Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Just a Shot Away

Living Dangerously

h/t Bailey Schildberg

Since the Valentine's Day candy was
on the shelves literally the day after Christmas, we know what holiday is next on the calendar.

Although flowers are one of the most popular gift ideas for Valentine's Day, the folks in the floral department at the Atlantic Hy-Vee seem a bit cynical about romantic relationships...

"Gosh, I'll bet women would find that sign hilarious..."

In some parallel universe where women actually have senses of humor, perhaps...

Happy Birthday!

North By Northwest (1959)
On January 18, 1904 Archibald Alexander Leach was born in Horfield, a suburb of Bristol, England.

His interest in theatre was apparent at a very early age (he was already performing in public at age six),
and when his antics finally got him expelled from school at age 14 he chose to pursue a theatrical career.

On a trip to the United States when he was 16 and using the stage name Cary Grant
he decided to remain in the country, joining the vaudeville circuit and eventually making his way to Hollywood, where he enjoyed a legendary career as a leading man.

Grant starred in a couple of my all-time favorite films, Alfred Hitchcock's classic spy drama North By Northwest in 1959 and Stanley Donen's thriller Charade in 1963. His work in comedies like Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story as well as dramas like Penny Serenade and None But the Lonely Heart (both of which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Actor) led to his receiving an Honorary Oscar
in 1970 and being chosen for the Kennedy Center Honors in 1981.

"Those were all good, but Notorious was always my favorite."

I can understand was a great film, too...

When Your Abbot Is a Hard-Ass

From the indispensable comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

On January 18, 1989 The Rolling Stones were honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the fabled Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. They were part of the Hall's fourth class of inductees, their induction speech given by their contemporary (and one of my guitar heroes) Pete Townshend of The Who (who would themselves be inducted just a year later).

The Stones were never my favorite band, although I always enjoyed their music. As things worked out my high school years (1967-1971) were a tremendously productive period for them. Among their releases during those years were the classic studio albums Beggars Banquet and Sticky Fingers (their first-ever U.S. No. 1 album), the legendary live album Get Your Ya-Ya's Out!, and the best-selling "greatest hits" compilation albums Through the Past, Darkly and Hot Rocks 1964-1971 (which earned a diamond certification from RIAA and remains the band's biggest-selling record).

Original 1969 vinyl LP (U.S. release)

For me, at least, their best album remains 1969's Let It Bleed.
I purchased it with a bit of money
I had received as a Christmas gift that year, and I wound up playing
it obsessively for quite some time afterward.

Let It Bleed is the last Stones album on which Brian Jones appeared, and also marked the debut of guitarist Mick Taylor with the group.

In addition to their regular lineup, the album featured an array of luminous guest stars, including Nicky Hopkins, Ry Cooder, Leon Russell, Al Kooper, and a memorable backing vocal performance by The London Bach Choir.

The album includes the famous Stones hits "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Country Honk" as well as a superb cover of Robert Johnson's classic "Love in Vain," but the highlight of the album for me is "Gimme Shelter." I'll never forget hearing the song's haunting intro for the first time. It was like nothing the band had done before, and even after hundreds of listenings that intro along with guest vocalist Merry Clayton's famous performance on the song still gives me chills.

In 2004 "Gimme Shelter" was selected for inclusion on Rolling Stone magazine's  
500 Greatest Songs of All Time list (No. 38), and boosted Let It Bleed onto the popular magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list as well (No. 32).

Today's send-off is the 2002 remastered version of the original album track, from
the Stones' YouTube channel. Enjoy...

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