Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Chuck Berry – "Come On" (1961)


Everything is wrong since

Me and my baby parted

All day long I’m walking ’cause I 

Couldn’t get my car started


We’ve been working our way through the Musicoholics website’s ranking of states based their relative contributions to popular music.

Last time, we covered the states ranked from #30 to #21.  Today, we’re going to discuss the states that Musicoholics ranked #20 through #11.


*     *     *     *     *


Arkansas holds down the #20 spot on the Musicoholics list mostly because the great Johnny Cash grew up there.  I might flip Arkansas with Alabama – the home of Hank Williams – which was ranked 21st. But Cash is comparable in importance to Williams . . . so no harm, no foul.


Next in the Musicoholics rankings is Missouri.  The most notable pop musician to hail from Missouri was St. Louis native Chuck Berry, a truly great songwriter and performer – Elvis Presley can’t hold a candle to him but was a much more popular figure than Berry because Chuck was (1) older, (2)  black, and (3) a perv.  


#19 (with a bullet!)

Jazz great Charlie “Bird” Parker also spent his formative years in Missouri – he was from Kansas City, which was home to a thriving jazz scene.  (You did know that Kansas City is in Missouri, don’t you?  Unless you’re talking about Kansas City, Kansas – which is much smaller than Kansas City, Missouri.)


*     *     *     *     *


Indiana comes in at #18 on the Musicoholics list.  Michael Jackson and his musical brothers and sisters were born there, as were John Mellencamp (who wears his Hoosierness on his sleeve) and Axl Rose (who doesn’t).


Next comes Virginia, which spawned a number of country and bluegrass legends – Patsy Cline, the Carter Family, and the Stanley Brothers among them.  I might Virginia higher but for the fact that Dave Matthews and Bruce Hornsby are from there.)


Florida ranks #3 among the states in population, but Musicoholics assigns them only the #16 spot in its rankings for its contributions to rock (Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd), rap (2 Live Crew and Pitbull), disco (KC and the Sunshine Band), and Latin music (Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine).


I would move Florida ahead of #15 Massachusetts – Aerosmith, Boston, the Cars, and the J. Geils Band had their moments, but are all overrated.  (Mission of Burma, by contrast, is almost criminally underrated.)


*     *     *     *     *


Pennsylvania and Ohio are #6 and #7 in population, but are underachievers when it comes to their musical contributions – they are #14 and #13, respectively, in the Musicoholics rankings.   


Pennsylvania produced a lot of great R&B artists, but personally I prefer the groups who came out of Ohio – among them the James Gang, Devo, Pere Ubu, and especially the Pretenders.  (The Pretenders were formed in the UK, and three of its four original members were English – but Chrissie Hynde grew up in Ohio, and Chrissie Hynde is the Pretenders as far as I’m concerned. . . not to mention the greatest female singer/songwriter of all time.)


Chrissie Hynde

Washington (state – not D.C.) comes in at the 12th spot on the Musicoholics list.  I would bump Washington up a few spots –after all, it was home to Jimi Hendrix, the Sonics (perhaps the greatest garage band of all), and grunge greats like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.


Rounding out the second ten on the Musicoholics list is New Jersey.  Frank Sinatra and the Four Seasons  justify a high ranking for the Garden State, but it gets demerits for the hugely overrated Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.  


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Between 1955 and 1959, the great Chuck Berry released a dozen or so hit singles, including “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Johnny B. Goode.”


But his career was derailed in December 1959 when he was arrested for picking up a 14-year-old Native American girl before a performance in El Paso and transporting her to St. Louis to work as a hatcheck girl at his club.  (Berry claimed that she said she was 21.)


Berry was convicted of violating the federal Mann Act – which made it a felony to transport any female across state lines for immoral purposes – and given a five-year prison sentence.  Click here to read a fascinating account of the trial.


The star won an appeal of the conviction – his lawyer claimed that the trial judge had made racist comments that prejudiced the all-white jury – but was retried in 1961 and convicted again.  Berry’s appeal of that conviction failed and he spent a year and a half in jail.


Today’s featured song was the last single Berry released before he went to the poke.  It didn’t chart, and I was unaware of the song until I recently heard the Rolling Stones cover of it, which was the very first single they released.


The Stones’ recording of “Come On” made it to #21 on the UK single charts, but was not released in the U.S.  


Click here to listen to Chuck Berry’s version of “Come On.”


