Thursday, February 13, 2014

Album 1700

Once upon a time in the distant past a tall, lanky, gorgeous, Swedish blonde bass player with a sweet name stole my songbook for Peter, Paul, and Mary's "Album 1700". I recently found a used copy of the book.

Peter, Paul, and Mary played a significant role in my beginning guitar years. I eventually had a personal connection with Paul (hipsters call him Noel) that I'll tell you about sometime. Still further along the way my interests went in other directions and P,P and M became irrelevant for me.

Rediscovering this songbook sent me back to the old vinyl albums. (I had to go to The Electric Fetus for copies of a couple because I wore the originals out in high school.) I'm having fun looking and listening from a different lifetime perspective. There was a lot of commercial nonsense (after all, they were created artificially by Albert Grossman to meet the "needs" of the current commercial folk market), but they did some very nice vocal harmony work. And sometimes their acoustic guitar sound was quite full and good...for the times.

Two of the albums ("Album 1700" and "Peter, Paul and Mary Album") occasionally approach real hipness because their back-up band was...are you ready for this?...The Paul Butterfield Blues Band...including Michael Bloomfield!!

God only knows the wet dreams that Mary inspired.

And I must add that the more I reconnect with the passion for music-making that P, P and M inspired in me the better off I will be.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The New Gateway: Putting the "War On Drugs" Focus Where It Belongs

The lamentable death of P.S. Hoffman has everyone talking about heroin, of course. The media (a plural word) thrive on this sort of energy.

In the process, information is coming out that the biggest drug problems in recent years (death, addiction, crime, etc) have revolved around prescription drugs. This isn't news, but it is brought into a new focus.

There are also reports about users moving on to heroin when their Rx drugs run out because heroin is now cheaper and more readily available than the prescriptions.

At the same time, new reports are out about the incredible and barely graspable corporate profit margins for the drugs that are constantly being pushed at you via the media (a plural word).

Here's a reasonable conclusion that you won't be hearing in corporate-controlled media (a plural word) because it doesn't serve pharmaceutical profit purposes (even though the same thinking continues to be disingenuously and artificially used as an excuse for maintaining a criminal status for marijuana): Rx drugs are now clearly established as "gateway" drugs. As such, they should be criminalized.