THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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The passing of Gary Rossington gave me great pause last night. Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of my favorite bands of all time. And the memories it gave me with my close friends during the 70s came flooding back. With all the original members now deceased it’s very strange.

For those of you not familiar with the group and having trouble with the band’s name they made it clear on their first album – (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)

Gone but won’t be forgotten by many. Photo by Mike Hartley

It’s reminding me of how old we have gotten and how precious all those past days were and how important all future days are. As I’ve sat here listening to some of my favorites Simple Man, Freebird, and Working for MCA it makes the hair on my neck stand up still. This is a band of stories. Experienced and observed ones sang with passion and played with their hearts.

I loved their cover of J.J. Cale song Call Me the Breeze. I remember the live album, On More From the Road coming out and becoming our group marching music. I still throw this one in the car cd player on my trips to the beach when I go alone.

Everyone has those times when they can remember the exact moment when news of tragedies hit their idols. I was working my first newspaper job when the news came of the plane crash in 77, I can almost relive that crushed feeling I had that night. I saw them before the crash but was never interested in the redone lineup. It just wasn’t the same without those important members who perished.

They are all playing again in Hell House. Kind of fitting it’s just about a full moon tonight. They are shining bright in the sky as always. Thank you to all the members who gave me an important soundtrack for life.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Life is better with friends.
  • March Madness is upon us. My favorite sports month of the year. Well, that and the final four in early April.
  • The Revenge tour is underway I see from the film at CPAC. I thought the President was supposed to represent all US Citizens, not to make war against more than half the population. He and Putin have a lot in common. No wonder they like each other so much.
  • Things change because time changes

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The Real Me

I wonder if those closest to me have any idea of what music meant to me and still does in life. It’s one of my greatest joys. It’s brought me back from the greatest depths. It’s inspired me and sometimes fueled my rage. It’s relaxed and calmed me. It’s generated creativity and deep feelings. Be it at home or in the car or just listening to someone else’s boom box at the beach.

Like right now, sitting here listening to Baba O’Reilly from The Who, live from the 70s. Still with Keith Moon the drummer so it had to be pre 78. I saw them several times throughout the decade of the 70s. One of my many musical influences.

But the title and lyrics always made me feel how few, if any, knows The Real Me. Only we know ourselves and learning about that is a long evolving journey for most. We are all filled with multiple personalities. Well I’ll speak for myself at least.

They change very easily sometimes. A sudden health crisis or loss of a loved one affects personalities deeply. Some lose a job and lose their identity.

The real me, is many different people. That is why I tinker away here, hoping to recognize a few positive ones that pop out from time to time to keep the negative ones at bay.

Musician on Main St in Annapolis. Photo by Mike Hartley

Today I used music to get back on track. I was feeling a bit out of the loop but being supportive is a great way to get back into it.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • The more anger I see the less I’m inclined to go out and deal with it.
  • I’m shivering thinking about the coming cold.
  • Taking a break is a wise thing once in a while. Change your perspective.
  • Water, the next major commodity.

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Speaks to me

What is a song or poem that speaks to you and why? This is today’s Bloganuary thought to ponder. I’m going with songs because music has spoken to me all my life. It’s one of the few things that gave me confidence as a youth. And one of the bands I’ve loved all my life has been The Who.

Their music spoke to the energy of my youth and discontentment. The power of the group’s instruments and Daltrey’s voice and what has been described as the best scream ever in R&R history on the song “Won’t get fooled again filled me with confidence to face the next day.

The music produced by this early team inspires me to this day. And the last line of the song “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” is an adage that has been true all my life. And it supported my belief that power corrupts.

I read where Pete Townsend goes on to explain that the song was simply “meant to let politicians and revolutionaries alike know that what lay in the center of my life was not for sale, and could not be co-opted into any obvious cause.” 

And I feel the same way. So many attempt to take control of our lives, every day of them, in many different ways. From our governments to our jobs and those who control the financial purse strings. And here are both of my middle fingers to all of that.

This reminds me, my message to the youth of today is to get your damn faces out of that small screen and look up. Life is right in front of you, not in that little box on social media. Live and experience life, it’s a gazillion times better than any app.

And also a tip when you’re at a concert. PUT THE F’ing PHONE AWAY and clap your hands, pump your arms in the air, sing along, do your windmill guitar impression or play along with the drummer. Whatever is it don’t worry about filming the band, live in the moment!

I’m having trouble stringing my guitar. Photo by Mike Hartley

There is one song that touches my heart deeply. It’s by Lynyrd Skynyrd and called “Simple Man.” They are some really good words to live by.

Mama told me when I was young
“Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this it’ll help you
Some sunny day”
Oh, yeah

Oh, take your time, don’t live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
You’ll find a woman, yeah, and you’ll find love
And don’t forget son there is someone up above

And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son, if you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this, oh, baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son, if you can?
Oh, yes, I will

Boy, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else
And you can do this, oh, baby, if you try
All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man
Oh, won’t you do this for me son, if you can?

Baby, be a simple, be a simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Taking time is the only way he knows.
  • The first day I’ve felt half-human in the last week. The operative word being HALF. So I’ll look at the glass as half full.
  • Summer seems so long away. I’m jonesing for some warm weather and bright SUN. But instead, we get cold and very windy tomorrow.
  • My battery life is about 2%. I don’t have a recharger for it besides sleep so that is what I’m going for.