love Nobuo Uematsu - Prologue Nobuo Uematsu - Welcome to Our Town! Nobuo Uematsu - Chocobo-Chocobo Nobuo Uematsu - Into the Darkness Nobuo Uematsu - Rydia Nobuo Uematsu - Melody of Lute Nobuo Uematsu - Golbeza Clad in the Dark Nobuo Uematsu - Troian Beauty Nobuo Uematsu - The Battle Nobuo Uematsu - Epilogue Nobuo Uematsu - Theme of Love Ensemble Nobuo Uematsu - Ahead on Our Way Nobuo Uematsu - Lenna's Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Pirates Ahoy Nobuo Uematsu - Critter Tripper Fritter Nobuo Uematsu - Intension of the Earth Nobuo Uematsu - The Land Unknown Nobuo Uematsu - Tenderness in the Air Nobuo Uematsu - Waltz Suomi Nobuo Uematsu - Fate in Haze Nobuo Uematsu - Musica Machina Nobuo Uematsu - Music Box Nobuo Uematsu - Dear Friends Nobuo Uematsu - A Presentiment Nobuo Uematsu - Harvest Nobuo Uematsu - Critter Tripper Fritter!?
Nobuo Uematsu - Mambo de Chocobo Nobuo Uematsu - Battle with Gilgamesh Nobuo Uematsu - Waltz Clavier Nobuo Uematsu - The New Origin Nobuo Uematsu - Prologue Nobuo Uematsu - Giotto, the Great King Nobuo Uematsu - Dancing Calcobrena Nobuo Uematsu - Mystic Mysidia Nobuo Uematsu - Illusionary World Nobuo Uematsu - Kefka Nobuo Uematsu - Tina Nobuo Uematsu - Gau Nobuo Uematsu - Cefca Nobuo Uematsu - Spinach Rag Nobuo Uematsu - Stragus Nobuo Uematsu - The Mystic Forest Nobuo Uematsu - Johnny C Bad Nobuo Uematsu - Mystery Train Nobuo Uematsu - The Decisive Battle Nobuo Uematsu - Coin Song Nobuo Uematsu - Celes Nobuo Uematsu - Waltz de Chocobo Nobuo Uematsu - Opening - Bombing Mission Nobuo Uematsu - Mako Reactor Nobuo Uematsu - Anxious Heart Nobuo Uematsu - Tifa's Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Barrett's Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Hurry!
Nobuo Uematsu - Lurking in the Darkness Nobuo Uematsu - ShinRa Company Nobuo Uematsu - Fighting Nobuo Uematsu - Turk's Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Underneath the Rotting Pizza Nobuo Uematsu - Oppressed People Nobuo Uematsu - Honeybee Manor Nobuo Uematsu - Who Are You? Nobuo Uematsu - Don of the Slums Nobuo Uematsu - Still More Fighting Nobuo Uematsu - Crazy Motorcycle Chase Nobuo Uematsu - Ahead on our Way Nobuo Uematsu - Farm Boy Nobuo Uematsu - Electric de Chocobo Nobuo Uematsu - Cinco de Chocobo Nobuo Uematsu - Fortress of the Condor Nobuo Uematsu - Rufus' Welcoming Ceremony Nobuo Uematsu - Trail of Blood Nobuo Uematsu - Requiem Nobuo Uematsu - Costa del Sol Nobuo Uematsu - Mark of the Traitor Nobuo Uematsu - Mining Town Nobuo Uematsu - Gold Saucer Nobuo Uematsu - Cait Sith's Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Sandy Badlands Nobuo Uematsu - Cosmo Canyon Nobuo Uematsu - Life Stream Nobuo Uematsu - Great Warrior Nobuo Uematsu - Descendant of Shinobi Nobuo Uematsu - Those Chosen by the Planet Nobuo Uematsu - The Nightmare's Beginning Nobuo Uematsu - Cid's Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Steal the Tiny Bronco!
