Friday, March 15, 2019

Ronettes – "Be My Baby" (1963)

So won’t you say you love me
I'll make you so proud of me

The famed studio drummer Hal Blaine died earlier this week.  He had just turned 90.

Blaine, who was the drummer on some 6000 records, coined the name “The Wrecking Crew” to describe the group of brilliant but largely anonymous Los Angeles-based studio musicians that he worked with on a regular basis.  

Hal Blaine
Blaine was the drummer on no fewer than forty #1 hits by an amazingly diverse group of artists, including the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Captain & Tennille, the Carpenters, John Denver, Neil Diamond, the 5th Dimension, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Jan & Dean, the Mamas & the Papas, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Johnny Rivers, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand.

The secret to Blaine’s success was his versatility and his willingness to take a back seat to the singers he worked with:

I’m not a flashy drummer.  I never wanted to be a Gene Krupa or Buddy Rich.  I wanted to be a great accompanist, and that was my role on this song.  A song is a story, and if you interrupt the story with your playing, you’re not doing anybody any good at all.

*     *     *     *     *

In 2011, an interviewer asked Blaine to list his very best recordings.  

He came up with the following eleven:

– “A Taste of Honey” (Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass)

– “Strangers in the Night” (Frank Sinatra)

– “Up, Up, and Away” (The 5th Dimension)

– “Mrs. Robinson” (Simon & Garfunkel)

– “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (The 5th Dimension)

Blaine with “Wrecking Crew” pal Glen Campbell
– “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” (Simon & Garfunkel)

– “Love Will Keep Us Together” (Captain & Tennille)

– “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” (Nancy Sinatra)

– “Everybody Loves Somebody” (Dean Martin)

– “A Little Less Conversation” (Elvis Presley)

The last record Blaine named as being one of his very best was – get ready for it – Richard Harris’s “MacArthur Park”:

It’s a work of art, but what’s amazing is that it even happened.  Richard Harris got me on a plane to England, but instead of doing any recording, I wound up having a 10-day party with Richard and his actor friends, all of them big names, wonderful people and world-class drinkers.  We finally had to fly back to L.A. to get with “The Wrecking Crew” and record the song. . . .

Everybody used to laugh about this song. . . . But this was Jimmy Webb’s poetic genius.  I thought it was a masterpiece when we were doing it.  I really did.  And here’s the really mind-blowing part: the basic track was cut in one take!

Haters gonna hate, but Blaine was right: “MacArthur Park” is a masterpiece.

I would think the opinion of a legend like Hal Blaine would be enough to persuade you of the truth of that statement.  But if it isn’t, don’t forget that 2 or 3 lines also holds a very high opinion of that record.   In face, “MacArthur Park” was one of the eleven members of the inaugural class of the 2 OR 3 LINES “GOLDEN DECADE” HIT SINGLES HALL OF FAME.  

Case closed, motherf*ckers!

*     *     *     *     *

So today we’re featuring “Be My Baby,” the 1963 Phil Spector-produced hit that opened with an instantly recognizable Hal Blaine drum riff.  

Click here to listen to “Be My Baby,” which Brian Wilson once declared to be the greatest pop record ever made.  Beach Boy Mike Love has written that Brian was “entranced” by “Be My Baby,” which represented “pop perfection” to him: “When we’d go to Brian’s house, he would play that song over and over again, comparing it to Einstein’s theory of relativity.”  

Brian Wilson and Hal Blaine
So it should come as no surprise that Wilson chose Blaine to play drums on his masterpieces, Pet Sounds and “Good Vibrations.”

Click on the link below to buy “Be My Baby” from Amazon:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

E-Types – "Put the Clock Back on the Wall" (1967)

I’ve been away where the night meets the morning
Flashes of gray bring the day and it’s warning me
Hey! Put the clock back on the wall

Do you find that changing your clocks to keep up with Daylight Saving Time is a major pain in the ass?  Or is it just a minor pain in the ass?  (Yes, I said “Daylight Saving Time” – “Daylight Savings Time” is NOT the correct name.)

Your answer to that question may depend on whether you have mostly old-fashioned analog clocks with hands, or digital clocks.  It’s easy to change the time on a clock with hands.

The digital clock in the car I drive now adjusts automatically when DST begins and when it ends.  That wasn’t the case in my previous car – which is one reason why it became my previous car.

