Author Archives: hobo hippie

About hobo hippie

Hi I am an old hippie, a "beat" poet and novelist, and digital artist. I was co -editor and publisher of "Alpha Beat Press" alpha beat soup, bouillabaisse and cokefish and cokefishing in alpha beat soup with my late husband Dave Christy. My novel "eeenie meenie minee moe is for sale on amazon books. my other blogs are http://tilliespuncturedromance.wordpress.com about humor and the weird. The blog is named after a Charlie Chaplin movie. http://concretebologna.wordpress.com a blog about world art.

Artist Christo Guelov Creates Dozens of Colorfully Alternative Pedestrian Crossings in Madrid

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Artist Christo Guelov Creates Dozens of Colorfully Alternative Pedestrian Crossings in Madrid     

Seeing opportunity just under his feet, artist Christo Guelov wondered how a mundane street crossing could be turned into a thing of beauty. Like the design of a chair or the face of a watch, it turns out the possibilities are probably endless. The Bulgarian artist transformed dozens of pedestrian crossings in Madrid as part of his seriesFunnycross, working with a palette of friendly colors to paint fun geometric patterns on streets across the city. You can see much more of the project on his website. (via My Modern Met)

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Tent City: The Unknown Community Of Woodbridge, Virginia

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Steven Lewis Hardeman
Credit: Ryan Garza

Tent City: The Unknown Community Of Woodbridge, Virginia

At Midlothian, VA

Tent City: The Unknown Community Of Woodbridge, Virginia

 Jun 27, 2016

What’s it like to be homeless in one of the wealthiness counties of Virginia?

Welcome to Tent City, the homeless camp of Dale City, Virginia.

It’s just 25 miles from Washington, D.C., hidden along the forest of Dale Boulevard. Minutes away from the shopping and dining epicenter of Prince William County sits a neighborhood not many are familiar with much less, ever heard of. Tent City. I took a journey into this unknown territory to speak with its residents and discover what life is like for a small dozens of the hundreds of homeless in one of the wealthiest counties of Virginia.

Upon first entering I received glares acquainted only with the roar of vehicles coming from the always busy I-95 that is less than a mile away. The silence was broken by an older man yelling, “You look too clean to be here.” At this moment, I didn’t know whether to laugh or turn back. I informed them that I was there for a story and in exchange, I’d give any help I could offer. My introduction was less than ideal but was enough to get me so called “right of passage” an outsider needs to enter into this community.

I walked through this area nearing almost 50 acres. Flags, various banners, old carpets, and tents consumed the space. The only thing I could compare it with was something seem out of an post apocalypse movie or video game. The first gentleman I spoke to, who chose to remain nameless, is 38 years old and has been living here for the last three years. “I don’t know how it happened … Nobody’s goal in life is to be homeless… I was a regular guy then one day my life started crumbling before I knew it, I was here.” The man was very open about his experiences and seemed somewhat eager to show me his living space. He showed me his tent and explained how there might be anywhere between 10 to 18 in one tent. “It’s not much but it’s home,” he stated. Continuing through his area, he showed me a grill he said, “The funny thing about this grill is that its never cooked any food, only to start fires when it gets cold.”

The second person who was open to speaking with me was a 28-year-old woman, Destiny Grear, who has been a resident of the community for the last year. “This is my 3rd camp, there’s tons of em’ around here…”Unless you’re out here you don’t know how hard it is in the forest. All you’re ever worried about is just surviving, just getting by … People really don’t think this is real but it is.” Destiny said she has tried going to different types of shelters in the area but explained how you can only be there so long until you are forced to relocate. “I’ve been homeless since I was 23. Nobody could comprehend how hard it is for a young female to have to live like this … I’ve had to do things I’m not proud of at all sometimes you run out of options and make bad choices, that’s how you end up here I could I gone to school and done what I was supposed too, that’s my burden to carry everybody goes through stuff this the hand I’ve been dealt I don’t blame anybody.”

The last two individuals I spoke to that really struck a cord with me was a couple. Christopher and Donna Wise were once normal happy homeowners in Woodbridge,Virginia. “I grew up since I was a little girl went to Garfield High School, was a homeowner all my life then lost my home to foreclosure, my husband lost his job and couldn’t find any work that was the preamble… It sounds crazy, one day you got everything and the next, you’re dying for just a shower. ”

Day to day life for these people consist of holding a sign asking for any spare change. One resident said he’d be lucky to get $5 in a week’s time. What amazed me the most was the diversity of the community people of all backgrounds, all walks of life called this tent city home. Everyone I spoke to shared one thing in common they said they do anything for just some fresh water or a night without having to rummage through a dumpster for something to eat. People as young as 18 and as old as 58 are living in conditions that would barely be acceptable in some third world countries. Even through these hardships every member of this community was just that, part of a community. Everyone looked out for one another and through a bad situation became a family. Still fighting day after day. These people have to endure through freezing winters and scorching summers year after year. Somehow, whether through perseverance or an ever-lasting ounce of optimism they held their head high. Self-aware of their pain but strong enough and unwilling to express it.