Nobuo Uematsu - Wutai Nobuo Uematsu - Stolen Materia Nobuo Uematsu - Fiddle de Chocobo Nobuo Uematsu - A Great Success Nobuo Uematsu - Tango of Tears Nobuo Uematsu - Debut Nobuo Uematsu - Interrupted by Fireworks Nobuo Uematsu - Forested Temple Nobuo Uematsu - Aerith's Theme Nobuo Uematsu - Buried in the Snow Nobuo Uematsu - Reunion Nobuo Uematsu - Who Am I? Nobuo Uematsu - Weapon Raid Nobuo Uematsu - Highwind Takes to the Skies Nobuo Uematsu - Parochial Town Nobuo Uematsu - Off the Edge of Despair Shep Gordon, a friend of ours [and manager of Alice Cooper] told us, 'You shouldn't spend all your money on a real expensive straight jacket,' which I think is a great truth of this business.
And to them it is the press, above all, that is the straight jacket. In both of the conversations I had with him, he was on the press within minutes: in general, how horrible it is; specifically, the effect it has had on Debbie.
She isn't really interested in it anymore. The people that suffer are the fans and the artist. The fucking press gets to sell their newspapers, but the fans don't get to hear what the artists have to say, and the artists can't communicate to their public. It was always Stein's avowed purpose to manipulate the media in the manner of Andy Warhol. It worked well in the beginning; Jody Uttal believes that it was Blondie's close relationship with press that contributed more than anything else to the band's initial success.
They were very cozy with such New Yorker fanzines as Trouser Press and New York Rocker, but Blondie can't seem to take the heat of the mainstream press. If Stein is articulate about his negative feelings toward the Fourth Estate, Debbie's reaction is a muttered admission of terror. When you ask her a question, no matter how innocuous, she reacts like a deer to the smell of gunmetal. The people around her talk in this memorizedsounding monotone about how much pressure there is on her, but when you ask if the pressure is too much for Debbie, you don't get an answer.
What has happened to the calm, good-natured beauty queen from New Jersey? When you swim with piranhas, either you become a piranha or you get chomped. Some people are born piranhas; other people are by nature so unsuited for piranhahood that they never get the hang of it. Instead of getting devoured, they end up devouring themselves. Dynamically, Blondie seems to be divided into two groups: Debbie and Chris on the one hand and the guys, as they are usually referred to, on the other.
These two aren't necessarily adversaries, but their interests aren't always mutual. One point that was impressed on me by various insiders was, "The money doesn't all go to Debbie, you know," which is a backward way of saying that a lot of it does.
And she has just completed a film called Union City, in which she plays the wife of a psychotic killer. Stein would rather talk about his brand of radical politics than show business or, specifically, music. One senses that this is irksome to the members of the group, who regard themselves totally as musicians and are always itching to play. But these things have a way of working themselves out: this summer, Blondie will tour America, beginning with New York's Central Park in July and concluding with the Greek Theater in L.
According to Debbie, "We always agree on the music. If somebody doesn't want to do a song, we just don't do it, that's all. Talking about the new LP, he says, "There's loads of hits, it's a great album, but who gives a fuck. When we go into the studio, we go in and make hit records, and it just happens.
We don't think about it. If you're gonna be in the music business, you gotta make hit records. If you can't make hit records, you should fuck off and go chop meat somewhere. In today's case, it's a bright, quasi-rustic place on the West Side that resembles a very posh toolshed.
The band is laying down basic tracks for a Chris Stein ballad called "Shayla. Debbie flounces into the control room with a bag of pistachios. Chapman sees her, motions through the window for her to give him some.
Goggling, she takes a handful of nuts and showers them against the window. Infante, a slightly scaled-down version of Keith Richards, comes by looking a little hungover. Destri, who is sitting this one out, announces to the room, "Will somebody give me a drink, please? I'm desperate. Debbie asks him who they're for. Then he unveils their latest trophy, the framed Billboard Hot chart from the week "Heart of Glass" was Number One.
They all crowd around to peer at it but don't seem terribly impressed. Debbie sashays away from the rest of the band, looking like Tuesday Weld in one of her moodier roles.
