Bob Dylan – The Beginning the Middle and the End or The Barometer of our Times?

While I had friends whose older brothers introduced me to Bob Dylan in the late sixties it was a school teacher when I was about 15 who truly introduced me to Dylan.

I remember his words “Dylan is the beginning the middle and the end” and I have no doubt he meant it. I am not sure whether they were his own words, an adaption of someone else’s or a direct quote. Another quote I liked was “Dylan is the barometer of our times”. Again I’m not sure to whom that quote should be attributed, however through the sixties and seventies it seemed apt.

So,why the discussion about Dylan?

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1975 – The Best Year in Music?

I was watching Max the music channel on Foxtel and they were playing songs from 1975. It gave me pause for thought as to whether this was in fact the greatest music year if my life? I have always considered the 70s as the golden age of music rather than the 60s. While there is no doubt that the emergence of The Beatles and Rolling Stones in the 60s were central to the era I think the 60s were formative rather than quintessential.

Using Wikipedia I trawled through what was released in 1975. Blood on the Tracks (Bob Dylan), Night at the Opera (Queen), Blue Jays (Justin Hayward and John Lodge), An Evening with John Denver (John Denver), Between the Lines ( Janis Ian), The Original Soundtrack (10cc), Face the Music ( Electric Light Orchestra), Siren (Roxy Music), All Around My Hat (Steeleye Span), Still Crazy After All These Years (Paul Simon), Horses (Patti Smith), The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Welcome to My Nightmare (Alice Cooper), Venus and Mars (Paul Mccartney and Wings), One of These Nights (The Eagles), Have You Never Been Mellow (Olivia Newton-John) and Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen)  were my favourites of 1975.

Whilst I could discuss each and everyone of these at length I’ve singled out just a few for special mention.

Blood on the Tracks for its sheer consistency. From Tangled up in Blue to Buckets of a Rain, every song is brilliant however for me Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts is my favourite. I just love the line,
She was with Big Jim but she was leanin’ to the Jack of Hearts .

Janis Ian’s, Between the Lines had At Seventeen which my wife tells me was every girl’s favourite song of the time. Whereas for me it was Olivia!

I know John Denver was often seen as homely and sweet however he was a great country singer. He was fabulous live and  An Evening with John Denver, truly captured the experience. Favourite off this album the soaring Rocky Mountain High.

The amazing a Night at the Opera showed the sheer talent of Queen. There are no duds on this album. Bohemian Rhapsody is the song most associate with the album, but there is so much more such as You’re my best Friend and Thirty Nine Nine.

Former keyboard player with Yes, Rick Wakeman was prominent in the 70s. The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth and Journey to the Centre of the Earth were great, however my favourite is Myths and Legends released in 1975 with The Last Battle showing Wakeman at his best.

The release of Venus and Mars by Wings continued to showcase McCartney in a band setting. The tour which accompanied its release was just amazing. It remains one of my all time favourite concerts.

The Eagles One of these Nights included Lyin’ Eyes and Take it to the Limit  as well as One of these Nights. ELO’s Face the Music had Evil Women and Strange Music, Roxy’s Siren included the classic Love is the Drug and Both Ends Burning.There was also Paul Simon’s Still Crazy after all these Years, which apart from the title track also included My Little Town, and 50 Ways to Leave your Lover. Alice Cooper’s Welcome to my Nightmare had the classic Only Women Bleed.

However there is no doubt which album was my favourite in 1975: Born to Run. This album simply has no flaws at all and is my opinion the greatest album of all time.

So my conclusion,1975 was the greatest year in music – what do you think?

Well that’s Semester One Done

As if work running into 30 June isn’t hectic enough for an accountant I’ve combined it with an exam and an assignment!

Over the last four months I’ve attended 13 workshops, 13 seminars, 9 presentations, completed 5 assignments and sat one exam, whilst working full-time. It certainly has been a challenge.

From a work perspective it has also seen one of the busiest periods we have seen for a while. Plenty of good and challenging work as I completed my second last year of professional practice.

From a study perspective, the word count is about 11,000 words submitted and countless others edited out. Numerous journal articles carefully read to extract the gems needed to support my work. Then there is the exacting task of referencing, something which after 5 assignments now seems quite straight forward – it certainly wasn’t back in March!

So what have I learnt? I know that I’m still not good at statistics, although compared to what I knew on the 1st of March I am an expert! I’ve learnt about the inductive and deductive approach. I know that method and methodology aren’t the same thing and lots more. I’ve found that writing every day does work better; that “snack writing” actually works and writing early in the day is a productive use if my time as against sleeping (which is definitely over rated)! What however is more important is that I now realise I am thinking differently and that this is not just helping my study but also work.

I’m a quarter the way through my Honours program with still many thousands of words to write and much to learn. Whilst the last few months have been challenging I’m still enjoying it.

So now a few weeks before saddling up again. Time to take in the balance of The World Cup and Tour de France on TV.

Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)

I was listening to one of my playlists and up came Peter Sarsdedt’s Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) released in 1969. I bought it when it was released as a 45 and have been captivated by the song ever since. Infact it haunts me!

If you can’t remember go to Spotify and listen to it.

The song is apparent,y fictional which I find so hard to believe, as it seems so personal and full of scorn. Read the lyrics and see if you agree with me?

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair, yes there are

You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard Saint-Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do

I’ve seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne
And the painting you stole from Picasso
Your loveliness goes on and on, yes it does

When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Juan-les-Pins
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit
You get an even suntan on your back and on your legs

And when the snow falls you’re found in Saint Moritz
With the others of the jet-set
And you sip your Napoleon brandy
But you never get your lips wet, no you don’t

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Won’t you tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do

Your name, it is heard in high places
You know the Aga Khan
He sent you a racehorse for Christmas
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh, a-ha-ha-ha

They say that when you get married
It’ll be to a millionaire
But they don’t realize where you came from
And I wonder if they really care, or give a damn

Where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do

I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly-born tags, so they try

So look into my face Marie-Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
But I know you still bear the scar, deep inside, yes you do

I know where you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
‘Cause I can look inside your head

(na na-na-na na na-na-na na-na na na na na)
(na na-na-na na na-na-na na-na na na na na
)

The words seems so personal, of someone looking so scornfully at a person who they must have once loved and has been cast aside.