For me personally, sometimes the hardest part of my day is finding something to watch on Netflix and its luxuries that are taken for granted every day. In Prince William County alone, there are reportedly over 500 people who are homeless. Most of us, I think, don’t take the time to even consider how real of an issue it is here in Northern Virginia new restaurants and stores are being built at an staggering rate and what will happen when these make-shift wooded camps for the homeless are eventually torn through in order to build the next apartment complex? If I want there to be any takeaway from this article apart from raising awareness, is next time you see someone in need of help, don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand. You just don’t know what they could be going through the residents of Tent City I spoke to said the hardest thing to find was simply help. The first thing that’s seen when coming into Dale City is a welcome sign that reads The Friendliest Little Town Around. Maybe its time we start acting on that motto a little more.

#tent_city#woodbridge#virginia#steven_lewis_hardeman#homeless#ana_christy#beatnikhiway.com

THE ‘UNCLE DUKE’ ACTION FIGURE THAT MADE HUNTER S. THOMPSON WANT TO ‘RIP OUT’ GARRY TRUDEAU’S LUNGS

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06.10.2016
10:20 am

It was 1974 when Gary Trudeau debuted the newest member of his Doonesburycomic crew, “Uncle Duke,” to the world. And the man whom the character was based on, gun-toting Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson was not pleased. In an interview with High Times, Thompson recalled the moment he became aware of Uncle Duke.

It was a hot, nearly blazing day in Washington, and I was coming down the steps of the Supreme Court looking for somebody, Carl Wagner or somebody like that. I’d been inside the press section, and then all of a sudden I saw a crowd of people and I heard them saying, “Uncle Duke,” I heard the words Duke, Uncle; it didn’t seem to make any sense. I looked around, and I recognized people who were total strangers pointing at me and laughing. I had no idea what the fuck they were talking about. I had gotten out of the habit of reading funnies when I started reading the Times. I had no idea what this outburst meant…It was a weird experience, and as it happened I was sort of by myself up there on the stairs, and I thought: “What in the fuck madness is going on? Why am I being mocked by a gang of strangers and friends on the steps of the Supreme Court? Then I must have asked someone, and they told me that Uncle Duke had appeared in the Post that morning.

Thompson went on to say that “no one grows up wanting to be a cartoon character” and that if he ever caught up with Garry Trudeau, he would “rip his lungs out.” Whilethat never happened, in 1992 Trudeau published book called Action Figure!; The Life and Times of Doonesbury’s Uncle Duke that chronicled the misadventures of Uncle Duke that came with a five-inch action figure of dear Uncle Duke along with a martini glass, an Uzi, cigarette holder, a bottle of booze, and a chainsaw. While theDoonesbury creator has never been one to shy away from controversy, this bold move seemed rather suicidal or at the very least a very direct threat to the current location of Trudeau’s lungs. You can actually still find the book and its sneering Uncle Duke action figure on auction sites like eBay and on Amazon like I did. More images follow.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Watch Hunter S. Thompson exchanging gunfire with his neighbors over their cows

#hunter_S_thompson#action_figure#uncle_duke#garry_trudeau#beatnikhiway.com#ana_christy

51 Genius Quotes That Prove George Carlin Was A Modern Philosopher

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1 Genius Quotes That Prove George Carlin Was A Modern Philosopher

Nico Lang 0 Comments
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In many ways, the comedian has the ability to be the philosopher of our era, a social critic and theorist whose words have the ability to shape public thought. As we saw from my piece on Louis C.K. a few weeks ago, comedy — at its best — pushes our buttons and challenges our ways of thinking. To me, no person is a better example of that than George Carlin, a savage satirist and brilliant thinker who was just as much of a writer and a philosopher as he was a comedian. His medium was stand-up, but he touched on issues of race, class, politics and American life — saying the kinds of things no one else dared.

Carlin got famous for his bit about the “words you can’t say on television,” but his legacy speaks of so much more, wisdom and wit that deserve to live on through the ages. Here are 51 quotes from the late comedian that show him at his best — hilarious, irascible and never satisfied with the state of society.

  1. I don’t have pet peeves. I have major psychotic fucking hatreds.
  2. The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”
  3. By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.
  4. And what can we do to silence these Christian athletes who thank Jesus whenever they win, never mention his name when they lose? Not a word. You never hear them say “Jesus made me drop the ball.” “The good lord tripped me up behind the line of scrimmage.” According to these guys Jesus is undefeated, meanwhile these assholes are in last place. Must be another one of those “miracles.”
  5. The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.
  6. It’s the old American Double Standard, ya know: Say one thing, do somethin’ different. And of course this country is founded on the double standard. That’s our history. We were founded on a very basic double standard: This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.
  7. Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice?”
  8. How can [God] be perfect? Everything He ever makes dies.”
  9. If you take five white guys and put ’em with five black guys, and let ’em hang around together for about a month, and at the end of the month, you’ll notice that the white guys are walking and talking and standing like the black guys do. You’ll never see the black guys going, “Oh, golly! We won the big game today, yes sir!” But you’ll see guys with red hair named Duffy going, “What’s happenin’?”
  10. Cloud nine gets all the publicity, but cloud eight actually is cheaper, less crowded, and has a better view.
  11. Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.
  12. Here’s another question I have: How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelet? Are we so much better than chickens all of a sudden? When did this happen; that we passed chickens in goodness? Name six ways we’re better than chickens. See, nobody can do it! You know why? Because chickens are decent people. You don’t see chickens hanging around in drug gangs, do you? No. You don’t see a chicken strapping some guy to a chair and hooking up his nuts to a car battery, do you? When’s the last chicken you heard about came home from work and beat the shit out of his hen, huh? Doesn’t happen. Because chickens are decent people.
  13. People who say they don’t care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don’t care what people think.
  14. Electricity is really just organized lightning.
  15. We’re so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody’s going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven’t learned how to care for one another. We’re gonna save the fuckin’ planet? And, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with the planet in the first place. The planet is fine. The people are fucked! Compared with the people, the planet is doin’ great. It’s been here over four billion years The planet isn’t goin’ anywhere, folks. We are! We’re goin’ away. Pack your shit, we’re goin’ away. And we won’t leave much of a trace. Thank God for that. Nothing left. Maybe a little Styrofoam. The planet will be here, and we’ll be gone. Another failed mutation, another closed-end biological mistake.
  16. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
  17. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and He needs money.
  18. The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.
  19. Catholics and other Christians are against abortions and they’re against homosexuals. Well who has less abortions than homosexuals? Leave these fucking people alone for Christ’s sake. Here is an entire class of people guaranteed never to have an abortion and the Catholics and the Christians are just tossing them aside. You’d think they’d make natural allies. Go look for consistency in religion.
  20. If honesty were suddenly introduced into American life, the whole system would collapse.
  21. Capitalism tries for a delicate balance: It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff.
  22. So about 80 years after the Constitution is ratified, the slaves are freed. Not so you’d really notice it of course; just kinda on paper. And that of course was at the end of the Civil War. Now there is another phrase I dearly love. That is a true oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one: “Civil War.” Do you think anybody in this country could ever really have a civil war? “Say, pardon me?” (shoots gun) “I’m awfully sorry. Awfully sorry.”
  23. When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat.
  24. So maybe it’s not the politicians who suck; maybe it’s something else. Like the public. That would be a nice realistic campaign slogan for somebody: “The public sucks. Elect me.” Put the blame where it belongs: on the people. Because if everything is really the fault of politicians, where are all the bright, honest, intelligent Americans who are ready to step in and replace them? Where are these people hiding? The truth is, we don’t have people like that. Everyone’s at the mall, scratching his balls and buying sneakers with lights in them. And complaining about the politicians.
  25. Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.
  26. I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.
  27. I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant.
  28. They say rather than cursing the darkness, one should light a candle. They don’t mention anything about cursing a lack of candles.
  29. Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.
  30. Some people dream of things that never were and ask, “Why not?” Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that shit.
  31. I don’t understand why prostitution is illegal. Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal? You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away? I can’t follow the logic on that one at all! Of all the things you can do, giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing in the world. In the army they give you a medal for spraying napalm on people. In civilian life you go to jail for giving someone an orgasm.