My mother has two digital clocks in her assisted-living apartment.  One changes automatically, one doesn’t – so the clocks show different times from the time she wakes up on the second Sunday of March (and the first Sunday of November) until I arrive for Sunday lunch and make the required adjustment.  You wouldn’t believe the confusion and angst that causes her.

*     *     *     *     *

There’s a lot not to like about Daylight Saving Time.  

A Pennsylvania state legislator recently wrote a memo to his colleagues that makes the case against DST:

Daylight Saving Time (DST), launched during World War I as an attempt to save energy, has outlived its usefulness.

Energy savings from changing clocks has historically been negligible at best.  Due to the proliferation of air conditioning, energy usage during DST may actually increase.  The phase-out of incandescent bulbs further minimizes energy differentials. . . .

In fact, there are more negative side effects from changing clocks than benefits.  Studies have shown that automobile accidents, workplace injuries, heart attacks, strokes, cluster headaches, miscarriages, depression, and suicides all increase in the weeks following clock changes.  

These government-mandated interruptions of natural biological rhythms and sleep cycles can wreak havoc on job performance, academic results, and overall physical/mental health.  Clock changes require farmers to make needless adjustments, as crops and animals live by the sunlight.

A 2016 study of 300 US metropolitan areas based on evidence from peer-reviewed academic journals found that $434 million in annual economic losses are realized in those metro areas due to DST.  A 2008 report by the Independent Institute estimated that the annual US “opportunity cost” of changing clocks could be as high as $1.7 billion.

*     *     *     *     *

The federal Uniform Time Act of 1966 imposed DST on the country, but allowed individual states and territories to opt out if they wished.  Two states – Arizona and Hawaii – don’t observe DST, and neither do Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.  

Bills currently under consideration in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and other states would get rid of DST and keep standard time in effect all year round.  

The main opponents of such legislation seem to be golfers and golf-related businesses.  After all, more people play golf after work than get up to play before work.  So golfers are opposed to taking an hour of sunlight from the end of the day and adding it to the beginning of the day instead.

*     *     *     *     *

Eliminating DST is one way to avoid those pesky twice-a-year clock changes.  But there’s another way to accomplish that goal: keep DST in effect for the entire year.

Opting out of DST and staying on standard time has the effect of making sunrise an hour earlier from March until November.  

Opting out of standard time in favor of year-round DST makes sunset an hour later from November until March.

The problem with that latter solution is that the federal law that created DST only allows states to opt out of observing it – not opt out of observing standard time.

*     *     *     *     *

In 2018, about 60 percent of voters in California said “yes” to year-round DST – pending the required amendment of federal law.

The Florida legislature passed a similar bill last year, and Florida’s two United States Senators have introduced a bill that would allow states to choose year-round DST. 

President Trump is on board with that proposal.  He recently tweeted that “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!”

Of course, his support means that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will never pass pro-DST legislation.  (Mark my words: the repeal of DST will be a major issue in the 2020 campaign!)

*     *     *     *     *

Even if legislation allowing states to observe DST all year round fails to become law, the six New England states may have come up with a loophole.  

Some New Englanders want to move their states from the Eastern time zone to the Atlantic time zone – which is one hour ahead – and then opt out of DST.

That would have the same effect as staying in the Eastern time zone and observing DST all year round.  But it wouldn’t necessitate a change in federal law.

*     *     *     *     *

In 2011, Russia decided to adopt year-round DST.  

Some of you are already thinking to yourselves, “No wonder Trump likes permanent DST!”

But you are jumping to the wrong conclusion.  In 2014, Russia did an abrupt about face and went back to 365-day-a-year standard time.  In other words, President Trump’s position on DST is in direct opposition to the Russkies.

So there!

*     *     *     *     *

The E-Types were formed in Salinas, California in 1965.  I’m guessing that they named themselves after the iconic Jaguar E-Type sports car (known as the Jaguar XK-E in the United States) – but that’s just a guess.

Jaguar E-Type
The E-Types were very popular in northern California, where they appeared on tour with the Jefferson Airplane and Paul Revere and the Raiders (among others), but they never broke out nationally.

“Put the Clock Back on the Wall,” their third single, was written by Alan Gordon and Gary Bonner, who also penned “Happy Together” for the Turtles and “Celebrate” for Three Dog Night.

Click here to listen to “Put the Clock Back on the Wall.”

