Friday, August 06, 2010

american beauty

i'm not a deadhead, but in the winter of 1970, i spent what seemed like several weeks flat on my ass with a respiratory ailment, a tank of oxygen, lord of the rings, and a new discovery: free-form fm radio. (the previous summer, when wabc-am played a song called "my baby loves lovin'" seemingly every five minutes, cured me of wanting to listen to top 40 radio forever.)

i looked forward to hearing the who live at leeds, hendrix at monterey, and the stones gettin' their ya-ya's out; the only thing that could get me out of bed was bloodrock's "d.o.a.;" i'd crawl across the floor to turn the radio off when it came on.

i also developed a curious affinity for the grateful dead's american beauty, an album which to this day can still calm me down. when we were in new joisey recently, i was pleased to discover it in a pile of vinyl that my big sis sent home with me.

i think that this album and the velvets' loaded must be cousins. perhaps it's the gentle way they rocked, or maybe it's the harmony vocals. never have non-singers attempted more.


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