  32. Comedy is filled with surprise, so when I cross a line, I like to find out where the line might be and then cross it deliberately, and then make the audience happy about crossing the line with me.
  33. There are over seventeen thousand golf courses in America, they average over one hundred and fifty acres a piece. That’s three million plus acres, four thousand, eight hundred and twenty square miles. You could build two Rhode Islands and a Delaware for the homeless on the land currently being wasted on this meaningless, mindless, arrogant, elitist, racist, there’s another thing; the only blacks you’ll find at country clubs are carrying trays. And a boring game. A boring game for boring people. You ever watch golf on television? It’s like watching flies fuck!
  34. I am perfectly willing to share the room with a fly, as long as he is patrolling that portion of the room I don’t occupy. But if he starts that smart-ass fly shit, buzzing my head and repeatedly landing on my arm, he is engaging in high-risk behavior.
  35. And you might have noticed something else. The sanctity of life doesn’t seem to apply to cancer cells, does it? You rarely see a bumper sticker that says: “Save the tumors.” Or “I brake for advanced melanoma.” No, viruses, mold, mildew, maggots, fungus, weeds, E. Coli bacteria, the crabs. Nothing sacred about those things. So at best the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest. Pretty neat deal, huh? You know how we got it? We made the whole fucking thing up!
  36. Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.
  37. Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.
  38. When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts. Germany lost the Second World War. Fascism won it. Believe me, my friend.
  39. Here’s some bumper stickers I’d like to see: “We are the proud parents of a child whose self esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.” “We are the proud parents of a child who has resisted his teachers’ attempts to break his spirit and bend him to the will of his corporate masters.” “We have a daughter in public school who hasn’t been knocked up yet.” “We have a son in public school who hasn’t shot any of his classmates yet. But he does sell drugs to your honor student. Plus he knocked up your daughter.” “We are the embarrassed parents of a cross-eyed little nit-wit who at the age of ten not only continues to wet the bed but also shits on the school bus.”
  40. People are fucking nuts. This country is full of nitwits and assholes. You ever notice that? Nitwits, assholes, fuckups, scumbags, jerkoffs, and dipshits. And they all vote. In fact, sometimes you get the impression that they’re the only ones who vote.
  41. Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?
  42. Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. You see all, sooner or later. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government does not give a fuck about them! The government doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. It simply does not give a fuck about you! It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.
  43. The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions.
  44. When it comes to God’s existence, I’m not an atheist and I’m not an agnostic. I’m an acrostic: the whole thing puzzles me.
  45. The things that matter in this country have been reduced in choice, there are two political parties, there are a handful insurance companies, there are six or seven information centers, but if you want a bagel there are 23 flavors. Because you have the illusion of choice.
  46. Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.
  47. Let me get a sip of water here…you figure this stuff is safe to drink? Actually, I don’t care, I drink it anyway. You know why? Because I’m an American and I expect a little cancer in my food and water. I’m a loyal American and I’m not happy unless I let government and industry poison me a little bit every day.
  48. Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.
  49. Religion is nothing but mind control. Religion is just trying to control your mind, control your thoughts, so they’re gonna tell you some things you shouldn’t say because they’re…sins. And besides telling you things you shouldn’t say, religion is gonna suggest some things that you ought to be saying; “Here’s something you ought to say first thing when you wake up in the morning; here’s something you ought to say just before you go to sleep at night; here’s something we always say on the third Wednesday in April after the first full moon in spring at 4 o’clock when the bells ring.” Religion is always suggesting things you ought to be saying.
  50. I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. […] I look at war a little bit differently. To me, war is a lot of prick-waving! OK? Simple thing. That’s all it is. War is a whole lot of men standing out on a field waving their pricks at one another. Men are insecure about the size of their dicks, and so they have to kill one another over the idea. That’s what all that asshole jock bullshit is all about. That’s what all that adolescent, macho, male posturing and strutting in bars and locker rooms is all about. It’s called “dick fear!” Men are terrified that their pricks are inadequate and so they have to compete with one another, to feel better about themselves, and since war is the ultimate competition, basically, men are killing each other in order to improve their self-esteem! You don’t have to be a historian or a political scientist to see the bigger-dick foreign policy at work. It sounds like this: “What, they have bigger dicks? Bomb them!” And of course, the bombs and the rockets and the bullets are all shaped like dicks. It’s a subconscious need to project the penis into other people’s affairs. It’s called “fucking with people!”
  51. If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.

