But who in the hell will even care about Trump and his Mar-a-Lago 50 years from now?

Hearing of the deaths of  Carrie Fisher, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, Zsa Zsa Gabor and other famous celebrities recently and especially all the talk about Palm Beach and the oh, so private and exclusive Mar-a-Lago these days and the “great Donald Trump,” takes me back to memories of my band and singing days at famous places and private parties of celebrities and high society, especially in Palm Beach. The high falutin’ grandiose put ons have never changed.

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Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach

All during 2016 we saw tens of thousands of people lined up for many hours to attend and/or see Trump and his multi-multi million dollar plane land at his rallies. He carried on then and still does like he is some kind of god. Likewise for personal appearances of a lot of famous people, as if they are some kind of god from outer space or somewhere and are so greatly important. When, in all actuality, we humans are all built exactly alike, physically, and have to perform the same daily duties, whether on gold plated toilet seats or mere plastic.

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Mar-A-Lago back view

Tickets to these celebrity events and/or a “look see” these days amount to hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. But some people eat it up. Lately, there was a piece about Trump’s sons, whereas a sizable contribution would bring a private audience with THE Donald. Wow!!!

My first glimpse of the phenomenon that may be called being ga ga over seeing celebrities began for me in the early ’50s, when I first moved to New York. Free attendance to radio and early television shows was my introduction to the celebrities of the day. Speaking of Carrie Fisher, her dad, Eddie Fisher, big and famous, was doing his live TV show in a theater just south of Radio City Music Hall, and I was at the dress rehearsal just before the live air show. He didn’t have a good ear for musical time and missed a couple beats on song in the rehearsal. Nobody said anything, but I heard it. I thought sure he would goof up the same on the air. So during the break just before air time, I introduced myself and we chatted about the both of us singing with the Army bands; him in DC and me in Atlanta (Third Army). We were both drafted about the same time. Then I mentioned the goof and sang the line and counted it for him. He thanked me and damn if he didn’t sing it right on the live show. All the big names, including Eddie, had their professional photos done at James Kriegsman in New York. I wasn’t a big name but I scraped the forty bucks together and had my next photo shoot there and I struck a pose just like Eddie and his poses.

I’ll never forget the words of my first bandleader I worked with in New York at that time, Harry Settle. He would always say about any situation, “It don’t matter. Fifty years from now, we’ll all be downstairs.” And there was always a laugh or two over that. Oh, but how true about fifty years from now. Who’s gonna care? And what about a hundred? Totally ancient history.

In the winter of 1956, I was fortunate enough to have a winter job in Palm Beach singing and playing at THE place in Palm Beach, Nino’s Continental Restaurant’s Moulin Rouge Room on fabulous Worth Avenue.

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Worth Avenue 1950’s

 

Worth Avenue today

Everyone who was anyone came there. The highest of high society, and the richest and biggest names with big money. And I got to see first hand how they came and danced the two step, got drunk and pigged out just like the rest of us do. The only difference was that they all had a “few” more multi-millions than the rest of us, and apparently loved to display that fact. Us lowly ones with little or no money would never see the inside of those places, nor be able to lay out the funds for the great expensive entrees of “Chef What’s His Name.” But fortunately, I was getting paid to play music and witness the events for that whole winter. By the way, musicians usually don’t miss a trick while playing and viewing the audience. We see it all.

Speaking of Zsa Zsa Gabor, later back in New York, I’ll never forget playing house parties for her in the Hamptons and sister Eva Gabor on Fifth Avenue. All their celebrity friends were always in attendance with millionaires everywhere, putting on the Ritz. I played private parties everywhere in Manhattan, Westchester County, Jersey, the Island, where you never knew who might show up. I also played and sang in all the big hotels, like the old famous Astor Hotel, the Waldorf, etc. where all the stars camped, and the Plaza, now owned by Trump, and his favorite places like the Four Seasons and not to forget, the 21 Club on 52nd Street. Some might say, “been there, done that.”

By the way, I have to mention that I lived a block from St. Patrick’s Cathedral when I first got to New York, and went every Sunday and kissed the “great” Cardinal Spellman’s ring. Everyone who was anyone had their visit with Spellman, even Presidents Kennedy and Nixon. He was high and mighty and friends with Pope Pius XII and the word was that he wanted to be the next pope.

