Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sit back...get a beverage...get a smoke...

This one is going to take you a while.

Something about living in a conversion van with plenty of office supplies after having a semi-successful heart attack...

You have a lot of time!

I saw someone post something on Yahoo I.M. that hearkened back to a Joni Mitchell song:

Big Yellow Taxi

(Told you this would take a while!)

SIDETRACK: Never was a huge Joni Mitchell fan. I was taking a nap at an outdoor show at Roosevelt Field to see Crosby, Stills, Nash, And Young when I heard this great jazz from the stage. Tom Scott had teamed up with her and it was great! Saw him later that year with George Harrison. If I ever get to transfer my Super8mm flicks to digital...I'll post.

And it reminded me of one of my absolute fav songwriters of that era...

Laura Nyro

Sad, sad story...

Died WAY too young..and angry...sad..bitter....

One need only pay attention to her lyrics.

If I recall correctly, she passed from ovarian cancer. The same thing that took Gilda from us and Gene Wilder.


FUNNY as hell!!!

But back to Laura..

She wrote a lot of stuff that others made famous,..and performed better. The 5th Dimension..3 Dog Night..Blood, Sweat, And Tears...

They took her work...made it their own...and improved NOT on the song itself, but on it's performance.

None the less...she wrote from her heart. She was part of this East Village crowd that wrote boppy kinda songs. Like Buzzy Lindheart did....again improved upon by a performer..

SIDETRACK: Saw Buzzy once live at a local college. Accused this guy I knew, Julio, of talking during a song and got all pissy about it. Also, composed a theme for "Fox And Friends", the morning show on FOX NEWS.

But Laura...she was an influence. And when you listen to the structure of her music..the phrasing of her lyrics...you can see how she was oft imitated.

But in agony.

Some examples:

I saw 3 Dog Night live at The Pocono Raceway 1970 something. They came on at 6 something AM...performance pushed WAY back 'cause of the rain. Vocals blew me away..guitarist sucked live..drummer had steam coming off of him....happens.

And 2 other acts that used her talents...took the structure of what she unearthed from inside herself..and built upon it:

And When I Die:

It's like she's running from death in the way she records this. No moment for the nuance of what she created. In the original soundtrack of "E.T." versus the Boston Pops under John Williams, I always felt he rushed through the last orchestral moments on the latter. I feel the same about Laura's rendition of her song.

Blood, Sweat,and Tears version:

2 things I like about this.

A. It's on Vinyl...like the first time I heard it. Pops and all.
B. They looked at it...considered it...and let the song take it's time.

It worked.

One last example:

Laura's version:

The hesitation...the slowness...like it's something she wants to hold back..no give in to...commit..

The 5th Dimension version...

SIDETRACK 2: Guilty Fav! I could NEVER admit to my mates I liked this a lot!! I LOVE vocals and harmony! Did I mention I am a "Gleek"?

I encourage you all to revisit her music, especially as performed by others. I would listen to her version and it seemed like she said to herself:


As if running from her gift...her expression...probably her pain.

I have had a few loves and significant girls in my life.



Laura..intertwines through them all.

Ok..and Ariel.

Ok...Gilda too...I mean how cute is she in the overalls????

Find her gifts and info..do the google thing!


  1. First of all, thanks for giving of yourself, and enlightening us as to your situation. I have a great friend in the streets, who is brilliant and very tuned in. She actually chooses to be there. Second, your wonderful postings of the late Laura Nyro. I do not think she was angry or sad however. I do think her fate was so hideous however. Her mother also succumned to Ovarian Cancer at 49 as well. I think under the circumstances, she lived her life as she wanted to. Laura stated early on, that she LOVED the covers of her works, and thought them to be "cute." She lived well, though I understand not as well as she could have given the money made. I have a bit of insight into her as was involved in a film early on after she passed away. So, keep the flame alive, and I will try and follow you. Best. Nyrogrl

  2. First of all, thank you for your kind words and good thoughts.

    Perhaps I wasn't clear in expression nor intent regards a couple of point in this posting.

    I never meant to imply she didn't like the covers of her music. Just that in her own recordings, they seemed a lot less fleshed out than when done by others. "What Is Hip" by Tower Of Power is like that. GREAT song...GREATER song when done by others. I love a horn boand live and have seen a few club bands cover this is and put it in orbbit. Even TOP's live version lacks that certain something.

    As for cute, I don't think the covers were cute...that's what I like most, they aren't. When listeing to her directly, it just that feel of east village kinda scene at the time.

    As for her feelings and such, I gleened that from items I had read about her. How she developed some political points of view that made her angry, even bitter..especially towards the end. And again, a sadness in her voice is what I feel when listening to her...my sense and impression.

    She blew her peers of the day away for my thinking. Who knows what library of music she would have created had her life not been sohorribly cut short.

    Again, thanks for your kind words and I will keep a good thought for your friend who is out there. Fortunately, I do have some shelter and am targetting between Jan. 13th and 27th to be headed south And if there is a link to the film you worked on, online, I would love to watch it.

    Best wishes and Happy New Year to you and yours.

  3. I hasten to add that I draw a distinction between someone's stylings of a song versus making someone else' material their own. I feel that in my examples above, that is what TDN and BS&T did.

    An example is Sting's "Field Of Gold" He had said of all his songs, that one he was loathe to hear done by others. He was played Eva Cassidy's version (Another talent taken before her time) and nodded he liked it. It was her version, a wonderful version, but she didn't own it.

    Hope that all makes sense.

    BTW...I love your tagline!

    "Hippie Capitalist With A Heart"