Graham Parker – Howlin’ Wind

CB and I have been talking and when that happens… some cool music is discussed. This is an artist I should have checked out long long ago.

Graham Parker is someone I’ve heard of …but never actually heard. I’ve lived with this album for a week or so. What I’ve heard is some smooth groove music that Parker contrasts with his intense lyrics. I hear a little punk influence in the lyrics and voice. If I had to compare him with someone…it would be Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson but with a touch of Van Morrison and The Band sprinkled in on this album.

A little more about Graham Parker…after that, I’ll get on about the album. This is an extremely condensed beginning for Graham up until the debut album.

Graham Parker and the Rumour

Graham Parker was born in East London in 1950 and was the right age to catch The Beatles when they hit. He and his friends had a band that adopted the haircuts, sweaters, and boots but they never really learned how to play their instruments. He did a guitar and started learning it. Later on, when he was around 15 he started to listen to soul music, Motown, ska, and especially Otis Redding.

He started to improve on guitar and played bars and clubs. He even appeared on a television show in Gibraltar and played a few of his own songs. After that, he was asked to join a psychedelic band named Pegasus. He soon tired of that music and started to concentrate on R&B songs like The Midnight Hour. He then met the manager of Brinsley Schwarz. With ex-members of Brinsley Schwarz and ex-member Nick Lowe producing them…they made his debut album Howlin’ Wind. His band had a name at this point…The Rumour.

The Rumour would be Graham’s backing band for years. They also recorded their own albums separately and did three in all. They broke up in 1980 and then reformed and started to back Parker up again in 2011 and remain his backup band to this day.

The album is great. There is not a bad song on it. The second side rocks a little more than the first so it evens it out. I hear rock, reggae, rockabilly, R&B, Soul, rock, and a touch of jazz in spots. His voice is so damn convincing…you automatically take notice as he sneers his way through it. He can get raspy and then stay smooth. There is a variety on this album…he was not stuck on one style…he spread it about and his debut album is balanced and wonderful. It was a perfect marriage between Parker and The Rumour. Also, I have to give Nick Lowe some credit. He keeps it sparse…no studio tricks just straight-ahead music.

I’ve mentioned Van Morrison and I have to say Springsteen also. If you like those artists…you should like this Graham Parker album. Don’t get me wrong…he doesn’t copy them…he has his own original thing going on but it has some of the feel of those artists. I’ve listened to this album at home, in the car, and at work. It kept getting better as I was going through it.

Give this album a shot.

  1. “White Honey” – 3:33
  2. “Nothin’s Gonna Pull Us Apart” – 3:21
  3. “Silly Thing” – 2:51
  4. “Gypsy Blood” – 4:37
  5. “Between You and Me” – 2:25
  6. “Back to Schooldays” – 2:54
  7. “Soul Shoes” – 3:13
  8. “Lady Doctor” – 2:5
  9. “You’ve Got to Be Kidding” – 3:30
  10. “Howlin’ Wind” – 3:58
  11. “Not If It Pleases Me” – 3:12
  12. “Don’t Ask Me Questions” – 5:38

Graham Parker: “When I’m writing, I don’t write angry or think angry, so I appreciate that you noticed this, and thank you, sadly, all critics see or hear is anger. Not me, though. ‘With a little humor, always with a little humor.’” 

Graham Parker: “I’ve always tried to be playful, starting with Howlin’ Wind, not dumb, not goofy, but playful. I’m a fan of humor. People have always thought I was pissed off, but really, I was just joking around. They don’t get it or they’re not hearing me. I have always loved to tickle people.”

Originally released in 1976, from the album ‘Howlin’ Wind’. This remix was released as a single in 1978 from the album ‘The Parkerilla’.


Star Trek – The Deadly Years

★★★★1/2 December 8, 1967 Season 2 Episode 12

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and David P. Harmon

Another favorite of mine in the 2nd season. Some of the crew starts growing old…really quick. 

When an away team goes for a routine visit to a scientific outpost they are shocked to discover the personnel are dead or dying, apparently of old age, despite none of them being old.

Star Trek – The Deadly Years B

Back on the Enterprise, it isn’t long before members of the away team, with the exception of Chekov, start aging. At first, the signs are subtle; Kirk gives the same order twice and instructs Uhura to contact Star Fleet using a code that has already been cracked by the Romulans. It isn’t long before more obvious signs of aging show and if they don’t discover the cause and a remedy quickly most of the senior staff will be dead within days.

As time progresses Kirk’s ability to command comes into question and Commodore Stocker, who was being transported to a nearby star base, assumes command despite never serving on a starship before. This almost leads to disaster when he orders the Enterprise to head directly to the star base even though that course takes them through the Romulan neutral zone.

After that, the Romulans of course are after The Enterprise. With Kirk and Spock old…it doesn’t look like they will get out of this trouble with the Romulans. 

Here is a comparison of William Shatner…a Hollywood 80-year-old or so…and the real Shatner around 80-85 years old at the time of the picture. 

William Shatner old and old

From IMDB:

The cast wore oversized versions of their costumes as their characters aged in order to give the impression that they were shrinking.

William Shatner resisted looking too old as Captain Kirk aged. This is why at first the aging Kirk’s hairline is receding but later his hair is more full.

Having been born on July 16, 1882, Felix Locher (Robert Johnson) is the earliest born actor to appear in any “Star Trek” episode or film, at 85 years of age.

Kirk’s age (34) is established in this episode. William Shatner was 36.

Around this mid-season shoot, rumors started to circulate that Star Trek was going to be canceled. One of the show’s most ardent fans, Bjo Trimble, created a mailing list, urging everyone on it to write to the network pleading for the show’s survival. The ploy worked.

In “The World of Star Trek”, William Shatner relates that he endured an excruciating make-up session for this episode – all for nothing, because the shooting day was just about to end. The producers caught his exasperation in an infamous blooper, wherein he declares, “Robert H. Justman, I’m going home now, after spending three hours putting this [expletive deleted] make-up back on – and it’s your fault!”

Kirk reuses the scam involving the “corbomite” device, which he first described in Star Trek: The Corbomite Maneuver (1966). Although Chekov was not on the bridge on that occasion, he obviously heard the story from someone, as he and Sulu exchange knowing looks when Kirk mentions the word.

According to Walter Koenig, a close-up shot of his eyes was filmed as Chekov sees the dead body. Unfortunately, Koenig kept blinking during the shot and it took fifteen takes to get it right. However, the shot was deleted from the episode.

Lieutenant Uhura was originally supposed to be one of the landing party that starts to age but Gene Roddenberry refused to allow this on the grounds that it would make her unattractive. In Star Trek: And the Children Shall Lead (1968), Uhura had a rapid-aging scene.

This is the first time McCoy is aged using makeup in order to look much older than he is. The second time is in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987). Both versions look very similar.

Each crew member displays different symptoms of aging: Captain Kirk suffers from short-term memory loss and arthritis, Spock becomes hypersensitive to temperature changes, McCoy becomes more moody and irritable, Galway suffers from hearing loss, and Scotty finds that he is always tired.

Normally, make-up artist Fred B. Phillips would have been given a month to come up with the latex prosthetics to age his cast. Instead, he was given 10 days. Philips was able to get round the problem by drafting a whole troupe of make-up artists to assist him.

William Shatner reportedly threatened producer Robert H. Justman with bodily harm after enduring the three hour old-age makeup process for no reason. “Who’s afraid of such a wrinkled, feeble old coot!” scoffed Justman. Nevertheless, Justman kept his office door locked until shooting was finished.

When Spock questions Uhura during the competency hearing, he twice clearly refers to Uhura’s having signed her initials (note the plural) on a document. Lt. Uhura was never given a first name during the entire run of the series, which at the time lead some to believe she may have only had the single name “Uhura”. However, this episode established that, due to having more than one initial, she must also have had a name other than “Uhura”.

Dr. Wallace’s costume was made from drapes.

In the first scene, the landing party beams down to the planet surface in front of two buildings. The first one has a curved exterior with alternating raised light blue panels and sunken white panels with no “ribs”, but the second one has a similar curved exterior with “ribs” clearly protruding from the roof. This second building is a repurposing of the structure used as the home for Zefram Cochran in Star Trek: Metamorphosis (1967).

