I watched Long Strange Trip the six part documentary by Martin Scorsese about The. The Grateful Dead. The last part (6) is when I got into the Grateful Dead in the 1990’s. I didn’t know how miserable Jerry was. How trapped by his incredible fame and recognizability. He was stuck inside hotels he couldn’t do anything. He took up scuba diving because there he was able to just be. I love Jerry he really was like a God to me. I had no idea that was what ultimately killed him the responsibility of performing mixed with the drive to keep going. Giving us the experience became an albatross. As I learned about the last years I was stunned by how trapped he was. I feel so badly for having a hand in his demise. Scorcese did the 6 part documentary. He closed with my first introduction to the Dead and absolutely favorite song Ripple because Marty is a genius. I was back to the day Jerry died. Sobbing uncontrollably. It happened to be my father’s birthday Aug 9. I went to see him but was inconsolable. I really was grieving and could not stop sobbing. Took three days to stop crying. I can’t imagine crying like that for my father unfortunately. That’s the thing about Jerry. I went to 22 shows and had the greatest time of my life each time. My father has not given me that kind of unforgettable joy once. How could I not have held Jerry in such high esteem? He was a grandfather I never had and always wanted. His humanity was what made his music so incredibly deep and melancholy. He was a people pleaser prophet. I still miss those days. How differently I see things now.
In honor of Hanukkah here is Adam Sandler’s third version of the Hanukkah song. I remember the first time I heard the original song, and laughing so much. Also Hanukkah is one of the only words that rhymes with Veronica, which made me feel quite special. It has become somewhat of a theme song for the holiday and I love that Adam Sandler had the talent to make it so. Enjoy the latest version, it does not disappoint.
The year end holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and giving. No matter what happens through the year, no matter who you are, Christmas/New Year’s/Hanukkah etc.. always come around and we pause to acknowledge them. John Lennon’s “So This Is Christmas” is not the typical holiday song. Rather it is an observation of what millions of children around the world deal with to this day. Not much has changed since Lennon recorded this song. Yes, perhaps the children are in other third world countries today, but they are still hungry and lacking the basic necessities of life. I think John Lennon would have been dismayed to know that fact. Yet there are those who continue to work for bettering the lives of these children and to them I say thank you. Let us hope that the New Year will truly be one where change will be possible and children will have a chance to live better than they do now. For those suffering this holiday season, you are in my thoughts. For those who have something to share, there are many many ways of helping some of these children make it to another New Year, give to The Red Cross, The Children’s Charities of America, and/or any charity of your choosing.
The video above is the latest from rapper T.I. This young man currently has a hit disc Paper Trail and has been on several talk shows such as Chelsea Lately (hilarious) and Tyra Banks (horrendous) among others. The song he sings is uplifting and deals with love, has a cute, catchy tune and shows off his other trademark, his very appealing look. He is a triple threat in that he can sing, write music, act and look great doing it all. Women LOVE him and the second of his two No. 1 singles features Rihanna another stunner.
On the flip side to Tip (his real name) is a former pimp, called the “rubber-band man” for wearing rubber bands around his wrists in order to keep all the money he made selling women organized. He was serving his house arrest sentence when he wrote the disc that is now a massive selling hit. Shortly he will be serving out a sentence of one year and one day in prison for possession of numerous machine guns. T.I. is twenty-eight years old and has six children, three with the woman he is currently with.
Watching the video and seeing this charming and attractive guy sing a Cinderella song with a sweet message and great tune, makes me feel several emotions simultaneously. First there is the attraction which can be blinding. Then there is this feeling after learning a few basic facts that this young man is making good, paying his debt to society and I feel proud of how far he has come. At the same time, seeing his rubber bands still prominently worn on the wrists makes me wonder whether he is glorifying his past? The newer charges and impending jail term seem so reckless for someone who is on top of his game. Why the machine guns now? The lawyers that his success can pay for are the best and yet he still got time, begging the question, what else was he charged with and what kind of deal was made?
T.I. has clearly seen a lot in his twenty eight years. Living as both a criminal and a star with an extensive entourage one might think he will stay on the straight and narrow. However, success can make the ego so delusional as to empower the individual to develop a sense of invincibility. What’s in store for T.I. is impossible to predict, yet I am curious enough to pay attention to this talented hustler as he navigates stardom.