December 31, 2013

Wow.

Another year that passes into history. I don’t have much to say about this year, but for us here at the Richard hacienda it’s been, by and large, a good one. A few rocky spots at times, but that’s to be expected. My family and my friends appear to have all come through the year in pretty good health and spirits – at this stage in my life i think that’s the best one can hope for. Tracey and I have remained employed, with all the kinds of things we all take so much for granted. While my sister-in-law lost her beloved rabbit Cookie, ours all made it through the year – even our elderly gentleman rabbit Cosmo. Atta go, Cosmo!

Don’t know what 2014 will be like. I fear for this country and the lack of leadership and political courage by our supposed “elected leaders” in Washington. Personally, I think we’re heading for socio-economic collapse one of these years, but I just hope it holds off for at least another year so Tracey and I can finally eliminate our credit card debt and hopfully keeping the Saturns running without the thousands of dollars of repairs they needed this past year. For me, there’s another Eades Diet planned to start in another week – after all, with just a couple of months before my annual trip to Vegas with my Goodboys friends I can’t show up all out of shape, can I?

I don’t know what you can say about years turning over anymore. All one can do is hope for the best and cope with the rest, control what you have control over and deal with what you can’t. It’s important to cherish the small things: the sound of palm tree branches rustling in the breeze, a hot cup of coffee on the patio in the morning, a little nitecap under cool moonlight while the rest of the world seems fast asleep, the ear for music my parents gave me, the joy of whacking a few golf balls out in the warm sun, being able to use the bathroom every morning without someone (or something) to assist. I mean, I get it – I’ve never taken for granted the stuff most people do. Good health, a job, food on the table, clean water to drink, a circle of loving friends and family. It means the world to me.

Finally, before calling it another year, I would like to say to all who continue to make Goodboys Nation weblog a part of your daily Internet experience, a big “thank you!” for your patronage and comments. Like I said this same day a year ago, I have a feeling the next year is going to be a rough sled, but hopefully I’ll be here to tell it all as I see it. Maybe a year from now we can all look back and say, “there, there, Great White Shank, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” One can only hope. To all of you and your families, my best wishes and prayers for the happiest and healthiest of New Years.

OK, enough. As is custom every year at this time we say, take us outta here, George!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 03:25 | Comments (3)
December 30, 2013

“Give me the bad news, Kent”, I said to my playing partner as we drove toward the sixth hole at Phoenix’s Stonecreek Golf Club on a warm and sunny Monday morning. Actually, I knew what he was going to tell me, and the only thing hotter than the sun on my face was my righteous indignation at the carnage that had taken place up to that point.

“Let’s see… that’s a triple, triple, triple, quad, and a double. That’s fifteen over after five. You’ve got some work to do.”

Indeed I did, and it wasn’t supposed to be this way. After all, my last couple of driving range sessions had gone really well, and today’s warm-up was as good as I’d had all year. Yet, I’d already lost three balls (courtesy of a well-struck 8-iron that had taken too aggressive a line by mistake, a sculled drive off the second tee into the drink, and a big banana-sliced drive off of four into someone’s backyard that I hadn’t done in a month) and had already missed two putts from less than four feet. can you say, “disaster”?

I was steaming inside because I was letting the course play me, not me the course as one is supposed to do. And I’d worked too damned hard over the past month to let this kind of thing happen. I was supposed to be beyond this, right?

We had a wait on the sixth tee – the #1 rated hole on the course, a winding par four with a fairway that looked the width of a 2 X 4 with a waste area all down the right-hand side, houses down the left, and a large pond protecting the green – so I decided to take a short walk and that’s when I suddenly found Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” suddenly playing in my head:

Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
You could stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

Hey baby there ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

…and I felt Petty’s lyrics speaking to me personally, to the point where I felt like I was in a Dr. Bob Winters emergency intervention session. I could almost see myself up at his whiteboard, writing the words that needed to be said – and heard:

“You’re Doug Richard. The Great White Shank.
You’ve got just as much ability as anyone else out here.
You’ve worked hard to cultivate a great swing, and this is your time.
You have a great swing, you know what you have to do.
Now go out there and do it.
No excuses.
Stay aggressive.
Leave nothing in the bag.
And do not – and I mean –
do not be afraid.”