She gazes off vacantly into the empty studio. The next album will be out soon; it will probably outsell Parallel Lines. Every date on the summer tour will likely be a sellout. The boys in the front rows will idolize Debbie, lust after her, and everyone will go out the next day to buy Blondie records. There will be more money, more magazine covers But Debbie Harry seems to greet the future with a sigh. I am reminded of something her mother told me about her now-famous daughter. She's not real outgoing or loud.
She's sort of retiring. Harry says, "She's very family-oriented. As a matter of fact, she's more family-oriented than any of the kids. She's the one that got homesick at camp.
Blondie singer is in awe of great rappers April The Curse of Blondie, the band's second studio album after a sixteen-year hiatus, is a roller coaster of styles, from "Hello Joe," a jangly tribute to Joey Ramone, to "Magic," based on a Japanese folk song, to "Good Boys," in which frontwoman Debbie Harry oscillates between a rap reminiscent of Blondie's hit "Rapture" and the pouty high notes she delivered on the band's classic "Heart of Glass.
Thinking about the past, Harry says, makes her "suddenly realize that I'm really old," but judging from her March 24th appearance on Late Show With David Letterman, Harry, 58, is still a commanding presence, with more sex appeal than most rock chicks half her age. What's the first album you fell in love with?
I didn't have a lot of money records, and at that point you couldn't really I'd listen to a lot of radio. Fats Waller, jazz stuff to buy download, so. Growing up, did you have a radio in your bedroom? Yeah, a little radio where I could have my ear right next to the speaker. In those days DJs could be freaky -- the late-late-night DJs were the ones. Funky, soulful stuff, maybe a little bit of rock. What could be better? I was always a radiohead.
So it must have been nice to hear Blondie on the radio. Chris [Stein, Blondie guitarist] and I were walking, and someone drove past and I heard some music. That's us! I think it was "Rip Her to Shreds. It sounded OK. How much of a part do you think "Rapture" played in the evolution of hip-hop and rap?
Creatively it did one thing in particular: It was the first rap song to have its own original music. Commercially it made rap viable for the mainstream charts.
I don't think it was a tremendous influence. I am nowhere close to being a rapper. I'm completely in awe of great rappers. Like who? All of the subtle, rhythmic things they do with their phrasing is really outrageous. When you worked as a waitress at Max's Kansas City, which musicians were you most excited to serve? Janis [Joplin] having her filet mignon that she probably ate two bites of.
Jefferson Airplane were chatty; I brought them lamb chops. What's his name from Traffic? Stevie Winwood. He was cute. Put him on the sex list of the time.
How did you come up with the name Blondie? Chris lived on First and First in Manhattan, and I was walking to his house to write songs.
The street noise was, "Hey, blondie! Hey, blondie! Is there one word that you've been proud to use in a song? I was so excited that in "Picture This" I rhymed solid and wallet. I said, "Wow. Things are happening now! She's a little boyish, but her costumes are really exciting. I'm a little confused by Christina Aguilera -there's no continuity as far as her identity through her clothing. You were at Courtney Love's recent outrageous show in New York.
What'd you think? I thought she was fascinating and dynamic -- she's an incredible performer, and her madness is such a great part of that.
But the band, musically, was really very. What was the craziest afterparty, back in the day? We had great loft parties that were pretty far out. I remember one -- I don't know if it was an after, a before or an ongoing, but it really lasted a long time. It was down on the Bowery, right when Blondie was picking up steam. Our landlord was this crazy maniac queen. He really loved the Hells Angels, and he was always in biker drag. The loft was above a liquor store, so we had bums drinking Night Train.
And it was a block away from CBGB, so take it from there. When the party was over, all our records were missing. But in the two decades since their initial run ended, Blondie's Warholian fusions of pop forms and nervy streetwise attitude has left an indelible stamp on an array of artists, ranging from Madonna to Franz Ferdinand. Blondie's stature seems to have risen over the last twenty years.
Have you noticed it? Harry: For me, it became apparent when, all of a sudden people were telling me Blondie was an icon, and I just sort of swallowed hard and thought,.
