Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Month: September 2014

You can go home again: John Oates shines solo at ST94

John Oates is comfortable coming home to Pennsylvania, especially when he performs solo gigs at the Sellersville Theater 1894.

As he is fond of saying when performing there, the theater holds a special place in his heart. It was where Oates, as a newly licensed driver in the mid-1960s, took a young lady from nearby Silverdale borough on his first car date to the venue to see a movie.

The locals will tell you that the intimate movie-theater-turned-concert venue has been the site of a lot of memorable moments ever since that Oates date.

And on Thursday night, Sept. 25, John Oates created another of those memories for himself. Six songs into his set, his drummer and bass player exited, leaving just Oates and his guitar on stage.

“I want to dedicate a song to my mom,” he said.

The Oates family is from North Wales, PA, in Montgomery County, … Read more

Vinyl memories: A conversation with Al Jardine of the Beach Boys

It was 1965 and I was thumbing through my parents’ 45 rpm vinyl collection when I came upon an orange and yellow-labeled record that caught my eye.

I put it on the record player and for the next few minutes was enthralled by the sweet harmonies, sounds that I had never before heard in my young life.

The song was “The Little Girl I Once Knew” by the Beach Boys. I was 6 years old. And I was hooked on that sound for life.

That was nearly 50 years ago. One of the voices coming off that record was that of Al Jardine, who along with Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson co-founded the Beach Boys.

The story of the Beach Boys is well documented. So when I heard Al Jardine’s voice on the other end of the phone this week, I wondered what questions I could … Read more

Sun, sand and cigars: A shore way to motivate and inspire

In an effort to find inspiration and motivation, I took off Wednesday, Sept. 17, in search of an ocean.

My hope was that the combination of the late summer sea breeze, the sound of the waves, a slice or two of my favorite boardwalk pizza and possibly a leisurely go at a mild cigar after lunch would be just the thing to kick off the Opening Day of Writing for The Vinyl Dialogues: Volume II.

It was a well-calculated plan. I had been watching the weather report for 10 days in advance, trying to free up a day where it was the just the sun and me. And I picked Ocean City, N.J. because it is relatively close and it has an historic concert hall called Music Pier that stretches out from the boardwalk and touches the ocean. I figured that the extra music mojo coming off Music Pier couldn’t … Read more

Daydreaming of a simpler time: Teenage love, teachers in tight pants and a mob boss

This isn’t a music-related post. It’s just a fond memory of teenage love, school teachers in tight pants and a mob boss existence in a much simpler time.

My dad was a school superintendent in central Illinois, where I grew up. We lived in his district, so when it was time for me to start at Rankin Grade School, a small rural school grades K through 8, he sat me down and had a talk with me.

See, he was the boss at school (at home, too, but that’s another story). It was the mid-1960s and in those days, the school superintendent was like a mob boss. What he said was the law. He wasn’t a big guy, maybe 5’10” and 165 lbs. But he walked around that school like Andre the Giant. Every kid, teacher and parent in that district knew it.

If you were a student and stepped … Read more

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