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A Love Letter To My Other Woman

on July 30, 2016 No comments

Joe Galliani

by Joe Galliani, aka the Creative Greenius

This is my love letter to Bonnie Raitt – the other woman in my life.

I am here in Santa Barbara with Deb, celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, having driven up the coast 100 miles from our home in Redondo Beach to see Bonnie play at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

Bonnie doesn’t know I’m here. I didn’t let her know I was coming. Didn’t even send her a text or leave a voicemail.

Even if I had it wouldn’t have made any difference. She wouldn’t care, believe me. How could she? Bonnie Raitt doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know I’m here to celebrate our 35th anniversary.

She doesn’t know that on my birthday next month it will be the 36th anniversary of the day in 1980 I proposed to Debra at a Bonnie Raitt concert at the Universal Ampitheatre. Not just any Bonnie concert – the one with Sippie Wallace!

Bonnie doesn’t know that six years earlier, Deb helped produce a performance Bonnie did at the Kiva while Deb was a college student at Michigan State in 1974. Or that the poster from that gig at the MSU Kiva hung proudly in Deb’s Seal Beach apartment when I first met her.

Bonnie has no way of knowing she was the indelible and non-stop soundtrack for my earliest years in California, as a 20-year-old seeking movie screenwriting fame and fortune in Hollywood.

It was 1977 and I was living on Romaine Avenue off of Vine, between Melrose and Santa Monica, in the gritty low income side of Tinseltown. I roomed with my screenwriting partner who had 4 cassette tapes and a stereo tape deck.

Two of those cassettes were Bonnie’s first two albums and songs like Women Be Wise” “Finest Loving Man” “Big Road” “Give It Up Or Let Me Go” “I Know” “Love Me Like A Man and You Got To Really Know How were not only giving me a lesson in the blues, but were also preparing me to appreciate and cherish strong, talented, independent women, who can and will give as good as they get. Just like the one I fell in love with and married 35 years ago.

So maybe it’s no surprise that I have spent the last 39 years choosing to work with and befriend exactly those kind of women – in every area of my life. Or that today at 58, the vast majority of my closest friends and colleagues are almost exclusively women I admire, respect and want to spend my time with.

I know Bonnie wouldn’t take the credit for any of that. How could she? We’ve never talked about it.

Just as we’ve never discussed how much I always loved watching Bonnie sing with her father, Broadway legend, John Raitt. They sang duets at almost every Los Angeles area concert she played for years. The joy they shared filled the hearts of all who heard them. And they meant something uniquely special to me.

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SoulmanA Love Letter To My Other Woman

Thousands Take a Stand To Protect Headwaters Hundreds arrested for trespassing at protest

on September 16, 1996 No comments

Alex Barnum, Chronicle Staff Writer

Carlotta, Humboldt County — Several hundred demonstrators were arrested outside this tiny North Coast mill town yesterday when they stepped onto private timberland during a protest demanding permanent protection of the Headwaters forest, the largest stand of privately- owned, old-growth redwoods in the world.

Thousands of demonstrators earlier in the day squeezed onto a narrow strip of the shoulder of Highway 36, outside the gates of a mill owned by Pacific Lumber Co. They attacked the company’s plans to log Headwaters in two weeks and said the Clinton administration’s negotiations to preserve the ancient forest have not gone far enough.

“Thousands of people are joining with us today to say that they have had enough,” said Cecelia Lanman, of the Environmental Protection Information Center in Garberville, who was among those arrested. “Ninety- six percent of the redwoods in California are already gone forever. We’re not going away until we have saved the rest of it.”

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department estimated the crowd at about 2,000. But rally organizers put the figure at more than 5,000. Last year’s rally drew 2,500. State and local law enforcement officers dressed in riot gear lined the entrance to Pacific Lumber’s mill, but the demonstration went off without serious incident.

After marching two miles to a Pacific Lumber logging road that leads into the heart of the Headwaters, by early evening about 400 protesters had been arrested for crossing onto the company’s property in an act of civil disobedience and the arrests continued into the night. Among those arrested were singer Bonnie Raitt and former North Coast congressman Dan Hamburg.

Save the Redwoods Photo by Humboldt State University

“There’s nothing left for us to do but to put our bodies on the line,” said Judy Bari, an organizer for Earth First who was severely injured by a car bomb during anti- logging protests in 1990. “We’ve done everything else we can to save the last remaining slivers of redwoods.”

