Wherever the Road Leads

Laptops

And Hedonism

My laptop has come in very handy over the years. It’s not the greatest laptop, it’s not one I would have chosen for myself – I won it in a manager’s draw one Christmas when I was working at Office Depot. I’m surprised that I received it. I got a message when I turned my phone back on after arriving in San Antonio’s airport that I was the winner in absentia. Knowing those characters, I’m surprised they didn’t throw my name away and draw again.

It runs Windows Vista, that’s how old it is. It has always had a terrible sound card – and Chinese speakers – but over the years it has deteriorated so badly that to watch a movie – even in English – I have to find subtitles, as the speech is so fuzzy.

sound-cardWhile I was in Canada it dawned on me… some computer whiz I am… that they have USB sound cards. Plug this little device into a USB port in your computer or laptop, plug earphones or external speakers into the USB sound card and Bob’s your uncle.

So I bought one… yes, surreptitiously… and smuggled into the condo.

I would get my mother set up in the evening with a few episodes of a British TV series to watch, then I would get comfortably settled into my own bed where it was warm – my mother can afford cruises because she doesn’t squander her money on foolish things like soap or heat – to watch a movie and be able to listen to it in perfect clarity using the earphones.

One night I went surfing on Youtube, not really for anything n particular, I simply wanted to play with the clarity of my newfound toy. Well, my newfangled toy brought back what used to be me.

Some people were born with the instinct, need, desire – the gene – to have children. I didn’t get that gene. I got the ‘hedonism’ gene instead. So in the mid-eighties as some were having their second child, I was having my second childhood.

I came across a series of videos of a European Event put together by the leader of the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague, Phillipp Maier, called “Rock Meets Classics”. The 2010 tour featured a couple of my favorite artists from back in that era.

This music is not for everyone, and not for anyone who had matured by 1980 or had quit wasting away his life – and his hearing – in smoky rock ‘n roll bars. I can’t say I’m proud of it, though I had a blast. It is what it is: my past.

What’s been did and what’s been hid.

 

“Nazareth” was a Scottish rock band, fronted by Dan McCafferty, pictured below, in the mid-eighties and again in 2010.

nazareth

I love this guy’s voice. Nazareth was formed in 1968, McCafferty born in 1946, and it sounds – and looks –  as if he’s been living on coffee, cigarettes and whisky his entire life.

Here’s a great tune, one I was stunned to learn is a Joni Mitchell composition, “This Flight Tonight”

My favorite Nazareth song, the video I wanted to post first, really, but I figure that the previous tune should weed out anyone who would be miffed that I don’t post a “PG” warning on this video called “Hair of the Dog” but best known as (Now You’re Messing With A) S.O.B.

One called, “Holiday”… Ma, ma, ma, ma, please, no more facelifts – I just don’t know which one you is..

 

 

Not as heavy-sounding as Nazareth is “Toto”, a band out of Los Angeles, formed in the late seventies. In winter of ’78/’79, this tune, “Hold the Line” peaked at #5 in the US and Canada, #1 in South Africa.

“Rosanna” was a mammoth hit and won Record of the Year, peaking at #2 in the US, #3 in South Africa and #4 in Canada.

Reaching #1 in the US and Canada, #18 in South Africa, its namesake, “Africa”…

This 2010 tour included the band, “Foreigner’, and they also have videos. I was never a really big Foreigner fan, though they sound better in these videos than the original recordings. My issue with Foreigner was that their hard-rock songs were engineered and produced like ballads – vocals in the foreground and the instrumental part was muted, as far as I was concerned.

Give me strength. If I wanted a ballad, I’d listen to Joni Mitchell. I could probably make out the words as well.

It’s heavy rock. Boom, boom, out go the lights with a whisky rasp.

Who’s got a cigarette?

 

Here’s the entire playlist. Click here.

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