Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #25

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Sometimes we ask a question and hope anyone listening will give the answer. Other times we ask a rhetorical question because we know the answer, but a friend will answer it anyway. We tell them to ‘shut up’ and to go away, but we hope they really don’t.  We just cannot win at pushing away people who care about us. How ironic it is that we do that to them when someone we loved just pushed us away.

The Brothers Gibb: Barry, Robin (1949-2012) and Maurice (1949-2003) Gibb, AKA the Bee Gees music group, pose a question for the ages and put it to music. In the start of the new year in 1971 they were in London, England,  recording their seventh international album, “Trafalgar“. The Battle of Trafalgar was a British naval victory against the French and Spanish fleets in 1805. You would think the song themes of the album would be about glory and fame. Not so – many of the tracks deal with heartbreak and loneliness.

At the time, Maurice was going through some personal trials with heavy drinking and   accusations of extramarital affairs. He had been married to the highly popular Scottish singer Lulu. Since they both abused alcohol and partied too much their young marriage ended after only four years. Barry and Robin could see the decline happening to their brother. They expressed his pain and their helplessness in song. How bad does it have to get before we ask for help? Continue reading

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Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #46

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

When a friend gives advice, it ususally comes when they notice something is not quite right. In 1974 brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, the Bee Gees music group, were stuck in rut. They had already produced 10 albums for worldwide distribution, but they were not inspired to perform.. Their friend Eric Clapton, fresh from the breakup of his band Derek and the Dominos, just finished a solo recoding session in Miami, Florida. Eric suggested his Ocean Boulevard digs.

Eric was brave enough to speak out of concern. Barry later admitted that it was good advice. Nobody argues with change when it promotes something positive to develop. Most of the time it forces us to stop doing the same old same old. While in America’s sunshine state, the Bee Gees’ music stylings began to head in a new direction. They re-recorded previous tracks with a more R&B style. They even hinted in their lyrics that this new approach might be a failure.

In 1975 when they released the Main Course album their new sound and entertainment stylings were more energetic than previous efforts. The album stayed on The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart for 74 straight weeks. A vindication for the reinvention of their music style.

Change is good, but it can hurt. No matter how many times we think we are in a groove, we can look at ourselves in a new way. Deciding to become a better person usually starts with asking the question: “Can’t you feel the wind of change?”

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