Memories music vinyl

On A Quest For What Sets Me On Fire

Sorry folks. It’s been a long time since my last post. So many things happened in 2020. We all have experienced Covid in some way. I went through that as well as getting a hip replaced. I had my struggles and through music I survived the recovery. 

pile of 45 RPM vinyl records used A pile of 45 RPM vinyl records used and dirty even if in good condition Record - Analog Audio Stock Photo

Taking a trip down memory lane is what I’m currently doing. Specifically I am on a search for two 45s. I collect records so that’s what I am referring to. But these two tiny little records mean a lot to me. When I was a kid I had a fisher price record or something slightly better. I can’t remember. But I did come across many records as a kid. Ones my parents had in their collections and ones I actually bought from a record store with allowance money. 

One of them was by Bruce Springsteen. The single was “I’m on fire.” I played that one many times during my elementary school years. There was just something nostalgic about playing that song over and over again. The other 45 was by Madonna. Her single was “Crazy For You.” I believe the song was featured in the movie VisionQuest. However, that isn’t how I first heard it. Probably was just on the radio. It was either at a Sam goodie or even a Kmart where I came across these two tiny little records. I don’t remember what the B sides were but I’ll look that up and post it in the comments below. 


During the course of life things come and go. I have no idea what happened to those records but they vanished from my existence. But those two meant the most to me and now I’m on the hunt to replace them. Sure I could probably go online and purchase them for a lot of money but I would rather just go into various record stores and fish through the 45s until I find them. I love scavenger hunts and the journey itself is the most fun. Sure I can play those songs on my iPhone or go on YouTube or whatever but to have two physical copies in my possession again will be pretty sweet. 

Being 10 years old and hearing those two songs on my little record player just worked its magic into my brain and provided peace and comfort to my ears. 

So I ask my blog readers what their favorite vinyl treasures are. There are lots of them out there. Just curious what everyone else is searching for or holds near and dear to them from their childhood. After all these months this is what I have chosen to write about here at my website. Thanks for reading and always listen to music.

45cat - Madonna - Crazy For You / No More Words - Geffen - USA - 7-29051

The Doors In Concert


I know…it’s been a LONG time since I have posted here. My wife and I had a baby boy in October of last year. So I’ve been a little busy, to say the least. But anyway, I am still obsessed with music, more than ever. It’s what keeps me sane. So for my new post and possibly a weekly series, I will discuss my favorite LIVE albums and why? I plan to share the stories about what got me into them and memories I have associated with these discoveries. This could be fun, I think. So let’s kick things off now with “The Doors In Concert.”

My first selection comes from 1991 when I was a sophomore in High School. There are many offerings from The Doors but I wanted to focus on my first experience hearing them play live for the first time. This recording is an expanded version of “Absolutely Live”that came out in 1970. “Alive, She Cried“, from 1983 was basically merged with that record to create the double live album “The Doors In Concert.”

But before I get into this, I wanted to say that the first compact disc I ever bought was the soundtrack to the film The Doors directed by Oliver Stone and starring Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. It was a great movie. The soundtrack was a really nice selection of Doors music that ultimately sparked my interest in the band.

My first experience with this live compilation was on the Chicago radio station 105.9 WCKG. This was a classic rock station. Air personalities included Mitch Michaels, Patti Haze, Allan Stagg, Joe Thomas and Debbie Alexander. On Sunday Nights, there was a program that was entitled, “The Seventh Day.” In the beginning the host (Joe Thomas I believe) would play album sides (A or B). Later he expanded it to entire albums. This was a vinyl record experience on the radio. He would play about 3 albums in a row. The program ran for about 3 hours every Sunday night.

One night they played The Doors In Concert. So in my fifteen year old mind I didn’t know of any other recordings other than the soundtrack I previously mentioned. Certainly nothing else live by them. This was definitely my first exposure to live Doors music. I would get fascinated when the DJ would tell us what was coming up soon. I would get my cassette tapes ready. I’d buy the tapes in advance or permanently borrow a couple from my dad. It was exciting loading them into the tape deck and prepare for something amazing. When he put on that double LP, I was really excited. So once things got kicked off, I hit record on the tape deck and just let the music play away.

