50th Anniversary of Peppermint Trolley Company Recording ‘It’s a Lazy Summer Day’

June 21, 2017 in Happenings, Thoughts

Listen to ‘It’s a Lazy Summer Day’Lazy summer Day(2)

Wow, fifty years ago! Hard to believe. Looking back after all these years I can see how important this event – our recording ‘It’s a Lazy Summer Day’ – was in the trajectory of my life. This gentle tune with it’s flower child message was the first hint of what our little band of cohorts could achieve in the studio. It also got the record company excited about us and willing to cultivate the group’s potential.  On a personal level it came at just the right moment for I was truly lost.  Being able to commit to making music saved my life.

‘So, kick off your shoes a while/ It’s a day to make you smile.’

Three weeks later...

Three weeks later…

 

Hunter’s Moon Rising

October 19, 2016 in Happenings, Nature's Backyard, Poetry, Thoughts

hunter’s moon risinghuntersmoon3
breaking  through horizon’s seal
its luminescence partially blocked
by slashing power lines
and blunt fisted towers
but destined to ascend full and free
in the clear October sky
like a big, voluptuous scoop  of dreams

 

 

Danny Faragher
10/19/16

‘The Devil Wind Blues’ from the ‘Dancing with the Moment’ album

September 25, 2016 in Events, Happenings, Thoughts

devilwindblues

 

Listen to ‘The Devil Wind Blues’ here.

Blowin'HarpatRecordRelease

Santana Winds are howlin’ and the night is closing in.
Santana Winds are howlin’ and the night is closing in.
There is no escaping once these devil winds begin.

Hear those sirens wailing? A smell of smoke is in the air.
Hear those sirens wailing? A smell of smoke is in the air.
Some fool playing with matches while devil winds are on a tear.

These winds keep growing stronger. Black night is falling fast.
These winds keep growing stronger. The black night is falling fast.
While I grow weak and weary trying to get beyond the past.

Don’t it seem like everything keep changing? Seems like nothin’ sticks around.
Everything keep changing. Nothin’ sticks around.
But these old devil winds? They will always make it back to town.

The air so dry and stifling. I would take the damp and cold.
This air so dry and stifling. I would take the damp and cold.
I lie here in this room feeling lost and gettin’ old.

Danny Faragher

Every year without fail, the Santa Anas – the ‘Devil Winds’ –
arrive in Southern California, to blow their hot dry air
through the passes and down to the coast, toppling
trees,  stoking raging fires, and making a person’s skin crawl.santa-ana-winds

In his book ‘Red Wind’ Raymond Chandler, in the voice
of P.I. Phillip Marlowe, writes:

There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was
one of those hot dry Santa Anas
that come down
through the mountain passes and curl your hair and
make your
nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights
like that every booze party ends in a fight.
Meek little
wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their
husbands’ necks.
Anything can happen . You can even
get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.’

I thought the theme of the Devil Winds as an ever occurring presence could make
a good blues. I imagined the singer lying in a room, a world-weary soul filled with
regret and disappointment, as outside the wind howls,  sirens wail, and a smell
of smoke fills the air. All of which  serves to create an atmosphere of claustrophobia
that cannot be escaped. The realization that these winds have probably been coming
for millennia and will always ‘make it back to town’ prompt the singer to confront his
own mortality with a sigh.devil-wind-fire

The players:
Danny Faragher – vocal, harmonica, organ, and trombone
Craig Copeland   – electric guitar, and lap steel guitar.
Simeon Pillich    – bass
Chris Blondal      – drums

Front Album Cover of Dancing with the Moment - Danny Faragher

Front Album Cover of Dancing with the Moment – Danny Faragher

 

 

‘The Devil and the Koch Brothers’ – a poem by Danny Faragher with artwork by Michael Cano

July 20, 2016 in Happenings, Of the World, Poetry, Thoughts

The Devil and the Koch Brothers

The Devil dined with the Brothers Koch.The Devil and the Koch Brothers
“Boys,” he said. “I like your style…
“You pull those strings behind a cloak
“And embrace the darkness with a smile.”