Click below to buy the recording from Amazon:


Friday, April 30, 2021

Hank Williams – "Move It On Over" (1947)


She’s changed the lock on our front door

My door key don’t fit no more


The previous 2 or 3 lines listed the 20 states that the Musicoholics website ranked as having the least impact on American popular music.


#21

Today, we’re going to discuss the states that Musicoholics ranked #21 through #30 for their relative impact on pop music – in other words, the middle quintile of states.


Without further ado:


30.  Wisconsin


29.  Rhode Island


28.  Arizona


27.  Oregon


26.  Maryland


25.  South Carolina


24.  Kentucky


23.  Oklahoma


22.  North Carolina


21.  Alabama


*     *     *     *     *


Arizona is the notable underachiever of these ten states – it’s 28th on the Musicoholics list, but ranks 14th in population.  As Musicoholics notes, Linda Ronstadt and the Meat Puppets hail from Arizona.  But it’s the Tubes – who Musicoholics failed to mention – that keeps Arizona from being ranked even lower.


The greatest overachiever on the list appears to be Rhode Island, which is only 44th among the states in population.  Its Musicoholics ranking rests largely on the shoulders of the Talking Heads – band members David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth met while they were student at the Rhode Island School of Design.  


But Musicoholics slept on the Cowsills, who were living in Newport, Rhode Island, when brothers Bill, Bob, and Barry formed the band.  They were joined later by their three younger siblings (John, Paul, and Susan), and their mother Barbara.  


The Cowsills

For some reason, Bob’s twin brother Richard was not a member of the band.  I wonder why not?




*     *     *     *     *


If you ask me, Musicoholics gives way too much weight to where a musician is born – regardless of how long he or she lived there.


For example, South Carolina gets credit for James Brown.  But the “Godfather of Soul” moved to Georgia when he was a preschooler, and then on to New York.  


The most successful pop music group that was formed in South Carolina was Hootie & the Blowfish.  (Yecch.)


*     *     *     *     *


South Carolina doesn’t compare to the states ranked just ahead of it when it comes to producing great musicians.  


For example, Kentucky produced bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and a number of country-western greats – including Loretta Lynn.


Oklahoma was home to Woody Guthrie, Wanda Jackson, the Flaming Lips, and especially Leon Russell – the most prominent member of the “Tulsa sound” group of musicians.  (I would rank Oklahoma higher solely because Leon Russell was from there.)


*     *     *     *     *


If Hank Williams had been the only Alabaman to ever make a record, that state would deserve its relatively high Musicoholics ranking.  Williams was a giant (despite the fact that he died before he turned 30).


“Move It On Over,” which is my favorite Hank Williams record, was his first big hit.


Hank Williams

Bill Haley’s 1954 single, “Rock Around the Clock,” is considered by many to be the first true rock and roll record.  It sounds suspiciously similar to “Move It On Over,” which was released seven years earlier.


If it was possible for me to sing in a completely natural and unaffected fashion – forgetting everything I’ve been taught, and simply letting every ounce of my inner redneckness come out – I would sound exactly like Hank Williams singing “Move It On Over.”


Click here to listen to “Move It On Over.”


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


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Head East – "Never Been Any Reason" (1975)


There’s never been any reason

For you to think about me


The Musicoholics website recently ranked all 50 states based on the contributions to popular music made by the residents of each state.

For each state, the author of this irresistible piece of clickbait listed the most prominent individual musicians who were born or lived in that state, and also noted the best bands that had been formed in the state.


There are some surprises in that ranking.  There are also a number of obvious mistakes.


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It’s no surprise that Wyoming ranked 50th and last on the list.  


Here is the list of musicians who were born or lived in Wyoming: Scott Avett, John Perry Barlow, Ronnie Bedford, Loren Driscoll, Cary Judd, Chancey Williams.


Have you ever heard of any of these people?  


The only band from Wyoming that was listed was an allegedly Ramones-esque band called the Lillingtons.


Never heard of them.


*     *     *     *     *


Wyoming ranks 50th in population, so it comes as no surprise that they rank 50th on this list.


The state ranked 49th on the Musicoholics list – Maine – ranks 42nd in population.  That’s not a huge discrepancy, I suppose.


But Iowa, which is 48th on the Musicoholics list, seriously underachieved given that it ranks 31st among the 50 states in population.  