Kennedy And Nixon, Presidential Candidates
UNITED STATES – OCTOBER 23: Cardinal Francis SPELLMAN greets the two presidential candidates, John Fitzgerald KENNEDY and Richard NIXON who are facing each other, at the Astoria Hotel in New York. The three men were invited for the annual Alfred Smith memorial dinner. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

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Kissing NY Cardinal Spellman’s ring was the thing to do 

 

I really didn’t know why but kissing a cardinal’s ring was the thing to do. And I did it because I saw everyone else do it. It was something to write home about. I guess it was some kind of special blessing or something about getting out of Purgatory early. I read “Cardinal Spellman’s Dark Legacy” recently, by Michelangelo Signorile and Spellman really was a gem, and now probably “downstairs,” as my band leader friend would say. Signorile wrote: “The arch-conservative Spellman was the epitome of the self-loathing, closeted, evil queen, working with his good friend, the closeted gay McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn, to undermine liberalism in America during the 1950s’ communist and homosexual witch hunts. The church has squelched Spellman’s not-so-secret gay life quite successfully, most notably by pressuring The New York Times to don the drag of the censor back in the 1980s.” So now, all those years later, knowing what I know about him now, I’m sure a lot of alter boys and chorus boys had to kiss his ass and then some.

There’ a story about a Broadway dancer in the show One Touch of Venus who had a relationship with Spellman back in the 1940s; the prelate would have his limousine pick up the dancer several nights a week and bring him back to his place. When the dancer once asked Spellman how he could get away with this, Spellman answered, “Who would believe that?”

But my main point here is just to say “so what” or another way of putting it, “who cares?” Well said, I believe. The rich used to be known as millionaires, but now, we hear of only billionaires. So here we are now, hearing all about Mar-a-Lago and the billions there in Palm Beach and who owns it and where and how Trump spends every minute with his billions and does his tweets. Next thing you know, he’ll be having everyone kneel and kiss his ring, higher and mightier than any cardinal, or Russian president.

With this in mind, and the newspapers and television channels telling us all about the Trump family, Palm Beach, and Mar-a Lago, I can’t help but remember Harry Settel’s remark, and how Trump, if his billions may be able to keep him alive, will be all of 120 years old if only his billions could keep him alive fifty years from now. But more than likely THE Donald will be long gone. And when his name is mentioned at that time, people most certainly will ask, “Who??” He’ll most probably be “downstairs” with Spellman.

And by the way, I heard that Palm Beach’s Nino’s Continental 50 or so years later is now a parking garage, and I guess he and his famous clientele everyone would read about are all “downstairs,” or at least somewhere, out of sight and out of mind.

And in fact, now, I believe we can truly say “Who in the hell cares???”

It’s December and time to tell everyone about my songs in my It’s December album for everyone’s December holiday, especially the song, “It’s December.” It mentions all the December holidays.  Hear it at Spotify at  https://play.spotify.com/album/5qxEjBVSrNPRuuxzhZTVou  And if you like it you can download the album or any song in it at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/donmeehan1, or any of your other favorite sites like iTunes, Amazon, etc. My favorite line in it is: “Some will celebrate the eight days of Hanukah.  And some will decorate their big Christmas trees.  There’ll be folks lighting candles for Kwanzas. And the prayers of one and all will be “let there be peace.”

It was  a great pleasure making this Holiday album from top to bottom.

Jingle Bell Rock is my jazz five part harmony rendition of my old songwriter friends, Jim Booth and Joe Beale.

“It’s December” is a song I always wanted to write to celebrate all the holidays in December. The lyric goes: “Hey, it’s December And high time to celebrate For gettin’ through another year. Its been a long time waiting for the months to go by. But the great days are here again with tons of good cheer In December, can’t wait for the holidays and the great ways for spending time with family and friends you wish it wouldn’t end when you hear ’em playing Auld Lang Syne.”                                                                                      

Bridge: “Some will celebrate the eight days of Hannuka and some will decorate their big Christmas trees. There’ll be folks lighting candles for Kwanzaa and the prayers of one and all will be let there be peace. In December, the days we’ve been waiting for and kids like me lovin’ snow Comes the twenty-first and wintertime, ain’t  nothing like December time and it will never grow old.”                                                                                                          