When did that happen? Stein: Yeah. The Ramones [situation] is a very similar thing to Blondie. You have this band has this huge worldwide influence, but they just never really quite made it. Even though everyone draws from them and references them in their music, and everybody knows who they are, still they never made it onto the A list. Is it true American DJs wouldn't play your records early on because of their perception of you as punks?
Stein: Yeah, somewhat. But the whole thing was crazily out of whack. It's all a matter of perception. Do you remember where you were when you heard that "Heart of Glass" went to Number One? Harry: We were in Milan at a hotel near the Duomo. You had your greatest success once you teamed with Chapman.
What did he bring to the party? Harry: He had a strong reputation in radio as a hitmeister and great record producer, and he really was. He took us in hand and made us really aware of what the recording process was about and how we could best do what we did within our technical restrictions, because none of us were really technical players. He just educated us all and he made it fun, and he was nutty but smart. It really became a different process for us. Stein: The recording process with Chapman was completely different from what goes on nowadays.
People who work in the studios tell me these bands come in now and spend a week recording and two months editing. It was exactly the opposite with us: We spent months putting the stuff on tape and once we worked so hard to get the specific parts on tape, then it was very easy to mix -- it just happened by itself.
Of all the songs the two of you have written together, which would you pick as the quintessential Blondie track? Harry: Performance-wise, the song I get the most out of is "Rapture," because we've taken it in a lot of different directions.
Every time we go out, we add another dimension to it. On our last tour, Chris did this thing at the end where we completely break down the song and he goes into this delta blues thing that's just great. It's just a great song that we can fuck around with, and yet it still holds together as this identifiable piece of music. When you recorded "Rapture," did you have any idea hip-hop would become as big as it did?
Stein: The first hip-hop stuff we encountered was in Around that time I was talking to a lot of higher-ups in the record industry, all these heavyweights, and almost percent of these guys told me hip-hop was a passing fad. The excitement at the first couple of hip-hop things we saw was really tangible, and it was obvious that it was a really exciting movement. The black kids weren't involved in what was going on downtown with us.
This was their personal thing. I was always behind it, myself. But there's also a lot of really great stuff going on. Stein: Oh yeah, that was an exciting thing. I quite like it. I had heard it on the Internet, and I guess we made it official by putting it on the album. I'm kind of amazed how well those songs fit together.
How did the re-recording of ['s] "In the Flesh" come about? Harry: I was going to do a little show at a friend's club, and he suggested that we do a fresh treatment of "In the Flesh" since it was the first song we ever had go to Number One [in Australia].
So we went in and recorded this new version and he produced it. Actually, that really excites me a lot more than the "Rapture Riders" thing. I'd like to redo a lot of old material - sort of bring it up to date - because a lot of the material is really good musically but suffers from a dated kind of style.
What other songs would you be interested in redoing? Harry: I think a really great version of ['s] "Man Overboard" could be done in today's world.
And also a lot of material from my solo albums could be done -- a lot of that stuff was written by me and Chris. I think a lot of those songs are really beautiful but have been completely overlooked.
Harry: Yeah, we'd never used them before. That's a hidden little treasure. Stein: I was watching that Don Letts movie [the documentary Punk: Attitude], and it reminded me how insane it was at the time with all this carrying on about the terminology, about what these words meant.
None of that shit means anything to me now -- "punk" and "New Wave" and all these phrases. It's all just one form of music. But Chrysalis was really worried about us being stuck with this punk label. Given the way the band ended, has this time around felt like a second chance, or do you just look at it as another phase?
Harry: I think probably both those things. This is clearly a different phase for us, because we're working with different musicians. But it is a second chance for the name "Blondie. I think on this last tour we finally got our heads around a little bit more adventurous kind of show, which is really much more enjoyable for us, because then we can really take on the identity of who we are today and really play music. That's what's exciting. Performance: Buzzcocks Buzzcocks still playing the punk after nearly twenty-five years October Whether or not this was a punk show, depends on how you define punk.
Are you talking about a style of music, loud and fast and out of control? Or are you talking about punk as a lifestyle fueled by rebellious rage and frustration? Because when discussing Buzzcocks live in concert in , this distinction must be made. Buzzcocks burst vividly out of the late-Seventies British punk scene, playing pointedly furious music that, at its heart, was some of the most finely-structured guitar pop since the Beatles.
