Monday, June 27, 2011

The Fab Faux - Abbey Road Side 2

I am 49 years old today.  Too young to have every had a chance to see the Beatles.  In fact my first exposure to their genius was the cartoon in the 60's!  My first records were Beatles records (Hey Jude and Let It Be) when I was around 9 or 10.  My love of this music has grown even more over the years and I am constantly going back and hearing something new or different from the last time I played it.  Simply amazing music that we have all shared over the years.

I am not generally a big fan of cover bands, Beatles cover bands, in particular.  Last year The Fab Faux played a benefit show for my home school district (a fire destroyed one of the elementary schools) and my wife and I volunteered to help out with the show.  Rich Pagano is the drummer of the Fab Faux as well as a classmate way back in the day and it was a wonderful gesture on his and the band's part to do the show.  I have to say I was amazed at how good these guys are.  It's truly a labor of love as the  music is painstakingly re-created by top notch musicians.  No silly costumes here.  Just great music played and sung extremely well.

The Fab Faux will be at the Beacon Theater on October 29th performing Magical Mystery Tour and other classics.  I never thought I would be going to the Beacon to see an act play Beatles songs, but the wife and I are going.  Big time fun.

Summertime and the Living is Easy

It has been a long school year.  In New York and across the country teachers are being blamed for all of the economic and social woes of our country.  That's right it is us...not the investment bankers or the oil companies or the...

Well enough of that.  It is summer and summer is the time for rest and relaxation.  Time to re-charge the batteries and renew spirits before September rolls around.  So this my wish that all of my teacher colleagues, known and unknown, have an enjoyable summer before we return to teach a new batch of children in the fall because no matter what the newspapers and our neighbors say that is why we do this job in the first place.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

R.I.P. Clarence "Big Man" Clemons

I never met Clarence Clemons.  I have been a fan for almost 35 years, I own everything that Bruce & the boys have ever released.  I have all the bootlegs, videos, etc. but I never met any of them.  That's OK.  The mythology of the band is my point of familiarity.  I feel like I have known them my whole life.  In fact, these records have provided the soundtrack for most of my life since high school.  A part of that soundtrack is now gone from my future, but never from my past.

Clarence was a monster sax player. You just need to be there one time when he steps up to do the solo in Jungleland to understand that.  But he was so much more than that to the band.  He was the foil for Bruce.  The King to his Boss.  He was the soul to go with Bruce's heart.

I can't thank you enough Clarence for all the music, all the joy you gave me.  If you don't understand you had to be there one October night in 2007 at MSG.  Bruce introduces the next song for Peter Boyle who had just passed and the band launched into Meeting Across the River which of course moved into Jungleland.  Pure Magic.  People who were complete strangers were all hugging and singing along.  Truly magical.  That was one moment for me and there were many more.

As my musical heroes get older they are beginning to pass to their next gig.  We all are getting up there and I miss so many that are gone.  Clarence you were the shocker...a big part of my soundtrack is gone.  Rest in Peace and God Bless Big Man.