Click on the link below to buy the song from Amazon:

Friday, March 8, 2019

Everly Brothers – "Ebony Eyes" (1961)

The plane was way overdue
So I went inside to the airline’s desk and I said,
“Sir, I wonder why flight 1203 is so late?”


I suppose it’s possible that flight 1203 is late because there was bad weather that delayed its departure, or because there was a minor mechanical problem that had to be fixed prior to takeoff.

But I’m guessing there’s more to it than that.  

*     *     *     *     *

My local cable TV provider offers no fewer than 50 “Music Choice” channels, all of which offer nothing but music – there are no announcers and no commercials.

There’s a classic rock channel, a classic country channel, a metal channel, an alternative channel, an EDM channel, a reggae channel, a contemporary Christian music channel, a classical music channel, and several hip-hop and R&B channels – not to mention the “Teen Pop” channel:

The TV in the weight room at my local community center is usually tuned to the “Solid Gold Oldies” channel when I go there to pump some iron.  Whoever programs that channel plays a wide variety of records – not just the most familiar hits.  (By contrast, the “Sixties on 6” channel on Sirius/XM satellite radio seems to play the same songs over and over.)

Today’s featured song was a #8 hit in 1961 for the Everly Brothers.  But I don’t recall ever hearing it until I heard it while I was lifting weights last week.

I knew almost immediately that “Ebony Eyes” wasn’t going to have a happy ending, and I was right.  (Spoiler alert!)

*     *     *     *     *

The narrator of “Ebony Eyes” is a young soldier who wants to tie the knot with his high-school sweetheart.  A weekend pass wouldn’t give him enough time to get home and marry her, so the chaplain agrees to officiate at their nuptials if she flies to where he’s stationed.

The soldier goes to the local airport to pick up his betrothed, but her flight is late.  The ticket agent tells him not to worry, and he settles down in the gate area to wait for her to arrive.

But then there’s an announcement over the airport public-address system: those who have relatives or friends on flight number 1203 are told to report to the chapel.

The soldier knows that means bad news:

Then I felt a burning break deep inside
And I knew the heavenly ebony skies
Had taken my life’s most wonderful prize
My beautiful Ebony Eyes

*     *     *     *     *

Teenage death songs were quite popular in the fifties and sixties.  

There was “Endless Sleep” by Jody Reynolds, Johnny Preston’s “Running Bear,” Mark Dinning’s “Teen Angel,” Ray Peterson’s “Tell Laura I Love Her,” “Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-Las, and “Last Kiss” by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers – each of which was a top ten hit between 1958 and 1964.  

Most of the victims in those songs – which are sometimes referred to as “splatter platters” – died in automobile or motorcycle accidents.  “Ebony Eyes” is the only teenage death record I’m aware of that involved a fatal airplane crash.  

Besides being a top ten single in the U.S., “Ebony Eyes” made it to the #1 spot in the UK – even though the BBC initially refused to play it to avoid upsetting listeners.

*     *     *     *     *

“Ebony Eyes” was written by the late John D. Loudermilk, a very successful American songwriter whose output was quite eclectic.

Loudermilk’s best-known song may be “Break My Mind,” which was first recorded by country-western singer George Hamilton IV and later covered by a host of other artists, including Glen Campbell, Sammy Davis Jr., Crystal Gayle, Jerry Lee Lewis, Anne Murray, Roy Orbison, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.  (You can click here to listen to Linda Ronstadt’s version.)  

John D. Loudermilk in 1961
Loudermilk’s “Indian Reservation” was a #1 hit for Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1971.  He once told a radio interviewer that he wrote that song at the request of a Cherokee chief named Bloody Bear Tooth, whose people had taken Loudermilk in when he was stranded during a blizzard – but he was just pulling the dude’s leg. 

Loudermilk also wrote the garage-rocky “Tobacco Road” for the Nashville Teens – one of my personal favorites from 1964 – and “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” a lush ballad that was a pop hit for both the Casinos and a country hit for Eddy Arnold.  It’s hard to believe that the same guy wrote two such dissimilar songs.

Click here to listen to “Ebony Eyes,” which was not one of Loudermilk’s better efforts.  

Click on the link below to buy the song from Amazon:

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Elvis Presley – "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck" (1958)

Won’t you wear my ring around your neck
To tell the world I’m yours, by heck

Is that the worst rhyming couplet ever written?  