#george_carlin#quotes#beatnikhiway.com#ana_christy

 

 

 

 

 

Watch 92-year-old man serenades 90-year-old wife, brings everyone to tears — WTVR.com

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NEWKIRIK, OK – In case you need reassurance that everlasting love really does exist, this video of a couple at their 50th anniversary party will certainly help. Back in the 1960’s, Harvey and Mildred Wosika met while she was working at his brother’s café. The couple hit it off and they were married on August…

via Watch 92-year-old man serenades 90-year-old wife, brings everyone to tears — WTVR.com

COOL PEOPLE-PROCOL HARUM

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Artist Biography by Bruce Eder

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Procol Harum is arguably the most successful “accidental” group creation — that is, a band originally assembled to take advantage of the success of a record created in the studio — in the history of progressive rock. With “A Whiter Shade of Pale” a monster hit right out of the box, the band evolved from a studio ensemble into a successful live act, their music built around an eclectic mix of blues-based rock riffs and grand classical themes. With singer/pianist Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reidproviding the band’s entire repertory, their music evolved in decidedly linear fashion, the only major surprises coming from the periodic lineup changes that added a new instrumental voice to the proceedings. At their most accessible, as on “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Conquistador,” they were one of the most popular of progressive rock bands, their singles outselling all rivals, and their most ambitious album tracks still have a strong following.

Procol Harum‘s roots and origins are as convoluted as its success — especially between 1967 and 1973 — was pronounced. Pianist Gary Brooker (b. May 29, 1945, Southend, Essex, England) had formed a group at school called the Paramounts at age 14, with guitarist Robin Trower (b. Mar. 9, 1945, Southend, Essex) and bassist Chris Copping (b. Aug. 29, 1945 Southend, Essex), with singerBob Scott and drummer Mick Brownlee. After achieving a certain degree of success at local youth clubs and dances, covering established rock & roll hits, Brooker took over the vocalist spot from the departed Scott, and the group continued working after its members graduated — by 1962, they were doing formidable (by British standards) covers of American R&B, and got a residency at the Shades Club in Southend.

Brownlee exited the band in early 1963 and was replaced by Barry J. (B.J.) Wilson (b. Mar. 18, 1947, Southend, Essex), who auditioned after answering an ad in Melody Maker. Nine months later, in September of 1963, bassist Chris Copping opted out of the professional musicians’ corps to attend Leicester University, and he was replaced by Diz Derrick. The following month, the Paramounts demo record, consisting of covers of the Coasters‘ “Poison Ivy” and Bobby Bland‘s “Farther on up the Road,” got them an audition at EMI. This resulted in their being signed to the Parlophone label, with their producer, Ron Richards, the recording manager best-known for his many years of work with the Hollies.

The Paramounts’ first single, “Poison Ivy,” released in January of 1964, reached number 35 on the British charts. The group also got an important endorsement from the Rolling Stones, with whom they’d worked on the television show Thank Your Lucky Stars, who called the Paramounts their favorite British R&B band. Unfortunately, none of the group’s subsequent Parlophone singles over the next 18 months found any chart success, and by mid-’66, the Paramounts had been reduced to serving as a backing band for popsters Sandy Shaw and Chris Andrews. In September of 1966, the Paramountswent their separate ways; Derrick out of the business, Trower and Wilson to gigs with other bands, and, most fortuitously, Gary Brooker decided to develop his career as a songwriter.

This led Brooker into a partnership with lyricist Keith Reid (b. Oct. 19, 1945), whom he met through a mutual acquaintance, R&B impresario Guy Stevens. By the spring of 1967, they had a considerable body of songs prepared and began looking for a band to play them. An advertisement in Melody Maker led to the formation of a band initially called the Pinewoods, with Brooker as pianist/singer, Matthew Fisher (b. Mar. 7, 1946, Croydon, Surrey) on organ, Ray Royer (b. Oct. 8, 1945) on guitar, Dave Knights (b. June 28, 1945, London) on bass, and Bobby Harrison (b. June 28, 1943, London) on drums. Their first recording, produced by Denny Cordell, was of a piece of surreal Reid poetry called “A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” which Brooker set to music loosely derived from Johann Sebastian Bach‘s Air on a G String from the Suite No. 3 in D Major.

By the time this recording was ready for release, the Pinewoods had been rechristened Procol Harum, a name derived, as alternate stories tell it, either from Stevens‘ cat’s birth certificate, Procol Harun, or the Latin “procul” for “far from these things” (hey, it was the mid-’60s, and either is possible). In early May of 1967, the group performed “A Whiter Shade of Pale” at the Speakeasy Club in London, whileCordell arranged for a release of the single on English Decca (London Records in America), on the companies’ Deram label. Ironically, Cordell‘s one-time clients the Moody Blues were about to break out of a long commercial tail-spin on the very same label with a similar, classically-tinged pair of recordings, “Nights in White Satin” and “Days of Future Passed,” and between the two groups and their breakthrough hits, Deram Records would be permanently characterized as a progressive rock imprint.

