Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pave Paradise, and Put Up a Parking Lot by Peter Reum

Development and social issues do not always mix. Fifty plus years ago, the world began to respond to the desecration of wild areas by beginning to protect them. In the American West, the battle has always been between those who wish to keep wild areas undeveloped, and those who believe that the land is ours and we should profit from its development. Several years ago, I wrote a piece in this blog which addressed the need for preserving the sacred lands of the various Indigenous tribes in the Americas. For many Americans, worship takes place in a building set aside for that purpose. Churches, synagogues, and temples fill that drive that calls people to have faith in something beyond our small lives, beyond the trivial concerns of daily life. Whether our background is Indigenous, European, Asian, African, Middle Eastern, or Oriental, a common attachment to our wild lands draws us back, with feelings of awe, fear, wonder, and interdependence flowing through us.

As we propagate, fewer of us experience that feeling of wonder than the previous generations have experienced. The reasons why are too numerous to mention. A few that come to mind are urbanization, mining and drilling, a growing dependence on technology to help us survive and entertain ourselves, the automobile, lack of sufficient time, and the loss of basic survival skills needed to live in the wild...even for a weekend. Today, we look at other planets and their moons the way Nineteenth Century society viewed the wilderness. We look at our Moon, Mars, and other planets as potential places to colonize and as places to extract precious metals. Will there be a Sierra Club or a Wild Place Guardian equivalent that will protect our neighboring celestial bodies? We have already planned to visit Mars in 2020 and return with ore samples.

How much contamination is okay on Mars 2020 rover?

NASA Mars 2020 Sample Gathering Rover (NASA Image)

How much contamination is okay on Mars 2020 rover?

MARS 2020 Sample Gathering Rover Functions (NASA Image)

NASA already has potential plans for sending astronauts to retrieve the rock samples that would be obtained by the 2020 Sample Gathering Rover. What do we think of such plans.....what SHOULD we think of such plans.....

The Great Frontier still exists. It is further away, and would take longer to reach, but we are beginning to plan on how to engage ourselves with it, even today. How have we treated the American Frontier over the last five centuries, since Europeans first arrived and claimed others' lands for themselves? How do we engage our Moon this century? Do we drill and destroy the Moon the way we are drilling and destroying the aquifers that give us life? The Apache tribe has been fighting to preserve a piece of land that, while outside their reservation, is sacred to them. Tribes in Alberta and  British Columbia are fighting to stop pipelines full of highly flammable oil from crossing their reserves. Several USA tribes are fighting the Keystone Pipeline from being constructed and crossing their sacred lands. The Lakota have refused a payment from the US Government in lieu of returning The Paha Sapa-The Black Hills, sacred to their tribe.What will it take to convince us that some lands are sacred and should be respected as such?

Slowly, the growing population of humans on this planet is beginning to exceed Mother Earth's capacity to sustain us. Areas previously thought of as inhospitable to human life are being considered for growth and development. The polar regions in the North and South are being contested for ownership by nations that previously had not been as aggressive toward each other. Tiny islands in oceans are being contested for strategic reasons as much as for development.  Many biologists contend that a sixth mass extinction is already underway. The idea that other species have not only a right but also a place in sustaining other species is only beginning to be understood. Whether it be wolverines, wolves, prairie dogs, sharks, birds, or whales, less is known about their place in Earth's habitats than is known conclusively. We risk starving ourselves to death by destroying the very bees that pollenate our crops.

The  reality of the world warming is a fact. That much of it is due to fossil fuel consumption is a fact. Where we go and how we travel will have to change dramatically the first half of this century. Obfuscation of simple and proven links of fossil fuels and climate change is rampant. We have heads of major world corporations contending that the human need for fresh water is something that has a price tag attached. Animals that were plentiful in my own childhood in the 1950s are either endangered or extinct. Lions, tigers, giant pandas, whales, dolphins, polar bears, and too many more species to mention have gone extinct or are going extinct.