If you ask me, it's the leader in the clubhouse.

*     *     *     *     *

Elvis Presley recorded a lot of terrible music – including today’s featured song.

Keep in mind that Elvis died when he was only 42.  Can you imagine how much more bad music he could have recorded if he had lived another 10, 20, even 30 years?

Elvis in 1957
Leonard Pinth-Garnell never reviewed “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck,” but here are a few quotes from Bad Performances that could be used to describe that song:

– “Stunningly bad!”

– “Monumentally ill-advised!”

– “Perfectly awful!”

– “Couldn't be worse!”

– “Exquisitely awful!”

– “Astonishingly ill-chosen!”

– “Really bit the big one!”

Elvis in 1976
Unlike Elvis’s previous ten singles, “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck” didn’t make it to #1 on the Billboard “Hot 100.”  It peaked at #3.

*     *     *     *     *

You younger 2 or 3 lines readers may be confused by the title of this song.

Fifty or sixty years ago, a high-school senior who was “going steady” with a girl might give her his class ring to wear as tangible proof of his affection.

If he was a hulking gridiron star and she was a dainty cheerleader, his ring would be far too large for her fingers.

Not what Elvis was suggesting
One way around that problem was for the comely young lass to put the ring on a chain and wear it around her neck.

That is what Elvis is asking his beloved to do in this song.

*     *     *     *     *

Click here to listen to “Wear Your Ring Around My Neck.”

Click on the link below if you’d like to order the song from Amazon:

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Eric Clapton (ft. Marcy Levy) – "The Core" (1977)

I can burn
Without fuel

“The Core” – which was released on Eric Clapton’s Slowhand album in 1977 – isn’t as well known as “I Shot the Sheriff,” or “Lay Down Sally,” or “Wonderful Tonight,” or “Cocaine.”

But I think it’s the best song on any of Clapton’s solo albums – thanks in large part to the saxophone playing of Mel Collins, the Hammond B3 work of Dick Sims, and especially Marcy Levy’s vocals.  

*     *     *     *     *
It’s only fair that Marcy Levy shared lead vocal duties on “The Core,” since she and Eric Clapton co-wrote that song.  (She also co-wrote “Lay Down Sally.”)

Levy, who was born in Detroit in 1952, decided to move to Tulsa after meeting Leon Russell.  (Levy sang back-up vocals on Bob Seger’s Back in ’72 album, which was recorded at Russell’s Oklahoma recording studio.)  

Through Russell, she met Eric Clapton – who was smack dab in the middle of his “Tulsa Sound” period – and ended up touring and recording with him for four years.

Eric Clapton and Marcy Levy in 1975
Levy was a highly sought after back-up singer, and she had some success as a songwriter.  But she wanted a solo career.

Unfortunately, her debut solo album – which was released in 1982 – didn’t sell and her record company dropped her.

A few years later, Levy hooked up with Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey to form Shakespears [sic] Sister.  Their second album, which was titled Hormonally Yours – both women were pregnant at the time it was recorded – spent over a year on the Billboard album charts and eventually went double platinum:  

Levy called herself Marcella Detroit while she was with Shakespears Sister.  She used that moniker on the first two solo albums that she recorded after Shakespears Sister broke up, but reverted to her birth name when she formed the Marcy Levy Band in 2002.  

But when the Marcy Levy Band split up several years later, she went back to calling herself Marcella Detroit.   (So confusing!)

*     *     *     *     *

Have you figured out the theme of this year’s “28 Songs in 28 Days” yet?

It’s as plain as the nose on your face: all the songs featured on 2 or 3 lines this month were by artists who recorded under names other than those they were born with.

Except for Eric Clapton, that is.

Marcy Levy performing with
Eric Clapton in London in 2018
Like Bobby Darin, Clapton was born to an unmarried teenage mother whose family wanted to conceal her pregnancy.  Each man grew up thinking that his grandmother was his mother, and that his mother was his older sister.

Clapton was born a few months before the end of World War II.  His father was a married Canadian soldier who was shipped off to combat before young Eric was born, and who returned to Canada and his wife after the war was over.  

Clapton’s grandmother’s first husband was named Clapton – he was the biological father of Clapton’s mother.  But Eric grew up thinking his grandmother and her second husband – a man named Jack Clapp – were his parents.  His grandmother told him the truth when he was nine years old.  