Cordell had also sent a copy of “A Whiter Shade of Pale” to Radio London, one of England’s legendary off-shore pirate radio stations (they competed with the staid BBC, which had the official broadcast monopoly, and were infinitely more beloved by the teenagers and most bands), which played the record. Not only was Radio London deluged with listener requests for more plays, but Deram suddenly found itself with orders for a record not scheduled for release for another month — before May was half over, it was pushed up on the schedule and rushed into shops.

Meanwhile, the prototypal Procol Harum made its concert debut in London opening for Jimi Hendrixat the Saville Theater on June 4, 1967. Four days later, “A Whiter Shade of Pale” reached the top of the British charts for the first of a six-week run in the top spot, making Procol Harum only the sixth recording act in the history of British popular music to reach the number one spot on its first release (not even the Beatles did that). The following month, the record reached number five on the American charts, with sales in the United States rising to over a million copies (and six million copies worldwide).

All of this seemed to bode well for the band, except for the fact that it had only a single song in its repertory and no real stage act — literal one-hit wonders. The same month that the record peaked in the United States, Royer and Harrison were sacked and replaced by Brooker‘s former Paramountsbandmates Robin Trower and B.J. Wilson on guitar and drums, respectively.

Procol Harum

The “real” Procol Harum band was now in place and a second single, “Homburg,” was duly recorded. Reminiscent of “Whiter Shade of Pale” in its tone of dark grandeur, this single, released in October of 1967 on EMI’s Regal Zonophone label, got to number six on the British charts. The group’s debut album, entitled Procol Harum, managed to reach number 47 in America during October of 1967, based on “A Whiter Shade of Pale” being among its tracks (which included the first version of “Conquistador”) — but a British version of the LP, issued over there without the hit, failed to attract any significant sales. The single “Homburg,” however, got no higher than number 34 in America a month later.

Shine on Brightly

On March 26, 1968, “A Whiter Shade of Pale” won the International Song of the Year award at the 13th Annual Ivor Novello Awards (sort of the British equivalent of the Grammys). The group’s newest single, “Quite Rightly So,” however, only reached the number 50 spot in England in April of that year. A new contract for the group was secured with A&M Records in America (they remained on Regal Zonophone in England), and by November, a second album,Shine on Brightly, highlighted by an 18-minute epic entitled “In Held ‘Twas I,” was finished and in the stores, and rose to number 24 in America but failed to chart in England. The next month, they were playing the Miami Pop Festival in front of 100,000 people, on a bill that includedChuck Berry, Canned Heat, the blues version of Fleetwood Mac, and the Turtles, among others.

A Salty Dog

In March of 1969, David Knights and Matthew Fisher exited the lineup shortly after finishing work on the group’s new album, A Salty Dog, preferring management and production to the performing side of the music business. Knights‘ departure opened the way for bassist Chris Copping to joinProcol Harum (thus re-creating the lineup of the Paramounts), playing bass and organ. Another American tour followed the next month, and in June of 1969 A Salty Dog was issued. This record, considered by many to be the original group’s best work, combined high-energy blues and classical influences on a grand scale, and returned the band to the U.S. charts at number 32, while the title song ascended the British charts to number 44. The album subsequently reached number 27 in England, the group’s first long-player to chart in their own country.Despite the group’s moderate sales in England and America, they remained among the more popular progressive rock bands, capable of reaching more middle-brow listeners who didn’t have the patience for Emerson, Lake & Palmer or King Crimson. Robin Trower‘s flashy guitar quickly made him the star of the group, as much as singer/pianist Brooker, and he was considered in the same league with Alvin Lee and any number of late-’60s/early-’70s British blues axemen. Matthew Fisher‘s stately, cathedral-like organ had been a seminal part of the band’s sound, juxtaposed with Trower‘s blues-based riffing and Reid‘s unusual, darkly witty lyrics as voiced by Brooker. Following Fisher‘s departure, the group took on a more straightforward rock sound, but Trower‘s playing remained a major attraction to the majority of fans.

“Whaling Stories” was an example of quintessential Procol Harum, a mix of 19th century oratorio that sounds like it came out of a Victorian-era cathedral, with fiery blues riffs blazing at its center. And being soaked in Reid‘s dark, eerie, regret-filled lyrics didn’t stop “A Salty Dog” from becoming one of the group’s most popular songs.

