Category: Uncategorized

Those Everly Brothers

What a bunch. It’s great one doesn’t have to join the group to read the “Forum” section of the Everly Brothers fan site. The entertainment there is endless.

One cannot deny there is an abundance of truth in the fact that The Everly Brothers were simply in the music industry during a transition period for music. They were country singers who just happened to also be teenagers who found boppin around to a few songs that were of the energy level of Elvis, Big Bopper, Richie Valens and Buddy Holly a new experience for them. The fact they influenced groups and duos to follow was based on their close harmony, not the songs. The influence of Buddy Holly on some of those same groups was the music itself. In fact, when one realizes how close they were to Buddy Holly, it’s unrealistic to say Buddy wasn’t a very big influence on them, even though they credit others for that.

The big hits they made in the 50s and 60s were dependent on their yet to mature vocals to sound the way they did. It is unreasonable to think that they could sing those songs 20, 30, 50 years later and still have them sound the way they originally did. Those songs weren’t written for mature vocals. It was impossible to not notice they had “lost” the voices to give those songs the squeal that made the girls swoon some 20 years, and beyond, later. That’s NOT an insult or criticism to the Brothers, though I can’t say it isn’t an observation on the fans — especially the still swooning senior citizens who are of the hysterical notion that Don reads their comments and hopes to find them in his arms one day, just as they dream it is possible.

Most of the articles and interviews that can be found with the brothers tell such conflicting stories about their careers and relationships. One article will tell how Phil is the quiet one who doesn’t engage with the fans while Don ended the concerts with loud parties in his dressing room, then the next one will say Don retreats quietly to a private location while Phil engages with the fans. Phil said their battles were ALL about the industry, yet the majority of the articles, as well as Don’s version, is that they were completely different personalities and just couldn’t tolerate the way the other lived. It isn’t difficult to drift into the conclusion that Phil had no respect for the way Don abandoned his children, but Phil’s track record for relationships was pretty close to Don’s lousy history. Phil ended up with a bride who was young enough to be his daughter, though Don ended with one who probably could have been his granddaughter. It’s selfish, in my opinion, for anyone to marry a person so much younger that they are almost guaranteed to be alone at a really vulnerable and unattractive time in their later lives.

Don married a very young woman who went to Nashville to find a career for herself. He didn’t just take her out of circulation, he took away her dream — unless, of course, she saw living off his career success the more appealing choice. Last video I saw of him nearly 10 years ago made it look like he could do little more than hobble on his old legs.

The battle of the brothers WAS personal between them. Interviews say they weren’t speaking to each other during their last tour in the UK in the late 90s – Don had his wife and her twin sister along for that one, like a good sugardaddy would. On stage with Simon and Garfunkel around 2005-6 showed Phil keeping his back to Don, though glancing Don’s way just to see if Don was looking at him now and then. When they finished their song, they left the stage in a way that displayed total disdain for one another. Sorry, that’s NOT what Phil professed as giving the fans what they want and putting grievances aside to provide the fans with the kind of show they paid good money to see. This was no one-sided argument. Most families have siblings who subscribe to different life-styles and attitudes, and this isn’t the way they handle it. What Don and Phil display is an anger that is seriously rooted in some cruel behaviors that deeply hurt one or the other, maybe both.

Phil was clearly more open to doing what he was told to do by the handlers just to collect the money. Don, on the other hand, had a real passion and talent for music. He wrote some wonderful songs, and his voice was so captivating. The music he did while they were apart, and in those later years when they were still performing was really sad, and may well be why they didn’t get their second shot at fame. I can only listen to a Don Everly track if it is immediately followed by something that brings me back up out of that darkness he takes the listener into. His matured vocals with songs of heartbreak was quite the combo. Considering the nature of the artists of the 70s (Loggins & Messina, Eagles, Foreigners, Chicago, Bruce Springsteen, etc) and the break-out artists of the 80s (Bryan Adams, Sting, Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Buffett) they would have had to add a band and change their name to find space for themselves in the country/pop genre.

I saw the brothers several times – once near the end of their first run, and a couple of times after reunion. They had no stage presence. Phil was awkward in his efforts to act cool and move like a musician with physical rhythm. He just didn’t have it, and his really airy, soft voice with slight lisp seemed to show a fear of exposing his personality to the audience. They didn’t engage with the fans at all at any event I went to. They just stood there, sang the list of songs they had planned, and walked away. Not much had changed – even in the mid-80s they were still wearing a tux to perform in and singing the songs they could no longer sing. They probably could have gotten away with it if they had done some new arrangements to fit their maturing vocals, though.

