Saturday, February 17, 2018

When winter was winter ....

This photograph was not taken in a snowbound Rocky Mountain pass or, for that matter, at any other mountain range. It was taken on the flatlands of Minnesota shortly after the Nineteenth Century turned into the Twentieth Century -- not long after the word "blizzard" had been adopted to describe the raging winter storms which brought death and destruction to plains states. The Minnesota winter, so far this year, has been colder than normal, but with less snowfall than usual. Gone, but not forgotten are the storms which left snow measured by feet rather than by inches, and when trains with rotary "snowblowers" were needed to clear the tracks. The date on the lower right is Feb. 04 -- I think -- but could be Feb. 09.

Music is a matter of both sound and sight

I sort of stumbled across "Munrow's Retros" a year or two or three ago when I was looking for a version of Procol Harum's absolute masterpiece, "A Whiter Shade of Pale," to incorporate with a post. I played it; I liked it; I used it.

Since then, occasionally I have returned to Munrow's Retros to see what else might be in his/its repertoire. My post today includes three of them. Some are more cleverly done than others, some are easier to understand than others, all are somewhere between interesting and fascinating. It is not unique to find elements which bring a smile and even a laugh. To really grasp them, it seems to help if the listener/viewer is more or less addicted to classic rock, to motion pictures -- mostly older ones -- and to literature, both in the form of prose and poetry.

The songs here are:

"The End," by The Doors.” For obvious reasons, I never heard/saw the group perform on stage, but I have been to Jim Morrison's grave in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and my youngest daughter once gave me a book of his poetry .... on which, incidentally, she later quizzed me.

"Little Wing," by Derek and The Dominos. Eric Clapton formed this group, for those unaware. The drummer, Jim Gordon, in a psychotic episode associated with undiagnosed schizophrenia murdered his mother in 1983. He still is being held in a facility in California.

"Classical Gas," by Mason Williams. It is a beautifully played guitar piece and, in a way, the visual content is a serious and sort of a sad, pictorial synopsis of 1968. Elements of it might bring a tear to your eye if you think about the ramifications of the sights in the photographs.

These are not necessarily my favorites from among Munrow's Retros, simply ones I enjoy .... and, I hope, a few of you will like them, too ....


Anita said...

Hello Fram in Minnesota!
Rare and nice winther picture!We have much of those weather reports over here.In fact we call it Little Hardangervidden(You can imagine crawling on the grass going out..the streets are most icy and snowy)

I like the second track music best..Very like something of Jimmy Hendrix--and when i googlet it he really did !

I can not find any music that compares to the original Procul Harums whiter shade of pale..Its a beautiful piece of music. In searching
came over the site Munrow's Retros" and hehe thats something!Nice channel!

Ok.Here looking at Fargo great serie(Alex found it on the net)
And soon the film Norway is coming (Netflix)All aboutAnders Behring from the book "One of our owns" by Åsne Seierstad(America made it and coast about 20 Mill Norwegian kr !!!)..We are all very eager to watch (but not the affected families of course..too soon!)

Ok Fram Thanx for nice morning post for me to read
Have agood day!


Kaya said...

Fram, I like the photograph a lot, it has this wonderful classic air which always fascinates me.

Our winter is crazy this year. We had only two days of snow and we need snow storms badly.

I checked " Munrow's Retros" and found the whole world of classic music for all tastes.

You write about the songs in a very interesting way. I can always learn something new about you.
Thus, this time I learned that you were in Paris and visited Pere Lachaise Cemetery and that you have a daughter who likes poetry.

Yes, that is true that the songs you chose in this post have poetry and prose in them. I like a lot the song "The End" and the song " Little Wing". I didn't know that Eric Clapton formed the group. And the story about the talented drummer Jim Gordon is tragic...

Interesting post, Fram. A lot to learn and remember...

Fram Actual said...

When I was a boy, I relished the cold and the snow and the ice of winter. I loved to roam about in it and to camp out in it, even on frozen lakes. I have more respect for winter weather now, but I am not afraid of it in any sense .... I simply do not like it anymore ....

Yes, Jimi Hendrix wrote "Little Wing" and recorded it. Eric Clapton has recorded it and performed it a number of times. It is a great song. I am not sure how many singers/bands have recorded it, but I know Stevie Ray Vaughan and Sting have done it.

Yes, Munrow's Retro is something special. I have no idea when, why or how he began this sort of project, and, at the moment, I am not curious enough to do any research. I am lazy this winter and cannot concentrate or focus very well. I suppose I am just too eager for spring to arrive.

There are songs I like as much as I like, "A Whiter Shade of Pale," but, offhand, I cannot think of a single one that I like better.

I am aware of the television show entitled, "Fargo," but I never have watched it. I suppose I am "afraid" it would not be as good as the film and that I would be disappointed. You need to give me your opinion about the show -- whether or not it is worth watching.

I think I will shop around for the Asne Seierstad book about Anders Breivik .... and, I hope I will be able to watch the film.

So, Anita, again you have my thanks for coming here and for writing a comment for me. I appreciate your presence more than I can say ....

Fram Actual said...

The photograph actually is a post card and, yes, I like it, too -- very, very much.

I began buying old post cards which have a connection to the town in which I grew up a few years ago, Kaya. It seems to me the "golden age" of post cards was approximately the first decade of the Twentieth Century. That is the time period when most that I find originated. It is amazing to me how much has changed there over the years, on the one hand, while other things have changed very little or not at all, on the other hand.

Munrow's Retros truly is a unique place and a special place. I intend on returning there often.

I have been in Paris a few times, Kaya. The cemetery visit I mentioned to Jim Morrison's grave took place on a long weekend only a year or two or three ago, and I included a photograph I took there with a post I wrote later.

My youngest daughter is a true bibliophile, although I think her interest in Morrison had more to do with his face and his voice than with his writing. As some say, the acorn does not fall far from the tree .... but, conversely, in Morrison's case, his father, George, was a United States Navy admiral who was in command of U.S. naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin during the time of the incident which created escalation of American involvement during the Vietnam War .... hmmmm ....

As an amateur historian studying the period of "the Sixties," I began to think of it as sort of a "worst of times" decade. Now, especially seeing what is happening today in this country and elsewhere in the world, I have revised my opinion to believe it was a necessary attempt to sort out priorities and that every decade is a combination of both the "worst" and the "best" of times.

Thank you, Kaya, for coming to visit me and for writing your thoughts in a comment. I very much enjoy your appearances here ....

Something special ....