Broken Barricades

It was a year before their next album, Home, was released, in June of 1970, ascending to the American number 34 and the British 49 spot. This marked the end of the group’s contract with Regal Zonophone/EMI, and on the release of their next LP in July of 1971, they were now on Chrysalis in England.Broken Barricades reached number 32 in America and 41 in England, but it also marked the departure of Robin Trower. The founding guitarist left that month and subsequently organized his own group, with a sound modeled along lines similar to Jimi Hendrix, which had great success in America throughout the 1970s.Trower‘s replacement, Dave Ball (b. Mar. 30, 1950), joined the same month, and the lineup expanded by one with the addition of Alan Cartwright on bass, which freed Chris Copping to concentrate full-time on the organ. The group returned to something of the sound it had before Fisher‘s departure, although Trower was a tough act to follow. It was this version of the band that performed on November 18, 1971 in a concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the DaCamera Singers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada — the concert was a bold and expansive, richly orchestrated re-consideration of earlier material (though not “A Whiter Shade of Pale”) from the group’s repertory, and, released as an official live album in 1972, proved to be the group’s most successful LP release, peaking at number five and drawing in thousands of new fans.

Procol Harum Live: In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

In England, Procol Harum Live: In Concert With the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra only rose to number 48 in May of 1972, but it was competing with a reissue of the group’s debut album (retitled A Whiter Shade of Pale, with the single added) paired with A Salty Dog, which outperformed it considerably, reaching number 26. A single lifted from the live record, “Conquistador,” redone in a rich and dramatic version, shot to number 16 in America and 22 in England that summer. Soon after, the U.S. distributor of the debut album, London Records, got further play from that record by re-releasing it with a sticker announcing the presence of “the original version of “Conquistador.”

Grand Hotel

Amid all of this success, the group’s lineup again was thrown into turmoil in September when Dave Ball left Procol Harumto join Long John Baldry‘s band. He was replaced by Mick Grabham, formerly of the bands Plastic Penny and Cochise. The band’s next album, Grand Hotel, was a delightfully melodic and decadent collection (anticipating Bryan Ferryand Roxy Music in some respects) that featured guest backing vocals by Christianne Legrand of the a cappella singing group the Swingle Singers. That record, their first released on Chrysalis in America as well as England, peaked at number 21. Six months later, A&M released the first compilation of the band’s material, Best of Procol Harum, which only made it to number 131 on the charts.

Exotic Birds and Fruit

The group’s next two albums, Exotic Birds and Fruit (May 1974) and Procol’s Ninth (September 1975), the latter produced by rock & roll songsmiths Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, performed moderately well, and “Pandora’s Box” fromProcol’s Ninth became one of their bigger hits in England, rising to number 16. July of 1976 saw a departure and a lateral shift in the group’s lineup, as Alan Cartwright left the band and Chris Copping took over on bass, while Pete Solley joined as keyboard player.

Something Magic

By this time, the band’s string had run out, as everyone seemed to know. A new album,Something Magic, barely scraped the U.S. charts in April of 1977, and the band split up following a final tour and a farewell concert at New York’s Academy of Music on May 15, 1977. Only five months later, the band was back together for a one-off performance of “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” which had taken on a life of its own separate from the group — the song was named joint winner (along with “Bohemian Rhapsody”) of the Best British Pop Single 1952-1977, at the Britannia Awards to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee, and the band performed it live at the awards ceremony.

No More Fear of Flying

Apart from Trower, Gary Brooker was the most successful and visible of all ex-Procol Harum members, releasing three solo albums between 1979 and 1985. No More Fear of Flying (1979) on Chrysalis, produced by George Martin, attracted the most attention, but Lead Me to the Water (1982) on Mercury had some notable guest artists, including Eric Clapton and Phil Collins, while Echoes in the Night (1985) was co-produced by Brooker‘s former bandmate Matthew Fisher. During the late ’80s, however, Brooker had turned to writing orchestral music, principally ballet material, but this didn’t stop him from turning up as a guest at one of the annualFairport Convention reunions (Procol Harum and Fairport had played some important early gigs together) at Cropredy, Oxfordshire, in August of 1990 to sing “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”Still, Procol Harum had faded from the consciousness of the music world by the end of the 1980s. The death of B.J. Wilson in 1990 went largely unreported, to the chagrin of many fans, and it seemed as though the group was a closed book.

Then, in August of 1991, Brooker re-formed Procol Harum with Trower, Fisher, Reid, and drummerMark Brzezicki. An album, Prodigal Stranger, was recorded and released, and an 11-city tour of North America took place in September of 1991. Although this lineup didn’t last — Trower and company, after all, were pushing 50 at the time — Brooker has kept a new version of Procol Harum together, in the guise of himself, guitarist Geoffrey Whitehorn, keyboardman Don Snow, and Brzezicki on drums, which toured the United States in 1992.