There is an old saying that reads something like this...."you should never defecate in your own nest." Our nest is this planet, and we have compromised its ability to self-correct and heal. What is really sad is we are talking about colonizing other planets to ruin as well. I belong to the Sierra Club. I am proud that we as an organization have begun to understand that human problems correlate with each other, some highly, some not as highly. The Sierra Club sends me petitions and notices about human problems that, on the surface, seem to have little to do with wilderness. But, through analyzing issues, the Sierra Club has realized that human issues and wilderness issues are inextricably related.

I read the other day that Shell Oil had removed their membership from ALEC because they felt that ALEC's position on climate change and fossil fuels was so ludicrously out of touch that Shell could not support it with a straight face. Corporate citizenship is essential to the preservation of wilderness and the survival of all species, including ours. Our faith in technology as an agent of change in our world is excessive. Technology is a tool that can carry our goals forward only if our attitudes for healing the Earth are adjusted and changed. We need to think as do the Indigenous Peoples, seven generations ahead of our own.

For those of you who doubt the reality of our ancestors observing us, I will share a story. On my honeymoon with my wife, we made it a point to visit many of the sacred temples of the Hawaiian people. We approached them respectfully, and felt welcome to enter each one. In Kona, there is a resort hotel which has Ahu'ena Heiau, the personal worship site for King Kamehameha I onsite. The morning before we flew back to Montana, there was a protest by the Hawaiian People at Ahu'ena Heiau. The hotel was gracious in their approach to Hawaiians and visitors alike, opening the temple to anyone who wanted to enter. 

Ahu'ena Heiau 

'Heiau-Kona, Hawaii

When we started to pass through the gate to the Heiau, I immediately felt a feeling I have only had in a few sacred sites before. The essential message I felt was "get out, leave immediately." We turned around and departed. I had experienced a similar feeling in New Mexico at the Stone Lion Shrine and Ceremonial Cave in Bandelier National Monument, but I have been to dozens of ancient sites in New Mexico, Hawaii, and the Western USA, and only had that feeling once before Ahu'ena. It is important that we remain open to these intuitive experiences, as there is so much we don't see, hear, or comprehend in this world. I fear that as we become more detached from sacred spaces and places, our ability to hear messages from our Earth and the world we don't experience with our senses is lost. For this reason, every child, no matter how poor, how urbanized, and how technologically involved, MUST learn to hear the messages our wild Earth has for him or her. Our very survival as a species depends on it.

Text copyright 2015 by Peter Reum-All rights reserved

Monday, August 3, 2015

Call the Sheriff - Volume 1: Adult Child and New Album by Peter Reum

Call the Sheriff - Volume 1: Adult Child and New Album 

by Peter Reum

The Beach Boys - Brother (BW - 1977)

Adult Child

Side 1:

1. Life Is For The Living
2. Hey Little Tomboy
3. Deep Purple
4. H.E.L.P. Is On The Way
5. It's Over Now
6. Everybody Wants To Live

Side 2:

2. Shortenin' Bread
3. Lines
4. On Broadway
5. Games Two Can Play
6. It's Trying To Say
7. Still I Dream Of It

Bonus tracks:
Side 1

7. Mony,Mony
8. Ruby Baby
9. Be My Baby

Side 2
1. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
8. Calendar Girl

The period of roughly 1976 through the autumn of 1977 was a period where Brian Wilson wrote a number of songs for therapeutic purposes during the first period of Eugene Landy's treatment regimen, as well as afterward. A number of cassette tapes from those sessions emerged in collectors' circles, and a few unscrupulous recipients made the tapes available to music bootleggers, who pressed the initial vinyl bootleg  issues.

The Adult Child tapes were relatively good fidelity compared with other studio material circulating at the time.  It was most likely inevitable that the bootleg would be issued. The Beach Boys bootleg market was terribly small. It is likely that this particular lp was an edition of 500 or 1000 copies. The cover was taken from the Jasper Dailey photos, and given that I owned them, was mildly distressing to me to see. Adult Child was a combination of Brian Wilson 1976 and 1977 compositions and productions, oldie covers/productions, and "cold tracks," which dated back to the 1970  period, also produced by Brian back then. Dick Reynolds, arranger of the traditional Christmas Music side of the Beach Boys Christmas Album, reunited with Brian to perform his magic on 4 songs on the projected track lineup, Deep Purple, Life Is For the Living, It's Over Now, and Still I Dream of It.