A lot of people think Clapton’s real name is Eric Clapp – he himself would have thought that was his name when he was a young child – but his mother’s surname was Clapton, so that is presumably the name on his birth certificate.

*     *     *     *     *

Click here to listen to “The Core.”

Click on the link below to buy the song from Amazon:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Courtney Love – "Take Me to the River" (2015)

I don’t know why I love you like I do
All the troubles you put me through

Courtney Love – who was born Courtney Michelle Harrison in San Francisco in 1964 – is now, and seems to have always been, a hot mess.  But that may not be entirely her fault.

Courtney’s parents met in 1963 at a party for Dizzy Gillespie.  Her mother, Linda Carroll, is a well-known couples therapist.  Her father, Hank Harrison, was a Haight-Ashbury hippie who was buddies with the Grateful Dead’s bassist, Phil Lesh.

Carroll was pregnant when the couple got married later that year.  She later claimed that the pregnancy was the result of date rape.

She also alleged that Harrison gave Courtney LSD when she was a toddler.  He denies it, but I lean toward thinking that Carroll’s story might be true – it would explain a lot about how Courtney turned out.  (Of course, so would the fact that she spent a lot of time in Portland, Oregon.)

*     *     *     *     *

After the Carroll and Harrison got divorced, she took Courtney to Oregon and got remarried to a trash collector whom her friends nicknamed the “Garbage Adonis.”  She and Adonis had two daughters before they were subsequently divorced.  

Carroll then took Courtney and her two half-sisters to New Zealand, where they lived on a sheep farm.  Courtney was a difficult child, according to her mother, who says that she used to set a lot of fires, and told one of her half-sisters that she was retarded and adopted.  

Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love
When Courtney got expelled from school, her mother shipped her back to Oregon.  She promptly got herself arrested for shoplifting a T-shirt and was sent off to the Oregon reform school for girls.

Courtney was legally emancipated when she turned 16 and immediately started working as a topless dancer in Portland.  That’s when she changed her name to Courtney Love, which you have to agree is a pretty damned good stripper name.

*     *     *     *     *

In addition to topless dancing, Courtney picked berries, worked as a DJ at a gay disco, and attended Portland State.  While still a teenager, she moved to Dublin, where she studied at Trinity College for two semesters.  Her next stop was Liverpool, where she met musician Julian Cope and his Teardrop Explodes bandmates.

Courtney returned to Portland briefly, then headed off to Japan and Taiwan, once again supporting herself by stripping.  When the authorities shut down the club where she was working in Taiwan and deported her, she came back to Portland but then moved to San Francisco, where she started a band and enrolled in acting classes.

She was cast in a minor role in the 1986 Sid Vicious biopic, Sid and Nancy, which was filmed in New York City.  She decided to hang around the Big Apple for a while, squatting in the East Village and picking up a few bucks at a Times Square peep show.  

Director Alex Cox gave her a leading role in Straight to Hell, an unwatchable neo-spaghetti Western that starred Clash frontman Joe Strummer and singer/model Grace Jones, but her role in that flop didn’t lead to additional acting role, so she moved back to Oregon – McMinnville, not Portland – and went back to . . . you guessed it . . . stripping.

Courtney roasting Pam Anderson in 2005
When the locals recognized her, it creeped her out a little.  So she packed up and moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where she lived in a trailer with the other strippers at a club frequented by local fishermen.  

*     *     *     *     *

Courtney had enough of stripping in Alaska after a few months, so she relocated herself to Los Angeles and taught herself to play guitar.  

She placed an ad in a local music fanzine – “I want to start a band.  My influences are Big Black, Sonic Youth, and Fleetwood Mac” – which led to the formation of the band Hole.  

Courtney continued to dance at Hollywood strip clubs to help pay for amplifiers and a van for Hole to use.  After recording a couple of singles (“Retard Girl” and “Dicknail”), Hole released its first album, Pretty on the Inside, in 1991.  Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth co-produced it.

Hole toured with Smashing Pumpkins, and Love briefly dated that band’s frontman, Billy Corgan, before hooking up with Kurt Cobain.  

She and Cobain were married on Waikiki Beach in February 1992.

*     *     *     *     *

Courtney Love appeared on the TV series Empire as Elle Dallas, an aging, drug-addled rock singer.  (Gee, I wonder why they picked her for that role.)  One of the songs she is shown recording on that show is Al Green’s “Take Me to the River.”