Even though the course was crowded, a little over 30 minutes later I looked with pride at the front nine that had been turned from chicken $hit into chicken salad, and a passable chicken salad at that. A bogey-par-bogey-par finish had gotten me out at 52. Not only that, but I had found three of the last four fairways and had actually tightened up my short game a little bit.

My back nine started out rocky with a shanked 7-iron into a dry creek bed following a monster smash. It wasn’t pretty, but I was able to keep the damage to a double-bogey. A wayward drive on 11 got me in trouble, but not as much trouble as a shanked pitching wedge that left my playing partners scratching their collective heads at what they were watching. My ball came to rest against the side of deep bunker, but my Christmas gift from Santa (a previously-used 60-degree lob wedge) got me out of trouble with an out that left me with a three-footer for a double-bogey that I missed. On twelve, a downhill par 3 with bunkers on the left and a lake on the right, my four-hybrid was pushed just enough to leave me with an impossible sharp sidehill lie that I chunked across the green into – you guessed it – the lake. A chip and a two-putt later I had posted another triple bogey.

Eight over par after three holes. It was time for another intervention. Again, our group is waiting on the tee. Again, I’m telling myself how good a player I was and hoping I was listening to the boost of confidence I was giving myself.

And once again, I found myself on a tear that I took straight into the clubhouse. A par on the par 5 thirteenth. A double on fourteen following another missed four-footer. Bogey on fifteen (this time a three-footer missed for a sandy). Bogey on the par 5 sixteenth (I would play the par 5s today at one-over, BTW). Bogey on the par 4 seventeenth (this time a five-footer missed). Bogey on eighteen to close out a 50 on the back nine and a 102.

As we all gathered for a beer at the 19th hole in the warm afternoon sun I felt like I had played 36 holes, never mind eighteen. I was physically and mentally wiped, but quite satisfied that I hadn’t allowed a few bad holes on either side to snowball into something worse. I felt like all the work I have put in over the past month has really started to pay off. Seven fairways hit. And even with all those missed putts, I still only made 33 total, which is as good as I’ve done since Goodboys weekend. More than anything else, I’ve got a confidence with my tee game that I’ve never had before (like, ever) and have picked up a good 10-20 yards with my new move. Today I was playing with ten and twelve handicaps today and more then a few times out-drove the best they had.

I’m closing out my 2013 very satisfied with all the work I’ve put in this year. Even tough my scores still don’t reflect it, I’ve come a very long way since that first round at Superstition Springs back in February. I’ve had my ups and downs during the year for sure, but everything seems to be moving in a positive direction. The fact that I was able to shake off some bad holes (not to mention that brief case of the shanks!) gives me confidence that I’m not far away at all from putting up some low numbers again. There’s still a fair bit of work to do, but I know where the issues are and what I need to do to fix them.

This closes out my Golf Quest for 2013, and someday it’ll be fun to go back and read all my related posts from the start of the year to see just how far I’ve come since my first entry back in March. There are a lot of people I have to thank for bringing me this far: my swing coach Alex Black, my de facto sports psychologist Dr. Bob Winters (courtesy of Tom Coyne‘s Paper Tiger, which has been a constant companion and source of enlightenment throughout the year), and, most recently, that Rickie Fowler look-alike who showed me the move that has brought me such confidence and never-before consistency I’ve found with my woods and hybrids.

It’s been a great 2013. Let’s take it to the course in 2014.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 22:07 | Comments (0)
December 27, 2013

So how about this cool YouTube video. Think of what the Nativity would look like in social media. It’s pretty funny.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:05 | Comments (0)
December 26, 2013

What else is there to do on the day afdter Christmas except revel in the day and get ramped up for all the stupid end-of-year stories and useless 2014 predictions that fill up this always-awkward week between Christmas and the New Year. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a time for continued fun and merriment – after all, wasn’t this the day Ebeneezer Scrooge became a nice boss?

Courtesy of Hot Air’s Allahpundit, here’s a fun quiz to match your dialect. Have fun with it!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 03:56 | Comment (1)
December 25, 2013

…from all the Goodboys and all of us here at Goodboys Nation weblog.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:19 | Comments (2)
December 24, 2013

There’s not much for me to add. I know there will be a ton of cooking and good cheer in the Richard household tonight.

So, how about a poem for Christmas Eve?

Hushed was the night on the Judean hill.
The weary shepherds with their charges lay
under a darkened sky, serene until
There shone the wonder of eternal day.
Then was the sky ablaze with glorious light;
The white-robed angels of the Lord came down:
” Peace on earth, good will to men this night…
Forever blessings on your little town.”
Now, under centuries the shepherds lie,
And quiet is the little town, but still
The blessings holds.The word that will not die
Proclaims once more, as on that faded hill,
The love of God; and in the hearts of men,
The star still glows- and Christ is born again.

—- “Christmas Eve”, by Anne Stubbe

Hat tip: Free Poems Christmas Eve

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:31 | Comments (3)
December 23, 2013

So today I’m playing at Superstition Springs, hoping to get a couple of rounds in before the end of the year while most of the company is on holidays. When you’re playing as a single, as I normally do out here, you can get hooked up with just about anyone. The vast majority of the time it’s good company so I don’t mind at all – in fact, I typically find it easier to play with strangers than with the Goodboys because there’s nothing on the line and no expectations you have to meet. Most of the time you’re playing with folks of average skills; sometimes – as I was today – you’re hooked up with sticks (players with plus handicaps, slightly better than your usual scratch golfer).

It was my second time playing with sticks. Like the sticks I played with the first time, Both Cabe and Eric were your normal young and athletically-built dudes who not only could hit the ball a ton, but had short games you would die to have. Just the sound of the ball coming off their club faces was a beautiful thing to behold. Better yet, unlike the sticks I played with at Trilogy back in May, these guys just seemed like all-around good guys. So when they suggested we all play from the championship tees – marking off at 6,770 yards – it was hard to say no. I just told them I’d give it a try.

After we all hit our balls at one – all of us in the fairway, Cabe and Eric sixty yards past my drive – I was trying to think of the longest course I’ve ever played, and I’m thinking it was one time when we played the gold tees at Portsmouth Country Club at 6,600 yards. But Portsmouth doesn’t have small greens and water like Superstition Springs does, so I knew from the start I was in uncharted territory. Still, I couldn’t think of a better way to try out the changes I’ve made in my swing to improve accuracy off the tee and my chipping and putting strokes to see how well they’d hold up under the pressure of playing with a couple of really good golfers.

There’s no point in sugarcoating the 54 + 58 = 112 score I put up; I headed off the course with Christmas-related stuff left to do with my tail between my legs. Chalk it up to the six balls lost to the various ponds and lakes, the 40 putts made on greens I never was able to adjust to, and a whopping +10 on the par 3s (!). Chalk it up to some very poor shot decisions and sloppy greens play that really cost me. Regardless, what’s most disheartening is that, even with all the hard work I’ve been doing lately, I’ve shot 110 or greater in three of the last four rounds I’ve played, so I’m obviously moving in a different direction than I was going into Goodboys weekend.

I was at my car and putting my stuff in the trunk when Cabe came walking up to me. “I know you’re not pleased with your score, Doug, but you’ve got a good swing there. If you don’t mind me offering a suggestion – I know what you’re going to say – but I think it would really help you out. I didn’t want to say anything while we were out on the course, but technically I think you’re doing a lot of good things out there, making a lot of good swings. Right now you’re not seeing it, but keep it up and I think you’re going to be OK. Sometimes you have to take a step backward to go forward, if you know what I mean.”

Normally in these cases, I’d offer up a polite “thanks but no thanks” – after all, you can’t bullshit a bullshitter, right? – but in this case, neither Cabe nor Eric were jerks and we all really did enjoy playing our round together. Besides, Cabe’s a really solid player – I mean, dude shot 70 and had four lip-outs that would have put him well into the 60s – so who was I to brush him off as if he were some insect on my shirt?