Collectors did not have immediate access to these types of records, unless they "knew someone who knew someone."  Suffice to say that this album retailed for a higher amount than the usual legal Beach Boys albums of that time, perhaps 4 to 5 times as much. What made these types of records so irritating to artists was that they heard from fans that such records existed, and in some cases had them brought to autograph sessions. It was only human for recording artists to ask how much the autograph seeker paid for the bootleg, and when the owner said $20 or $25, the artists were justifiably upset. Most artists did not realize that such bootlegs were very limited, and assumed that they were losing thousands of dollars in royalties.

That Adult Child still has a few tunes that remain unreleased is somewhat interesting. Life Is For the Living, Deep Purple, Everybody Wants to Live, Shortnin' Bread (Brian Lead Vocal), Lines, On Broadway, and It's Trying to Say (aka "Baseball") are still officially unreleased. Also unreleased are the bonus tracks Mony Mony, the 1976 Ruby Baby with a Brian lead vocal, and Be My Baby and Calendar Girl, both from 1978. This album does not come up for sale often but is relatively affordable as Beach Boys bootlegs go, in roughly the $20 to $40 range, based on averages from auction sites.

The Beach Boys - Making Waves 1

"New Album"

Side 1:

1. My Diane
2. Marilyn Rovell
3. Hey Little Tomboy
4. Ruby Baby
5. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
6. Sherry She Needs Me
7. Come Go With Me

Side 2:

1. Mony,Mony
2. On Broadway
3. Sea Cruise
4. Help Is On The Way
5. Games Two Can Play
6. When Girls Get Together
7. Honkin' Down The Highway (Billy Hinsche lead vocal)

This bootleg was issued as one bootlegger's best guess of what a second album contemplated after 15 Big Ones might have been. Needless to say, there were a number of tracks that Brian cut that were therapeutic in nature, with the idea being that he would ease back into a producing role as his mental health improved. This record was issued as part of a projected four part series of bootlegs that were supposed to be issued in 1982. Suffice to say that the lineup is an amalgamation of a number of periods of Beach Boys in the studio ranging from 1970 to 1977.  My Diane, Marilyn Rovell, You've Lost That Loving Feelin', and Sherry She Needs Me date from late 1976 and early 1977.  The track to Sherry She Needs Me is the 1965 Brian produced track, and has a sandpaperish 1976 Brian vocal on it. It was issued on Made In California.  Brian's My Diane and Marilyn Rovell are catchy and melodic, but reflect his conflicted feelings at that time.

Oldies are mostly from 1976, and many of them are 15 Big Ones outtakes. The version of Honkin' Down the Highway presented here appears to have a Billy Hinsche guide vocal on it, which was replaced by Alan Jardine on the Beach Boys Love You album.The version of Come Go With Me on this bootleg is the quirky but charming Brian version from the 15 Big Ones time period. Sea Cruise is the outtake from 15 Big Ones that eventually appeared on Ten Years of Harmony. When Girls Get Together is from 1969 and 1970, and is inferior to both cassette versions and the Keepin' The Summer Alive version. Mony Mony is a terrific 15 Big Ones outtake that rocks hard, and remains unissued legally. The remaining songs are virtually the same as the Adult Child versions of these tunes, but in inferior sound quality, which is a BIG problem for this record overall.

Copies of this bootleg typically are sold for $20, plus or minus $5. The album is probably only suitable for completists, and I feel sorry for them having to shell out for it. It has justly faded into obscurity, and I considered it a ripoff when I saw it for the first time. It is not worth the plastic/vinyl recycle value of it at the junkyard. 

Copyright 2015 by Peter Reum - All Rights Reserved