This was well before the internet and iPhones or even the ability to borrow cds from the library. Back then, it was my way of listening to albums and recording them onto cassette tapes in order to keep hearing them over and over. Yes I come from a generation where we taped music off of the radio. Some really cool choice albums our radio disc jockey would play were: Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Mr Thomas would also play The Beatles’ White Album, The Eagles’ Hotel California and Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida to name a few.

So I remembered I ended up filling up two cassette tapes back to back with the music. So it was two hours practically of The Doors. I still have the tapes from 27 years ago, which is pretty amazing. Some might say negative things about this double album. Things they might say would be that these performances were pieced together and was edited in such a way that these weren’t complete shows. But again, the mind of a fifteen year old doesn’t necessarily know that. He just hears cool live music with the audience cheering and commenting.  To me it just seemed pretty awesome. It was radical. It was rebellious. And in your face.  Kind of raw and yet polished.

But I realized that there were various shows from Pittsburgh, Boston, Vancouver and New York. Places like San Fransisco’s The Matrix and the Hollywood Bowl were all sources that they drew the music from. At the time I first heard this arrangement of music, none of that mattered. In fact, looking back on it now with this knowledge, I am amazed how great this was all pieced together to give it a nice flow. I enjoyed it very much. Not only did I hear it while it was playing on the radio but I also listened to it in my dad’s pick up truck while we were heading out to Wisconsin on a camping trip. We enjoyed listening to it together on the trip.

My exposure to them live was hearing the 1991  compilation. That’s just how I heard it the first time and got the most comfortable with in that form. But the music was great! I didn’t care that it was edited like crazy. Especially the version I heard which was longer than “Absolutely Live” or “Alive, She Cried.” It was a stroke of genius that it sounded so well and nearly flawless. It’s very accessible and really packed a punch. It doesn’t exactly sound butchered by any means. It’s amazing actually.

So if you like The Doors. The poetry of Jim Morrison and his unpredictable behavior and screaming and then yelling at the audience and then collapsing on stage combined with the guitars, drums and wild keyboards then you can’t go wrong with this very thorough live experience. Plus its one of the rare moments where we are treated to the complete rendition of the masterpiece poetic story of The Celebration of the Lizard. See the cassette tapes below? Those are mine from the 1991 recordings.

Anyways, this is just part one of many blog posts where I will discuss some of my most favorite LIVE albums. I hope you enjoyed the story. Please feel free to post comments. Peace out!





My friend’s Story… #music #atari #newspaper #1982

Last week my friend Heidi shared a story with me, based on a musical conversation we had. I told her that it was really good and that it should be shared here at my blog site. She agreed. Here it is in all of its glory:


  “A friend emailed me asking what my generation’s take-me-back music was. His question got me thinking and inspired me to write out a memory I think of clearly when I hear a few songs. It’s not my generation’s take-me-back music, but I wasn’t always experiencing the same things at the same time frame as my peers.             
“It was 1982 and I tagged along with my 16 year old brother on his Chicago Tribune routes one morning. We stopped at White Hen when we finished and he gave me some change to buy candy for helping him. Maybe I was caught up in the novelty or maybe just in thinking about all that potential money for candy. I wanted in.
“I was hired over the phone shortly after the school year ended and I got a little less than a nickel per delivery, so that was close to $30 every 2 weeks. For that large sum I just needed to have a paper on the last porch no later than 6:30 am. Now I have no memory of ever having a formal bedtime, so once school started and I knew I could no longer go home and take a nap after deliveries I found it harder and harder to get out of bed and come even close to delivering on time. No matter how much later I got out of bed I still frequently remembering hearing ‘Slit Skirts’, ‘Athena’ or ‘Waiting on a Friend’ play on my mom’s clock radio while I rolled or bagged my papers in our front hallway. They had become some of my favorite songs that summer.
“A few times I ducked behind a car in a driveway or in someone’s back yard when I saw my bosses Ford Bronco driving my route to confirm my papers weren’t on the porches they should’ve been on. Then for two or three days I had the flu and couldn’t deliver my papers. By this time my brother had been living with my dad a few towns away, so he couldn’t help me, but my mom and sister prepared my papers and my sister made my deliveries. She told me one of the people on the route said to her, “oh, you’re early today”, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when shortly after I got fired. Still, I was devastated.