“You really need to work on your focus out there. Too many times you’re just moving the ball out there without any purpose. The one thing I’ve learned over time is that you need to find your box and stay in it the entire round. Doesn’t mean you have to be some a$$hole robot, but you have your box and whenever it’s your turn to hit you enter that box and stay there until you’ve hit the shot you planned. I know you know it, but you’re throwing away strokes, and it’s not because of anything to do with your swing. What’s your lowest round you’ve ever shot?”

I tell him about the 90 I shot at Lone Tree back in June.

“You should be shooting 92s and 93s, and I’ll bet you could even shoot 87, 88 if you really caught the torch. I’m not bullshitting you – I saw some of the shots you were making out there on a really tough course for someone of your abilities. And I don’t mean that in a demeaning way.”

“None taken”, I reply. “It was a pleasure just to play with good players like you and Eric. I actually learned a lot.”

“Find the good players and play with them as often as you can. Talk to the pro and ask him who the players are. See if you can arrange your rounds around theirs. More than anything else, try and work on your focus. I know you feel as if you didn’t play well today, but I think you’re really close to putting up some numbers.”

We shook hands and went our separate ways. The traffic was awful with all the last-minute Christmas shoppers, but I didn’t mind – Cabe gave me a lot to think about. Perhaps today wasn’t as much a waste as I thought it was.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 23:21 | Comments (0)
December 22, 2013

A late afternoon shot taken on the southwest side of the backyard looking towards the northeast. That’s an Apple Cactus in the front: it doesn’t have any spines, and every December it grows a fruit that has the color and shape of a – you guessed it – apple. On Saturday we saw a bird that looked similar to a mockingbird sitting on the cactus and feasting on the inside of the “apple” on the left-hand side. Now that the one on the right has split open I have no doubt that bird will be back to enjoy its fruit as well.

The bougainvillea look like they’re going to make it through this winter without a die-off. I love the color of the gold bougainvillea I planted on this side of the wall several years ago, but their growth has been stunted because of the intense heat the corner gets during the summer. Right now the low angle of the sun keeps part of the area in shadow, but during the summer season the sun beats down this area something fierce.

I love the way the red from the opposite side of the wall contrasts with the gold. Very Christmas like!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:15 | Comments (0)
December 21, 2013

From Accuweather.com:

The winter solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, which takes place this year on Dec. 21 at 12:11 p.m. EST. In the weeks that follow, the sun’s most direct rays will migrate northward and reach the equator on the first day of astronomical spring. The south-north migration of the sun in the sky is caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the movement of the Earth around the sun.

What to do on the shortest day of the year, also called the winter solstice? For me it was an afternoon of pool maintenance, skimming and sweeping the pool following our rainstorm the other night. That rainstorm – we got a nice little middle-of-the-night thunderstorm and 1/3″ inch of rain – finished off what has been one of the wettest years on record here in the Valley of the Sun. We usually get an average of 8.07″ of rain annually, this year we got around 8.5″. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you live in the desert Southwest…

Now that my sister-in-law and her bird and rabbits have arrived for an extended stay, we’ll celebrate the arrival of winter with a little gathering filled with finger foods and Christmas movies. I’m certain “It’s A Wonderful Life” will be one of the movies on the menu. In that regard, PowerLine Blog’s Scott Johnson has an interesting post about this Christmas classic that’s worth a read.

Tomorrow I’ll be making my arrangements for our annual Goodboys Las Vegas weekend. It’s not really the New Year until we hit Vegas in February. This year we’re moving our trip to the last weekend in February instead of the first to try and catch some better weather for golf, which is OK – as I told “Doggy Duval” today, the anticipation is almost as much fun as the weekend itself.

A happy winter solstice to you all!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:25 | Comments (2)
December 20, 2013

phil OK, I know the guy’s still sitting in a prison cell, whacked out and burned out, and for all intents and purposes, checked out of society and the rock n’ roll world he was once such an iconic part of. But heck, it is the Christmas season and I know it’s not REALLY Christmas until I slap into my CD player the best damned rock n’ roll Christmas record of all time. Which is (for those of you cats and chicks who may not be hip to these kinds of grooves), Phil Spector’s magnificent “A Christmas Gift For You”.

I know what you’re thinking – that’s just The Great White Shank spoutin’ his “yeah-i-know-he’s-in-jail-for-murder-but-believe-me-Phil-Spector-really-was-a-genius” bull$hit, but in this case you need to give me a break. ‘Cause it’s not just me, it’s a whole range of critics across the media spectrum, from Rolling Stone (who rated it #142 in its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time), to bloggers like Hip Christmas and BlogCritics. BC’s praise of the album and its greatness is especially spot-on:

A Christmas Gift For You contains thirteen performances, all captured during that incredible early sixties period when Spector was producing these amazing records. You already know all of the songs, as they have all become tried and true radio staples at Christmas time over the years. Song for song, the wall of sound production — with all of its bells, whistles, and strings — captures all the magic and wonder of Christmas like very little music I can think of. When you hear these songs, it’s like being instantly transported to a kinder, simpler time. It really does feel like Christmas.

In addition to the Ronettes and Crystals classics already mentioned, the standouts here include Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and a version of “White Christmas” so gorgeous you’ll be checking your window for snowflakes. On Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans’ “The Bells of Saint Mary,” the bells and the castanets ring gloriously amid a swirl of gospel-charged backing vocals.

So the thing is, Phil Spector’s recent legal troubles aside, this record just doesn’t sound any different to me. For my money, it’s still the single greatest Christmas record ever made. And tougher sell that it may be these days, it will definitely be on my CD player when the guys and I get together for some Christmas cheer next weekend.

For me, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.

The album, considered by many to be Spector’s finest piece of work (next to, perhaps, The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”, whose praise I sang the other day, and The Righteous Brothers‘ “[You've Lost That] Lovin’ Feelin’”) had a bumpy ride on the road to becoming a much-loved and respected holiday and pop music classic. Originally recorded during the summer and fall of 1963, it was understandably overlooked in those tragic weeks following the assassination of JFK and then virtually forgotten. It was only until its re-introduction to the public on the Beatles’ Apple Records label in 1971 – at the urging of John Lennon and George Harrison (both of whom utilized Spector on their first post-Beatles’ solo albums following his work on the Beatles’ Let It Be) – that the album got radio play and finally earned its long-deserved recognition as a classic piece of pop music history.

So what exactly is it about A Christmas Gift For You that makes it both a holiday pop classic and a piece of work sufficient enough to warrant recognition among rock’s all-time greatest works? David Sprague, in his Amazon.com review, puts it simply: “[Spector's] “wall-of-sound” technique is perfectly suited to the music of the season, as he proves with layer upon layer of piano, sleigh bells, buoyant percussion, and, of course, those legendary Spectorsound harmonies.”

True enough, but it’s only after you buy it and crank it up VERY loud that you start to appreciate not just the massive sound Spector lovingly and painstakingly crafted, but the way his session players and musical artists make the most out of the material given them. Here, Spector’s artists The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love, and Bobby Sheen are simply vocal instruments in the overall mix, working within the material and the arrangements, not overpowering them. Listen closely, and you begin to see how the subtleties within each arrangement illustrate Spector’s respect for both the material and the genre that brought him such fame and respect in his day:

* On “White Christmas”, Darlene Love’s lead is beautifully understated (something virtually unheard of in this post-Whitney armageddon of Britneys and Christinas who sound like wailing alleycats in heat). And listen to how the pianos, basses, and saxes (alto and tenor) underscore the rhythm, and how beautifully they finish the song’s fade-out. Magical.

* On “Frosty The Snowman”, Ronnie Spector takes a harmless children’s tune and turns it into a holiday pop masterpiece. Her earnest vocal is the showpiece here – think ‘Frosty’ meets ‘Be My Baby’, with enough warmth and sweetness to turn ‘the Frostster’ into a puddle of lukewarm H2O. Loved hearing it in that iconic scene in GoodFellas where Jimmy goes nuts with everyone buying expensive stuff after the Lufthansa heist.