McCoy’s Southern dialect grows noticeably thicker as he ages.

The last shot of the episode is reused from Star Trek: Amok Time (1967). Note the wig there on Chekov, which he didn’t have on for the entire episode.

The proximity of the Gamma Hydra sector to the Romulan Neutral Zone is repeated in the opening scene of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), when the Enterprise supposedly violates the zone while patrolling near the sector. However, in the movie it’s the Klingons who attack.

If one goes by production order, this is the first episode in which Vulcans are mentioned to have a longer lifespan than humans. If one goes by airdate order, that title goes to Star Trek: Journey to Babel (1967).

The end credits include a make-up test shot of Bill Blackburn as a Tellarite.

Except for Checkov, the pronounced aging effects of each of the landing party are as follows: McCoy – Crankiness, somewhat difficulty enunciating words. Kirk – Memory loss, arthritis, stiffness. Scotty – Fatigue. (Duaring the competency hearing he just sits quietly and withdrawn.) Galway – Hearing loss, fast metabolism caused rapid aging and death. Spock – Sensitivity to cold, easily fatigued, failing eyesight, difficulty concentrating.

Areel Shaw’s line from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967) about how long it has been since she’s seen Kirk is recycled by Janet Wallace in this segment.

Kirk’s return to normal age was filmed differently from the version seen in the aired show. It was originally planned to have him take the antidote and, accompanied by a still-aged Spock, return to normal slowly on his way to the bridge. For unknown reasons, this scene was eliminated and just his lower body was filmed showing him writhing after the antidote was administered.


Rapid aging afflicts all six colonists on Gamma Hydra IV and five members of Kirk’s six-man landing party – all but Chekov. With the Neutral Zone so close, suspicion falls on the Romulans testing a new weapon, but is it? With time running out, answers are elusive. As Kirk’s memory progressively deteriorates, regulations necessitate a competency hearing no one wants – the outcome of which may eventually lead the Enterprise to its destruction with all aboard.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Majel Barrett … Nurse Christine Chapel
Charles Drake – Commodore Stocker
Carolyn Nelson – Yeoman Atkins
Sarah Marshall – Dr. Janet Wallace
Laura Wood – Elaine Johnson
Felix Maurice Locher – Robert Johnson
Beverly Washburn – Lt. Arlene Galway
Roger Holloway – Lt. Lemli
Eddie Paskey – Lt. Leslie
Frank Da Vinci – Lt. Brent

Band – King Harvest  (Has Surely Come) ….Canadian Week

Power Pop Friday will be back next week. Thank you for tuning in this week as we talked about these great Canadian artists…I’ve had a blast with them. There is one band that I didn’t get to cover because I ran out of days…well actually more…but Blue Rodeo will be coming up soon on a Friday. 

The Band is my favorite Canadian export. Well, I will say Canadian although one member…Levon Helm was from Arkansas but the rest are Canadians. CB mentioned this song not long ago so I used it after listening to it again. It is quite a complex song. I can’t believe I’ve never posted it but better late than never.

The Band was so rootsy… They had it all – rawness, competence, sublimity, experience, originality, and roots. The five different instruments were not five different instruments…they were one. In the liner notes to one of their greatest hits it states… the music is unusually complex, making use of odd verse patterns and tricky rhythmic suspensions and modifying the natural sounds of instruments for various calculated effects. But because of the way the record sounds, none of this calls attention to itself…it sounds effortless.

Robertson said he’d been immersed in the novels of John Steinbeck at this time. I’ve read where The Grapes of Wrath is a big influence on this song. Rock critic Greil Marcus has written that King Harvest might be the finest song that Robertson has ever written. The song is told from the point of view of a poverty-stricken farmer- detailing everything that has happened to his farm- then a union organizer appears and makes promises that things will soon improve.

Richard Manuel is the singer of King Harvest. King Harvest is a great finishing track to one of the greatest albums ever made. The album was their second album called The Band (The Brown Album). The album peaked at #2 in Canada, #9 on the Billboard 100 in 1970. This is their highest-charting album in their home country.

The song is credited solely to guitarist Robbie Robertson, although drummer-singer Levon Helm claimed that “King Harvest” was a group effort. It’s been covered by Blue Rodeo, Bruce Hornsby, and many more.

Robbie Robertson: “It’s just a kind of character study in a time period. At the beginning, when the unions came in, they were a saving grace, a way of fighting the big money people, and they affected everybody from the people that worked in the big cities all the way around to the farm people. It’s ironic now, because now so much of it is like gangsters, assassinations, power, greed, insanity. I just thought it was incredible how it started and how it ended up.”

Robbie Robertson: In the story to me, it’s another piece I remember from my youth, that people looking forward, people out there in the country somewhere, in a place … we all know it, may have been there, may have not … but there’s a lot of people that the idea of come Autumn, come Fall, that’s when life begins. It is not the Springtime where we kinda think it begins. It is the Fall, because the harvests come in.

Levon Helm: Some of the lyrics came out of a discussion we had one night about the times we’d seen and all had in common. It was an expression of feeling that came from five people. The group wanted to do one song that took in everything we could muster about life at that moment in time. It was the last thing we cut in California, and it was that magical feeling of ‘King Harvest’ that pulled us through. It was like, there, that’s The Band.

King Harvest (Has Surely Come)

Corn in the fields
Listen to the rice when the wind blows ‘cross the water
King Harvest has surely come

I work for the union ’cause she’s so good to me
And I’m bound to come out on top
That’s where she said I should be
I will hear every word the boss may say
For he’s the one who hands me down my pay
Looks like this time I’m gonna get to stay
I’m a union man, now, all the way

The smell of the leaves
From the magnolia trees in the meadow
King Harvest has surely come

Dry summer, then comes fall
Which I depend on most of all
Hey, rainmaker, can’t you hear the call?
Please let these crops grow tall

Long enough I’ve been up on Skid Row
And it’s plain to see, I’ve nothing to show
I’m glad to pay those union dues
Just don’t judge me by my shoes

Scarecrow and a yellow moon
And pretty soon a carnival on the edge of town
King Harvest has surely come

Last year, this time, wasn’t no joke
My whole barn went up in smoke
Our horse Jethro, well he went mad
And I can’t remember things bein’ that bad

Then there comes a man with a paper and a pen
Tellin’ us our hard times are about to end
And then, if they don’t give us what we like
He said, “men, that’s when you gotta go on strike”

Corn in the fields
Listen to the rice when the wind blows ‘cross the water
King Harvest has surely come

Joni Mitchell – Help Me ….Canadian Week

I remember hearing this song on WMAK-AM in the seventies on my sister’s Vega radio. The car that she carried a case of oil in the hatchback because it burned it more than gas.

This song was on the great album Court and Spark. Joni tried using LA’s best session players for this but it didn’t work like she wanted. She then used jazz musicians to back her on this album. Joni’s songs can be complicated because Graham Nash once said that she played in so many different open chord tunings…that she made some of them up. The jazz band she used was The L.A. Express, led by saxophonist Tom Scott.

Joni Mitchell not only wrote her own songs but was also her own producer. That is not very common with female or male artists on the whole. This song was Mitchell’s biggest hit that she had. That surprised me…I would have thought it would have been Big Yellow Taxi. I always compared her voice to a slide whistle we had as kids. That’s not a put-down…but she can cover the gambit with her voice from low to extremely high.

Joni Mitchell - A Chronology of Appearances

Who did she write this song about? Some say it was Jackson Browne who she had just broken up with and some say it’s Glenn Fry. Whoever it’s about she left it open enough so that anyone can relate to it. The song peaked at #6 in Canada and #7 on the Billboard 100.

Prince, who was a huge fan of Mitchell, even mentioned it on “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” from his 1987 album, Sign ‘O’ the Times.

She said, “Sound like a real man to meMind if I turn on the radio?”“Oh, my favorite song, ” she saidAnd it was Joni singing: “Help me, I think I’m falling”

Joni Mitchell: “A throwaway song, but a good radio record.”  “My record companies always had a tendency to take my fastest songs on album for singles, thinking they’d stand out because they did on the LPs. Meantime, I’d feel that the radio is crying for one of my ballads.”

