Owsley “Bear” Stanley, LSD Pioneer, dies at 76
Owsley Stanley took his last trip Saturday, dying of injuries sustained during a car accident. He was 76. Stanley’s influence on the LSD culture in California during the mid-late 1960′s is often understated. He produced a lot of the drug, yes, but he also inspired musicians and was a successful sound engineer for The Grateful Dead. Stanley, whose nickname was “bear” inspired the band’s dancing bear logo . Lyrics written by The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa reference Stanley and his conflicts with authorities. The Dead’s song “Alice D. Millionaire” is based on an LA Times newspaper headline about Owsley entitled “LSD Millionaire.”
Hugh Martin Jr., composer, dies at 96
Well, it seems the news segment of the Music Court is quite depressing today. Hugh Martin wrote “The Trolley Song” for Judy Garland in the 1944 musical “Meet Me in St. Louis,” but he is most famous for his beautiful creation “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” which, even though it was also written and sung by Garland in the same play, became a staple of Christmas music that still is equally as popular today. Yes, Martin’s composition is still getting air time around 70 years later. The wonder of Christmas nostalgia.
The creation of the song is actually quite interesting and particularly poignant. Originally Martin wrote the lyrics as:
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas, it may be your last. Next year we may all be living in the past.Faithful friends who were dear to us, will be near to us no more.”
But, while the song does has melancholic implications, a wise studio executive told Martin that the lyrics did have to be somewhat more uplifting. So, Martin went back and drew up what we now listen to today (starting in October – it seems) incessantly.
Here is a great version of the classic from Katie Melua:
Bob Dylan Approved to Play in China
Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine
Bob Dylan will be doing (above picture) in China. Yes, after scheduling dates in China last year only to be turned down, Dylan finally gained permission from China’s Ministry of Culture to perform in Beijing between March 30th and April 12th.
Dylan, who seemingly has played in every country, will be playing in China for the first time.
This, from the Rolling Stone article about the subject:
“The approval notice for Dylan’s appearance in Beijing will require him to stick with a setlist that has been vetted by Chinese officials. No details have been released regarding what Dylan material was deemed appropriate for Chinese audiences, but it is likely that his more politically oriented songs did not make the cut.”
LOL! Yeah, I don’t think “Blowin’ in The Wind” or “The Times They Are A’ Changin” will be played for the Chinese audience, especially now at the outset of recent protests quashed in China. I envision the setlist being quite conservative, focused mainly on blues. But, let’s be real China Ministry of Culture, Americans, who speak Dylan’s native language, cannot even understand what he is saying anymore. Do you really think a Chinese audience will understand?
UPDATE ON MARCH MADNESS ALBUM TOURNY
After a couple of days of voting I have a quick update of the March Madness 1967 album Bracket Competition, where we are pinning the best albums of that year up against eachother.
Currently, the 1 vs. 16 battle is being led by heavily favored Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band 7-0. This can be voted on by following this link:
#2 seed The Doors leads Days of Future Passed 6-1
#3 seed Are You Experienced is beating Procol Harum 6-1
and…our only potential upset chance thus far (it seems)
#4 seed Magical Mystery Tour is only beating Velvet Underground and Nico by three votes 5-2
The above can be voted on by following this link: http://musiccourt.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/march-1967-madness-continues-2-vs-15-3-vs-14-4-vs-13/
More first round match-ups will be posted up on Wednesday so sit tight and VOTE!