“My route started the block I lived on and it stretched the five blocks adjacent. I was only at the end of my own block and it might have been 7:00 am already when a Ford Bronco screeched to a halt 10 feet in front of me. There was no running and hiding this time. My boss sprang out of his truck and quickly walked toward me looking pissed off, but not saying a word. He tried to grab my paper delivery bag swiftly, but I had the straps wound all around a grass trimmings bag frame, because it was the only thing on wheels I found to hold all that weight. He struggled and grunted while untangling that mess for what seemed like an eternity even though it was probably no more than a minute. Once free he threw the bag in the back of his truck and said over his shoulder, “you can pick up your last paycheck on Saturday”.


“I was sobbing before I even got home and my mom was somewhat trying to comfort me while pointing out how I was consistently late at the same time. It was a Saturday and my aunt stopped by not long after my first session of crying ceased only to start up again while telling her the story. She was even less comforting than my mom pointing out how frequently she’d waive to me while driving by on her way to the train and those papers should’ve been delivered long before that. 


“Even though I hadn’t been saving much for it yet I had plans to buy my family Atari for Christmas. That dream was now shattered and over the next 6 weeks I often beat myself up over not being able to keep my job or save my money better. As it turned out my aunt that was so hard on me bought my family Atari that Christmas. I couldn’t have been more excited or surprised! That said, the lesions weren’t lost on me. Saving money and budgeting have since become some of my best quality’s.


“Whenever I hear one of those songs it brings me right back to 1982. The smell of the newsprint, the crisp, pre-dawn summer mornings and cashing my paycheck every other Saturday immediately followed by candy shopping that I’d spread out like a buffet and share with my sister. Those songs also remind me that I should give every job my best effort, because I never want to be fired from a job again even though I still struggle with getting out of bed in the morning.


“Some people could question who would give a job with that much responsibility to a 10 year old? I would agree and also question how many 10 year olds in 1982 considered Pete Townshend and The Rolling Stones to be some of their favorite artists? Like I said, growing up I wasn’t always experiencing the same things at the same time frame as my peers.”

Thank you for sharing this with me and allowing me to post this meaningful story here, Heidi.




The Departure of Starman

The David Bowie exhibit ran from September of 2014 through early January of 2015 in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. My wife and I reserved tickets to go this wonderful interactive display of his legacy. We enjoyed it very much. An amazing exhibit!

Mr Bowie recently celebrated his 69th birthday and released a new album. However, sad news came this morning. After battling cancer for a year and a half, he has left the world. Tears dripped down my cheeks. I began to reflect on all of the music and art he left behind.

It suddenly became clear to me that he authorized this traveling art exhibit as a walking memorial or even a wake for us to celebrate his legacy. He knew already. In his poetic way, he timed it all right. Perhaps based on the timeline his doctors gave him, he celebrated Christmas, New Years Eve, the release of his final album, his last birthday and even the link to the video below as his farewell to his fans.

I think he said goodbye to us all recently and for the last year and a half but we just were blinded by all of his hints. I wasn’t prepared for this but I am still sad. May he live forever in the afterlife as Ziggy Stardust and play with the Spiders From Mars….

David Bowie’s Final Video (talk about a foreshadow)


R.I.P. Mr Bowie




artists Concerts Memories

Katy Restored My Innocence


Enormous stadium

Thousands of flashlights
Emitting from smartphones
Gigantic colorful balloons
Glitter everywhere

Clapping hands
Dancing in place by our seats
Jumping up and down
Like giddy children

Wild outfits
Little girls with wings
Pizza and Abe Lincoln?
What’s Gluten?

Shiny guitar strumming

Glamorous costume changes
Everything is a prism
Camera phones
Coca cola
Love of her crowd

Told us how she went
For a bike ride around
“Our city of Chicago”

Selfies with Katy and the crowd
Birthday party with a member of the audience

Egyptian feel
Kitty cats
Glow in the dark
3D glasses
Moms & Daughters
Doing the WAVE
Chanting “Katy! Katy! Katy!”
10 year old girls’
energy all over

“But What’s Gluten?”

Brightly connected
A thrill ride
Awesome sauce

Got home at 1:00 a.m.
And was


Gee Tar


Last week, I dusted off my “Oscar Schmidt” acoustic guitar and tried to play some random songs from my memory bank in front of my nieces. I failed miserably and I immediately lost their interest as they became focused on whatever else was entertaining them and I felt rejected, emotionally.

I enjoy listening to the sounds of the guitar. Its a great noise that comes from those strings as they are strummed, plucked and picked. In high school I wanted a bass guitar because it sounded cool and I had some friends that liked to play those funky backbeats. My parents rented one for me as a gift and it came with a small amp. I had fun messing around with it but I never really got anywhere. I even took advantage of a free lesson, but still, I got no where. Then about a year later, mom and dad tried it again. They rented an electric guitar for me to satisfy my interest once again. I cheated and played guitar solos on my cd player in the background in my bedroom and pretended I was playing. I ended up fooling my mother, but that wasn’t any fun. I lost patience and the guitar and amp was returned to the music shop.

College came. Various room mates and friends in the dorms had guitars. Electric and Acoustic. As much as I enjoyed hearing the guys jam away, and believe me they were impressive, I just didn’t have the time, patience and skill to jump right in and start playing with all the pedals and knobs, etc. However, when I listened to this one guy with a beard during my second year in college, I suddenly found a way to do this. He was reading tablature from a Smashing Pumpkins song, I think. Its a way of notating music. But tablature made it more simple for me to grasp. It lays out the frets and strings in a more elementary sort of way. At that point my interest in music was soaring anyway. I was experimenting with a lot of bands and hanging out with all kinds of friends that showed me a thing or two with the acoustic guitar. I find that going back to the roots of music with that kind of instrument and those kinds of easy guitar tabs made my experience a lot easier.

I would occasionally pick up my roommate’s, “Hotsauce” was his nickname, acoustic guitar and start jamming based on trial and error. I would hear the sounds on the cd player or sit and observe others, like the bearded man from earlier, and just go by feel and sound. But, of course, the tabs helped a lot when I returned home from college. My parents finally BOUGHT me an Oscar Schmidt guitar. I found myself enjoying it a lot more and growing much more patient with it. All through the late nineties and early naughties, I played frequently. I was able to mess around with the styles of bands like Monster Magnet, Type O Negative, Pink Floyd, Jewel, Mazzy Star and Smashing Pumpkins. But then it really started to collect dust, until I met my wife. I tried to impress her but my efforts weren’t so great because I started to rust out a little. My lack of practicing showed, unfortunately. But lately, since my encounter with the nieces, I decided to try and master a couple of songs and spend more time with it.

Sure I love to listen to music, write about music, go to concerts and review them. But I wish to bring back the acoustic instrument back into my life. I seem to know so much about music and who my favorite guitarists are and I love to write poems that are very much musical. So why cant I get back up on the musical horse and start riding again? That is one of my goals this year. To become connected with the music on a deeper level. Who knows maybe I’ll even post a video of me playing in the future. We’ll see. Later.


Time for some Tom and Jerry……..

Memories Poetry



i am trying to connect
with the roots
of the Harlem Renaissance

hey Man
i was in church
the other day
staring at the cross
pondering its meaning
reminded me somehow
of Langston Hughes
a Negro who was
neither black nor white
he wrote some poetry
one of them called “cross”
white old man
black old mother
lived and wrote
in Harlem

hey man
have you heard
on a sax
jazz…oh so truly American
do you remember the weary blues?
i love those lines:
“Coming from a black man’s soul
In a deep song voice
with a melancholy tone.”

i’m talking to you
the Negro Spirit
i’m thinking about Langston Hughes

what is a Negro?
is he the essential American?
out there always finding
his meaning out there
on the streets of Harlem

abstract morality

you bind together
in the village
the bronx

you have something
in common
a lot of you believe
in the same things

live and let live

you can be happy
without becoming a millionaire
maybe you feel
like you belong there
its the general feeling

a brotherhood

awakening race
a cultural movement
New York City
the center of change
accomplishments of the past
created a livelihood now
an interest
in Negro life

and power to the people
it must have been insane
a revolution of thoughts
you are the roots
of possibility
and i am inspired

Christopher Noe
Copyright 2013

artists interests Memories

Release My Demons….Please!

