Good week, considering… (ROW80 Round 1 2013)

Last week was not a good week. As I reported last Wednesday, my cat Jackie died. Friday, his mom died.

Judy, a/k/a Mama JuJu
Judy, a/k/a Mama JuJu

On the upside, the dentist was quite pleased with my improved oral hygiene. And it was a pretty good week for ROW80.

  • Writing: Continued my streak of writing every day, at least half an hour. Again, this round, I’m not as concerned with quality as I am with quantity. The Writer’s Book Of Matches has earned a permanent place on my computer table. As books of writing prompts go, it’s a good one. I bought it when it first came out, and it sat on my bookshelf for several years while I recovered from my stroke (six years ago this Monday) and regained the drive to write.
  • Reading: Not really much this past week.
  • Visiting: Some, but not as much as I would have liked.

Hope you had at least as good a week as I did, and didn’t lose any pets or have a bad dental checkup or anything.

Two for Tuesday: Creedence Clearwater Revival

From the San Francisco Bay area, Creedence Clearwater Revival were popular in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Led by lead guitarist/singer/songwriter John Fogerty, the band included John’s brother Tom on rhythm guitar, Stu Cook on bass, and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford on drums. They signed with Fantasy Records in 1964, but their eponymous first album wasn’t released until 1968 (owing to John’s and Doug’s military service). Their first hit, a cover of Dale Hawkins’ 1956 hit “Suzie Q,” got a lot of airplay on stations in the Bay Area as well as on Chicago’s WLS, and was their first Top 40 single. The band recorded six more albums over the next five years, ending with 1972’s Mardi Gras (your tie-in for today!). Tom Fogerty left the band in 1971, and the group disbanded for good in 1972. Tom died of complications from AIDS (due to a tainted blood transfusion) in 1990; John has released several albums, including 1985’s Centerfield (the title track is heard at nearly every baseball stadium during ballgames); and Stu Cook and Doug Clifford formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995.

“Bad Moon Rising,” from 1969’s Green River, is today’s first tune. It peaked at #2 in the US and #5 in Canada, and was certified platinum. (I remember a discussion on WLS one evening, where Art Roberts had to set people straight on the lyrics of the chorus, which sound a lot ike “There’s a bathroom on the right” but obviously aren’t.) “Fortunate Son,” from 1969’s Willie and the Poor Boys, is the second tune. It reached #14 in the US.

It’s surprising that, as popular as CCR was, they never had a #1 hit in the US. In fact, they hold the distinction of having the greatest number of Number Two singles without ever having a Number One, according to Billboard. (Even stranger is the fact that, in Chicago, they had three Number Ones, four Number Threes, two Number Fours, and no Number Twos. The things you learn when you do this…)

Creedence Clearwater Revival: your Two for Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

#ROW80 Round 1 2013: First February update

This hasn’t been a particularly good week. Another member of the clowder, Jackie, died Monday, and Mary and I were affected a lot more than we thought we’d be. Jackie was born here and lived here his whole life. Most of that time, he was under the bed. I don’t think he was intimidated by any of the others; I just think he was one of those cats who wanted to be left alone. Plus, I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. They want to make sure there’s no periodontal disease since my bad checkup the last time.

A little picture of him
Rest in peace, Jackie

On the upside, things are still going well.

  • Writing: Continues uninterrupted since the start of the round, although I have today’s writing to do. I noticed something about my writing thus far: there isn’t a whole lot of description in it. That’s fine if I’m writing a screenplay, because the people who would ostensibly be casting the film and designing the sets would take care of that, but it dawned on me that, in the absence of those people, I have to do that. And I realized, “Hey! I’m not real good at description!” So that’s my next assignment, to get at least halfway decent at describing people, places, things, weather, etc.
  • Reading: Finished reading Janet Evanovich’s Notorious Nineteen, which was about what we’ve come to expect from her, which is to say there were a few moments where I nearly lost bladder control, I was laughing so hard. Nothing else to report here.
  • Visiting: I made a concentrated effort to visit other ROWers, and visited a couple of dozen altogether. If you were one of them, I hope I was able to provide encouragement.

That’s all for this week. Oh, and I think I have my April “A to Z Challenge” topic picked out. Have a good week!

Two for Tuesday: The Who

A friend of mine from high school mentioned on Facebook that he finally got his wish to see The Who this past weekend. As long as I’ve known him, he’s been a fan; he and I used to get together and jam on “Pinball Wizard,” more often not resulting in me breaking a string, usually the first string, which I learned later is not really necessary to play this tune. (Another song we used to do was “Question” by the Moody Blues, another one that’s fatal to guitar strings.) He told me that they played “Pinball Wizard” in the show, and that Pete Townshend didn’t break any strings.

The Who were a notorious bunch, best known for destroying their instruments on stage at the end of shows and destroying hotel rooms after shows. In 1979, a concert of theirs in Cincinnati, Ohio featured “festival seating,” meaning there were no assigned seats, and whoever got in first got the best seats. This led to a minor stampede in which eleven were killed and twenty-six injured. Keith Moon, the band’s original drummer, died of an overdose of an anti-alcohol withdrawal drug in 1978; in June 2002, original bassist John Entwhistle was found dead in his room at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, the victim of a heart attack in which cocaine was a contributing factor. Pete Townshend was cautioned as part of Operation Ore, an anti-child pornography police operation. (He had registered with a CP website for “research purposes,” but was never found in possession of any materials, and there was no indication that he was involved in any illegal activity. Nevertheless, they told him that the research defense wasn’t a very good one.)

All that aside, they were an inventive bunch: Tommy, the first “rock opera” (from which our first selection, the aforementioned “Pinball Wizard,” is taken) was released in the late Sixties and was made into a movie starring singer Roger Daltrey and Ann-Margret, among others), was released in 1969. In 1971, the band began recording another rock opera, Lifehouse; the bulk of that material instead became Who’s Next, from which our second selection, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” was taken. In all, the band released eleven studio albums, the most recent being 2006’s Endless Wire. The two surviving members of the band (Townshend and Daltrey) continue to tour as The Who, backed by a band that includes Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr’s son, on the drums. Three of their songs (“Who Are You,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and “Baba O’Riley”) have been used as the theme music for TV’s CSI: franchise.

The Who: your Two for Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

It’s #AtoZChallenge time again!

If you look on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll notice that the sticker indicating that I completed last year’s April Blogging from A to Z Challenge has been replaced with a badge indicating that I intend to do the challenge against this year. It’s the one that looks like this here:

A to Z Challenge 2013 badge
A to Z Challenge 2013 badge

If you’re a blogger, particularly if you’re a new one who wants to get some more traffic for your blog, it’s a great challenge and a lot of fun. You can read more about it by clicking on the badge in the sidebar, which will take you to the site. And, if you’re not a blogger, why not click on the badge and give it some thought? It’s easy enough to open a blog on either or Blogger, and it costs literally nothing but your time and a desire to show off.

If you click here, you’ll have a chance to read the entries that I wrote for last year’s challenge. Last year, I based my entries on the NATO spelling alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, etc.), so I need a different theme for this year. But, I have until the last week of March to figure out what that is.

Questions? Check out the official site, or leave me a question in the comments. Hope a lot of you join!