According to Musicoholics, the best band ever formed in Iowa is Head East – whose first album, Flat As a Pancake, included today’s featured song, “Never Been Any Reason”:  


I’m second to none in my love for “Never Been Any Reason,” but if the best band to come out of a state is Head East, it’s no wonder that state ranked #48 out of 50 for your contributions to popular music.


And things are about to get even worse for Iowa: despite what Musicoholics says, Head East was actually formed in Illinois – not Iowa.


Musicoholics may have been confused by the fact that Head East was inducted into the Iowa Rock ’n’ Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2011.  According to that Hall of Fame’s website, Head East “has always been highly received in Iowa and has played hundreds of gigs throughout the state over the decades.”


I guess that’s why they are in the IRRMA Hall of Fame and the Beatles aren’t – the Beatles were certainly highly received in Iowa but didn’t play hundreds of gigs there.


*     *     *     *     *


The less said about the musical contributions of the next five states – North Dakota (#47), South Dakota (#46), Delaware (#45), Alaska (#44), and Montana (#43) – the better.


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Colorado, which is ranked 42nd by Musicoholics, may be an even bigger underachiever than Iowa.  It’s  21st among the states in population, so you would think it might have produced a decent number of good musicians.  But while The Apples in Stereo – an excellent band – formed in Denver in 1992, the musical pickings from the Centennial State get mighty slim after that.


The biggest band from Kansas (ranked 41st in musical contributions by Musicoholics) is Kansas.  Further about Kansas the affiant sayeth naught.


*     *     *     *     *   


The states in the second quintile of the Musicoholics rankings – in other words, the states ranked from 40th to 31st (in that order) Connecticut, Utah, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Vermont, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, and Hawaii.


Connecticut was home to some very talented musicians (like Moby, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and Richard and Karen Carpenter), but loses points for Michael Bolton and John Mayer (who were born in New Haven and Bridgeport, respectively).


Vermont – which ranks ahead of only Wyoming in population – seems to have been ranked #35 on the strength of Phish (which formed in Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, in 1983).  


Musicoholics may be fans of Phish, but 2 or 3 lines isn’t.  I’d like to rank Vermont dead last, but Wyoming has earned that spot fair and square.


By the way, did you know that Burlington, Vermont – population 42,545 – is the smallest city to be the largest city in a state?  (Do you know what the second smallest city to be the largest city in a state is?)


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Click here to listen to the record that would be the best record ever made by a band from Iowa if that band hadn’t actually formed in Illinois. 


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


Friday, April 23, 2021

L7 – "Pretend We're Dead" (1992)


When we pretend that we’re dead

They can't hear a word we’ve said


I’m pretty old, but my mother – who recently turned 95 – is really old.


Her mother died one day short of her 95th birthday, while her mother – my great-grandmother – was almost 97 when she passed away.  Her husband – my great-grandfather – lived to be almost 90, while my father celebrated his 90th birthday several months before his death.


That family history used to make me feel pretty optimistic as I aged – even after I reached retirement age, I figured I had many years ahead of me.  


But now that I’ve had an up-close view of what it’s like to be in your nineties, I’m not so sure that my likely longevity is a good thing.   


*     *     *     *     *


Today I was walking my dog down my street in a north-to-south direction when a bright-red Honda Accord that was driving south-to-north pulled up next to me and stopped.  


There were two little old ladies sitting in the front seats, who apparently had something to say.  (Is “little old lady” a sexist term – or perhaps an ageist term – that I shouldn’t be using any more?)


The front-seat passenger was trying to roll down her window so she could talk to me, but she couldn’t make it happen.  Neither could the driver – she managed to roll down the car’s rear window but that didn’t allow for a conversation since there was no one sitting in the rear seat.


Finally, the passenger just opened her door.  (My yellow Lab interpreted this as an invitation to hop in the car, but I pulled her back before she could cause any mayhem.)


“We’re looking for our friend’s house.  Do you know where  [name of the little old lady who lives next door to me] lives?” she asked.


“Yes, I do,” I replied, pointing at her house.  “She lives right there.”


“The house with the blue shutters, or the one with the green shutters?” she asked.


“The one with the blue shutters,” I said.


She thanked me, and shut her door – and we went our separate ways.


*     *     *     *     *


I took my dog to the end of our street, turned left, walked to the end of that block, and turned left again – which left me only one more left turn away from returning to the street where my house is situated.