“Hallelujah Rock” (Arr. Don Meehan) is another world record overdubbing my voice 136 times and put to a rock beat, with yours truly also doing all the instruments.                                                                           

“Hallelujah Chorus” (Arr. Don Meehan) is the a Capella version of my 136 voice “Chorus of One.”                                                                                                                                            

“Silent Night Out There Somewhere” (Arr. Ray Moore) is the sound track to my music video that is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4gG_8qdRdU.  Global probes into the far reaches of space, and especially the recent Orion Project to probe possible life on Mars has prompted me to produce this video. Thanks to some Public Domain images and videos from NASA, Hubble, and STSci, and the video from Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology of “Curiosity Entry/Decent and Landing celebration, this video strongly suggests a realization and belief of a possible Christmas event with the birth of Jesus on some other planet, light years away from Earth.                                                                

 

 

I hope I helped a little in getting him the Nobel Prize

The announcement that Bob Dylan has been chosen to receive the coveted Nobel Prize for Literature is enough to make anyone stop in their tracks and take notice.

AND I DID TAKE NOTICE

I can truthfully say that I did have a small hand in it in 1975.

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© Nobel Media AB 2016

To hear that Bob Dylan is the Winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” just blows me away that I have been associated with a Nobel Prize Winner.

“Bob Dylan lands his fourth Multi-Platinum Album with his 1976 hit, ‘Desire.’ Dylan’s most acclaimed albums from the 1960s,” wrote the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) in 2013. I am so Proud to say that I engineered and mixed it and actually produced it while producer Don DeVito watched. Bob Dylan’s “Desire” Album was my best recording and a classic.

 Also, I’m proud to say I did Bob’s Hard Rain album and the celebrated single, Hurricane, from the album was used in the movie. It is most notable that these nine titles are part of Bob’s “Literature Achievement.”

Viewing that RIAA page, I also learned that in other Streisand news, Barbra’s 1967 release, “A Christmas Album,” certified at the five million sales mark. It was the first holiday album by a vocalist to reach the five million level. I am also very proud to say that I mixed that album. I’ll have a few words to say about one of her other albums down the road.

Well, the guys on an Internet forum were intrigued with my explanation there and wanted to know more about the Dylan “Desire” recording, so I wrote some more:

“Thanks guys, for inviting me in. I guess I’m proud to say that “Desire” was one of my best, if not my best recordings and a classic. By the way, Rob Stoner played great bass and Don Devito had the credits read: “This record could have been produced by Don Devito.”

 

desire could have been

Actually, I made all the production decisions, as well as recording, mixing, and mastering. The album made him a vice president for his entire career at Columbia/Sony, and he was gracious and generous to share his CBS bonus with me at that time for my production efforts. But there were no extra bucks after that. I had broken Don in earlier as a trainee in the A&R department, and then he became Walter Yetnikoff’s right hand man. He went on to greater heights with other names. No sour grapes. More on our combined efforts later with Hard Rain. “Desire” has now gone multi-multi-multi-multi platinum and hangs on the Music Wall at Meehan’s Irish Pub in St. Augustine, FL. (Please click on it)

Actually I have a a lot more, at least 30 or more platinum and multi-platinum awards  credited and certified by RIAA, but I’d have to pay the freight if I wanted one or more. I’ve heard that they run about $300 per. Let’s see; 30 X $300 = $9,000. That wouldn’t be very much out of Sony’s billions.

desire platinum

Oh well, at least I have the first Gold and Platinum for “Desire” and a Gold for “Hard Rain.”  On the left is my first Gold for Looking Glass’ “Brandy”

dylan-close-up-at-pub dylan-2-time-front-at-pub The Four Time Multi-Platinum Award hangs in Meehan’s Irish Pub in St. Augustine, FL, established by my late son, John Meehan               Photo by Reggie Maggs

The four million album seller “Desire” all began on or about July 7, 1975 at a recording session in Columbia Records New York Studio E, a small cozy and well equipped little room on the sixth floor of the old Vanderbilt family guest house at 49 East 52nd Street. I had already worked the whole day on another project when I got the word that Bob Dylan and some Columbia executives wanted me there. Don DeVito was Columbia President Walter Yetnikoff”s assistant and I had just recently broken Don in on studio workings and he was there and wanted me there to make things go smooth.

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I ‘m honored to be on each side of Bruce Springsteen’s guitar on Meehan’s Irish Pub‘s Music Wall                                                                                                                                                                            Photo by Reggie Maggs

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On the other side is my 3 time Multi-Platinum Award for Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence                                                                                                                Photo by Reggie Maggs

This was Bob’s first session on the new album, I knew from past experience that he liked to record live with absolutely no overdubbing instruments or vocals later. This unnerved me a bit since I had settled into a habit of recording things separately, especially vocals. I had mixed a few of Bob’s songs earlier working with the great John Hammond.

Well, musicians began arriving one after another and at last count, there must have been at least twenty, paying tribute to the great Bob Dylan.

There were no teachers; we learned on our own

I’m sure some readers will scoff and say this is old stuff, or that it is nothing new. But just let me say that we had no teachers. Every engineer guarded his (and I say his because there were no ladies) recording and mastering techniques and gave no clues to anyone coming in new. It was the “good ol’ boys,” the “control men,” the “mastering men,” the “maintenance men,” etc. Every session was an experiment, though, constantly trying new and outlandish and sometimes stupid things. One producer said to me once, “Don, you’re crazy.” Guess I was, as I was always experimenting with something outlandish. And back in those days, the engineers were the unsung heroes for some of the producers.

 

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Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Emmy Lou Harris in Columbia Studio E on the first night of “Desire” – I’m in the control room hiding behind the board

 

I studied and learned from the Beatles’ records

When the Beatles came along and I saw the meters stay pinned at “0” or plus 4 level throughout a recording this was my clue to go for high energy on anything I recorded or mixed. When I came to Columbia in the 60’s at least 50 staff engineers and research men laughed at me for wanting a limiter and a Pultec in every mixing channel. At that time we had 40 watt monitor amps in the studio and 6 watt line amps in the mixing toms. Later my wants and demands became the norm and Columbia became the busiest studios in New York with 24 track. We could limit and equalize each track at will without patching.

Drums and bass are my favorites to record. Maybe because I’m a bass player too. In the corner of Studio E at Columbia Records at 49 East 52nd Street in NY we had a drum booth sound proofed and double glassed around the top. Dylan always recorded live with no overdubs, (except for the one cut, “Joey”, I talked him into adding accordion and guitar later).

Drums need isolation to prevent leakage into other microphones

It was important to have almost total isolation on drums. As with other drummers, I usually worked with Howie Wyeth for probably an hour or more getting the right sound. My standard procedure was to fold papertowels into about 3 by 5 inch pieces and tape them onto the top of the share with masking tape as he tuned. I would continue to add padding if necessary to get rid of the ring.

This was and is standard procedure for me after a lot of trial and error. I hate the ring of a snare when it isn’t dampened. Needless to say, this is still probably standard procedure anywhere you go. I used all dynamic mics, like Electrovoice RE 15 (on snare), RE 20, etc and 2 condensers for overhead all padded. Nine mics total onto nine tracks on the 24 track, Bass drum (with blankets inside), top of snare, bottom of snare (phase turned around to mix later with top of snare), high hat (pointing away from snare as much as possible), mic on each of 3 toms and 2 overhead. I would always limit the BD, snare and 3 toms, and gate the toms on the session. You really need the isolation for this.

Later in mixing my standard procedure was to gate the bass drum and gate the snare and mix the snare with the original top and bottom (phase turned around to match the top). Bass drum, snare and toms were limited again in the mix. EQ on snare was usually slight boost at around 1500. We had EMT echo units and one 6 floor stairwell. I liked a 4 or 5 second decay on the EMT and fed that to a tape machine at 15ips and back into the mix for the added delay. Echo was always EQ’d rolling off the bass and high end. Bass drum and Rob’s bass cut off at 60 to 100 and boosted at around 100 (and limited) got rid of unneeded low frequencies and allowed more room for everything else including the drums. I’ll have more on the bass and bass drum eq later on.

Quoting from Wikipedia: Spotlight is a 2015 American biographicaldrama film that follows The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States,[6] and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests.

Latest reports from the Vatican, and continued news of how certain cardinals globally continue to sidestep the issues of survivors of sexual abuse by the clergy, merely amplify the notion that it is business as usual with the centuries old device of protecting the Faith and the money at all costs.

 

 

 

Outlandish and unending commercials are embedded into our brains. But I have discovered a way to beat it.

Some of the pay television channels today are really something to be avoided, as rather sickening with their TV Brainwashing. In addition to paying for the services, we all are compelled to be totally saturated with carefully crafted commercials. How often we hear, “Call now,” or “You must act now,” or “Hurry, this sale will be over so don’t wait,” or “Operators are standing by,” or “Call in the next five minutes and we’ll double your order.” This all amounts to total TV Brainwashing by the agencies and companies who spend every minute of the day scientifically researching on how to hook you or con you, I should say. And don’t think for one minute that your sub-conscience hasn’t captured every word and has firmly embedded the product in your brain for later.

They promised little or no commercials back when

The advent of cable pay television was truly a welcome event when subscribers were assured that there would be little or no commercials to endure. The Internet is full of articles pertaining to TV Brainwashing techniques and ways of agencies and broadcasters manipulating and constantly storing of propaganda into your unwary brain to stimulate sales and more sales of stuff you don’t want nor need.

Half and half?

The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that there are no rules regulating the amount of airtime a television station or network — cable or otherwise — devotes to commercials, according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spokesperson. One reporter there stated that he was watching a movie on Spike, and from 9:01 to 10:02 PM there were 30 minutes of commercials and 31 minutes of movie. At least the FCC restricts children’s programming to about 10.5 minutes of commercial matter per hour on weekends, and no more than 12 minutes of commercial matter per hour on weekdays. And that is bad enough, since the kids are also programmed to beg Mommy or Daddy

I recently clocked some programming on one cable network that amounted to almost the same time of half and half. Not fair. I should send a bill for the use of my time. Not knowing about the FCC report as above, and believing it was a rule to have about forty to forty-five minutes of program in an hour, I reported it to the FCC, and of course, there was no reply. Apparently the FCC is not interested in TV Brainwashing. I wonder who is?

Beating the bastards

But I have finally discovered a way to beat them in their game. I happen to subscribe to a service with a DVD recorder that is state of the art. It is actually recording a program when you first start watching and you see a red line showing the minutes since starting. You can rewind if you miss something or want an instant replay. If you tune to another channel it will generally start also recording there.  So if I am watching a one hour program, for instance, I will hit the record button and go to another channel that interests me and also start the record on that one. Or I might just tune in some good music and listen while taping the other program or programs. So what if I’m a few minutes behind?

Since I don’t have to be exactly in time with the programs, I let some time go by and then go to the top and play the program. As soon as the commercials start, usually eight or ten or so, I fast forward past all the commercials. Usually, depending on how long I wait to start watching, like fifteen minutes or so, I can avoid all the commercials, and skip all the intended brainwashing. Seasoned producers with their TV Brainwashing cleverly manipulate your brain into believing that you must have, or need, every single item presented. I sure don’t!

 

It Is Such A Bore to Watch Some Speakers Reading Teleprompters  – The act of Reading Teleprompters is truly an art. But it has really become obnoxious with some speakers. Most every one of them I have seen lately reading two glasses is totally unacceptable, especially amateur apprentice speaker Donald Trump. He is obviously new at it and an inexperienced amateur, who actually stares at one glass for minutes at a time. Hillary Clinton has developed a very natural way of reading, going back and forth while also genuinely connecting with an audience and with the camera.

The Prompters are usually Always Set At the Same Height as the Speaker – But the rub is that they are usually always set up at the speaker’s eye level and focused way above the audience’s heads. And there is no eye contact. The problem lies with the fact that the speaker is usually elevated on a stage about two feet or so raised. This puts a person speaking with eye level at approximately five feet, plus stage height, whereas the lower sitting audience eye level is somewhere between three and a half feet, sitting.

Reading Teleprompters With Proper Eye Contact – Addressing a crowd who are all sitting would require the speaker to have eye contact with them by looking down to their eye level. However, the person responsible for the Teleprompters placement usually always places them to each side of the speaker at his/her eye level on stage. Therefore, when the person reads with the head moving left to right, there is an obvious appearance of him/her looking out not into the eyes of the live audience, but way above them, and in fact, a good three and a half feet over their heads.

A Proper Adjustment Provides A More Sincere Approach – A simple solution appears to be to simply lower the prompter glasses about six or eight inches on each side and do a slight adjustment with its angle. This would have the speaker now looking at and through the prompter glass as if they are also having eye contact with the audience. This is not off the wall since here is copied from an ad showing the adjustment:

“VARIABLE HEIGHT/ANGLE ADJUSTMENTS – The best speech is one where the speaker can achieve direct eye contact with the most people. That is difficult to achieve when his/her head stays in one, fixed location. Every speaker who walks up to the podium is not the same height. Nor do they read best at the same angle of screen. This is why we have created the most adjustable glass for stage teleprompters on the market. Easily adjustable angles will ensure that the speaker can have great eye contact with the audience, while seeing and reading the text clearly.”

However, the ad shows Obama, but he’s always looking out over their heads in his speeches while reading teleprompters. Why can’t they get it right so the person speaking doesn’t appear so obvious and phony? And so I ask, if they may possibly be using outdated stuff that doesn’t adjust, or is it that they just don’t know any better how a speaker should be reading teleprompters?

Its amazing how Computers try to out think us. These days of advanced technology seems to have created more circumstances for extreme frustration when “Interneting,” and  Don’t know if that’s a word or not but I guess it should be. Anyway, I think I have found a way to get stuff off my chest when something doesn’t work right at a website. As a for instance, I was doing a usual filling in the blanks routine on a well known site that was taking hours to complete, when I became so furious and upset that I threw the switch to off. As usual, the instructions are always somewhere else and not handy. Or else you go there only to find you can’t get back. Or if you do get back you find that what you have written is either erased or embedded somewhere still half done, or gone completely. I wasn’t even half way through the process but I had had enough.

The clincher was when I finally found some wording to click on that read “If you have technical issues or concerns regarding your personal account the Support Team is available 24/7 to help you.” And when I clicked finally expecting some good people contact, there was none, but pages and pages of answers to questions that I wasn’t asking. But no humans. What gives? And then, totally boiling over with rage, I selected to compose my complaint to these smart ass bastards in my word processor so I could paste it into the proper place on their forum. I’m not identifying them but here is how it went:

“I SPENT MANY DAYS AND HOURS WITH VERY MUCH TIME PREPARING FOR ——- TRYING TO BE SUPER PROFESSIONAL AND THEN SPENT OVER FOUR HOURS TRYING TO POST MY ——, WITH THE AUTOMATED APPLICATION IGNORING MY WORDS AND NOT ABLE TO GET PAST THE SECOND ITEM AT THE TOP OF THE APP.  IT REJECTED MY ——WITH NO REASONS AND THERE WAS NO PLACE TO POST MY ——-. IT WAS A ROUND ROBIN NOT EVEN HALF WAY THROUGH THE PROCESS, WITH FINALLY SHUTTING DOWN AT 2 AM, AND NOT EVEN KNOWING WHERE TO TURN. A “CLICK ON” HELP FROM ABOVE CUSTOMER SERVICE GOES NOWHERE, AND THERE IS NO HUMAN CONTACT ANYWHERE. AND NOW WHEN I SIGN IN I HAVE NO IDEA IF ANYTHING I CLICKED ON TO SAVE WAS SAVED. I CAN ALSO SEE NOW WHY SOME —— PUBLICATIONS PROVE TO BE VERY CONFUSING. I AM NOT STUPID AND I BELIEVE I HAVE LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS THAT DESERVE HUMAN INVOLVEMENT WITH DECENT ANSWERS, SINCE I BELIEVE YOUR INSTRUCTIONS DO NOT PROVIDE ALL THE ANSWERS.

And then there was some more blocks to going on the forum. So there I am, all alone facing my computer screen, totally and absolutely furious up against a bricker than brick wall, (another new word?) No one to blow steam to. So I emailed it to myself. The next day I saw it in my mail and I read it. And you know what? I felt better reading it. It wasn’t sent to them, but I reflected on the fact that my opinion wouldn’t matter to them, and that I would definitely be a thorn and would never ever be in their good graces. And I got it off my chest quietly screaming it on the keyboard. But I discovered something new for me here on how to discard some bitterness and total frustration.

For what it’s worth, those words went out there, who knows where or how far and back for me to see and reflect on if I want to on what automatic really means in today’s world. It’s almost like screaming loud in a big soundproof empty room, or throwing punches at a hanging bag.

So will I try it again? Sure, may as well, since I need them more than they need me, except for the $$ they’ll be collecting from me. And who knows but what their brilliant young master mind geeks may have been doing maintenance so their computers can continue to out think us all.

Lastly, I guess I am glad for the snafu since I decided to change my wording significantly if I do follow through.

“Its December” is a holiday song that includes the beliefs of those other than Christian.

From this Donald to that other Donald: My new song, IT’S DECEMBER, is my answer to Thee Donald’s campaign to obliterate every December holiday celebration, every other belief system, and good times from December existence, all except Christmas. I also love Christmas time, and I also respect all the other beliefs. My new song, IT’S DECEMBER at https://youtu.be/6HZxISqqeRs from my new CD of the same title, may be the first song that mentions the celebration of Hannukka, Christmas and Kwanzaa. And by the way, Starbucks coffee in their red cups and all their other stuff is the best. After giving a lot of thought about the December holidays, I felt it appropriate to write a song that expressed appreciation for all the thoughts and beliefs of all others besides Christians, and their God given right to believe in other than just Christmas, and the birth of Jesus.

My It’s December album, released last December and up for sale and listening on about 28 different websites, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and CDBaby, features some Christmas songs and an arrangement of “Silent Night” suggests a Silent Night Christmas event on a far off planet. An Ebay video of it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4gG_8qdRdU drives the message home. And my song, “It’s December, I believe, may be the first holiday song ever to mention and underline the celebration of the other holidays in December, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, the arrival of Winter on the 21st, and kids like me loving the snow, and wishing it wouldn’t end. Not just about Christmas. You can hear it at https://youtu.be/6HZxISqqeRs

So, please give it a listen and if you agree with my thinking, please spread the word, and maybe we can get enough ears to hear a different point of view than what that other Donald may be demanding about only celebrating Christmas.it s december cd photo

While wrapping up my holiday CD, It’s December for release, my son, John Meehan in Florida, mentioned to me that he would like to have a couple of my Platinum Awards to hang on his St Augustine restaurant, Meehan’s Irish Pub, I told him about the Simon and Garfunkel situation and how great it would be if we could get the Three Time Multi-Platinum Award of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence. I had been ranting and raving about it all over the Internet. The next thing I knew, with no warning, I received a package containing the award as a gift from my son. Its real, no fake, and reads:

“RIAA CERTIFIED SALES AWARD – PRESENTED TO DON MEEHAN TO COMMEMORATE THE SALE OF MORE THAN 3,000,000 COPIES OF THE COLUMBIA RECORDS LONG PLAYING ALBUM ‘SOUNDS OF SILENCE.'”

 

SOS CREDITS

When I learned about the Library of Congress adding the recording among twenty-five to the National Recording Registry “for long-term preservation due to its cultural, artistic and historic importance,” I began a campaign at my Blog to get my mixing credits known. My original mixing notes and ranting became a topic on the Internet, attracting many new fans.

I guess I told everyone, ranted here on my Blog in earlier posts about it and a lot of people came over from Steve Hoffman’s music Forum and later from the Japanese  Simon & Garfunkel Web Forum. I even mentioned it to some Sony people, who remained silent on the matter, except to say that Sony was preparing albums of the singers’ old recordings. I expressed that I hoped they would get the credits straight. I could only assume that Sony was probably secretly planning a fifty year anniversary release of the pair for 2015, with the same old, same old scenario.

Since no one contacted me about it, I wondered who finally got to the Columbia Records people to give me credit and get the word to RIAA. I believe my son, John Meehan, must have gotten on the case. He knows how to get things done. He worked as an executive with Ritz Carlton management for 12 years in six locations, and was an executive consultant for a year and a half for the new Fontainebleau before he opened his highly successful Meehan’s Irish Pub, in St. Augustine. Whatever, whoever, makes no difference. Its done. Its over. I got it, but here’s another big thanks to John.

SOS RIAA AWARD

And here it is.

Had I known, I would have had them put the studio engineer, Roy Halee’s name on it also. Yeah, he took all the credit back when, but lets let bygones be bygones. We were kind of close and friends back then and he put some great sounds on a few of my Columbia singles in the studio. I even got in some hot water with my Columbia bosses around that time when I called up the company president’s office to try get them to pay Roy some more money not to leave Columbia. What did I know about Corporate BS? Not much. And I stayed in hot water for years with my boss.

To recap with some background on this credit thing, on July 26, 1965, Columbia Records producer Tom Wilson and I mixed the mono single record version of Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence, that immediately climbed the charts, calling for an album in subsequent months, whereas the all important monaural version was also mixed by Tom and me. It marked the beginning of a career for Simon and Garfunkel that will celebrate fifty years in 2015.

I must stress that the big reason why mono was most important was that records at that time were all broken on AM radio, and it required a lot of skill even with three and four track masters to sound powerful on small speakers. The secret was to make your mix as strong and powerful as the Beatles and Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound,” to compete. Tom Wilson and the other pop producers at Columbia at that time all knew that I, and no one else at Columbia  knew how to do this at that particular time.

Unfortunately, this was only about two years before engineer credits were handed out and I missed out on receiving the coveted and deserving credit “for its cultural, artistic and historic importance.”

Also at that time in 1965, I sang a cover record of The Sound of Silence  for Columbia Special Products, with some of the same musicians that were on the S & G version. When I played it for Paul Simon back then, he remarked, “Wow! It sounds like us.” Since I am prohibited from airing the cover record in any way because of copyright infringement, I will be producing and legally releasing a new cover record of the song on my own Barkroom label. Al Gorgoni, who was on their record as well as mine, can’t play on it because his fingers are bad. I will be searching for a great guitarist to add sounds which overall, will speak “now and then,” or Yesterday and Today, as a fifty year tribute to one of the greatest songs ever written. If you are interested in playing on it, email me an MP3 of your work to roughmixdon@gmail.com. I’ll pick the best one or two.

I just released my extended play holiday CD, It’s December, claiming a new world record for singing and overdubbing my voice 136 times on a single recording. It is at CD Baby and its twenty-seven associate distributors. The title song, It’s December, tells all about December and holidays, including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, as well as Christmas. You can hear and play all the songs at here. 

But a most unusual accomplishment on the CD is my singing all the parts of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus; soprano, alto, tenor and bass, with 136 voices, harmonizing with myself. Topping it off, I sang it a cappella and on another cut I added a rock beat to it.

After months of form letter emails, an organization turned the world record down writing: “Given that it is impossible to prove the number of voices and that the number of sales cannot be guaranteed, we unfortunately cannot accept your claim as a new record.”  That statement floored me, plus learning that their “adjudicator’s” presence to witness and to judge me would cost me a few thousand dollars, raised more questions. Apparently, it is all about money. Had I been on a top record label with an estimate of thousands of sales, or paid them the thousands, I am certain I would have received their piece of paper certification. As a New York friend and colleague has stated, “Yeah, that and $2.50 will get you on the subway.”

So I decided to start my own campaign to tell the world. I believe most people would believe the procedure, which I explained in a prior post: Overdubbing with RoughmixDon Meehan – on 26 June, 2013. It explained all about doing it on tape, but is the same for digital recording; Record a bunch of tracks and then balance them and mix them down to two. Any knowledgeable recording engineer would know this simple fact. But a simple way to prove it would be to show the doubter the individual singing tracks on a computer monitor in a program like Pro Tools or Logic ProX, play a few seconds and then compare that with my live voice. This might take every bit of a few minutes tops. But the thousands demanded by the company to send a witness raises serious questions about their credibility.

Another unusual cut is my fifty overdubbed voices on Composer, Arranger, and six time Grammy winner, Ray Moore’s arrangement of Silent Night, with harmonies in fourths. Sounds weird that way, but with the universal interest in the Mars Rover landing and the recent launch of Orion to Mars gave us the idea that there may have been a Silent Night on Mars or somewhere out in space at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/donmeehan1