America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Music

30 years of saltwater welling in my eyes

We are on UN’s red code to Save the World and 30 years of saltwater welling in my eyes since I first heard Julian Lennon’s song,  Rainy Days and Songdays now hails those singers who’ve been addressing the crisis for years.

When will there be?

Sweet music: Isley Brothers

Harvest for the World (Isley Brothers): Gather every man, gather every woman, Celebrate your life, give thanks for your children, gather everyone, gather altogether, overlookin’ none, hopin’ life gets better for the world.

The sonorous tones of Cincinnati, Ohio’s finest, carry on them a wonderfully stripped-back message we can all take on board.

My own focus on Cincinnati has been honed since sending one of my writers there back in the day.

I’d plan out the travel pieces they came back with early in the week for the weekend publication and was relaxing in the Dylan Hotel, Amsterdam (as you do) having mapped out the early draft.

When said writer texted me in a panic saying I’d misspelt Cincinnati and that this was jeopardising his contacts with them.

Despite it, of course, being an early draft and me being back in the office two days later. Hey ho, between us we gave the Cincinnatians what they wanted a justifiable celebration of their city.

Don’t it always seem to go?

Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell): And the Canadian chanteuse always caught the zeitgeist with her uniquely on-point lyrics.

‘They took all the trees and put ’em in a tree museum and charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ’em’ refers to the Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu.

Encroaching tourism is as big, if not bigger, threat than when Joni and the other hippies were trailing a blaze. Go and see it before they ruin it.  

Welling in my eye

Saltwater (Julian Lennon): It’s 30 years since John’s boy released this song, a classic in its own right.

And when I hear about the hole in the sky saltwater wells in my eyes.

And alas it’s getting bigger Julian. 

The right Cash

Don’t Go Near The Water (Johnny Cash): The King of Country was a lifelong advocate for ecology and the American landscape. 

And you can learn more about his passion for Nature at his museum in Nashville.

Johnny. of course, was a man of the land, Arkansas in his case, and he would turn in his grave…

Bob’s the job

The Sun Is Shining (Bob Marley): Marley, of course, loved the land so much he tried to smoke it all.

But joking aside his Rasta songs were inspired by a union with Nature.

Chicago‘s The Rock and Roll Playhouse knew it and held an Earth Day celebration concert featuring tunes by the great master of reggae two years ago.

To the rescue… here I am.

If only… because 30 years of saltwater welling in my eyes something has to be done.

 

 

America, Countries, Europe, Sport, UK

Water Unesco splash in Liverpool

The two Liver Bird cormorants have stood sentry over the Mersey for 110 years so why the Water Unesco splash in Liverpool now?

Unesco are threatening Liverpool with the removal of the World Heritage status it has held since 2004.

The UN cultural body do not like the Liverpool Waters Project and the Everton FC new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock one bit.

Liverpool history

Serious deterioration? The Mersey

They say those developments have resulted in “serious deterioration and irreversible loss of attributes.”

All of which sounds like a Kop-out to use a Liverpool football reference point which relates to Everton’s great rivals Liverpool FC.

I have history with the city of Liverpool having spent time down there working and the Son and Heir being born there.

The Three Graces

The Cunard Building

And whether Unesco pull their recommendations or not I will always flag up Scouse City.

Liverpool’s waterfront will, of course, be altered by the erection of Everton’s new ground.

But whether it will be enhanced or diminished by its construction depends on which side of the Mersey you’re perched on.

Although judging by the blueprint (and of course it’s blue) I’d say the new ground will be eye-catching rather than eyesore.

The Liver Building is but one pillar in the city’s Three Graces, the other iconic buildings, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.

Liverpool boasts too Albert to Dock, Walker Gallery, Chinatown and her favourite Sons, the Fab Four, The Beatles.

Liverpool’s boys

Scouse about us? The Beatles

It shouldn’t, of course, be forgotten that Liverpool has given us so much more great music too… and sport.

And as much as we’ll miss the neighbourly proximity that the Liverpool Reds and Blues share across Stanley Park a waterside stadium is special.

Try telling the fans of London club Fulham FC that their ground is unappealing.

Well-healed fans turn up at Craven Cottage by Thames-side boat while their signature tune is London Calling ‘we live by the river.’

San Fran Water Giants

Aw no, did it go in the water: San Fran

Or the San Francisco Giants faithful who also take to boats and wait in McCovey Cove, just a home run over the AT&T Park.

For the ball to come over so San Franciscans can snatch it for a collector’s piece.

The Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown, Saint Vincent is home to the Windward Islands Cricket side.

And a towering six will have you swimming in the Caribbean to retrieve the ball.

It won’t come to that at Everton’s new ground and it leaves us asking Water Unesco splash in Liverpool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

America, Canada, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, Music, UK

Lennon’s revolution… 80 years a working class hero

Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans – John Lennon

We could pick any number to define our times as we mark John Lennon’s 8Oth birthday this week. Suffice to say his was a life lived.., and how.

We’ll never know for sure how he would have spent the last 40 years since his murder outside the Dakota Building in NY.

Blue for you. www.johnlennon.com

But it would be safe to assume he would have been at the forefront of all the great struggles of our day.

The Fall of the Wall, Apartheid, Black Lives Matter, Freedom from Covid.

Lennon bestrode his world, leaving his imprint, and still does.

And as his adopted New York celebrated his legacy by turning the Empire State Building blue, here are four Lennon cities.

Liverpool Lou Lennon

Liverpool 4

Oh Liverpool Lou, lovely Liverpool Lou, why don’t you behave like other girls do?

And we have Yoko Ono to thank for knowing this, that John would sing this song, his Mum’s fave, around the house.

John’s statue stands alongside his pals on the Liverpool waterfront near the Beatles Story museum.

Lennon is everywhere in his home city and the under-threat Cavern Club is a good first stop while let someone else do the work for you on their Magical Mystery tour.

Growing up in Hamburg

I didn’t grow up in Liverpool, I grew up in Hamburg.

Not that John was dissing his home city, it was just that he was giving an honest reply to a reporter.

Lennon and the boys (five of them then, with Stuart Sutcliffe on board and with Pete Best instead of Ringo Starr) lived in Hamburg between 1960-62.

And Stefanie Hempel’s Beatles Tour Das Original will take you all over their favourite haunts.

John was his favourite and she had his poster above her bed.

She will take you to the St Pauli door where he posed for a shot later used for the Rock ‘n’ Roll covers album and much, much more.

John’s New York

If I’d lived in Roman times, I’d have lived in Rome. Where else? Today America is the Roman Empire and New York is Rome itself

While we all know that John died in NY let’s dwell on his life in the Big Apple.

John loved its vibe, its people, its energy and put it down in song on New York City off the album Some Time in New York City.

Dakota Building and the Strawberry Fields memorial where the music never stops are obviously on the itinerary.

For the rest, check out this video.

The Lennon wall in Prague

The Lennon Wall, Prague

What to make of it when you’re told that the Lennon Wall in Prague now has ‘Fuck Trump’ messages on it?

It put off my Czech guide who remembers the wall well from the days when it was an organic centrepoint of protest against the Communist.

‘Appen though John would approve.

And let’s not let Amsterdam and Montreal lie

Of course, this is where John and Yoko had their Bed-ins for Peace.

At the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam and the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

And I hope that John would approve as I find myself compiling my thoughts here bolt upright in my bed.

While waiting to get back out there travelling again.