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October 19, 2015 / thackersam

October 18 – Delusions & Fantasies

Classical JoelTo avoid debate, I’m not going to address the other 80s instrumental albums from the Trouble-Buddy collection. We will just have to remember that I did discuss the two Jeff Beck albums in July, and had nice things to say about his talents. But the others, from well-known artists of the time, didn’t have me at hello, so I’m going to skip them. I don’t think it would be TB (for Trouble-Buddy) who would object, but perhaps the more ardent fans that check into my blog now and then might. And that’s not what this is all about.

I thought perhaps that I simply was not into instrumental music until I realized that I once loved listening to my parents’ old recordings of the Montovani Orchestra, which I guess could be considered high-class elevator music, and that record with the stripper music (no words needed, I suppose). One of my favorite rock instrumentals is Emerson Lake and Palmer’s rendition of the Nutcracker Suite. That’s Tchaikovsky done right. And I do like me some piano, as I’ve previously noted. We know that I love watching Chico Marx shoot the keys in the old Marx Brothers movies.  The beginning of Bruce Springsteen’s “Incident on 57th Street” with David Sancious on piano, and anything Roy Bittan does are totally swell. And I find Billy Joel’s abilities mystifying. Pianist-wise. Personally, well let me tell you, as I did my research for my posts on The Stranger album and my cassette tape of Piano Man, there are a few things I’d like to have words with him about.

One night while relaxing after work, even though I’ve never been into classical music, I hit purchase on an Amazon order for Max to which I had thrown in the CD of Billy Joel’s classical recording that he did some years back. It was his only classical album and I thought the last album he’d ever done. Then the package came and I learned that the songs on Fantasies & Delusions, released in 2001 when Billy still had some hair, were all written by Joel but performed by some other guy. But there’s a picture on the back with the pianist Richard Joo and Billy Joel, so that makes it okay.

And it was okay. I was hesitant at first and only listened to a portion of it. I played it in its entirety a day or two later, but took a shower during it. Then I put it on again when my ears were not in another room and under water. It’s nice, relaxing. Sometimes even interesting. I might consider exploring a new genre, if it’s classical music with a rock ‘n roll flare.

In any case, Max loved his order of Temptations catnip flavored treats, tub of Yeowww catnip, the good stuff, plus the box they came in. I like my part of the delivery as well even though the case is broken and I have yet to master the art of removing the cellophane wrapping and sticky strips from the CD case, if there is an art to it.

Btw – Heartening news. The other day a new guy walked into my office to hand me something I’d left in the copy machine during the 10 at 10 on my mixed era rock station The Peak, and instantly recognized “96 Tears” by Question Mark and the Mysterians, which I had cranked up to eleven. We both guessed that the year was 1968, but it was ’66, and chatted albums a bit. He likes Hendrix. When they started to play “Walk Away Renee” by The Left Bank, I had to restrain myself from hunting him out to let him know. What was it I called “Walk Away Renee” last time I mentioned it? Something like one of the healthier songs about obsession?

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