Help Me

Help me
I think I’m falling
In love again
When I get that crazy feeling, I know
I’m in trouble again
I’m in trouble

‘Cause you’re a rambler and a gambler
And a sweet-taIking-ladies man
And you love your lovin’
But not like you love your freedom

Help me
I think I’m falling
In love too fast
It’s got me hoping for the future
And worrying about the past
‘Cause I’ve seen some hot hot blazes
Come down to smoke and ash
We love our lovin’

But not like we love our freedom
Didn’t it feel good
We were sitting there talking
Or lying there not talking
Didn’t it feel good
You dance with the lady
With the hole in her stocking

Didn’t it feel good
Didn’t it feel good
Help me
I think I’m falling
In love with you

Are you going to let me go there by myself
That’s such a lonely thing to do
Both of us flirting around
Flirting and flirting

Hurting too
We love our lovin’
But not like we love our freedom

Rush – Closer To The Heart ….Canadian Week

There are some bands that I would not want to meet in real life. There are other bands that seem like the nicest people in the world and Rush is one of them. With Rush’s music…I normally like sloppy bands…and I mean that in the best way. The Stones, Who, Zeppelin, and Beatles were all sloppy in some ways. With Rush…no sloppiness is allowed…everything is on point.

I would love to meet the two surviving members of Rush. I’ve never been a huge fan but I’ve watched their documentary (Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage) over and over again. I would encourage all of you to watch it. Even if you are not a fan…you WILL like these guys on a personal basis.

I have a great respect for their musical ability. A trio is not easy to play in…I’ve been the bass player in a couple and you have to work to keep it all together. All three of them are/were massively talented. Neil Peart is in the top 5 Rock Drummers of all time without a doubt. Geddy Lee, the same with bass and Alex doesn’t get as much attention as the other two but he is great as well.

I do like their radio hits like Tom Sawyer, Limelight, Working Man, Red Barchetta, and a few others. One thing about some of Rush’s lyrics…I think…hmmm will I be tested on this when I’m finished? I listened to many of their albums with a cousin of mine. I liked Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves, Hemispheres, and some of A Farewell to Kings.

Closer To The Heart has a chorus that is extremely universal. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson says this song is the ultimate Rush song. It was on their album A Farewell To Kings released in 1977. It was written by Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and for the first time… an outside writer…Peter Talbot.

The song peaked at #76 on the Billboard 100, #36 in the UK, and #44 in Canada in 1977-78.

In 1981 a live version peaked at #21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.

Geddy Lee: I remember when we had to bring it back into the set for the Rio shows, as there was such a demand to hear it and we’d stopped playing it for a while. It’s always resonated with people for some reason, and it was a hit as far as we’ve ever had a hit. It got us on the radio, the kinds of radio that would never normally associate with us, so it was as close as we ever came to a pop song, especially at that point. Over here in the UK it had that effect, and in the US too.

Closer To The Heart

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mold a new reality
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart

The blacksmith and the artist
Reflect it in their art
They forge their creativity
Closer to the heart
Yes, closer to the heart

Philosophers and plowmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the heart
Yes closer to the heart, yeah, oh

Whoa, whoa
You can be the captain
And I will draw the chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart
Well closer to the heart, yeah
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart
I said closer to the heart
Well closer to the heart, yeah
Closer to your heart
Closer to your heart, whoa

Star Trek – Friday’s Child

★★★ December 1, 1967 Season 2 Episode 11

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana

The main thing I noticed when I watched this episode is Julie Newmar as Eleen. I never missed her on Batman. 

Julie Newmar

Once again the crew of the Enterprise are in negotiations for an alien planet’s mineral rights… McCoy has been there before and cautions the captain about the importance of not breaching local etiquette; infringements can mean death. These aliens, the Capellans are intelligent but not advanced; fighting with swords and throwing weapons. The landing party, consisting of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and security are shocked to discover a Klingon is already there; leading to the red-shirt drawing his weapon and being killed.

The leader of the Capellans is keen to negotiate but his underling thinks they should deal with the Klingons as they offer military items and fights for the leadership. With the old leader dead his pregnant wife is expected to die but McCoy attempts to save her and the away team flees to the hills with her. Here Kirk and Spock must prepare to fight without use of their phasers while McCoy helps deliver the baby. Meanwhile, the Enterprise, commanded by Scotty, has been called away by a distress call, apparently from a freighter under attack from Klingons.

It was a strong episode for Scotty.  Faced with the decision to rescue the crew that was on the planet from Capella or answer a distress call from an unarmed freighter, Scotty stays consistent with Federation duty and leaves orbit to help the ship under attack. Turns out it was a Klingon ruse, but no harm was done. Doctor McCoy also has some good scenes with Eleen and her new born baby. 

Not one of my favorites but a decent episode. 

From IMDB:

This is the only episode in which Uhura and Sulu call Scotty by his nickname. Otherwise, they call him “Mr. Scott”.

For his first four appearances in the series, including this episode, Walter Koenig wore a The Monkees (1965)-style wig, which he absolutely detested. In one interview, he made joking and uncomplimentary references to that wig.

The actors playing Capellan warriors were given elevated shoes to make them appear like giants. Maab’s high headgear served the same purpose.

Third time Bones uses the saying “I’m a doctor, not a …” (In this case, escalator)

Lots of dialogue looping was used in this episode because of the outdoor setting. Some of the dubbing was crammed together, nearly on top of other lines.

When Chekhov is scanning the Klingons, he uses the term vessel as opposed to his normal “wessel.”

Temperatures reached 110 degrees in the Vazquez Rocks filming location, making it quite uncomfortable for the actors in the Capellan costumes. This location was also a setting for Star Trek: Arena (1967), Star Trek: Shore Leave (1966) and Star Trek: The Alternative Factor (1967).

This is the first episode where all seven “classic” crew members (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov) appear in the same scene, in the teaser, discussing the background for the Capellans, although Sulu is seen only on a view screen reporting from the bridge. The other six are all in the same briefing room together. The six also appear in the same scene together at the very end on the bridge, and Sulu is still absent, although the right arm of a helmsman that should be him is seen at the right edge of the screen.

In D.C. Fontana’s original script, Eleen sacrificed her child for her own life. But Gene Roddenberry objected to this and changed the ending. Eleen was originally written to be a stronger character who rebels against the male-dominated Capellan society but this was also changed.

In the footage seen in the briefing room of Dr. McCoy’s previous visit to Capella IV, he is seen wearing his present day Enterprise tunic, rather than a Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966) era tunic, which would have been appropriate for that time period. However, it can also be seen that the tunic’s sleeves show a lieutenant’s stripes, whereas McCoy’s present rank is lieutenant commander, as often indicated by his sleeves. This is consistent with his visit to Capella having taken place in a previous time period.

Eleen’s baby, Leonard James Akaar, would make numerous appearances decades later as a high-ranking Starfleet officer in many Star Trek novels from the Original Series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) relaunch novels, and the Star Trek Titan series. In the latter, he holds the rank of Admiral.

The remastered version of this episode included new shots of the Enterprise herself. Several new, more realistic views of Capella IV from space were inserted into the episode. Other changes include cleaned-up mattes of the viewscreen during the briefing room scene, a more realistic sensor readout on the bridge, a corrected insert shot while Chekov is working the controls at the science station, updated phaser effects, and the establishment of the Klingon ship on screen as a D7-class.

Contained in Dr. McCoy’s emergency medical field kit, Magnesite-nitron tablets when crushed provide emergency illumination and heat through a bright flame. The tablets also could be used for ignition of a larger fire, heating of food, or sterilization of water.

The name of Tige Andrews’s character Kras is never spoken. He is only called “Klingon”.

This is the first episode that inn which makes the dubious claim of something being invented in Russia. In this case, he claims that the old Earth saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”, was invented in Russia. In fact, the earliest occurrence of the phrase, as listed in the OED, dates back over 300 years and comes from Italy.

When Scotty is in command of the ship, they receive a distress call from a Federation freighter, the S.S. Deirdre. Deirdre is the name of James Doohan’s second daughter.

A sequence in the blooper reel shows William Shatner entering the tent too quickly when Tige Andrews is looking for his weapon and exclaiming, “Oh, shit!”

