In 1966, the song “Winchester Cathedral” was a worldwide smash, selling 3 million records. The artist’s name on the label was The New Vaudeville Band, which didn’t really exist, although one was formed for touring purposes after the record became a surprise hit. In the U.S. it hit #1, supplanting “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes. It hung around the top spot during the month of December of ‘66, taking #1 on the 3rd, relinquishing the spot to “Good Vibrations” for a week, then regaining the top for two weeks before finally being knocked out for good on the last day of 1966 by The Monkees with “I’m a Believer”.
When the Grammy Awards were given out for 1966, a year of Revolver and “Monday Monday”, the award for the Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Recording went to “Winchester Cathedral”. You can see why Robin and I had to take that picture.
What to write? Things have gotten so bad in Ferguson, Missouri, which is to say things are as bad as ever for all oppressed Americans, particularly African-Americans, particularly African-American males, that I find myself speechless when it comes to writing here. And I know I speak from a privileged position … I’m an upper-middle-class white man with a great wife and family, living for 40 years in a place that, for better and worse, I am proud of. This weekend, I got to spend some time with the grandson, and this photo pretty much sums up how that went:
I spent Sunday afternoon with an old friend I hadn’t seen for awhile. The weather was great, the company was great, the event was great:
But all the while, this is happening (I first saw this photo on the Twitter account of Darwin Bond Graham):
How do I come up with blog posts to reflect life at the moment?
This is from the Bad Subjects days, when we would work and edit in a computer room on campus. Can’t place a date on this … someone will help me out. Early 1990s, at least. That’s Charlie and Ron in the picture.
And here, from Issue #6, May 1993, is the first essay I wrote for BS that kicked ass:
Tuesday night, Geoff, Nikki and I attended a soccer match between the USA Men’s National Team and Azerbaijan. It was held at Candlestick Park, which will thankfully be destroyed in the near future. Here’s a photo of us at the match:
(Note the cold-weather gear for a match in late May.)
For this week’s Thursday, I take us back almost fifteen years, to Candlestick Park on September 30, 1999, when the Giants played their last game at that miserable dump:
(Note the warm-weather gear for a game in late September … Candlestick was funny that way.)
It was our first trip to Europe … we stayed and traveled with Robin’s sister Tami and her soon-to-be husband Peter, who lived in England. The first night we were in Spain, we stayed in Rosas, on the Costa Brava. My memory is we arrived at night, and it wasn’t until the next day, looking out the balcony of our hostel, that I realized Rosas was next to the water. From there, we went to the house of Peter’s sister in Castelldefels (I think), a suburb of Barcelona. This would have been around June 13, 1984 … a week or so later, I spent the best birthday of my life in France.
The “Hermanos” were Geoff and David, who must have been living together in Portland at that time. The Giants game I referred to took place on June 11, which also narrows down the time frame. On June 12, the 1984 European Championships began in France, my first taste of the power soccer had over entire nations. As I recall, we ate in one French place that was more like a house than a restaurant, with a TV in the next room that kept the workers occupied. It was the tournament that gave me my first soccer hero, Michel Platini, who scored nine goals overall, including one in the final vs. Spain.