Happy Birthday Bob

This is truly the intersection of genius.

Stevie Wonder singing Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song.’ I figured that having my favorite artist salute my other favorite artist (they’re tied for my affections) by covering one of his most important songs was a fitting way to honor his memory. Had he lived to see today, Bob Marley would have been 65 years old.

I remember how excited I was when I first bought this CD: Song Review: Greatest Hits and heard this remake. It’s at the very end of the second CD and it’s just perfect — the perfect way to do a remake. Because I believe that if you’re going to bother, you should take the song and make it your own somehow. What’s the point in singing someone’s song exactly how they did it? This is so rich and one of best remakes of a classic of ALL TIME — though I’m admittedly biased. :)

I hope you enjoyed it. Happy Birthday, Bob!

Mood Gusic

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Wevie Stunder.

That’s what I call Stevie Wonder… because you can make up silly names for people when you’re best friends like I am with Stevie.

Anyway, last weekend when I was in NY, I had some time to kill and I dropped¬†by¬†this bar in the financial district — I think the name of the bar was “Bar & Food”. At least that’s what the sign said on the outside…¬†:) When I got in there, there was a nice little crowd at the bar and the music on the jukebox was great. As each new song came on, the¬†older bartender guy took a lotta pride in letting everyone know that¬†he’s the one who selected the songs… in a particular order for a particular reason. I remember hearing “Always and Forever” by Heatwave and “Johnny Was” by Bob Marley. Not sure what the narrative was supposed to be as the former is a love song and the latter is a song about a woman whose son was just shot dead in the street… But I digress… The last song that came on while I was still in the bar was one of my favorite Wevie songs ever ever.¬†Joy Inside My Tears… Man I hadn’t heard that song in literally over a decade.

So I sang.

In full voice.

And people stared — no doubt in disbelief at my non-embarrassment¬†. But I didn’t care. Jack wouldn’t let me care… Cause it’s a¬†great song! Six and a half minutes of ear yummies… I loaded it on to my iPod last nite and I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past 33 minutes.¬†Songs in the Key of Life. If you don’t have it. Get it. Today. Cause when music hits¬†you “there” there’s nothing better.

When I was a kid, in the house we lived in in Jersey, my Dad built¬†these wooden bins along the walls and floorboards in the downstairs of the house. And they were filled with records separated by alphabet tabs and by genre. You could sit in the family room and literally be surrounded by music. I remember my dad putting on a record and asking, “Who’s that,¬†Boont?” And I’d be like Count Basie or Coltrane… And sometimes he’d let me pick one and he’d play it. No¬†matter what it was. My¬†love for music–GOOD music–goes back as long as I can remember. And I thank¬†my parents for it.

My Grandma used to call me the “Disco Baby” and Saturday mornings growing up meant Mom and Dad dancing to 45’s and Felix Hernandez on the Rhythm Revue on WBGO Jazz 88 in NYC. I miss those days. Not that there isn’t any good music around anymore. But it sure is getting harder and harder to find.

Everywhere is war

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Happy Birthday Bob!

Y’all thought I forgot. Never never ever. Every year (check for yourself) I make sure to acknowledge Bob Marley’s birthday. He is my No. 1 most favoritest musician of all time. (Stevie is No. 1 and a half.)

A lot has been made–I’ve posted it on this blog–about the video and song Will.i.am put together based on Barack Obama’s speech after the New Hampshire primary. It was/is awesome. But in case you weren’t aware, Bob Marley did the same thing decades ago with one of his most powerful songs ever — WAR. The lyrics for that song were taken directly from a speech Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie made before the United Nations. The lyrics are as follows — and they ring as true today as ever:

Until the philosophy which hold one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war, me say war

That until there are no longer first class
And second class citizens of any nation
Until the color of a man’s skin
Is of no more significance than the color of his eyes
Me say war

That until the basic human rights are equally
Guaranteed to all, without regard to race
Dis a war

That until that day
The dream of lasting peace, world citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion
To be pursued, but never attained
Now everywhere is war, war

And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes
That hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique,
South Africa sub-human bondage
Have been toppled, utterly destroyed
Well, everywhere is war, me say war

War in the east, war in the west
War up north, war down south
War, war, rumors of war

And until that day, the African continent
Will not know peace, we Africans will fight

We find it necessary and we know we shall win
As we are confident in the victory

Of good over evil, good over evil, good over evil
Good over evil, good over evil, good over evil

***Here¬†is a link to the¬†complete original¬†speech, in case you’re interested.***