Phaser One almost has enough power to explode rocks, as seen when the Klingon hits the one Spock is sheltered behind.

(at around 40 mins) This episode marks the first time Sulu’s attack scanner is shown deploying from underneath the helm console when Scotty orders “Battle Stations”.

In production order, this is only the second episode to feature Klingons; interestingly, the Klingon make-up design is different from their first appearance in “Errand of Mercy”; in the latter, their complexions were dark and swarthy, with stereotypical “Asian” facial hair. Kras, the Klingon in this episode, is bearded, but without the dark makeup and “Ming the Merciless” facial hair.

Capella, the planet where the action occurs, has the same name after a form of singing. Upon receiving the script, associate and supervising producer Robert H. Justman shouted, “Ah Capella!” (as in ‘acapella’) and burst into song, to much laughter. Although the pun story is probably true, it is more likely that the planet, Capella IV, is the fourth planet of one of the four stars in the Capella system. In reality, Capella is the name given to the brightest star in the constellation Auriga, and is also known as Alpha Aurigae. Its name is the diminutive of the Latin noun “capra” (“she-goat” or “nanny-goat”), hence “little she-goat”. The system’s four stars are in two binary pairs, and none of them have shown any evidence of containing exoplanets.

This is the second and final episode where Spock is knocked out in a fight (the first being Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967), though in that case it was the mirror Spock who was incapacitated). In this one, a Capellan hits him with a sword while he and Kirk protect Eleen.


The Federation is in competition with the Klingons for an alliance with the inhabitants of Capella IV. The Capellans are a warrior tribe and there is dissension among them as to who to sign the mining rights treaty with. McCoy is familiar with their customs having once spent several months there. When a Capellan, who clearly favors the Klingons, stages a coup, Kirk, Spock and McCoy flee with the now dead leader’s wife, who is about to give birth. Meanwhile, the Enterprise receives a distress call from a Federation vessel under attack and, with Scotty in command, leaves orbit.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Dr. McCoy
Julie Newmar … Eleen
Tige Andrews … Kras
Michael Dante … Maab
James Doohan … Scott
George Takei … Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Uhura
Cal Bolder … Keel
Ben Gage … Akaar
Walter Koenig … Chekov
Kirk Raymond … Duur (as Kirk Raymone)
Bob Bralver … Grant (as Robert Bralver)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Vic Christy … Capellan (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Capellan Warrior (uncredited)
Walker Edmiston … SS Dierdre (voice) (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)

Tragically Hip – New Orleans is Sinking ….Canadian Week

I’m just now really listening to this band and I’m liking a lot of what I’m hearing. This song takes on a new meaning after Katrina but this song was released in 1989. Whenever I post something about a band that I don’t know much about…I usually go with their most popular song to start off. I posted Ahead By A Century, and people responded. I like this one more…it has some thump to it.

I liked this one with a first listen. I love the relentless guitar riff that starts this off.  The song seems to be recalling a past experience in the city, and the lyrics describe a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for everything New Orleans has to offer…including its spirit. The song is lamenting the changing times, and expressing his desire to remain connected to its rich history and traditions.

The song was on their debut album Up To Here released in 1989. The album did well in Canada peaking at #9 and #170 on the Billboard 100. They released 13 studio albums and this is the worse showing of all the albums on the Canadian charts. Nine of their albums peaked at #1, two of them at #2, and one of them at #3. The song peaked at #1 on the Canadian RPM magazine Charts, #70 on the Canadian Singles Charts, and #30 on the Billboard Main Rock Charts in 1989. The song was credited to the band.

To show the disparity between the band’s fortunes in America and Canada. I read that a fan was traveling through upstate New York and passed a small roadside club that said “Tonight: The Tragically Hip” and he turned around and saw them in the small club. In Canada at the time were filling stadiums and now they got a chance to see them close up. A difference a few miles can make.

The Tragically Hip is an institution in Canada, and still something of a cult band everywhere else…and I love cult bands such as Big Star and The Replacements.

Deke told me about the live album The Tragically Hip Live At The Rox May 3, 91 and it is great…a great sound and the band was really tight that night. No video of them but it’s worth a listen to the video below this.

New Orleans Is Sinking

Bourbon blues on the street, loose and complete
Under skies all smoky blue-green
I can’t forsake a Dixie dead-shake
So we danced the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy, what’s this river that I’m in?
New Orleans is sinking man, and I don’t wanna swim

Colonel Tom, what’s wrong? What’s going on?
Can’t tie yourself up for a deal
He said “hey north you’re south shut your big mouth,
You gotta do what you feel is real”
Ain’t got no picture postcards, ain’t got no souvenirs
My baby, she don’t know me when I’m thinking ’bout those years

Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me

I have my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the Lord above
And said, hey man thanks
Sometimes I feel so good I gotta scream
She said Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean
She said, she said, I swear to God she said

My memory is muddy, what’s this river that I’m in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don’t wanna swim

Neil Young – Sugar Mountain ….Canadian Week

Today through Friday I will feature nothing but Canadian artists. It will be some left off because I could go on forever. Oh NO…where to put Justin Beiber? Nah, I’ll skip him… I will feature at least 2 artists I’ve never blogged on before and both are huge…and worlds apart. 

Canada Flag

I thought I would start off this Monday with no other than Uncle Neil. Young had no trouble coming up with verses to this song. He has said…he came up with 126 verses and the trouble came with editing it down. His was first released as the B-side of Young’s first single as a solo artist, “The Loner.” He used it as a B-side on a few other singles, but did not put it on an album until his 1977 Greatest Hits compilation Decade.

Young wrote this song in a room at the Fort William’s Victoria Hotel in Ontario. He wrote the song on his 19th birthday on November 12, 1964. The song is about lost childhood but he had a firm grasp on being an adult going by the song.

Joni Mitchell has said that what prompted him to write this was that Neil really soon, could no longer visit an under-21 club that he favored. That is not to say that the said club would be “Sugar Mountain” itself. But being barred from the venue, according to Mitchell, would have been one of the factors that made the singer realize that some of the joys of childhood simply cannot be innocently replicated as we get older.

Speaking of Joni Mitchell. She wrote an “answer” song to this one called The Circle Game. Sugar Mountain is also on his Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968 released in 2008.

Neil Young on his new friend (which he doesn’t name)  at this time: “Mainly, he was the funniest person I’d met in years. He didn’t have another gig until next weekend, so he stayed in Thunder Bay and we played and he took us to see Buffalo. We lived on A&W cheeseburgers and root beer. Very Canadian.”

Neil Young:  “At first I wrote 126 verses to it. Now, you can imagine that I had a lot of trouble figuring out what four verses to use… I was underneath the stairs… Anyway, this verse that I wrote… It was the worst verse of the 126 that I wrote. So, I decided to put it in the song, to just to give everybody a frame of reference as to, you know, what can happen. What I’m trying to say here, by stopping in the middle of the song, and explaining this to you, is that… I think it’s one of the lamest verses I ever wrote. And it takes a lotta nerve for me to get up here and sing it in front of you people. But, if when I’m finished singing, you sing the chorus ‘Sugar Mountain’ super loud, I’ll just forget about it right away and we can continue.”

Neil Young: “I do ‘Sugar Mountain’ really for the people more than I do it for myself. I think I owe it to them, cos it seems to really make them feel happy, so that’s why I do that. They pay a lotta money to come and see me and I lay a lotta things on ’em that they’ve never heard before, and I think I owe it to them to do things they can really identify with. It’s such a friendly song, and the older I get and the older my audience gets the more relevant it becomes, especially since they’ve been singing it for 20 years. It really means a lot to them, so I like to give ’em the chance to enjoy that moment.”

Sugar Mountain

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

It’s so noisy at the fair
But all your friends are there
And the candy floss you had
And your mother and your dad

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

There’s a girl just down the aisle
Oh to turn and see her smile
You can hear the words she wrote
As you read the hidden note

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

Now you’re underneath the stairs
And you’re giving back some glares
To the people who you met
And it’s your first cigarette

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

Now you say you’re leaving home
‘Cause you want to be alone

Ain’t it funny how you feel
When you’re finding out it’s real

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon
You’re leaving there too soon

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon

Gordon Lightfoot – Early Morning Rain …. Canadian Week

Robbie Robertson“a cultural treasure of the Canadian nation.”