The Brothers drank the wine and dreamed
A dream of empires rich and vast.
And with their dinner guest they schemed
And gave a toast to oil and gas.

“The meal’s on me.” the Devil said.
“I’ll see you boys in the ‘by and by’.”
And there was scarcely a moment’s dread
Or thought of the camel and the needle’s eye

 

On the writing of this poem:

I composed this piece in 2011. At that time the Koch Brothers were still pretty much flying under the radar.
I was puzzled as to what motivated them. How much more does one need? I would think that with age a person
would grow more tolerant and philosophical.  After all you can’t take it with you. David and Charles Koch, however,  seem to have carried their  craving
for power and riches well into their final years. The Faustian scenario popped into my head.

I decided to write it as a rhyming ballad, using  the quick rhythm of say… Coleridge’s ‘Kublai Khan’.  The conversation is all on the Devil’s
part (the silver tongued gent). I enjoyed closing it out with a biblical reference.

On the artwork:

Michael and I have collaborated on a number of pieces. His visual illustration is always original and provocative.
I am particularly knocked out by the art here.  With just a few suggestions –  among them that I wanted the Devil to be attractive and
human- he took the ball and ran with it. The idea of the Kochs having hand puppet bodies is marvelous . Michael’s wife, Patsy Faragher (my sister)
provided the inspiration for the scorpion-tailed cornucopia and also shot the photo. I am proud to say this project has been a family affair.
May there be many more in the future.

Love and Harmony,
Danny Faragher

the dancer

June 8, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts

2006_12-26__Long Hard Climb 134the dancer

out of breath and behind the beat,
pushing hard to make my way,
like a dancer looking at his feet
I often stumble through the day.

so unlike that ‘parallel me’ who
completes each task with style and verve,
and coolly knocks it out of the park
when life throws him a wicked curve.

but sometimes when I’m flat on my face,
feeling as though I can’t get through it,
the other guy turns to wave me on, saying
‘hey, man! c’mon, you can do it!’

 

‘Open the Door’ song lyrics

June 1, 2016 in Happenings, Nature's Backyard, Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts

‘Open the Door’ – From the ‘Dancing with the Moment’ album.TMP-Shoot---Canyon-Hike-PR-049a

verse 1
Hear the morning breeze that’s rattling the window
Feel the waking sun peep through the blinds
Lost in a daydream Thoughts so far away
But aware of how the ‘here and the now’
Is slipping away

verse 2
Smell each steaming drip of coffee a’brewing
Watch the bob and weave of birds in the air
Lost in reflection
A million miles away
But hearing the bell and knowing full well
We’ve only today
So come out and play

chorus
Open the door and step outside
Step outside
There’s such a world to share
So open up the door and step outside

verse 3
Lost in a memory
Of good things left undone
But hearing the chime and knowing that time
Waits for no one
To dance ‘neath the sun

Chorus
Open the door and step outside
Step outside
There’s such a world to share
So open up the door

Open the door and step outside
Step outside
There’s such a world to share
Outside
Step outside

Open the door and step outside…

 

About the writing of  Open the Door

The music came first. At the time I had been immersing myself in Brian Wilson’s ‘Pet Sounds’ and the soaring melody
reflects that. Lyrically, I wanted to write something that had an almost child like innocence to it. It’s simply about tuning
into life – being a dreamer but engaging the world. Greeting the morning as if it were the first (or the last). Life is a miracle.
Open the door and embrace it.

Love and Harmony
Danny Faragher

Birthday Poem

May 15, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts

Birthday Poem

Danny New Year Shot 206eyes open from a dream
Sunday morning
sleeping in.
a  lawnmower is humming

think I’ll stay put awhile
let my thoughts swirl
and meander where they will

I can hear the drumming
of tiny feet as squirrels
chase across the roof

today begins my
sixty-ninth year
(funny how the number
still evokes an
adolescent chuckle
or,  perhaps,
even a
secret
sigh)

oh god!
am I really that old?

