Another Brick in the Wall

My favorite song from 1979 is Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd.
My favorite line from the song is: “If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?!”
I was in the third of fourth grade when this song came out. So, I really like how the song also features a choir of school children singing in the second verse.
The producer of Another Brick in the Wall was Bob Ezrin. He is the guy who made Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. He had a thing about kids on record. This was fitting because the song is about kids. They sent their recording Engineer, Nick Grififths, to a school in North London. The school was near the Floyd studios. Ezrin wanted 24 tracks of kids singing the song. He said he wanted Cockney.
Cockney English refers to the accent or dialect of English traditionally spoken by working-class Londoners. The actor Michael Caine has an accent like this. Here are some attributes that Cockney contains:
• The sound of many vowels is said in a deeper tone
• The vowels are drawn together, as opposed to said separately. For example, mouth is pronounced “mauf.”
• The letter t often disappears from words. For example, water becomes wa’er and city becomes ci’y.
• The letter h is often dropped at the beginning of words. For example, house becomes ‘ouse.


The recording engineer approached music teacher Alun Renshaw of Islington Green School, around the corner from Pink Floyd’s Britannia Row Studios, about the choir.
According to
“Though the school received a lump sum payment of £1000, there was no contractual arrangement for royalties from record sales. Under a 1996 UK copyright law, they became eligible for royalties from broadcasts, and after royalties agent Peter Rowan traced choir members through the website Friends Reunited and other means, they lodged a claim for royalties with the Performing Artists’ Media Rights Association in 2004.”


On a Dark Desert Highway

I guess I am attracted to loooong songs. My favorite song from 1977 is “Hotel California” by The Eagles. It is six minutes and 30 seconds long.
This was the first song that I learned all of the words to. This was not an easy task back in the day. We did not have the internet to look up the lyrics. I had to use my Panasonic tape recorder to record it off of the radio. I had to listen, stop, and rewind over and over, and still got some of them wrong.



One of the lyrics that I had messed up was “smell of colitas”. According to many people have wondered about those lyrics. I looked this up a long time ago and found it is a desert plant. Some believe it is a reference to marijuana.
Many wonder what the meaning of the song is. There are a lot of ideas from various people as to what the song is referring. They include: Satan worship, death, prison, marriage, cancer, addiction, and a mental hospital. I found an interpretation that interested me. It was a comparison to Proverbs 7:6-27 –At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.
8 He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:
14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”
21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life.
24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death..
Don Henley put it this way: “We were all middle-class kids from the Midwest. Hotel California was our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles.” Glenn Frey: “That record explores the under belly of success, the darker side of Paradise, which was sort of what we were experiencing in Los Angeles at that time. So that just sort of became a metaphor for the whole world and for everything you know. And we just decided to make it Hotel California.” I found
This song won the 1977 Grammy for Record Of The Year. The band did not show up to accept the award, as Don Henley did not believe in contests. Timothy B. Schmit had just joined the band, and he says they watched the ceremony on TV while they were rehearsing.

The hotel on the album cover is the Beverly Hills Hotel, known as the Pink Palace. It is often frequented by Hollywood stars.


Besides the length some other things that make “Hotel California” unique are: The introduction is a minute long, you can’t really dance to it, It stops in the middle when the drums stop: “mirrors on the ceiling,” section, and it has a two minute guitar solo at the end.
Picture credits:

Here I go Again


Paul Simon (Grammy for Album of the Year)

Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain and Tennille (Grammy for Record of the Year)

New Artists in the Pop Charts Included:
Boston, Kansas, Bay City Rollers, Nazareth, Eddie Rabbitt, Ted Nugent, Heart, John Travolta, George Benson, Peter Frampton and Thin Lizzie.

There were two surprises I found out about music in 1976. Terry Bradshaw had a song out: “I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry.” (A remake, of course) And, The Heyettes had a song called “The Fonz Song.”
1976-Our country’s bicentennial! I remember decorating my purple flower basket, banana seat Schwinn bicycle with red, white and blue streamers for a parade.
My favorite song from this year is Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”


My first memory of the song comes from a record that I had. It was called Minipops. It came out in 1982, so I was twelve. It was a lot of great pop songs sung by kids. There was an Abba medley which included “Dancing Queen.” I learned a lot of songs from this album. My next-door neighbor (who was like my sister) and I learned all the songs by memory. We each had our part. One was the lead singer, and one was the backup singer. Being three years older, I think I generally took on the lead singer roll. However, Rhonda and I were quite competitive when it came to singing.


I found a website called There were many versions that followed this original one. And, they are still available to buy.
My next major memory of this song comes from 2011. It was March 12 (my youngest daughter’s 7th birthday). We went to see the musical Mamma Mia! It was in Springfield, IL and we went with my BFF, Jane. Jane had seen this musical at least two times before and had drug me to see the film version that came out in 2008. I can’t remember how Joely got interested in this movie, but I know it was on her Christmas list one year, and she got it from her grandma. There is no way to count how many times she has viewed the movie. But, she has all the songs and dialogue memorized.


Party On!


1975: Alice Cooper falls off the stage during a concert in Vancouver, breaking six ribs.
Cher and Gregg Allman are married in a Las Vegas hotel suite.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono become parents of Sean Ono Lennon
Others born that year:, Fergie, Enrique Iglesias
Great bands include: Aerosmith and Wings
Great songs include: “That’s the Way I Like it”, “Slow Ride”, “Do You Know Where You’re Going
And, my favorite song for the year: Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” goes to number one, where it remains for 5 weeks of 1975 and 4 weeks of 1976.


Ironically, the song that knocked this off the #1 chart position in the UK was “Mama Mia” by Abba. The words “Mama mia” are repeated in this in the line “Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go.”
According to You can make the case that the song title is actually a parody, and a clever one at that. There is a rhapsody by the composer Franz Liszt called “Hungarian Rhapsody,” and “Bohemia” is a kingdom that is near Hungary and was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Furthermore, “Bohemian” is an adjective for something unusual or against convention, and the song is just that.
Of course everyone remembers the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene from Wayne’s World (1992): Inside the Mirth Mobile (Wayne and Garth’s 1976 sky-blue pacer) Wayne and Garth along with friends Alan, intoxicated Phil(“If you’re gonna spew, spew into this.”), and Terry (“I love you, man.”) cruise the streets of Chicago. Wayne pops in the cassette. They lip sync and head bang to the song.


That same year (1992) was my first year of teaching. I was doing a home visit and from one of the houses I heard “Bohemian Rhapsody” being played perfectly on the piano. It was my 11 year old student, Cassie. She was awesome. I always wanted to get a cassette tape of her playing that.
I have been teaching my youngest daughter about classic rock. In the summer of 2011 we were boating on the Lake of the Ozarks. It was starting to get dark and we were on our way back to our resort. We started to see lightning. Joely is not a fan of storms. My way to calm her was singing: “Thunderbolt and lightning very, very frightening.” She now sings along every time it’s on the radio.


Photo credits:

Sing us a Song


In my opinion the hits from 1973 do not compare to ’70 or ’71. However, there were great songs: “Taking Care of Business”, “Free Bird”, “We’re an American Band”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, etc. I was surprised with some of the songs from ’73, thinking that they had come out later.
There were awesome performers in 1973: Roberta Flack, Pink Floyd, Chicago, Kool and the Gang, etc.
My favorite song from 1973 is “Piano Man” by Billy Joel.


Here is something interesting that I found out about Billy Joel from When he was 21, after his band broke up and his girlfriend left him, he tried to kill himself by drinking furniture polish (he “took the Pledge”). He learned that furniture polish doesn’t kill you, it just gets you really sick. After the incident, he checked himself into a hospital for depression, which he later said was a great experience, since he saw people who had far worse problems and learned to stop feeling sorry for himself.
I also learned from the history of “Piano Man”: It was inspired by Joel’s experiences playing at a piano bar. The characters in the song are based on real people Joel encountered while working there. Joel played under the name Bill Martin, which explains why the patrons in the song call him Bill. Martin is his middle name.
Weird Al has a song that goes: “Sling us a web, you’re the Spider-Man.”
I have always been fond of Billy Joel. He is an awesome piano player. He and Elton John (another awesome piano player) have toured together. I lost some interest in Billy Joely when he started doing classical music. He has composed a number of classical songs and even reworked older ballads with an orchestral backing. But, Billy Joel’s “awesomeness” earned him his own channel on satellite radio.
I really like how Joel paints a picture with this song. It reminds me of the show “Cheers” and its theme song. That is how the regulars are there every night. My favorite lines from the song are:
                                                  Makin’ love to his tonic and gin
                                             When I wore a younger man’s clothes.
I like the “tonic and gin” line because it reminds me of best friend, Michelle. She got me into drinking these in my early twenties. I like the “younger man’s clothes” line because I think it is a really creative way to talk about the earlier years of one’s life.


The greatest memory I have of this song comes from three years ago. It was during the spring piano recital. It was one of my best “mom moments”. Everyone was playing hymns and sonatinas . My daughter, Casey, got up there and started playing “Piano Man”. I was so proud.  It was awesome!

cpianoPhoto Credits: