On The Disabled List

Well, the good news first: We have a new perennial garden in the upper portion of the lawn, a space a little larger than four feet square where – we hope – the golden spirea, the two barberrys  and a few succulents in a small rock garden will take root and flourish long after we’ve plucked our last weed.

The bad news: I discovered – beginning two days ago and continuing at least into today – that removing a little more than four square feet of sod, sod that had likely been undisturbed for at least sixty years, is not something I can do at the age of fifty-seven without paying a price. I may have prevailed over the sod, but the effort seems to have placed me on the blogger’s version of the disabled list: As the muscles in my back and thighs complain, I find it difficult to focus on writing.

I’m hoping those complaints ease off by tomorrow, because I’ve been digging into the Billboard chart for this week in 1979, and several of the tunes I’ve found there encourage dancing, including separate and unlikely tunes by Roxy Music and Frank Zappa. I’d hate to miss the chance to present those here simply because of timing and shrubbery.

As an alternative for this morning, I dug briefly into the Billboard Hot 100 from May 26, 1973, thirty-eight years ago today, and I found a tune that brings back good memories. Now, I never knew Tower of Power’s “So Very Hard To Go” back in 1973, when it went to No. 17, giving the Oakland-based band its only Top 20 hit.

But when I played in Jake’s band during the 1990s, “So Very Hard To Go” was one of the tunes that showed up on the set list for every party we had. It was also one of our go-to tunes when we were just spending a Thursday evening out at Jake’s, having fun. And those are good enough reasons to put it in this space today.


5 Responses to “On The Disabled List”

  1. Perplexio says:

    So Very Hard to Go was recorded when Lenny Williams was brought in to replace Rick Stevens. Stevens shared lead vocals on their debut and handled all of the lead vocals on their second album before he was let go due to being somewhat unreliable (not showing up for rehearsals or recording sessions). Shortly after being fired by TOP Stevens was arrested for murder. He’s still in prison to this day.

    The 3 albums Lenny Williams recorded with TOP are considered by many of their fans to be their best. Of the 3, I’m partial to 1974’s Back to Oakland. That album is transportive. Whenever I listen to it I feel like I’m in the SF Bay area circa 1974 watching the sunset in the hills overlooking Oakland & SF from the front seat of a ’73 AMC Gremlin. Quite a feat considering I wasn’t even born until October ’76.

  2. porky says:

    the trumpet (or fleugelhorn) solo is ingenious. Kills me every time.

  3. Get yourself some yucca, my good man – fantastic stuff for muscle and joint pain.

  4. jb says:

    Love this tune. Made a woodwind player want to switch to brass.

  5. Alex says:

    Feel better soon — and Arnica’s also good for pain. 🙂

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