From now until Friday it’s going to be Canadian Week…with all Canadian artists. Two of which I’ve never posted on before and one at the very end…were all Canadian except a certain southern drummer. I hope you will join me this week whether you are Canadian or not…there will be some great artists.

I grew up with Lightfoot’s songs. He was one of the very few respected artists my sister liked so I was hearing his songs when I was around 5 or 6. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is still a go-to song for me. From Sundown to If You Could Read My Mind and all the ones in between. This particular song is such a perfectly written number. I first heard this by Elvis Presley when I was a kid.

Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain

Bob Dylan covered this song on his Self Portrait album and it helped Gordon’s career. So many have covered this song. Here is a link to the second-hand songs website if you want to see them all.  Elvis Presley, Dylan, Jerry Reed, Steve Forbert, Jerry Lee Lewis, Peter Paul and Mary, and a TON more. You know you have written a great song when you have those quality artists covering it.

It didn’t chart for Lightfoot but other artists took the song to the charts. According to Wiki… Ian and Sylvia #1 on the Canada AC Charts in 1965, Peter, Paul, and Mary #39 in Canada and #91 on the Billboard 100, George Hamilton IV #9 on the Billboard Country Charts in 1971, Oliver #28 in the Billboard AC Charts in 1971, Paul Weller #40 in the UK in 2005… even the Grateful Dead covered this song.

Gordon died on May 1, 2023. The music world lost a huge legend with Gordon Lightfoot. It’s hard to put into words how great of a songwriter the man was.

Gordon Lightfoot on Bob Dylan recording this song:  “I was totally blown away that he would record one of my songs in the first place. It helped my career – I’d not had a hit single myself at that point. His cover was a linchpin in that whole process because it made people in the industry aware that I was producing good songs.”

Robbie Robertson“a cultural treasure of the Canadian nation.”

Bob Dylan: “I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever. “

Bob Dylan: Lightfoot died “without ever having made a bad song”

Early Morning Rain

In the early mornin’ rain
With a dollar in my hand
With an aching in my heart
And my pockets full of sand
I’m a long ways from home
And I missed my loved one so
In the early mornin’ rain
With no place to go

Out on runway number nine
Big seven o seven set to go
Well I’m stuck here on the grass
With a pain that ever grows
Where the liquor tasted good
And all the women all were fast
There, there she goes my friend
She’s rolling down at last

Hear the mighty engines roar
See the silver wing on high
She’s away and westward bound
For above the clouds she’ll fly
Where the mornin’ rain don’t fall
And the sun always shines
She’ll be flying over my home
In about three hours time

This ol’ airport’s got me down
It’s no damn good to me
And I’m stuck here on the ground
As cold and drunk as I can be
Can’t jump a jet plane
Like you can a freight train
So I best be on my way
In the early mornin’ rain
Can’t jump a jet plane
Like you can a freight train
So I best be on my way
In the early mornin’ rain

Star Trek –  Journey To Babel

★★★★ 1/2  November 17, 1967 Season 2 Episode 10

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana

An episode I’ve always liked a lot. We meet Spock’s parents in this one. The actress that played his mom was Jayne Wyatt. To show you how bizarre this show was in the 1960s…Wyatt never watched the show before and after she read the script…she thought it was a comedy. That is until she got on set and saw how everyone took the show so seriously. 

I think it’s this episode, more than any other, in which Spock’s lonely place in the Trek universe is spelled out. We, as the audience, had already gathered as much during the past forty or so episodes, but here, Spock’s mother, the ideal choice to voice such concerns out loud, makes apparent the pain Spock has endured during his life – in terms we had only guessed at earlier.

Star Trek -  Journey To Babel

She had known since he was a little boy that he belongs in neither the human nor the Vulcan worlds and, as a mother, she had no choice but to feel his pain, that ultimate form of alienation – but, as a human, her feelings are much more obvious to us. Nimoy gives another subtly excellent performance; his demeanor is slightly different when speaking with his mother about ‘the situation’ between himself and his father. Despite the Vulcan reserve, you sense his discomfort and sadness.

The personal story is played out as part of a larger plot element involving diplomatic negotiations among ambassadors on board the Enterprise headed toward the planetoid Babel. Competing interests among the representatives threaten (and eventually lead to) hostilities, as the impending conference will decide whether planets of the Coridan System will become part of the Federation. If that wasn’t enough going on, a third party is presented as a foil in order to profit from the dissension…but the story centers around the Vulcans and their relationship. 

While describing this episode I realized what a deep episode this is. There’s a lot of plot to it and a lot of new alien species and characters. The introduction of Spock’s parents was interesting and I really enjoy the dynamic that Spock has with his mother especially. While the politics of the Federation is the focal point of this episode, it really focuses more on Spock’s relationship with his parents.

From IMDB:

For two weeks after the airing of this episode, Mark Lenard received more fan mail than Leonard Nimoy.

In the first episode to feature Spock’s parents, actors Mark Lenard and Jane Wyatt asked Leonard Nimoy for advice on how the two of them could display their affection for one another in a subtle way since the Vulcans supress their emotion. Since it was Nimoy who had devised the Vulcan neck pinch and the Vulcan salute, Nimoy suggested they touch and stroke each others hand by the index and middle finger.

Gene Roddenberry wrote the scene in which Amanda tells Kirk of the rift between Spock and Sarek. Writer D.C. Fontana felt that it would be inappropriate for her to discuss this with someone she had just met. But Roddenberry wanted Kirk to be more involved with the story.

This episode introduces the Andorians and the Tellarites. Later episodes established that, along with Humans and Vulcans, they are two of the four founding members of the United Federation of Planets.

Actor John Wheeler, in character as Gav, had so much trouble seeing through the prosthetics over his eyes that he was forced to raise his head to see his castmates. This added to the early mythos that all Tellarites were arrogant as well as belligerent and aggressive.

Jane Wyatt would only play Spock’s mother one more time, in the film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). In Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear (1973), to save costs, Majel Barrett voiced the role. Mark Lenard, however, reprised his role of Sarek in the animated series and again in the films Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), as well as the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes Star Trek: The Next Generation: Sarek (1990) and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Unification I (1991).

Writer D.C. Fontana chose the name “Amanda” for Spock’s mother because it means “worthy of love” in Latin.

Mark Lenard had also been a potential candidate for the recasting of Spock if Leonard Nimoy were to quit the series.

Though they play father and son, Mark Lenard was 42 years old at the time and Leonard Nimoy was 36.

Jane Wyatt has said that some years after “Journey to Babel” first aired, while waiting in an airport she heard someone cry out the name Amanda. Wyatt said that at first she had no idea it was a fan trying to get her attention, as she had completely forgotten the name of the character she had played.

The original script called for an establishment shot of the city Sarek and his party travelled from. However, painting a matte to depict the city became budget prohibitive. Likewise, Sarek was initially to be beamed aboard the Enterprise, but use of existing shuttle craft stock footage was cheaper than employing Transporter effects.

Amanda’s description of Spock being bullied by other children for his human heritage was later shown in animated form in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear (1973), and in live action form in the movie Star Trek (2009).

In the original draft script, there was a banquet scene featuring the three main diplomats: Sarek (the Vulcan), Shras (the Andorian), and Gav (the old Tellarite). When this scene was scrapped, the dialog was inserted into the final version of the buffet scene. Other dialog was scrapped that would have indicated that Sarek was an engineer before he became a diplomat, and that he was the son of the famous Vulcan diplomat Shaleris.

As a tribute to her long and distinguished career, Jane Wyatt is called “Miss Jane Wyatt” in the closing credits.

In the remastered version, the Enterprise shuttlebay and landing sequence was completely redone digitally, featuring a number of background actors visible within the viewing galleries. Also revamped were shots of Vulcan (now more closely resembling its appearance in Star Trek: Enterprise) and the battle between the Enterprise and the Orion ship, now featuring a more identifiable design.

The Andorians cock their heads for better visual acuity. According to Star Trek lore, the Andorian antennae are sensitive light beyond the normal human spectrum. Thus, Andorian vision is literally quadroscopic.

Before he was cast as Sarek, Mark Lenard played the first major Romulan character seen on Star Trek, the Romulan Commander in Star Trek: Balance of Terror (1966).

Scotty does not appear in this episode. Other characters refer to him as being nearby, but he never has to appear on-camera.

D.C. Fontana had become curious about past references to Spock’s background, and was inspired to more fully flesh them out. In particular, Fontana was inspired by information Spock had revealed about his parents in Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967). Fontana also felt such an episode would be an interesting way to reflect issues relating to the Generation Gap.

Many of the costumes worn by extras in the hallway and reception room scenes were recycled from several first season episodes, including the outfits worn by Galactic High Commissioner Ferris in Star Trek: The Galileo Seven (1967) and by Lazarus in Star Trek: The Alternative Factor (1967).

This is listed as one of the “Ten Essential Episodes” of TOS in the 2008 reference book “Star Trek 101” by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann.

Russ Peek, who plays one of Sarek’s aides, also appeared as mirror Spock’s Vulcan bodyguard in Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967).

The Orion ship was recycled as the missile in Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968), although this has been changed in the remastered version of the latter.

If one goes by airing order, this is the first episode in which Vulcans are mentioned to have a longer lifespan than humans. If one goes by production order, that title goes to Star Trek: The Deadly Years (1967).

The matte shot of Uhura appearing on the screen in engineering is one of the smallest mattes ever used in the series, until the view discs in Star Trek: All Our Yesterdays (1969).

Star Trek: Metamorphosis (1967) starring Elinor Donahue and Journey to Babel starring Jane Wyatt aired back-to-back. Both actresses had been regular cast members on Father Knows Best (1954), where Donahue played Wyatt’s daughter.

The Tantalus field controls used in Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror (1967) can be seen behind McCoy while Amanda is inquiring about Sarek’s condition.

The noise of the coded message sent by Thelev is also used in Star Trek: Miri (1966).

Bill Blackburn, in an unused make-up scheme for the Tellarites from a make-up test, can be seen in the end credits of Star Trek: The Deadly Years (1967) and Star Trek: A Private Little War (1968).

Mark Lenard, who played the 102-year-old Sarek, was 42 at the time of filming.


The Enterprise is transporting several diplomatic delegations to a conference on Babel regarding the future of the mineral-rich planet Coridan. Among the passengers are Spock’s parents, Ambassador Sarek and Amanda. There is obviously a chill between father and son owing to Spock’s choice of pursuing a career in Starfleet. Unknown to Spock or his mother is the fact that Sarek is seriously ill. There is also much tension among the delegations and a spy on board is transmitting coded messages to a ship that attacks the Enterprise. With Captain Kirk wounded in an earlier knife attack, Spock is in temporary command just as his father needs a transfusion that only he can provide.



William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Dr. McCoy
Jane Wyatt … Amanda (as Miss Jane Wyatt)
Mark Lenard … Sarek
Nichelle Nichols … Uhura
William O’Connell … Thelev
Majel Barrett … Nurse Chapel
Walter Koenig … Chekov
John Wheeler … Gav
James X. Mitchell … Josephs
Reggie Nalder … Shras
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
John Blower … Babel Conference Attendee (uncredited)
Jerry Catron … Montgomery (uncredited)
Billy Curtis … Small Copper-Skinned Ambassador (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Vulcan Aide (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Purple-Skinned Delegate (uncredited)
Jerry Maren … Small Copper-Skinned Ambassador (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Russ Peek … Sarek’s 2nd Vulcan Aide (uncredited)
Kai J. Wong … Doctor (uncredited)

Allman Brothers – It’s Not My Cross To Bear

In 1969 Duane Allman hand-picked the members he wanted in his band. The first member he picked was drummer Johnny Lee Johnson…better known as Jaimoe or Jai Johanny Johanson. He then looked at a band called “The 2nd Coming” and he got members guitarist Dickey Betts and bassist Berry Oakley out of that band and continued. He also picked another drummer named Butch Trucks out of the band The 31st of February.

Duane wanted the best band possible. People were confused that he wanted two drummers and a guitar player who could play almost better than him. He didn’t care about that as much at all…as long as it sounded good. Dickey Betts was not the easiest person to get along with but he respected Duane so much that they never had any problems. They spurred each other live to go further.

They needed a singer and Duane automatically thought of this brother Gregg. Gregg was living in LA at this point with Jackson Browne sharing an apartment. He told Gregg to come to Macon Georgia with this band. Gregg came armed with songs and walked into the door. He heard the band and didn’t know if he was good enough to do it. The big brother Duane jumped on Gregg and told him not to embarrass him and get behind the keyboards and do his thing. Gregg as always listened to Duane and of course, he fit perfectly. Duane knew exactly what he was doing.

On a side note…the band had a keyboard player named Reese Wynans. Reese knew his stint with the band was done with Gregg joining. They already had two guitarists and two drummers…they didn’t need another keyboard player with Gregg joining. Duane helped him get some studio work and hooked him up with other musicians. Reese’s career was only starting. Later on, Reese joined Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble in 1985, playing keyboards on Soul to Soul and In Step. He performed live with the group until Stevie’s death in 1990.

Allman Brothers - It's Not My Cross To Bear B

He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1992, Reese has played keyboards for a number of country artists including Brooks & Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, and Hank Williams Jr. He has also played for blues artists Buddy Guy, John Mayall, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Colin James, Ana Popovic, Dudley Taft, Eli Cook, and Los Lonely Boys. I personally met Reese at my guitar tech’s business… a great guy. 

The Allman Brothers toured relentlessly through 1969-1971 playing at clubs and also doing free shows in the park in what town they were at…the same thing that The Grateful Dead did also. Money wasn’t the thing…they built a grass roots following and they were probably more popular in New York than anywhere else.

This song was on their debut album The Allman Brothers Band released in 1969. The album was hailed by critics but it didn’t sell but 35,000 copies at the time. When you look at the album now…it’s full of songs that would be their bedrock for years. Whipping Post, Dreams, and Trouble No More to name but a few.

Gregg Allman was the main songwriter in the band at first. Dicky Betts would soon start writing more around the second album. Allman wrote this about a girlfriend and wrote a song called Blackhearted Woman about that same girlfriend. They recorded the album in two weeks total…played it and mixed it.

They would release their second album the following year. That album did a little better but it still didn’t take off despite having many songs (Midnight Rider, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, and more) that would make them famous later. It was in 1971 when they released At Fillmore East that all the years of touring paid off. It was a massive hit peaking at #13 and they were set up for a great career. Up until then, the record company had been advancing them money since 1969 and that album paid everything off. They finally had money coming in and the ability to get what they wanted.

Then on October 29, 1971, Duane Allman was killed on a motorcycle in Macon Georgia. They thought about breaking up but they stayed together and had a huge career with albums Eat A Peach (which Duane is on a few tracks) and the massive Brothers and Sisters. Around a year later…their bassist Berry Oakley died on a motorcycle within a few blocks of where Duane crashed.

When punk came in the late seventies they struggled because no one wanted blues jams anymore even if the musicianship was top notch and it was. That is something about the punk and New Wave movement I didn’t like. Some bands like this who were musically superior got swept away for a while.

Classic radio started to get popular and all of these bands that were ignored during punk and new wave were sought after again. In the late eighties, Gregg had a huge hit with I’m No Angel and the band reformed and played until Oct. 28, 2014 when they officially retired as a band.

I truly think they had more talent in that band than most of their peers. I have to add that I think Gregg could be the best white blues singer of his era.