They made it sound easy, and you'd call their songs "carefree" if all the lyrics weren't about how much life sucks bollocks. Broken up in the early Eighties over the usual nonsense, the group's two frontmen, Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle, reunited about a decade ago with a new bass player and drummer.
Not so much a comeback as a resumption of working-band status, the reunion has produced three respectable studio efforts including a new album, Modern and French, an astonishing live recording of a gig.
While Modern isn't quite the apex of Buzzcocks' career, that's quickly forgotten when you see the band live. They waste no time, tearing into new tunes and old favorites alike with ruthless efficiency and a bare minimum of chatter. New tracks like "Soul on a Rock," "Why Compromise? But the unquestionable highlights of the show were the classics: "What Do I Get? The irony, of course, is that the crowd wasn't very young and the musicians certainly weren't.
Nor did it seem like there was much genuine anger in the air other than one guy who seemed to be having a nervous breakdown while lipsynching every word of "Boredom.
Still, can you blame Pete Shelley -- 44, married and completely gray -- for flashing a wry leprechaun smile while singing "Orgasm Addict" for the ten zillionth time in twenty years? Diggle, likewise, was once known for his Townshend-esque stage leaping, but his one timorous jump this evening led Shelley to gaze at him and mouth the words "you're crazy! Sure, there were more than a few old-school, pierced-septum punk holdouts, but you could have had the vast majority of those people cleaned up and ready for an interview at Microsoft inside of twenty minutes.
Dignified strangers stood around before the band took the stage, warmly recalling fond memories of Buzzcocks shows of yore. There's an ad on currently on TV for some car Volkswagen or something -- shows you how well advertising works that uses the original recording of "What Do I Get?
Rather than seem like a sellout -- how many people are really going to recognize that song? So while the punk attitude, lifestyle and mission may not be the main thing at a Buzzcocks performance these days, the music -- the part that really matters -- has everything it needs to be punk at its best.
It's fast, it's loud and it's exciting - even after a quarter century. It doesn't have a title -- it's not eponymous. The label compromised offering "P" and "Q" sides. It's generic. Though I do like the sound of 'Untitled Number One.
In addition to the title, fans might initially be befuddled by a pair of songwriting credits "Stars" and "Lester Sands" which are Shelley co-writes with Howard Devoto, his Buzzcocks co-founder in Devoto left the band two years after it formed to start Magazine, but twenty-five years later the duo re-teamed for Buzzkunst, an album released last year under the name ShelleyDevoto. The recording was prompted by Shelley's desire to mark the band's anniversary, a plan complicated by Diggle's injured wrist.
Despite the two co-writes, Devoto has not, it turns out, been pulled back into the fold. A band favorite at sound checks, the song finally received a more thorough treatment than its original four-track release.
He wrote it when he was fourteen. Drummer Phil Barker insisted the group continue working the track, and after speeding up the tempo, it made the cut.
Early the next morning, I had to go to a hairdress appointment to bleach my hair, and I was sitting in the salon waiting for the bleach to take effect with the worst hangover I've had in a long time. And as soon as I was finished I had to go straight to the studio, because it was the final day.
So I thought, 'What can I write? And I thought, 'There it is. Shelley is itching to head out and seems a bit flustered by the industry's current pace, which sometimes puts a year between an album's completion and its release. Now things are a bit more spread out, it always seems to take far too long. You think, 'Wow, this is great, isn't it? Everybody should hear it. But in some ways you anticipate it, it's almost like wanting people to open the Christmas presents you bought them.
Wanting to see the smiles on their faces. Punk leaders set sights on America "Never mind that shit," says Joe Strummer, the thuggishlooking lead singer of the Clash, addressing the exultant kids yelling, "Happy New Year" at him from the teeming floor of the Lyceum. Face front! Take it! At the crux of that battle is a volcanic series of four Clash concerts including a benefit for Sid Vicious coming swift on the heels of the group's second album, Give 'Em Enough Rope, which entered the British charts at Number Two.