It was a very rough career, and resulting life for both of them. They didn’t seem to know how to back away, regain control and remaster their early success into something that was more suited to the changes in the industry, their own worlds, and times in general. By the time they did the reunion, it was too late to “change their tune” – they came back as a nostalgia act, and that’s what they ended up doing for the rest of their lives. Shame, really. The possibilities they came into their 20’s with were incredible. Then, so many of their fellow performers ended up in early deaths, and at least they escaped that.


Amazed by the older women who have taken to the internet to declare their unwavering love for the Everly Brothers. I always thought their music was incredible because it was so different. Maybe it was the younger ears, but listening to the nasal, high-pitched stuff from the 50’s they did is now kind of shocking.  Maybe voice development is similar to physical stunting seen in athletes who dedicate every day of their young lives to practicing their sport. Those early recordings are almost hard to listen to now. Then, we’ve been given so many extremely beautiful voices and writing talents since the brothers that there’s much more to choose from for entertainment.

The death of Phil Everly was really a huge mark on the demise of the baby boomer domination in the musical arts, and it hit the baby boomers hard. The brothers had been out of the spotlight for so long that who even remembered they existed until the news it was over became the story of the day? Over-stated, maybe, but not entirely. I always have Everly music at hand, though I can’t say I’ve listened to it in decades when Mark Knopfler, Bryan Adams, Lionel Ritchie, Adele, Norah Jones, Fun., Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Meatloaf, U2, Pink, Lady Gaga, Cher, and hundreds of others have entered our world. The Everly’s returned to the stage when competition was growing, yet they oddly stuck mostly to their 50s and early 60s tunes and only truly appealed to and drew the attention of those seeking a quick return to the nostalgia of their youth. Amazes me with writers/producers like Mutt Lange out there writing for the people the brothers should have been every bit as popular as. They certainly were every bit as talented.

The brothers either stayed out of the tabloids, or I didn’t pay a bit of attention. I’m just now finding out they both spent several decades of their adult years single, but only after multiple marriages and children were left in their wake. Drugs, over-dose (reported in some articles as an attempted suicide), womanizing, estrangement from each other, and their mother, then later married to women who could have been their children. Don, especially, his current wife is younger than all but one of his four children. Even more amazing to me is that Don’s current wife went to Nashville to try for a career in singing – surely, she has some talent. So, why did she settle for singing in the kitchen with Don instead of him producing and developing the career she wanted? Was settling for living in the wealthy shadows of someone else’s fame just as good as sharing your gift of voice with others?

Phil was so feminine in how he spoke, and seemed to have quite the short fuse while he clung to Don for life. Don was the talent, and should have had a solo career first with the harmony coming in only as a special treat for audiences. Phil could have had a solo career, as well, he just needed to pick better songs. Don was also superior in the songs he wrote vs. the ones that came from Phil’s pen. Following the Sun, and You Make It Seem So Easy were incredible songs. Why aren’t they cover songs for other artists, in fact? They don’t need the harmony to be beautiful.

The brothers were too old for me to find crush-worthy, but I typically don’t crush on men I have no hope of ever actually kissing and having a meaningful relationship with, either. Even being up close to open stage events when they performed had me dancing to the music rather than having my eyes fixed on them. Both of them were closer to my mother’s age than they were to mine.

I miss the fun and simplicity of those years when their music was new and messing with my soul, though. That’s what makes me sorry in facing the death of Phil Everly. So many endearing celebrities have died over the past decades who I was far more intrigued by personally, and their passing didn’t have such a strong impact. This is all making such sense. RIP to the Everly Brothers, their impact on the youth of their time, and the decades that they represent. They did a poor job of managing their careers, or they would have endured the way the Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, etc. have. 

A bit over 10 years ago my daughter met a man at an industry meeting and the two of them connected instantly. On their first year anniversary, they got engaged, and on the second, they got married. Too damn cute for words, right? During those first two years I met Chris for brief, but pleasant enough, encounters fewer than half a dozen times. That should have screamed DANGER to me, but it didn’t at the time. There were a couple of things that made me uneasy about him, but nothing I could use with any degree of comfort that would allow me to share and be taken seriously.

The wedding planning was underway at the same time I was in the process of moving to a warmer climate with retirement in mind. I was funding a good portion of the wedding accessories, the “save the dates”, the invitations, the gift bags for the guests making the trip to St Lucia, and many of the reception items. I found some frustration in everything having to be cleared and given final approval by Chris, and really wasn’t at all comfortable with the level of control he was exhibiting, but I kept quiet about it. Several of the changes he required showed he was simply trying to prove he was the one in charge, as adding something as ridiculous as “West Indies” to the St Lucia location probably made people question whether they actually knew where St Lucia was on the map. But, I had the change made and when all my responsibilities were fulfilled, I moved to Arizona.