* On “The The Bells of St. Mary’s“, Bobby Sheen’s lead is sweet and soulful out in front of a driving rhythm highlighted by chimes and Hal Blaine‘s amazing drumwork on the fade-out. Oh, and that’s Darlene Love doing the “yeah, yeah”‘s towards the end.

* The Crystals’ version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” rejuvenates the classic so much so that the likes of the Jackson Five (awful!) and Bruce Springsteen, among others felt it necessary to pay homage with their own versions.

* On “Sleigh Ride” The Ronettes give a big fat wet kiss to Leroy Anderson’s classic arrangement; their now-classic “ring-a-ling-a-ling-a-ding-dong-ding” back-up is pure icing on this sweet holiday confection.

* “Marshmallow World” is a fun piece – dig the opening piano with an absolute ton of echo on it. And listen to how the saxes underscore the piano/guitar rhythm – you’re talkin’ Wall of Sound here, baby! The mix has always sounded a little muddy to me, but I think that’s just the pure number of musicians playing at the same time – Phil always did his mixing live while the entire ensemble was playing. Nevertheless, Darlene Love’s vocal is energetic and playful, and it’s a great tune.

* “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”. You don’t get #2 on my Top 10 list for nothing. Simply put, there is nothing wanting in this recording – the performances are top-notch throughout. Ronnie Spector’s lead is both devilish and sexy, and the arrangement rocks. Listen for the piano fills and the sleighbells workin’ behind the saxes. It almost sounds as if Ronnie is slurring her s’s here (‘kishing’ Santa Claus); I think she’s doing it deliberately so I fall in love with her voice all over again every year at this time.

* On “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, listen for the Glenn Campbell guitar riff that frames the song, similar to what Brian Wilson would later do to the instrumental “Pet Sounds” a couple of years later. There’s also a piano (and guitar?) doing something funky from the instrumental break onward, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is.

* “Winter Wonderland” is a faithful and fun rendition. Listen for those trademark shimmering strings featured throughout – they sound kinda funky to me – and how drummer Hal Blaine absolutely beats the daylights out of his toms on every fill. Darlene Love’s vocal is both soulful and fun. A magnificent arrangement.

* “Parade of The Wooden Soldiers”. OK, listen to how the strings behind The Crystals’ rollicking performance absolutely shimmer like glistening snow, especially behind the trumpet solo in the middle. No one – and I mean NO ONE – could make Christmas pop music like Phil Spector. (If you doubt me, just listen to John & Yoko’s “Happy Xmas [War Is Over]“) Again, Hal Blaine’s drum fills on the fade-out are pretty intense.

* “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”. Arguably the showpiece of the album. If you want a true holiday audio feast, come inside Mr. Spector’s kitchen where everything – including the kitchen sink – has been tossed in here. Shimmering strings and double acoustic bass (how does he get that sound?) create the necessary tension, then horns introduce a TOTALLY PUMPED and unleashed Darlene Love vocal that leaves nothing – and I do mean NOTHING – in the tank. The grand build-up to close the song is classic Spector: layers and layers of guitar, piano, strings, and percussion back the call-and-answer vocals between Love and the backup singers (a seventeen-year-old Cher’s voice can be clearly heard) until the tension is finally released in a tidal wave of vocal calisthenics, soaring strings, drum fills, and piano arpeggios. Simply put, one of the great pop vocal performances of all time.

* “Here Comes Santa Claus” is anticlimactic following Love’s tour de force, but it’s to Bobby Sheen’s credit that his straight, if understated, reading becomes the showpiece on this song. The trumpet solo in the middle has a ringing, jazzy touch to it which compliments Sheen’s soulful vocal.

What truly makes A Christmas Gift For You such a remarkable achievement is the success Spector achieved in fusing together what was then a radical way of interpreting familiar holiday songs without, as he would write in the album’s liner notes, “losing for a second the feeling of Christmas and without destroying or invading the sensitivity and the beauty that surrounds all of the great Christmas music.” More than anything else, Spector respected the music he was trying to interpret as his own. In the end, this is what makes this work an enduring classic for the ages.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:43 | Comment (1)

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