“Courtney Love is so open, and available, and raw,” Empire star Taraji P. Henson said after shooting a particularly dramatic scene with Love.  “She’s not afraid to take it all off.”  (As she proved in Portland, Japan, Taiwan, McMinnville, and Anchorage.) 

Courtney Love on “Empire” in 2015
Click here to hear Love’s recording of “Take Me to the River.”  I think it’s a little overproduced – too many backup singers, for one thing – but it’s not bad.  (Of course, Al Green’s original version and the Talking Heads’ cover are better.)

Click on the link below to buy Love’s “Take Me to the River” from Amazon:

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Janis Ian – "Everybody Knows" (1968)

You’ve been a bad girl 
You’ve been had, girl
Your mama’s in the pantry with your other daddy 

Janis Ian was a precocious little thing. 

She started taking piano lessons when she was just two years old, and later learned to play the organ, harmonica, guitar, and French horn.

She wrote her first song (“Hair of Spun Gold”) when she was just 12, and performed at the famous Village Gate nightclub in Greenwich Village the following year.  (Others who performed at the Village Gate include Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Woody Allen, and Aretha Franklin.)

In 1965, Ian wrote and recorded “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking),” a song about an interracial teenage romance.  Some radio stations refused to play it, but the record sold 600,000 copies and reached #14 on the Billboard “Hot 100” nonetheless.

The 16-year-old Janis Ian in 1967
Ten years later Janis released her biggest hit, “At Seventeen,” an angsty song that struck a chord with unhappy teenaged girls everywhere.  It was a #3 hit in 1975, and the album it was released on (Between the Lines) went all the way to #1 on the Billboard album charts.

*     *     *     *     *

That same year, Janis Ian’s mother Pearl was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  

Janis and her brother persuaded her to pursue her dream of going to college, and she enrolled at Goddard College – a nontraditional “low residency” college that allows students to design their own curricula and study independently.  Pearl eventually earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Goddard.

Janis Ian and her mother, Pearl Fink
After Pearl died in 1997, Janis created a foundation to raise money for scholarships for older students who wanted to attend Goddard.  Her initial fundraising effort – an online auction of some of her memorabilia – brought in $70,000.  Since then, the Pearl Foundation has raised and given away almost a million dollars.

*     *     *     *     *

Janis will do just about anything to raise money for her mother’s foundation.  

If you’d like to send a Janis Ian fan a personalized card with a handwritten message from Janis, it will cost you only $29.95.

A 15-minute phone call with Janis will set you back $249, while the opportunity to work as a roadie at one of her concerts costs $695.

If you’re a really, really, really big Janis Ian, she will come to your house and perform in your living room.  You can invite up to 40 friends and family to attend, and you can videotape the whole shebang for your personal use.

The current price for a Janis Ian living-room concert is $15,000 – plus airfare, hotel, taxi and/or rental car, and a $500 fee for the artist’s manager.  

The 60-year-old Janis Ian in 2011
Don’t forget to provide some bottles of unopened spring water and Perrier, and a deli tray – which “should be heavy on protein (salmon,  chicken, cheese), with vegetables and dip (onion or blue cheese preferred).”

Since Janis Ian is very allergic to feathers and cats, the living-room concert contract includes the following provisions:

The room where the concert is to take place, as well as the “dressing room”, must contain no feathers, not even on a high shelf in a closet.  Please check your pillows, comforters, couches and chairs carefully, we do not want to provoke an asthma attack!

If you have cats, or have had them in your home in the past 3 months, you will have to choose another space for the concert.  Even if you remove the cats days before, and clean like mad, the dander will still be present and Artist cannot tolerate it.  Artist will not be able to breathe if cats have been present, and your concert will be jeopardized.

Sorry, kitty, but you need to get the hell out of Dodge!

*     *     *     *     *

Today’s featured song, “Everybody Knows,” was released in 1968 on The Secret Life of J. Eddy Fink, which was Janis Ian’s third studio album:

The album title refers to Janis Ian’s birth name, which was Janis Eddy Fink.  She changed her name legally to Janis Ian – Ian was her brother’s middle name – when she was 13 years old.  (Can you blame her?)

Click here to listen to “Everybody Knows,” which includes the following lines: “Don’t mind the words of my song/They’re not strong.”

Click below to buy the song from Amazon: