This July 2015 issue of SuckNews was inspired by a conversation I had with my Lincoln High school buddy and ‘hero’ John Harvey. I have told this story about how ‘Harv’ got to be my ‘hero’ a few times but many of you have not yet heard it, so I’m going to retell it for the record:
Harv and I shared an early morning junior year history class with ‘Bucky’ Beaver, the history teacher. It was informative but otherwise quite boring, as you can imagine. We sat across from each other in about the third row and Harvey always slept through the whole thing. Every once in a while he would look up as if to see where he was, but since his eyes were so bloodshot he couldn’t really make out anything, it seemed to comfort him to know he was still in the class he was attending and he’d put his head back down on the desk and continue his nap. I thought this was unusually funny but didn’t make any mention of it, and, since ‘Bucky’ didn’t seem to notice Harv or whack him, call him out, or do anything about it, it seemed to be okay with everybody, which I thought was kind of funny too. So, I just enjoyed the experience as one of the benefits of my high school education.
Later, as I got to know Harv outside of the school environment, I discovered his amazing beer drinking talent. I was not much of a beer drinker at the time, but I was working on it regularly. Harv, however, was well experienced in the art and form of it. To demonstrate his advanced level of expertise, he would take a fresh quart bottle of beer, pop off the cap with his teeth, and proceed the drink its contents down in a matter of less than 20 seconds without taking a breath! It was a phenomenal feat in my estimation at the time, and still is, since I could not then, or even now, imitate it. And, I have never known of any other human being who could perform that deed. Maybe my standards were too low at the time, but since they haven’t changed much in nearly sixty years, Harv is still ‘hero’ class in my estimation.
The Flip Side
My ‘Hero’ Harv asked me to consider doing something for the Coachmen web site similar to the ‘Turntable’ only with styles of music other than the 1950s rock ‘n’ roll and related stuff he serves up every Monday, just for a little variety. I told him no because I didn’t think anyone but me would like the stuff that I am into. And I am pretty certain that would be the case because even his music doesn’t seem to interest many in the club, given the meager responses his efforts draw. But to humor him, I told him I would give it a try so as to demonstrate to him the proof of my prediction. So, using your feedback as the test of the proposition, I am putting up the following to links to some of the best musicians alive today, playing the best music I like to listen to and study. The subject is jazz, the featured artist is Wynton Marsalis, the absolute best trumpet player alive today. He is a master of classical and jazz trumpet.
The first selection is introduced by none other than John Denver at the 1983 Grammy Awards ceremony when Marsalis won back-to-back awards for classical and jazz trumpet performance… he was 22 at the time. The second selection is a 2015 performance of Marsalis leading the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He is now in his fifties. Note: if you have stereo headphones, put them on to listen to this stuff, if you don’t, you’ll miss the low end of the sound spectrum and therefore half of the performances.
"The Flip Side"