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


Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #39

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

No matter if we are famous or the quiet type, we fail ourselves and fail others from time to time. Psychologists say we should forgive ourselves for our faults and try to not repeat the same mistakes. They also insist that when we ask for forgiveness from others it is a sign we are taking responsibility for our actions. Receiving that forgiveness we beg for from a hurt loved one is another topic for a different day.

Claude Russell Bridges (1942-2016) best known as Leon Russell was an American pianist and musician and songwriter whose career spanned 60 years. He wrote pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel and surf songs in all that time. He also achieved six gold records for some of his works. Leon had been married and divorced three times during these creative days and had fathered six children. He made his share of mistakes in life and in love.

His first break was playing with The Beach Boys. After that gig he composed a self-titled debut album. Leon was mentored by Elton John on this effort and recruited musicians such as Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Eric Clapton. At the time Leon was romantically involved with Carla McHenry. She may have been the inspiration for his iconic ballad that seeks forgiveness. Sometimes when we hurt the one we love it cuts deep into our souls, too. What we do about reconciling with the one we hurt can leave an impression on many more peoples’ lives than we had planned on. Continue reading


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Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #45

by Lawrence J. J, Leonard

They know you and all your habits: Those closest to you; Your family; Your best friends; work acquaintances; Classmates and even those at your favorite restaurant. Sooner or later they can get on your nerves.

Asking too many questions. Accidentally bumping into you on your worst day. Looking at you funny when you are grumpiest. This could be you.

For George Harrison of The Beatles, this was happening all too often in 1968. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon didn’t get along with George or each other. The Fab Four were not Rock gods, just Human.

When things get weird with those closest to you, it is okay to reach out to a friend outside the group.  For George it was Eric Clapton. George was into the Chinese I Ching.  This is a cosmological and philosophical way of explaining that all things happen for a reason. George thought if he asked Eric to play on his song then what was meant to be would be for the recording.

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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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Moody Blues – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Ever since 1964 when Ray Thomas, Mike Pinder, Denny Laine,
Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick first performed as the Moody Blues,
the “marriage of classical and rock” has opened creative doors
and inspired musicians and music lovers on every shore.

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