Thursday, June 18, 2009

A way few will ever be & more music

The Silver Strand of Coronado has known thousands of feet running the soft, deep sand before bellies hit ground and hands hold rifles at the ready during seven or eight decades as a training ground for Marine Corps and Navy personnel. This is a naval amphibious base across the bay from San Diego, California. This is a photograph from a few years ago of a Marine Corps Force Recon unit spending an afternoon working on a tan under the southern California sun. This was Fram's sand for a time. This is the way it is in the real world, like it or not.

Once upon a time in another world

A few hours ago, I wrote these words in response to a remark reflecting surprise that I never had seen the band, "Boston," perform live on stage: "I missed a lot of living being too heavy into work .... much of what I love today I never even noticed when it was 'real time'."

A few days earlier, I wrote these words in response to a question about some of my experiences in the Marine Corps: "For as many years since my departure from the Marines, that is how long my comment to such a suggestion (telling war stories) has been: Those stories are six-drink talk, and only with the 'right' people."

These two concepts are different in origin, but are parallel in thought.

War stories fall into line with my general barroom demeanor. Two drinks, and I might bid, to all, a good night. Four drinks, and we approach unknown territories. Six drinks, and I probably am in for the night. I have been in for more than a few.

More than that and far beyond that, actually, such talk, to me is reserved for others like me or for others I am really close to and who I want to understand me to the bottom of my soul. As I have said somewhere (at least two places) within the past couple of weeks or so:

"Late last night, I wrote the following words as part of a comment at another blog: .... life is experience and the object of living, to me, should be to collect it. This is a given. My own interpretation of my own words is that we are the sum of our experiences; and each experience, whether good or bad, is of value to the formation of the whole; and we should be grateful for it."

No matter what experience I have had, no matter how beautiful or ugly, no matter now sensual or painful, no matter how merciful or brutal, I am glad for it, thankful for it, feel fortunate for having had it.

I think there is something intrinsically wrong about or missing from or phony about anyone who can bare his soul on a street corner or in a written piece. By this, I do not mean to imply that the telling of a story about experiences or about obstacles overcome or about hopes and dreams is the wrong thing to do. I do mean to say that reciting moments of heaven or of hell on earth is more id than ego.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe it is better to unload to the world at large. Maybe it is better to talk to anyone who will listen. But, for me, I know my soul is open only to brethren or to those I love and who I know love me. To each his own, but I also have a distinct line regarding who I listen to and who I walk away from, and that a wannabe who did not earn his merit badge does not count.

Hey, man .... rip it ....

Don Dokken was a Norwegian lad who came out of the Los Angeles music scene in the 1970s. I use the word "was" in initial reference because Dokken is now in his mid-50s. Despite some people who insist on referring to a person who will be 56 on June 29 (Dokken, not me) as being in mid-life, I, personally, do not know anyone who is 112 years old. I believe applying the term mid-life to anyone in his or her mid-50s is being optimistic to the point of silliness.

Anyway, back on topic.

Dokken was one of the biggest and the best hard rock bands of the 1980s. Don was and always will be one of the smoothest and the best lead singers of the era. My vote would be to place him in the No. 2 position, immediately following Boston's Brad Delp, under the category of absolute best singer in the era of rock music. Unlike Brad, Don is still around and performing. I heard him last summer in Fargo, North Dakota, of all places. It was fun. It was great, but I wish I would have had the opportunity (made the opportunity) to have seen him and his band live on stage around 25 years ago, when they still were sort of kids and at their peak.

Below is a link to a video with Don performing the song, "Stay." The invisible powers that be do not permit this clip to be embedded, but the link is there for any who wish to watch and to listen. My personal favorite Dokken piece is, "Alone Again Without You," but his voice, like Brad's, lost more than a bit of its range over the years. This song offers a taste of, shall we say, the voice that was. This song also provides a considerable taste of guitar work by George Lynch, another among the half-dozen or maybe ten premier guitar players to come out of the 1970s and 1980s.

Wild times, loud times, crazy times back then. I am not so sure I would have survived them had I been a 20-year-old in the L.A. club scene during the 1980s. On the plus side, many of the bands back then actually had singers who had a voice, and who understood that songs are meant to be sung, not spoken or shouted; such is Don Dokken.

Here is the link. I hope you take the four minutes and thirty seconds this song lasts to enjoy it. Anyone who is not up and dancing inside of fifteen seconds should consider pinching his leg to make certain rigor mortis has not occurred:

Lyrics to the song
Sung by Don Dokken

Girl, when I think of you, you know it makes me sad

And I wonder, wonder about what we had, what we had

Say we're over baby
That we're through
Can't believe it say that it's not true
Please believe me when I say I do
I'm still missing you, loving you
Loving you

Won't you stay
Can't you see my love is waiting here
Darling, stay
Don't you leave me drowning in my tears

Do you love me baby let me know
Show your feelings 'cause I gotta know
Am I wasting my time, am I being a fool
For loving you, loving you

Every night your name is on my lips
I feel your body at my fingertips
Please believe me when I say I do
I'm still missing, loving you
Am I a fool?

Won't you touch me and stay for a while
I need you so badly
Won't you stay

Why not more from Boston?

Since the Don Dokken song could not be embedded, why not toss in another one from Boston and Brad Delp? Sounds like a plan to me. Here is, "Amanda."


Katy said...

A lot to think on here, Fram, and I think I'll need to return in the morning when my brain is fresher to do it justice.

In the meantime, on experiences: for a long time, my personal jury was very much out on this one. Some experiences are so traumatic when you're in the midst of them that it's impossible to see any positive side. But when those clouds have finally rolled away and you are standing in the fresh light of peace and retrospect, then that's the point when you are able to see the wonderful silver lining that had been hidden all along.