I could see the red Honda Accord sitting where I would make that last left turn.  It was still there a couple of minutes later when my dog and I arrived at that intersection.


This time the little-old-lady passenger was able to get her window down so she could address me without opening her door.


“Did you find your friend’s house?” I asked.


“Yes, we did,” she said.  “But she wasn’t home.”


“That’s too bad” I replied, wondering why they had stopped and waited until they could talk to me.


“We were supposed to meet her, but we don’t know where,” the passenger told me.  “She’s probably wondering where we are.”


I’m not sure how I was supposed to respond to this.  I’m casually acquainted with my neighbor – a ninety-something widow who still drives an old green Jaguar that belonged to her late husband (who’s been dead at least 20 years) – but I had no idea where she might have been at that moment.  (It was shortly after noon, so maybe they were supposed to meet at a restaurant?)


I stood by for a few seconds in case the little old lady in the passenger seat had anything more to say to me.  But she seemed to realize that I was of no use to her, so she rolled up her window and the car drove away.


*     *     *     *    *


I later ascertained that the car the two ladies were in was not just a Honda Accord, but a Honda Accord Sport in San Marino Red, which was equipped with sporty oversized alloy wheels, a turbocharged engine, a spoiler, and a bunch of other stuff that I would consider overkill for a little-old-lady driver:


I question whether our ninety-something neighbor should still be driving her old green Jaguar – believe me, I walk my dog way up in the grass when I see her driving on our street.  


And I question whether the woman in the red Honda Accord Sport – who appeared to be about the same age as my neighbor – should be driving when she can’t figure out how to operate the car’s windows.


*     *     *     *     *


My mother is 95 years old, living in an apartment in an assisted-living facility.  A few months ago, we asked a home health care agency to provide aides to stay with her between 8 AM and 8 PM every day – she was falling fairly frequently, and the assisted-living place didn’t think she was safe without the aides.


I’ve met both of her regular aides, and they are so kind and patient I can hardly believe it.  (Maybe they act differently when I’m not there, but I don’t think that’s the case.)  They tell me they get along just fine with her, and say things like “She’s a sweetheart,” which in my experience couldn’t be further from the truth.  


My mother used to be as meek and mild as anyone you’ve ever known, but has become very difficult the last few years.  To the extent she says anything to her nurses and other caregivers, it’s usually nasty and negative.  I’m appalled when she her snarls “Get away from me!” and swats at the people who try to take her blood pressure or help her eat or provide other care. 


Because of covid, I wasn’t able to visit her in person until recently.  And since she is very deaf, and refuses to let the nurses put her hearing aids in – not that they do a lot of good – I couldn’t really communicate with her on the phone.  So we were reduced to dropping off handwritten notes and greeting cards every few days.  (I also drop off adult diapers and toilet paper.  She goes through an inordinate amount of toilet paper, and I try to avoid thinking about why that is.)


In January, we brought in a hospital-type bed for her that can be raised and lowered – thinking that by having a lower bed to sleep in, she might be less likely to fall when she gets in and out of bed.  But for some reason, she doesn’t like the hospital bed – she insists on sleeping on the couch in her living room instead.


*     *     *     *     *


Fortunately, I have two wonderful daughters who are live nearby (and who are likely to always live nearby).  


I make no attempt to sugarcoat the problems I’ve had with their grandmother over the past few years.


“Be prepared,” I tell them.  “I’ll probably be even more difficult.”


*     *     *     *     *


Last December, I told you how I had gotten into the habit of taking a photo of my car’s multimedia screen when a song that seemed 2 or 3 lines-worthy was being played on whatever Sirius/XM radio channel I happened to be listening to at that moment.  That way, I didn’t forget about the song by the time I got home.


The only problem with my system is that it works too well.  It takes very little effort to snap a photo of every mildly noteworthy record I hear, so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.


As of the end of 2020, I had created a list containing the names of 159 records . . . which is enough for roughly a year and a half of 2 or 3 lines posts. 


We’re less than four months into 2021, and that list has grown from 159 songs to 282 songs!  


I’ve decided to stop trying to feature songs that have some connection to the content of my posts, and start featuring songs from that list – each of which I will then delete.


I have a feeling that list will continue to grow because I will add songs at a more rapid pace than I will delete them.  The result will be something akin to everyone buying hybrid cars – the oceans will continue to rise, but not as quickly as if we were all driving cars with V-8 engines like the Olds Cutlass I drove in the seventies.