It’s Not My Cross To Bear

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I have not come, yeah
To testify
About our bad, bad misfortune
And I ain’t here a wond’rin’ why
But I’ll live on and I’ll be strong
‘Cause it just ain’t my cross to bear

I sat down and wrote you a long letter
It was just the other day
Said, sure as the sunrise, baby
Tomorrow I’ll be up and on my way
But I’ll live on
And I’ll be strong
‘Cause it just ain’t my cross to bear
Oh no

Oh, but I’ll live on and I’ll be strong
‘Cause it just ain’t my cross to bear
Yes now baby

But in the end, baby
Long towards the end of your road
Don’t reach out for me, babe
‘Cause I’m not gonna carry your load
But I’ll live on and I’ll be strong
‘Cause it just ain’t my cross to bear
Yeah, yeah
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah

Star Trek – Metamorphosis

★★★★★ November 10, 1967 Season 2 Episode 9

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This show was written by Gene Roddenberry and Gene L. Coon

One of my top episodes of Star Trek. This one was directed by Ralph Senensky. I’ve mentioned Ralph before… he will be 100 years old on May 1st of this year. He has a website and still posts about his adventures in directing many episodes of Star Trek and so many other shows including The Twilight Zone, The Waltons, Mission Impossible, and too many to mention. Please visit his site…he has a lot of fun stories about each episode he directed. 

This one has everything you could want from a Star Trek episode. Great acting, writing, and even romance. 

Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy are traveling with Commissioner Hedford, trying to get her back to the Enterprise so that they can hopefully cure her of a rare and deadly disease that she has. They are pulled down to a planet. They meet Zefram Cochrane, who supposedly died 150 years ago.

Star Trek - Metamorphosis B

He tells them that he had been out in space because he had gotten old and his wish was to die in space. However, he and his ship had been brought down to the planet just as they were. An alien entity he calls the companion was responsible for this as well as for rejuvenating him and making him back to around the age of 35. This companion has been able to keep him healthy, well, and at the same age for all these years.

They find a way to have a direct conversation with the companion. Spock is wanting to spend time asking the companion questions so that they can learn more about it. It is a very different species and part of their mission is to find new species and learn about them. I concur with Spock on this. Of course, because they made an error when writing this and made it so that the companion cannot heal the commissioner, Kirk stops Spock from asking the questions, pointing out that they need to hurry and try to get the companion to let them go so that they can get to the Enterprise, hopefully in time, to heal the commissioner.

Strong performances from Glenn Corbett and Elinor Donahue help raise this episode to classic status. A touching love story between a man isolated on a planet by himself, and a caring, alien life form he refers to as ” the Companion” is a thoughtful and moving story.

From IMDB:

A few scenes featuring Elinor Donahue had to be re-shot, because the original film negatives were damaged and couldn’t be used. Portions of the planet set had to be rebuilt, since other episodes were shot there by that time, using different sets. Meanwhile, Donahue got pneumonia and lost ten pounds. To hide this, they put Hedford’s scarf around her neck and upper body. However, her weight loss is still visible on her face. The re-shots were not directed by Ralph Senensky.

This is the first story to feature Zefram Cochrane, inventor of warp drive technology and an important figure in Federation history. He would later re-appear in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Star Trek: Enterprise: Broken Bow, Part 1 (2001), played by James Cromwell.

A view of the starship from dead center in front of the saucer section is used only in this episode.

This is the only episode in the first two seasons in which Captain Kirk is not on the Enterprise at any time during the plot. Likewise, the Enterprise does not appear until twenty-seven minutes into the episode. In four third season shows, Kirk also spends the entire episode off-ship: Star Trek: The Paradise Syndrome (1968), Star Trek: Plato’s Stepchildren (1968), Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy (1969), and Star Trek: All Our Yesterdays (1969).

The scenes of Cochrane communicating with the Companion were all shot at one time. The set was then completely redone with his house added for all of the sequences with Kirk and company. The inconsistencies between the two versions of the same set can be seen in alien trees that are near Cochrane in one view and absent in the next.

To give an illusion of open space to a confined stage set, wide angle lenses were used. Although Glenn Corbett appears to be hundreds of yards away when he first runs toward the shuttle, he is much closer. Strategically placed rocks also allowed the camera to be very far away without seeing the edges of the set.

In the first draft, the Enterprise is temporarily commanded by Sulu, and the helmsman is an officer with an African background, named Lieutenant Ackrumba. The character later appeared in the novel “Mission to Horatius” by Mack Reynolds.

In the first draft script, Scotty is also on board the shuttlecraft (here called the Edison) with Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Hedford. It was originally he who was to encounter the Companion while attempting to repair the shuttlecraft.

In a rare effect, slowly moving “clouds” were blown in from hidden vents, adding a touch of reality to the usually static planet set. This was also used in Star Trek: Obsession (1967).

George Takei disappears from the cast for the next 9 episodes after this one as he was off filming The Green Berets (1968) at the time.

Elinor Donahue recalled about this episode, “I remember watching it at home. And I am quite often nervous about watching something I’m in because there is nothing you can do about it once it’s out there. But I was very pleased with it; very happy.”

This was George Duning’s first Star Trek score, the strength of which got him rehired for many more assignments, including Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968), Star Trek: Return to Tomorrow (1968), Star Trek: And the Children Shall Lead (1968), Star Trek: Is There in Truth No Beauty? (1968), and Star Trek: The Empath (1968). Portions of the score were reheard throughout the season, but the love themes were reused only once more, in Star Trek: The Gamesters of Triskelion (1968).

Ralph Senensky named this episode as his favorite among those he directed. Senensky recalled, praising the work of Gene L. Coon, “I just thought the script was absolutely wonderful. As I remember Gene, he was the least author-y type of person. He just didn’t seem like an author. He didn’t present that kind of sensitivity that his writing had expressed. It was just a deep, deep script and scene after scene had so many angles to come at it from. It was a complex script.”

The sparkling effects of the Companion would be reused in Star Trek: The Apple (1967) when the Enterprise fires phasers at Vaal, and again in Star Trek: Obsession (1967) inside of the deadly vampire cloud.

All the footage of the shuttlecraft in outer space was reused from Star Trek: The Galileo Seven (1967), some with the Companion animation added in post-production.

Technically, Zefram Cochran is 237 years old (87 plus the 150 years the Companion kept him young.)

When Kirk asks Cochrane for his first name, he replies, “Zefram”. Kirk then asks him if he is from Alpha Centauri and the inventor of the “space warp”. Cochrane then confirms he is. Yet in the movie Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Zefram Cochrane is from Earth. However, having invented the warp drive, it is conceivable that he went there and took up residence. It is possible he left to “die in space” from there. Therefore, he could be described as “from Alpha Centauri.”

A Gold Key Comics comic book was released as a sequel to this episode, #49: “A Warp in Space”.

The original voice of the Companion was too emotionless and robotic, and all of her dialog had to be re-recorded by another actress (apparently Elizabeth Rogers).

The Companion was designed by Richard Edlund at Westheimer photographic effects company.


While transporting ailing Assistant Federation Commissioner Nancy Hedford to the Enterprise aboard a shuttlecraft, Captain Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy encounter a gaseous creature that forcibly takes them to a planet with only one human inhabitant. The man turns out to be Zephram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive who supposedly died 150 years ago at the ripe old age of 87. The creature, whom he calls the Companion, found and brought him to the planet where it rejuvenated him and kept him alive. They can communicate but only on a non-verbal, empathic level, (which unintentionally lead to the shuttlecraft’s abduction when the man conveyed to it his loneliness). As Commissioner Hedford’s condition rapidly deteriorates, they need to free themselves to get her back to the Enterprise before it’s too late.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Dr. McCoy
Glenn Corbett … Zefram Cochrane
Elinor Donahue … Nancy Hedford
James Doohan … Scott
George Takei … Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Uhura
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Lisabeth Hush … The Companion (voice) (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)

Steve Earle – Someday

Power Pop Friday will be back in two weeks. 

Ever since I heard him in the mid to late 80s I liked Steve Earle. He opened up for Bob Dylan in 1988 and he was fantastic. His music was between country, folk, and rock. You can’t really put Earle in a box…and you shouldn’t. I’ve read reviewers compare him to Randy Newman, Bruce Springsteen, and Waylon Jennings in the same review. That is a great span of artists.

The song is about escaping the town you are living in. I knew a lot of people who wanted to escape the small town I grew up in. The song reminds me a little of The River by Bruce Springsteen in content. It’s a song that many people will be able to relate to.

The song was from his debut album Guitar Town. I remember he was being played on country radio and WKDF…Nashville’s number-one rock station back in the 80s. The album is ranked 489 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 500 albums. They called it a rocker’s version of country. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country Charts, #89 on the Billboard Album Charts, and #82 in Canada.

Four singles were pulled off of that album. Hillbilly Highway, Guitar Town, Someday, and Goodbye’s All We Got Left. All were in the top 40 in the Billboard Country Charts and two of them were top 10. Someday peaked at #28 on the Billboard Country Charts and #31 on the Canada Country Charts.

His next album Exit-0 is one that pushed him closer to the rock genre. His third album Copperhead Road broke him in the rock genre. Earle himself calls his music the world’s first blend of heavy metal and bluegrass…according to Wiki…Rolling Stone magazine called his music “Power Twang.”


There ain’t a lot that you can do in this town
You drive down to the lake and then you turn back around
You go to school and you learn to read and write
So you can walk into the county bank and sign away your life

I work at the fillin’ station on the interstate
Pumpin’ gasoline and countin’ out of state plates
They ask me how far into Memphis son, and where’s the nearest beer
And they don’t even know that there’s a town around here

Someday I’m finally gonna let go
‘Cause I know there’s a better way
And I want to know what’s over that rainbow
I’m gonna get out of here someday

Now my brother went to college cause he played football
I’m still hangin’ round cause I’m a little bit small
I got me a 67 Chevy, she’s low and sleek and black
Someday I’ll put her on that interstate and never look back

Beatles – Good Morning Good Morning

Somebody needs to know the time, glad that I’m here
Watching the skirts you start to flirt now you’re in gear

I was 10 when I bought Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band…10 years after it was released. It came with the same cutouts as it did in 1967. I remember taking hours and looking over the album cover. You would find faces you didn’t see before and I remember spotting Stuart Sutcliffe, the former Beatles bassist and the man who was most responsible for coming up with the band’s name.

Here is Stuart (left) on the cover and the picture they took it from. 

Stuart Sutcliffe on Sgt Pepper

The Cutout page that came with Sgt Pepper. 

Sgt Pepper Cutouts

The song started out with a rooster crowing and ends with a chicken clucking. Good Morning Good Morning was inspired by a Corn Flake commercial. Lennon would always leave the TV on and sometimes with the volume turned down. He saw an ad for Corn Flakes and the song came to him. “Good Morning Good Morning…the best to you each morning.” I’ll have the video at the bottom of the post.

As a youngster, I enjoyed this song and Lovely Rita. The only song that was hard for me to grasp on the album was Within You Without You…because it was so different. In time, it became one of my favorites on the album.

I love the horns in this song and McCartneys stinging guitar solo in this one. Ringo’s drumming also stands out on this track…the sound and the playing are outstanding. His cymbols sound like a steam engine with the compression they ran on them.

This song is one of the most technically challenging songs they wrote. It was highly aggressive and complex, with a loud french horn, animal noises, pounding drums, strong vocals, and a large amount of intricate strumming guitars. The time signature to this song is all over the place…3/4, 5/4, 4/4, 12/8… but the song doesn’t sound forced or disjointed. This track is an example of how great Ringo is as a drummer. This and his work on A Day In The Life. He had to play in many different styles because John, Paul, and George wrote so many different styles of songs.

One of the most interesting things about the song is the end of it. Various animal sounds are put together but they had a purpose. The animal sounds were dubbed in from a sound effects disc. They were arranged in order of creatures capable of eating or chasing the one before, at Lennon’s request. And at the very end…was a very cool effect. A clucking chicken suddenly turns into a guitar lick when it melts into Sgt Pepper’s Reprise.

Six brass players were involved in this session, three saxophonists, two trombonists, and one French horn player. George Martin was excellent at mixing horns with Beatle songs. Got To Get You Into My Life is another example of that. They are not regulated to the background like other songs. They are upfront and have a fat sound to them.

This song was also the first song The Beatles ever licensed, while they were together, to be used in a show. It was in the last Monkees episode (“The Frodis Caper”) which was totally surreal…not like the formula driven episodes of the first season. It was kinda like The Simpsons meet Green Acres.

John Lennon: “I often sit at the piano, working at songs, with the telly on low in the background, if I’m a bit low and not getting much done, then the words on the telly come through. That’s when I heard ‘Good morning, good morning.’ It was a corn flakes advertisement. I was never proud of it. I just knocked it off to do a song.”

Paul McCartney: “John was feeling trapped in suburbia and was going through some problems with Cynthia, it was about his boring life at the time. There’s a reference in the lyrics to ‘nothing to do’ and ‘meet the wife’; there was an afternoon TV soap called ‘Meet The Wife’ that John watched, he was that bored, but I think he was also starting to get alarm bells and so ‘Good morning, good morning.’”

Micky Dolenz (drummer for the Monkees): “And I’ll never forget it.  John Lennon looks up at me and says, ‘Hey Monkee Man!…You want to hear what we’re working on?’…And he points up to George Martin and I remember this so clearly…He’s wearing a three-piece suit…and he pushes a button on a four-track tape recorder and I hear the tracks to ‘Good Morning Good Morning.’…And then we sit around and then I remember some guy with a white coat and tie came in with tea…’Tea time, eh!’ And we sat around a little table and had really God-awful tea. And then everybody sat around and then we were chatting – ‘What’s it like, The Monkees?,’ me again trying to be so cool. And then I think it was John that went, ‘Right lads, down in the mines.’ And they went back to work.” .

Sgt Pepper

Just in case you wanted to know who was who on the cover. 

Sgt Pepper Cover who is who

This is the commercial that inspired John Lennon

I couldn’t find a version of Good Morning Good Morning going into the Sgt Pepper Reprise. You have to listen to the end of Good Morning and the beginning of the Reprise to hear it. The album of course plays them together…there is no space between the songs. 

Good Morning Good Morning

Nothing to do to save his life call his wife in
Nothing to say but what a day how’s your boy been
Nothing to do it’s up to you
I’ve got nothing to say but it’s okay
Good morning, good morning

Going to work don’t want to go feeling low down
Heading for home you start to roam then you’re in town
Everybody knows there’s nothing doing
Everything is closed it’s like a ruin
Everyone you see is half asleep
And you’re on your own you’re in the street
Good morning, good morning

After a while you start to smile now you feel cool
Then you decide to take a walk by the old school
Nothing has changed it’s still the same
I’ve got nothing to say but it’s okay
Good morning, good morning

People running round it’s five o’clock
Everywhere in town is getting dark
Everyone you see is full of life
It’s time for tea and meet the wife
Somebody needs to know the time, glad that I’m here
Watching the skirts you start to flirt now you’re in gear
Go to a show you hope she goes
I’ve got nothing to say but it’s okay
Good morning, good morning

cat, dogs barking, horses, sheep, lions, elephants, a fox being chased by dogs with hunters’ horns being blown, then a cow and finally a hen.

Nights in White Castle: A Memoir ….by Steve Rushin

This was part two of Steve Rushin’s memoir of his childhood. The first one Sting-Ray Afternoons was about 1969-1980 and this one follows him from 1980 to the end of the decade. High School, College, and then a job at Sports Illustrated.

I probably should have combined this review with Stingray Afternoons but this one is in a totally different decade and a different period of his life. As much as I could relate to the first one…I am Steve’s age so this really hits home with my teenage years. He mentions all of the 1980s milestones and disasters such as The Challenger explosion and John Lennon’s murder. 

Like the first book…it brings back a lot of insecurities and fun I had in the 1980s with high school and college. I was able to relate to Rushin because he was just an ordinary guy in the 80s…living a normal life like most of the rest of us. His humor and witty observations keep this book moving. He rarely sticks in one place…he keeps his story moving. 

Just to be clear…this book touches on pop culture like music, sports, movies, events, and the teen years. It doesn’t really dwell on anything in particular but his life. It’s not a fact book, music book, or a sports book…he mostly uses them for a time reference point. He does mention how as time went on…Sting-Rays when out of favor for dirt bikes like Huffy. Then the car soon replaced all of that when you turned 16. 

His father stands out in these books. He is hilarious…a very good dad and he would tell things like they were. They had 5 kids…4 boys and 1 red-headed girl. His dad would tell people when asked about his kids…yea we have 4 sh*theads and 1 red-head. 

If you get Stingray Afternoons you almost have to get this one…it’s pretty much the sequel and it lives up to the original…just a different era and time of a person’s life.