I had only been gone a couple of months when my daughter contacted me saying she had started having anxiety attacks and thought she was having a heart attack. She wanted me to come home, but I asked her to come to Arizona for a short visit instead and said I would also buy Chris a ticket if she wanted him to come along. I was surprised that he allowed me to pay for the tickets since he was selling himself as this successful entrepreneur and owner of an established insurance agency, but he was happy to take the free trip. I wish now I hadn’t offered that, and had just brought my daughter down to find out what was really going on. But, I did have an additional concern show up while they were there.

Scott Peterson was a big part of the news at the time of their visit, so I looked Chris straight in the face and said there should be a triple punishment served on any man found guilty of harming his wife. The blank stare he gave me back was chilling, and then I learned his fascination with guns. So far, that has not been a problem, but I’m constantly scared for my grandchildren. Chris is not a responsible anything.

Months later, on Mother’s Day 2005 everyone was preparing to head for the island for the wedding. I was in Arizona, they were in Seattle, and I fully expected my daughter would have the courtesy to call me that day, confirm all the reservations and her excitement for the coming week, and wish me a happy mother’s day. No call all day. I left a couple of messages, and still no call. I would later learn that the two of them had spent the day with friends – getting drunk and trashing me. I finally left her a message that said I was tired of trying to get her to call and if she couldn’t be bothered to wish me a good day that I was sure I could cancel my trip if that’s what she wanted. Amazingly, that got a return call with a drunken excuse that she was waiting until she could have enough time to chat with me…funny, it was already the end of the day and she was too drunk to chat with anyone. While she was telling me off, because it was HER DAY (even though the wedding was actually over a week away) and I was to bite it if I thought Mother’s Day was actually MINE, Chris was standing in the background screaming at her “HANG UP ON THAT FUCKING BITCH!” So, she did. I called her back, and he answered her phone. I asked him to please help out here and calm her down. His response was, “I could, but why WOULD I?” I called Chris’ mother and told her I could no longer support the marriage, that Chris is clearly the alcoholic I suspected he was, and that I would not be going to the island. She told me that Chris has done that to her, but she never thought he would ever say such things to me.

Chris showed me who he was, and I believed him. My daughter needed to see it for herself, but 8 years later she simply joined him in alcoholism and added two beautiful kids to the mix. He isn’t alone in this, of course. My daughter is loving the “hero” aspect of how he controls her. At the wedding (and I’ll go into much more detail in another blog on this) reception, her 100% brother, who is shy and she treats poorly finally got the courage to ask her for a dance. Her response to him was a typically nasty, “I’ve already danced with MY brothers.” She was referring to her half-brother, who she hardly knew, and her new brother in law. When my son told me, he was visibly crushed so when we got back to the beach I went to tell my daughter she really hurt her brother and needed to apologize to him. Nothing dramatic, or so I would have expected. She knew exactly what she had done, and when I approached her she instantly (and drunk) started into her “NO, NOT ME” routine and BOTH Chris and his MOTHER came toward us as though Desirae needed to be saved from me. The picture just keeps getting clearer as to what my daughter is doing to me, all so she can win friends and give herself a boost of importance to some really negative people she calls friends and lovers.

Through these years, Chris has done multiple things to let me know that he will do whatever he can to keep and expand the wedge he needs between my daughter and me in order to own her. More blogs to follow.

It’s funny to me, but not haha funny, how people automatically give others a free pass on past pains they have yet to apologize, or take responsibility for simply because they’ve learned the person is facing an illness that will most likely bring their life to its conclusion. Why is that?

I can’t be so generous when I think those people should actually want to make amends and leave with a clear conscience knowing they have done what is needed to remove the barb from the hearts they have injured. Are they so shy of pride and principle that their victims are expected to not just carry the pain, but shoulder the burden of not having the courage to ask for some kind of atonement? My inclination is they need to be told, and they need to prove their motives while they still can.

My children’s father has a form of lymphoma and is likely in his final years, or days. He seems to be showing slightly more interest in trying to be remembered by his grandchildren, though still not quite there with his own. And, by slightly, I mean he will see them on their birthdays and maybe one or two more times during the year. He wasn’t real fast to see either one after they were born, and even 3 and 6 years later they aren’t real comfortable around him. Although our daughter would graciously bring her children to visit with him, he rarely asks unless there’s something else going on.

He was a horrible dad from the very beginning. Mean from the deepest part of his heart. There was no name too cruel to call his kids, making them cry was sport, and selfish knew no boundaries. When he felt the urge to berate them, there were no boundaries and all I could do was wait for it to end or deal with the escalated fury of having undermined his authority in front of the kids if I had intervened to stop his torture.