I am melancholy right now. I have a friend that got angry with me. I threw her under the bus and embarrassed her. Then she got even more upset and denied me a gift and de-friended me on facebook. Life can really suck sometimes. But it is through music that my soul can be heard. My three nieces performed this song on Christmas Eve before my fight with my friend. They did an awesome job! It was stunning to watch them sing, play guitar and keyboard like that and do it with passion and pretty harmony. I enjoyed videotaping it. But now I am reminded of its profound meaning. The girls know what it is like to be human and have real pain and emotions that we tend to bury, hide and ignore. We all make mistakes. We all deserve a second chance. But we all must learn to forgive ourselves. We cannot let the sins and the black coins of our life fill up the jar of our minds and soul or else there will be no more room for love.


These are the lyrics to the songs, “Demons,” from the band Imagine Dragons

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you’ve made

Don’t wanna let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t wanna hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Here is an acoustic version of the song which is heaven to my ears:

….and here are my awesome nieces; Amanda, Sydney and Sam. This is their version that prompted me to write this blog entry (a baby cries in the beginning):


Memories Uncategorized

Cranberries? I thought they were a fruit!


The Cranberries are actually a band from Ireland. They are to the 90’s what bands like, The Police were to the 80’s. Something brilliant about them set the mood for this unique generation I belong to. They entered my life during senior year in high school. I wanted to experience love in many ways and this song, Linger, evoked that for me. Dolores O’Riordan is an outstanding singer. Her voice sends chills down my spine. Soothing, deep, passionate and even frustration comes from her voice. She is also a very stunning looking woman.

So let me take you back to 1993.  I had my first car, a red Dodge Omni. A piece of crap is what it was but it was my first car. But while taking drives around the block, across the river in town, or out of town to an ice cream stand with friends in my car I discovered this song…Linger. What an awesome experience it was hearing this play on the radio for a 17 year old kid with no direction. But he knew one thing for sure, this song rocked.

The first time I remember hearing it was at a party after a high school dance at a friend’s house. A bunch of us were sitting around talking and laughing. Some were drinking. (I wasn’t really one of those people drinking on that night….cuz you know, I was underage) It was dark and it was late. Someone brought out a small stereo and played The Cranberries.  I paid particular attention to the violins, the peaceful sounds of the guitars, the meaning it had for me in that moment and the beautiful sound of Dolores’ voice. What a voice. “Do you have to let it linger?” I got in trouble for being out late and not calling my parents to let them know where I was but I’ll never forget my first encounter with that magical song.

Why was it magical? Why did I turn the volume up in my stupid car every time I heard it? Quite simply, the desire for love found me. I had the urge to scream to the top of my lungs! Poetry entered my brain that made me feel alive. Passion was something that I finally felt. I would carry this feeling with me for almost 20 years. Wow! That song made a difference in my life. Go find it and listen to it! It blows me away every time I hear Linger.


The Cranberries are still together in 2013. They have had a number of hit singles over the years. They released a brand new album and continue to go on tour.

Fond memories.


Later Lou


Lou Reed died on October 27th 2013. I don’t believe rock and roll bands change people’s lives. But when I was 19, in college, one of my roommates was listening to a song by Lou Reed that really resonated with me. Coney Island Baby is the name of it. We were smoking cigarettes and talking. I asked to play the song again. I went back home during winter break. I bought a compilation record called Different Times: Lou Reed in the 70’s. That song was on there as well as many other of his hits. I bought this compact disc at a strip-mall in Aurora, Illinois. Northgate, the neon sign read. The mall isn’t as pretty as it used to be, kind of a dump actually. But I loved it when my discman leaked a tiny reproduction of Reed’s voice into my head all day, every day for most of 1996. I enjoyed listening to him. His music is out there to be experienced any time you want to hear it. He made lots of records.

When you’re a teenager, rock & roll has a gravity that it can never have again. In the summers of my college days, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground were sort of my emotional life. I have blogged before about his music and I have been still listening to his stuff. When I heard the news, I listened to Coney Island Baby right away. I tried, but could not recapture the intensity of feeling that song had for me in another time. I wouldn’t want to, however. But the spaces in that song are certainly planted in my DNA now. (paraphrased) Man, I’d swear, I’d give the whole thing up for Lou.

later lou

to be misunderstood
is not so bad
brutal honesty in New York City
crossing his legs
holding a guitar
on his lap
writing a sad song
with sunglasses on
(better artistic impressions)
to care
but not regret or change
to transform
but stay the same
a poet
a story teller
a man who will be missed
enjoy the twilight
as its reeling

-Christopher Noe Copyright 2013