*     *     *     *     *


Today’s featured song, “Pretend We’re Dead,” was released by the all-female group L7 in 1992.


The band’s lead vocalist, Donita Sparks, wrote the song after a painful breakup with her boyfriend.  She later said that she didn’t want her ex to die, but that the only way she could get through the breakup was to pretend in her mind that he was dead.


Donita Sparks

You wouldn’t think that a woman who did what Sparks did at the Reading Festival the same year that “Pretend We’re Dead” was released – you can click here to read all about it – would be so delicate as to allow a mere breakup to have such an effect on her.


Click here to view the official music video for “Pretend We’re Dead.”


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


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Steppenwolf – "Born To Be Wild" (1968)


I like smoke and lightnin’

Heavy metal thunder!


A couple of years ago, I told you about teaching the following lyrics from the Spiral Staircase’s 1969 hit, “More Today Than Yesterday,” to my oldest grandson, Jack – who was not quite three years old at the time:


I love you more today than yesterday

But not as much as tomorrow


I was surprised when my daughter sent me a video of Jack singing those lines to his little brother Hunter a few days later:



*     *     *     *     *


Jack has picked up the lyrics to several other sixties pop hits from me since then – including Spanky and Our Gang’s “Lazy Day”:


Baby, you and me 

And the honey bee 

Lazy day, lazy day


But the song that he really latched on to is Steppenwolf’s stick-of-dynamite classic, “Born To Be Wild.”


What can I say?  The kid has good taste!


*     *     *     *     *


Last night, Jack and Hunter were at my house for dinner and a bath.


When I heard Jack singing “Born To Be Wild” while playing with his toy cars, I called him into my home office so we could watch a Youtube video that featured the song accompanied by Easy Rider footage of Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson riding motorcycles.


Today I got this message from my daughter (Jack’s mother):


Jack said he taught his whole [daycare] class the “Born To Be Wild” song today!  He told [his wonderful Polish-American daycare provider] what it was called so she could type it into her computer, and then they found the video with the motorcycles.  She had never heard the song.  Jack  said the whole class loved it, especially Mack. 


Jack – who will turn five in July – is the oldest child in his daycare group.  Mack is about a year younger.  There are two girls about Mack’s age, then Jack’s brother Hunter (who is two and a half) and a couple of younger kids.


I believe that Mack loved “Born To Be Wild” – Jack is a Pied Piperish figure for Mack – but I doubt that the youngest kids (at least one of them isn’t old enough to walk yet) were really into it.


Here’s Jack singing “Born To Be Wild” while playing in his basement: 



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Click here to see the Youtube video that I showed Jack, and that he had his daycare provider play for all his little friends.


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


Friday, April 16, 2021

Talking Heads – "The Book I Read" (1977)


I’m writing about the book I read

I have to sing about the book I read



Last Sunday, I did something I haven’t done in years: I read an entire book in one day.


The book was the 421-page The Law of Innocence, the latest in Michael Connelly’s “Lincoln Lawyer” series of murder mysteries.  I don’t remember enjoying a crime novel so much in years.  


That was partly because it was a very compelling novel – all of Connelly’s books are excellent, but this one was unusually good – and partly because I finished it in a single day instead of reading it in bits and pieces over the course of several days, which is how I usually read a book.


*     *     *     *     *


I used to read entire books straight through all the time.  (I don’t mean “straight through” literally – I would take short breaks to eat or visit the little boys’ room.) 


I remember reading Scott Turow’s first best-selling courtroom novel, Presumed Innocent, while travelling on an Amtrak train from New London, Connecticut, to Washington, DC.  That train ride took roughly seven hours, which was just enough time for me to read a 448-page book if I didn’t waste time.


That was in 1987 or 1988.  I may have read a few relatively short books in a single day since then, but I don’t think I’ve read a book that’s as long as The Law of Innocence since then.


I didn’t read The Law of Innocence straight through – I took a break for a bike ride after lunch, and then watched a movie on Netflix after dinner before reading the last few chapters – but I could have if I had wanted to.


*     *     *     *     *


Reading is my default activity – it’s what I do unless I’m doing something else that prevents me from reading.


Before I retired, I used to read on my half-hour subway rides to and from my downtown law office.  (I missed my stop a few times because I got so engrossed in my book.)  