hey!
a number is a
number is a
number. just an
arbitrary slice,
an artificial notch
on the wall

outside,
the world
beckons

through my second floor window
the sky hangs clear and blue
above the gabled rooftops

but peace is abruptly broken –
a crow flying from tree to
wire displaces and troubles

a pair of mourning doves.
his victory caw ricochtets
through the neighborhood

I laugh out loud

easy to forget
how good it feels
just to be alive

an urge compels me
to mark this moment.
to transform the
nonverbal into words
to turn water into wine

I close my eyes
and  slowly
let  the bucket
drop down
into  the
well

inspiration is a
touchy process. it
resists a needy mind

one must be coy,
feign indifference but be
ever at the ready…

ah, the payoff

suddenly, words begin
to flutter by like
butterflies on the wing

most of them will vanish down
the hole where my forgotten
passwords sleep

but I will  manage to
snatch a few

slowly,
steadily,
out of chaos
an image takes shape.

like  a torch lit pictograph
on a cavern wall
a poem begins to emerge

I must run down stairs
write it down
capture it,
nurture it
savor it

May 15, 2016

Photos by Charlotte Olivea McClain

‘Pacific Blue’ song lyrics

May 4, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Scrolling Back, Thoughts

Pacific Blue – From the Dancing with the Moment album

verse 1
Splash in the water head to toephotos to 6-20 090
Make it fast, don’t make it slow
It’s chilly and cool, now
But that’s okay

My little brother has no fear
Watch him swim way beyond the pier
Come back now.  What would Mamma say?

(chorus)
Pacific Blue
Oh, what a view!
Don’t it take your breath away?
Pacific Blue
With nothin’ to do
Messin’ ’round on a summer day

(verse 2)
On a blanket soakin’ up the sun
Drippin’ wet, havin’ fun
Watching the people passing by

Hear the music from the candy shack
The Coasters callin’ ‘Yakety Yak
Hey, pour some ketchup on those fries

(chorus)
Pacific Blue
Oh, what a view!
Don’t it take your breath away?
Pacific Blue
With nothin’ to do
Havin’ fun on a summer day

(bridge)
ooo… ah
ooo…ah

Sneakin’ glances at the older girls
An wishing I was in their world
And my every word was really cool

Hear them laughin’ with the boys they meet
They look so fine they smell so sweet
But for now I’ll stay a dreamin’ fool

(chorus)
Pacific Blue…

 

About the writing of Pacific Blue

The song captures the memory of a summer day in 1958 when my brother, Jimmy, and I walked from our home in Long Beach  to the Belmont Shore Pier to spend the day at the beach. Although we went to the beach many times, this particular visit became imprinted in my mind. All my senses were heightened by the smell of the sea, the coolness of the water, the sound of rock and roll (Yes, Yakety Yak was playing), the aroma of french fries, and by the gorgeous Pacific extending its blue surface to the horizon. It also conjures up the dawn of sexual awakening in my preadolescence. I yearned to be around the shapely ‘older girls;, but was cool with staying put in boyhood for the time being.

Musically, it channels the West Coast harmony sound that we were a part of in the sixties (the Peppermint Trolley Company, Bones, the Faragher Brothers), but also melodically a bit of Sam Cooke and Sarah Vaughn. It features a jazzy chromatic harmonica solo in the bridge.

Love and Harmony
Danny Faragher

Photo by Jeanne Harriott

‘Sanity’ – a poem by Danny Faragher with artwork by Michael Cano

April 20, 2016 in Coping, Happenings, Poetry, Thoughts

sanity

the shattered glass reflectsSanityPic
a thousand images

where lies reality?

the ordered world breaks down
into a random spray of neurons

matter over mind
free radical chaos

sanity is a dangling rope
reach out, grab it and
hold on for dear life

Sweet Persuasion – a poem by Danny Faragher, artwork by Michael Cano

April 15, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts

Sweet Persuasion

sometimes on a sleepless nightelusive muse
the elusive muse appears before me
and with seductive charm implores me
in sweet persuasion I can’t fight

she reaches out to extend the touch
of fingertips beneath my chin
and gently lifts my gaze to hers
to command with whisper – ‘Write!’