Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend Is Here

Two straight days of Thanksgiving dinners, first with family and friends on Thursday, and then again on Friday with some new friends here in Eugene at their home. We be feeling good, and very welcome here in our new ‘hood.

It was great to see Pixie pay a visit to the blog and read how she passed Hep C, and, in addition, learn how she met her husband, who is getting through his own treatment. Power to those who hang through tough times. Here is a link to their group blog:

Yesterday was the birthday of my favorite composer and musician, Jean Baptiste Lully, born November 28, 1632. Monsieur Lully is regarded as the father of French opera, and indeed, as the master of French Baroque music. The musical guiding light of the court of Louie XIV, although originally an Italian by birth, he adopted French lifestyle and became a French citizen, changing his name from Giovanni Battista Lulli, to the French form, Jean Baptiste Lully. I cannot describe in words the immensity and power of his music. It is beyond limits for passion, grace and pure tonal complexity. For me, it is the absolute zenith of musical perfection. I can't get enough.
It is disturbing that the state of our popular music has turned into a grid of superficial blandness.
Jean Baptiste Lully was 376 years old yesterday. His music is largely unknown to most people, mainly because he is associated with a time of extravagance and excess, the monarchy and pre-revolutionary France. French culture deemed that such respect for the former days was unwarranted. Fiercely proud of it's revolution, the French people have voluntarily suppressed the attention to it's own that other national cultures have embraced, such as that given to Bach and Handel, Vivaldi and Purcell, Telemann and Albinoni. Recently though, a more relaxed atmosphere has replaced the prejudicial one that had been in force. Lully has taken on the spotlight as the all important master that he was, and is, for this grandest of music.

My affair with rock and roll is over. As a teenager, there was nothing to compare with the excitement I felt from hearing Johnny Cash on the radio, Otis Williams and The Charms, Franky Lymon and The Teenagers, Dale Hawkins, and countless other discoveries that occurred every day while I searched the dial for the sound of inspiration. Still, the timeless music of other ages grabs my heart and mind. I'm proud to have been a part of a great band. It doesn't really matter that MC5 wasn't a commercial success. What matters is how I feel about what I accomplished and where I am today. For that I am eternally thankful.