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AMERICANA -Top 10 Foods Only America Could Have Invented

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Top 10 Foods Only America Could Have Invented

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The American could have excelled in many other ways and fields. They may very well be the best nations in the world but frankly speaking when it is about the foodies and the food that is being served, American stands no place to certain other nations. The Americans cannot actually boast of a single cuisine or some kind of food that is completely theirs. Most of the recipes are from some other land. Nevertheless, America is also known for some of the greatest experiments with foods. There are certain cheesy and wheezy food items that can only be created by the people of America. So, We are going to enlist up the top 10 food only America could have invented.

1. Corn Dog

Corn Dog

There is no doubt of the fact that Americans are very good innovators. Thai is very well proved when a man named Neil Fletcher, came up with his brand new idea of smearing up the hot dog with some cornflower and then frying them deep. This gave the hot dog the look of rich Gold, enough to attract the eyes of the people and at the same time feeding them the same hot dog with a layer of corn on it. According to the Americans, it is something that is quite good but hey after all it is a Hot Dog and the main credit is of somebody else.

2. Philly Cheese steak

Philly Cheese steak

This is yet another food that we would surely want the Americans to take the credit for it. The Philly Cheese steak is a combination of all the things that are surely going to change you over to some bulky fellow provided you take this thing every day without fail. It is prepared with the meat with the highest possible content of fats in it. To add to it, there is a hell lot of Cheese to counter. Whatever it may be, the Philly Cheese steak does taste great and the people of Philadelphia are proud of it!

3. Chinese Food

Chinese Food

The most interesting thing is that the Americans also have the quality to design a food that is literally not of somebody but named after that country. In any case, all the Chinese food that we know of is the modified version of some simple noodles that the Chinese have. However, the Americans have had the time and pleasure to give it a complete makeover and have made it their own. Anyways, As far As I have known, the people from the east are more in favor of Rice cakes that Hakka noodles.

4. S’mores

S’mores: Top 10 Foods only America could Have Invented

If you g take a look at it, you will surely wonder that what is actually the fuss about s’mores. This is nothing but a food that is extremely deep-fried near about burnt and then some kind of a cream are applied over it to decorate. I do not understand what is there that makes it so very much famous but s’mores are some hit amidst the American people. Most of the foreign people find it extremely difficult to understand the reason behind the eating and liking fors’mores but it is as it is!

5. Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich

This is by far one of the most beautiful looking dishes that the Americans are given the credit for the invention. This thing surely looks like some sort of a dish prepared by some international chef but hey this solely belongs to America. What is not there in this dish? It has Chocolate, Strawberry flavor to the best possible extent, some sort of Orange flavor and some cheese as well. This unique blend of colors and taste is rarely found in any other American dish!

 6. Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad

This Salad will completely make you realize that why the majority of the fat people belong to the land of America only. The Americans seem to have a tendency to put in everything in the middle of Cheese and all sorts of Fatty stuffs. In general, what do we refer to as Salad? Something that is healthy and delicious at the same time but here in this case, the Cobb Salad is that stuffed salad that will fill in the entire space that you have. To add to that, it will surely lend you the most undesired body weight that you can even imagine to have in your lifetime! In spite of all this, the Cob salad is one of the most favored dishes to the Americans.

7. Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

I seriously do not have any Idea what is so great on this thing. This thing looks utterly fat and disgusting to me but make sure that you do not say this to any American. The Baked Alaska is something that no great chef has ever dreamt of it. It is actually a dessert. A Pie has been baked. I am personally a huge fan of Pie and I do not wish to have a pie that is baked but the people of America love it. Obviously, they have created it.

8. Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings

I am a huge fan of the Chicken wings that they serve as KFC counters but it is good till chicken. Firstly, it is illegal to kill a Buffalo in here and secondly, I am not in favor of eating such a huge animal But is seems that the Americans love it. The Buffalo wings are kind of Chicken wings with the meat that belongs to a chicken. They love it being served hot and steamy with some cheese. Meat and cheese is yet another combination that is 100 percent pure Americans.

9. Turducken

Turducken

The Name is in itself the acronym for the things that are in the recipe for the food. The Turducken is one of the healthiest foods ever credited to the Americans and yet it surely has some great features. There is no doubt of the fact that the Turdumcken is a quite interesting but let me tell you, the blend of Turkey with a duck stuffing plus mashed chicken with deep fried is absolutely fantastic to eat. All you need is a simple layer of cheese. It is ready to be devoured.

10. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

This is an Ice cream of sorts and yet at the same time it has many things that will help the cause of your hunger in the mean time. This is buttery and has a great taste to it considering the fact that there are stuffing’s like cookies and all in it. Originally, this is somebody else’s idea but the Americans have actually devised a great way to ensure that it is better that the original one!

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