Friday, January 13, 2017

Seeing Red

Thank Atë It's Friday!

"No, Friday the 13th will NOT be your lucky day. That's crazy talk!"

Red Friday: Playoff Edition

For as long as I can remember, fans of my beloved Kansas City Chiefs have decked themselves out in red on Fridays during football season. And it isn't just a clothing thing, of course...

Union Station

Plenty of business in the metro area get into the proper spirit of things by putting up special light displays and other decorations, as they have done at Union Station...

Bartle Hall and Kansas City Power & Light Building

...and at other landmark venues downtown and elsewhere in the metroplex.

It's a bit more special just now because this Red Friday occurs before the team hosts
an NFL playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

The weather is predicted to be miserable by game time, but that won't dampen the enthusiasm of the fans...

"Skip's Steelers will never know what hit 'em!"

Actually, I think things will go the other way...


On January 13, 1982 Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.

It was one of the most spectacular air crashes to occur in the United States, and dominated the news broadcasts for several days.

The accident, and some individual acts of heroism in its aftermath, were referenced
by President Reagan in his State of the Union address on January 26.

"That's the accident you used to reference in your speech classes for years, right?"

Yes, to make the point that whatever we might think, we can never know how we will react in such situations until they happen...Lenny Skutnik didn't wake up that morning thinking of himself as a the same way, we all have aspects of ourselves that only become apparent over time, and which can never be predicted in advance...

Should Have Seen This Coming

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...

The list of musicians lost at young ages to the ravages of alcohol and drugs is a long one, and during my high school and early college years news of such losses was a regular occurrence. Substance abuse was a cloud that hung over much of society in those days, even as it does today, and all you could really do was cross your fingers and hope that your own favorites wouldn't fall victim.

By the time I graduated from high school in the spring of 1971, blues-rock guitar god Eric Clapton, whose work with The Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominos had thrilled me for years, had gone into seclusion, battling depression and heroin addiction. News about such things was much harder to come by in those days than it is now, but there were always dire rumors, and Clapton fans were braced for the worst.

Fortunately, several of Eric's close friends in the business, including another of my guitar heroes, Pete Townshend, convinced Eric to play with them in a "comeback" concert, which actually turned into two concerts held the same day. When he agreed to appear,
it had been more than two years since he had performed a live show.

Original 1973 album cover
On January 13, 1973 Clapton and an all-star roster of guests rocked out a "greatest hits" set list covering Eric's entire career to that point.
The two shows took place at London's Rainbow Theatre, and quickly came to be known as the "Rainbow Concert."

Clapton himself has confirmed in numerous interviews in the years since that show that he regained his confidence as a musician as a direct result of his friends' efforts. He has gone so far as to say that the show saved his life.

In late 1973 a recording featuring six songs from the show was released, but it wasn't until 1995 that a remastered album featuring the whole set list was available to fans.

One of the highlights of the show for me was "Tell the Truth," written by Clapton's Derek and the Dominos bandmate Bobby Whitlock for what turned out to be that band's only studio recording, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, back in 1970.

Today's send-off is the 1995 remastered version of that song, from the 22nd anniversary re-release of the original concert recording. Enjoy...

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