Together with the Sex Pistols, the Clash helped spearhead the punk movement in Britain, along the way earning the designation as the most intellectual and political New Wave Band. When the Pistols disbanded early last year, the rock press and punks alike looked to the Clash as the movement's central symbol and hope. Certainly no other band communicates kinetic, imperative anger as potently as the Clash.
When Nicky "Topper" Headon's singleshot snare report opens "Safe European Home" a song about Strummer and lead guitarist Mick Jones' ill-fated attempt to rub elbows with Rastafarians in the Jamaicans' backyard , all hell breaks loose, both on the Lyceum stage and floor.
Like the Sex Pistols, the Clash's live sound hinges on a massive, orchestral drum framework that buttresses the blustery guitar work of Jones, who with his tireless twostep knee kicks looks just like a Rockettes' version of Keith Richards.
Shards of Mott the Hoople and the Who cut through the tumult, while Strummer's rhythm guitar and Paul Simonon's bass gnash at the beat underneath. And Strummer's vocals sound as dangerous as he looks.
I try to say as much to a reticent Joe Strummer after the show as we stand in a dingy backstage dressing room, which is brimming with a sweltering mix of fans, press and roadies.
Strummer, wearing smoky sunglasses and a nut-brown porkpie hat, resembles a roughhewn version of Michael Corleone. Measuring me with his wary, testy eyes, he mumbles an inaudible reply. Across the room, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon have taken refuge in a corner, sharing a spliff. Evil place, innit? All laid back. In the best Keith Richards tradition, fans see Mick as a sensitive and vulnerable street waif, prone to dissipation as much as to idealism. Indeed, he looks as bemusedly wasted as anyone I've ever met.
He's also among the gentler, more considerate people I've ever spent time with. But the same evening, sitting in the same spot, Mick declines to be interviewed. It seems all I do is spend my time answering everyone's charges charges that shouldn't have to be answered. But probably the most damaging salvo has come from their former manager, Bernard Rhodes, who, after he was fired, accused the band of betraying its punk ideals and slapped them with a potentially crippling lawsuit.
Jones, in a recent interview, railed back. Both had been abandoned at early ages by their parents, and while Strummer the son of a British diplomat took to singing Chuck Berry songs in London's subways for spare change during his late teens, Jones retreated into reading and playing Mott the Hoople, Dylan, Kinks and Who records. In , he left the art school he was attending and formed London SS, a band that, in its attempt to meld a raving blend of the New York Dolls, the Stooges and Mott, became a legendary forerunner of the English punk scene.
Their first album, The Clash unreleased in America; Epic, the group's label stateside, deems it "too crude" , was archetypal, resplendent punk. While the Sex Pistols proffered a nihilistic image, the Clash took a militant stance that, in an eloquent, guttural way, vindicated punk's negativism. Harrowed rhythms and coarse vocals propelled a foray of songs aimed at the bleak political realities and social ennui of English life, making social realism --and unbridled disgust key elements in punk aesthetics.
But even before the first album was released, the punk scene had dealt the Clash some unforeseen blows. The punks, egged on by a hysterical English press, began turning on each other, and drummer Chimes, weary of ducking bottles, spit and the band's politics, quit.
Months passed before the group settled on Nicky Headon also a member of Mick Jones' London SS as a replacement and returned to performing. By that time, their reputation had swelled to near-messianic proportions.
They were playing for the thrill of affecting their audience's consciousness, both musically and politically. It took six months to complete Give 'Em Enough Rope, and it was a stormy period for all concerned. Instead of reworking the tried themes of bored youth and repressive society, Strummer and Jones tapped some of the deadliest currents around, from creeping fascism at home to Palestinian terrorism.
Simonon leads us on a knowledgeable tour of the gallery's treasures until we settle in a dim corner of the downstairs caf for an interview. We start by talking about the band's apparent position as de facto leaders of punk. Dating for expats info. Living in Germany is an incredible opportunity to rediscover and reinvent yourself, including the romantic side of your life. Transcending cultural differences and customs is just a small step to achieve that.
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