I guess that place is where I'm standing right now - and it has turned out, I'm quite sure, to be a place that I'd never otherwise have reached. So yes, in the end, I can say with my hand on my heart that I agree with you.

Fram Actual said...

Well, it appears you and I are it for placing value on all experience, Katy. So much of it does depend on the person, I think. Some people build from experience, good or bad. Other people might fail to learn from good experiences and, worse yet, succumb to bad experiences until they are crushed.

I hope you spared a few minutes to watch/listen to the music, too. The Dokken video must have been dubbed over; the sound is too good for the general quality. The Boston video obviously is amateur-made, and was recorded much too close to the amplifiers. Too bad it was not dubbed, to give the sound the quality it deserves.

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Fram Actual :) I love everything about this post. I will think and come back another time to comment further. I listened to Dokken and they are great! I added one of their songs to my playlist.

TheChicGeek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fram Actual said...

Good, glad you liked the words, Kelly.

Glad you liked Dokken, too, and listed one of his songs at your blog. As I noted, he is my No. 2 guy as a singer, and his original band was really great way back when. Actually, there is another singer who goes back and forth with Dokken as my No. 2. One of these days, I will do a post on him.

A Cuban In London said...

'No matter what experience I have had, no matter how beautiful or ugly, no matter now sensual or painful, no matter how merciful or brutal, I am glad for it, thankful for it, feel fortunate for having had it.'

I will second that 100%, man. After reading your deep post, that was the caption that to me summed it all up perfectly. When I hear people saying that they would like to airbrush their past and begin anew, I always ask the same impertinent question: What, do you want to get your heart broken again?

Many thanks for that article and for the music.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, CiL. I think I will "borrow" your line and use it myself when the occasion fits.

There is no teacher like experience, someone once said or wrote. No book, no film, no instructor, no blogger, nothing or no one, can provide a lesson, good or bad, like personal experience. There are experiences I hope I never have, but none I have had that I would toss away.

Rock on, man. Most definitely chair dancing music.

Peggy said...

Fram, first let me comment on the music. I had not heard of Dokken before – thank you I enjoyed your selection a lot – not sure how this band could have escaped my notice until now, but I expect it was because I pretty much missed a decade of contemporary culture in the 80s. All I recall of that decade is juggling work with having and looking after babies. In so doing, I did not really pay much attention to anything beyond coping with what was going on each day. I am exaggerating, but from 1981 through 1991 I had 5 children. It did keep me busy. Sounds like it was a busy time for you also from your blog comments about never having seen Boston live in concert.

Secondly, Fram yes, we are the sum of our experiences for sure. You said: “My own interpretation of my own words is that we are the sum of our experiences; and each experience, whether good or bad, is of value to the formation of the whole; and we should be grateful for it."

I cannot agree more. I guess the thing that strikes me the most, is not what our past makes of us but more precisely, we are what we make of our past. The same experiences experienced by two people can be dealt with quite differently and each exit the experience changed in different ways by it. I am a silver lining sort – you need to be resilient though, not every silver lining is visible.

The most interesting of people, to me, are folks who live each day like it is their last – with a thirst for life, so to speak, reaching for new things and yearning for learnings. Collectors of life experiences such as yourself are the real winners of the “life well lived” contest at the end of the day.

The richer our experience of life, the more we have in our storehouse of knowledge, the better we are then equipped for whatever the future has in store for us. The more we have been through the easier it is to keep the ups and downs in perspective.

Funny thing though, the more I see and learn the more I realize what I have not yet seen and not yet learned about. The more I know, the more I want to know.

We all seem to be singing from the same hymn book here and I will add my verse. I wouldn’t trade anything in my past – the good or the bad, my mistakes and heartaches, my lucky windfalls as well as hard won rewards. The things we do, the emotions we experience are what make up the depth of our person.

Fram, you have a most interesting blog and you reveal just enough of yourself – while not baring your soul, to tell me you are both interested and interesting… I look forward to more of Fram revealed in the fullness of time in blogs to come.

p.s. I am also enjoying your poetry and random thoughts and quotes on the right sidebar.

Magdalena said...

Hi handsome Marine! True, only experience can teach us anything. Good, bad, beautiful, ugly, just words. The importance is placed in the depth of our understanding of what we experience. I cannot listen to first song, thank you for the words, and for the second one. It looks like you are falling in love :-) Congratulations! Today is very sunny day in Poland, so this will be my biking-rollerblading-running day! I wish you a lot of sun too, and to have some shooting maybe!!! Bye, bye :-)

Magdalena said...

ps. As to biking I found today even Einstein's quote about it!!! :-))) "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving".

Fram Actual said...

It appears we are on the same wave length in regard to the benefits of experience, Peggy. As I noted earlier, there are some experiences which come to mind that I hope I never encounter, but those to this stage of my life have been valuable to me, I believe. Learning comes from being out and about in the world, not from retreating from it. Perhaps that is why fate yanked me away from my relative seclusion and tossed me back into the fray once again.

It probably would not be difficult to have passed over Don Dokken and his band in the 1970s and the 1980s. They were good, they were loud and they got around, but they were not garish or obscene like any number of other bands from that era, which means they did not draw the media attention they deserved on the basis of their talent.

Fram Actual said...

Well, beautiful Polish girl, it has been a while since you visited my page. It is nice to see your presence here once again.

You are right about experience. It must be studied to be understood, and it must be understood to truly benefit us.

So the love songs caught your eye, did they? I will make a note of that.

I am glad you have the sun to enjoy your activities. There will be no shooting for me today, but I think that I will be out and about trying to spend some money before much longer. Wish me caution, as well as luck, on that task.

I think Einstein knew what he was talking about.

Something special ....