I also read when I’m eating a meal – assuming I’m dining solo, of course.


A lot of people read on the subway and while eating.  But how many people take a book with them when they have to the kids off at the pool?  I do.


(TMI?)


*     *     *     *     *


Reading was my primary activity when I was a kid – I think I probably spent more time reading than I spent watching television or listening to the local top-40 radio station.  (There wasn’t a lot else for a tween to do in Joplin, Missouri, circa 1965.)


Our public library allowed you to check out a maximum of six books at a time.  In the summer, I would often read all six books in a single day – two or three days at most – and head back to the library to reload.


The Joplin Public Library

Of course, I wasn’t reading adult books.  But I wasn’t reading picture books either – I think that most of the juvenile novels or biographies or history books that I read when I was 12 or 13 were maybe 150 or 200 pages long, with relatively few illustrations.  I could go through a book like that in an hour or two.  


I used to think of myself as a fast reader, but my speed was really attributable to the fact that I was a focused reader – I didn’t get distracted or let my mind wander.  


*     *     *     *     *


The reason that I started reading books in small pieces over several days rather than going start to finish without a break is that I couldn’t concentrate for as long when I got older.  So I’d just read two or three chapters and call it a day.


I also think there came a point in my life where I felt guilty if I spent the whole day reading.  It seemed self-indulgent – I felt that I should be accomplishing other things instead of just sitting around and reading.  (When my kids lived at home, I needed to pay some attention to them.)


I not only had time to read last Sunday, but was also in the mood to do so – so I just sat down and read from 1030a to 1230p without looking up.  That took me almost to the halfway point of The Law of Innocence


At that point I knew I was going to finish the book by the end of the day.  I almost put the book aside because I wanted it to last at least two days – or even three – it was that good.


But for whatever reason, I just let myself keep going on Sunday.


*     *     *     *     *


Reading a book straight through – especially a crime novel – is much more satisfying than reading small portions of it over several days.  


You retain plot details much better – you don’t get confused and have to go paging back through the part of the book you’ve already read to remind yourself of what happened earlier.


*     *     *     *     *


I knew I was really into the Connelly book because I didn’t ever get drowsy while reading it.


When I sit down to read these days, I usually doze off within half an hour or so – sometimes even more quickly.


I remember having trouble keeping my eyes open in some of my law school classes – after law school, it was sometimes a struggle for me to stay fully awake in work meetings, in church, etc.  


In part that was because I got bored, but the main reason was probably undiagnosed sleep apnea.


I don’t know when my sleep apnea began.  I don’t remember nodding off in my college classes.  I put on some weight during my law school years, although I was still pretty thin – but that weight gain may have exacerbated some structural conditions (like a deviated septum) that made me prone to snoring and sleep apnea.


*     *     *     *     *


I didn’t notice a dramatic difference even after my sleep apnea was diagnosed and I started sleeping with a CPAP machine – although I’m sure it helped me sleep more deeply to some degree.  (A lawyer I worked with told me he was amazed by the difference his CPAP machine made in the quality of his sleep – my experience wasn’t like his.)


Maybe I still nod off while reading because I go to bed too late – my usual bedtime is sometime between 100a and 200a – and don’t get enough sleep each night.


You would think it would be easy for me to get in the habit of going to sleep an hour or so earlier.  But for some reason I’m finding it very difficult to break this pattern.


When I was still working, I tended to go in to the office fairly late and leave to come home fairly late – by the time I fixed dinner and paid the bills and did whatever other chores I needed to do, it was almost bedtime.


But if I had gone to bed then, I would have had no time to read, or listen to music, or watch TV, or write 2 or 3 lines.  I would have felt like I had no life.


So I stayed up late to do those things for a couple of hours, which meant I got off to a late start the next morning – etc., etc.  (Rinse and repeat.)


Now that I’m retired, I have much more time to do the things I want to do – although you’d be surprised how much time I manage to waste without accomplishing anything.  (If you’re retired, maybe you wouldn’t be surprised.)


So I’m still going to bed too late.


*     *     *     *     *


The Talking Heads released “The Book I Read” in 1977 on their debut album, Talking Heads:77.  


The song isn’t really about a book – it’s about the woman the singer is in love with:


So feel my fingers as they touch your arms

I’m spinning around but I feel alright

The book I read was in your eyes  


Click here to listen to “The Book I Read.”


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