Saturday mornings he would go out to buy a newspaper and come home with a Snickers bar treat for our daughter. He’d give it to her whole, wait for her to open the wrapper and then ask if he could have a bite. In her generous nature, she’d hand him the candy bar, he’d take 3/4 of it in one bite and then laugh when she started to cry. As soon as he regained the ability to talk from a mouthful of candy he’d berate her with, “what’s the matter, are you too selfish to share with your dad?”

The day I saw him chase our 3 year old son, grab him by the hair and kick the feet out from under him I knew it was time to call it quits and take the children to safer surroundings. Whether or not he would actually ever really hurt either of them physically was less significant than the incredible emotional damage he was doing to them. Having been emotionally taunted by my mother all my life gave me the empathy needed to act against this behavior. As the years went on, though, it became clear that emotional injuries can be inflicted from anywhere in the world, and all the protecting I tried to do was for naught. Genetics existed and one of the two children would grow up to be just like her dad — favor him as the parent of choice, actually. Then, there was money in her dad’s portfolio and she had acquired a husband much like him.

He spent the biggest part of his life living abroad and as far away from them as possible. We never had a phone number, an address, or emergency contact information for him, which limited the contact the kids could originate. Of course, nothing was ever his fault and he would go to great lengths to try and convince the kids that they were the ones responsible for maintaining a relationship with him – even at 5 and 9 years old. If he came back to the area on leave or to visit, he would wait until a day or two before he was leaving again to call them. A quick lunch out, phone call within 48 hours that he was at the airport, and 2 days later a letter would arrive declaring his sadness that they hadn’t had any real time together, but that he would certainly make it up to them one day.

He’s dying now, and he’ has shown only the slightest interest in making it up to them. My son compared him to “Lee Atwater” and his death bed regrets. Even though his effort to connect to his kids is a bit more frequent, it isn’t much. My daughter, however, is married to a man who will take money any way he can get it, and the thought of the guy dying has visions of inheritance dancing in his head, it seems. That’s a blog of its own.

I have an elderly (94.5 year old) aunt in Kansas City. Until recently when she had a mild stroke that only impacted her physically, followed by a broken hip, she was driving, doing all her own gardening and living alone without any problems. Now, she’s in an assisted living facility and hating the confinement. I have been able to get out to visit with her twice at this point and hope to see her again in another six months, but it’s expensive to fly out there and deal with travel expenses.

I also had an uncle in Mpls who has been dealing with a variety of illnesses for the past decade, and since his youngest granddaughter (also my cousin) was getting married, I took a trip north to attend the wedding and get a little visit time with him. I am so very glad I did, as he passed away the day I got home after my travels.

But, that’s not the point of my post. I was fascinated to see deeper into the fraud that is my best friend’s husband. He goes out of his way to act nice, supportive, and generous with her, but what lurks beneath is a red neck who is just waiting until that moment when he is comfortable enough to come out of the shadows. As my friend and I were in a conversation about the ultra wealthy vs. middle class, he butt in with his opinion that the ultra wealthy earned every dime they hoard from the economy. It’s fine to have that opinion, but his declaration came in a tone that made it the LAST word allowed to be spoken on the subject, and then he stomped out of the room to make sure his opinion couldn’t be challenged. A few minutes later he re-entered the room, and hollered ahead of himself that he was returning so we had better stop talking.

I ask anyone to defend him and claim that this is a kind, supportive, generous man. Because I don’t see it. He has exposed himself to me as a combative, jealous cannon just waiting to go off. Of course, the real problem could be that when I come to visit, his wife all but ignores him while we dedicate our time to shopping and eating out and he resents it.

Opening Day at Tip Tock!

I love the blogs! Because I work in a small 3 person office, I don’t get much chat time with others. Those chat times in my past have always been my resource for learning about things from tiny trivia to big deals. It’s my way of sharing what I’ve learned, seen, found, heard, or logically deduced from years of actively participating in life.

What I don’t love about the blogs is the uncontrolled expression of animosity people have toward one another. When people come to the internet to chat on blogs, why do they use it as a place to bully and berate? That’s not what the internet is for — it has been the research/resource medium now for over a decade and the intent is to find people of like interests and thoughts. So, why go looking for sites that oppose your viewpoint just so you can get nasty and rude with people you might not know? It’s a small world. That person you just swore at could actually be your boss!

So, here is where I want to be to share thoughts, ideas, plans, knowledge, advice, and the fun things that make the world go round. Rest assured — I have zero patience for the rude and bully communication style.