SHOWDOWN AVERTED

The demonstration came two days after Houston financier Charles Hurwitz, whose Maxxam Co. owns Pacific Lumber, agreed to put off logging for two weeks while federal and state officials continue talks about a land swap for the 3,000-acre Headwaters Grove. The reprieve averted a potential showdown today, when Pacific Lumber planned to begin removing downed trees from the grove.

The talks are focusing on a “debt-for-nature” swap in which Pacific Lumber relinquishes control of a portion of Headwaters for surplus government property elsewhere. The government also would agree to eliminate some of the $250 million in outstanding claims against him from his role in the 1988 collapse of a Texas thrift.

Pacific Lumber President John Campbell said the company wants “fair and just compensation for the land,” and said the two-week moratorium represented a significant development in the negotiations.

But protesters said the deal does not go far enough and demanded protection for an additional 57,000 acres of forest that includes five smaller virgin redwood groves. Environmentalists say the land is critical for the survival of the marbled murrelet, an endangered seabird, and other species.

Protesters carried signs that read “No Clinton Clearcut Compromise” and “Liberate Headwaters, Jail Hurwitz.” Hamburg and Sierra Club president Adam Werbach were among those who addressed the crowd. Raitt, who was there with her father, John Raitt, and other family members, sang several songs.

Religious leaders, including a rabbi from Garberville and a contingent of Episcopalian ministers from the Bay Area, said Headwaters has spiritual significance and should be spared. “What our brothers across the street want to do is a sacrilege, and it must not happen,” the Rev. Jack Schanhaar, formerly of the Church of the Redeemer in San Rafael, told the crowd.

Tensions were high at times during the protest, as mill workers and loggers drove along Highway 36 carrying signs that read “Log the Headwaters” and “Support your local timberfaller” and calling out to demonstrators to go home. But there were no violent confrontations.

EUREKA COUNTERDEMONSTRATION

Thirty miles up Highway 101 in Eureka, mill workers, loggers, ranchers and private landowners held a counter-demonstration protesting federal endangered species laws as an attack on private property rights.

A convoy of logging trucks trailing yellow ribbons wended its way through the North Coast city to a rally by Eureka harbor. One truck, carrying a sign that read “California sawmill cemetery,” pulled a trailer carrying mock tombstones bearing the names of lumber mills that have closed.

“Trees are a God-given renewable resource,” said another sign. “Fifty-eight California sawmills closed since 1989 with over 5,000 jobs lost, eliminating thousands of other related jobs and devastating countless families and communities.”

Source: © Copyright SFGate
More information:
Save the Redwoods – Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Headwaters Forest Reserve – Wikipedia  /  Headwaters Forest Reserve

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SoulmanThousands Take a Stand To Protect Headwaters Hundreds arrested for trespassing at protest

Little Kids Rock Honors Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt Who Likens Cutting Music Education to a 'Criminal Act'

on October 19, 2017 No comments

by

Little Kids Rock founder David Fish said it best: “The world is a f–ked up place right now,” he noted on stage at New York’s Playstation Theater last night. “But in these days of discord, dissonance and distraction, I’m constantly reminded by a truth that is as old as the human family itself: music can bring people together in ways that virtually nothing else can.”

Honoree Bonnie Raitt speaks onstage during the Little Kids Rock Benefit 2017 at PlayStation Theater on October 18, 2017 in New York City. © Kevin Mazur /Getty Images for Little Kids Rock

That is the thesis behind Little Kids Rock and its annual benefit, which aims to provide music education to public schools. This year’s benefit honored longtime supporter Bonnie Raitt, along with Elvis Costello, and the CEO of City Winery and founder of New York’s Knitting Factory, Michael Dorf.

“Over the past 15 years, Little Kids Rock teachers have turned this into a national movement,” said Fish of the charity he initially conceptualized in 1996 when he was a teacher frustrated with the nonexistent funding for music programs at his school, leading him to launch an after-school program that taught students how to play guitar. “Since then, Little Kids Rock has been restoring, expanding and innovating music education around the country.”

For Dorf, who was honored for fostering a series of tribute shows that have raised $1.5 million dollars for music education, the cause is an important one. “With Mother Nature and Father Trump causing such havoc in our world, we are constantly putting on benefits to support the environment, health issues and protecting human rights,” said Dorf to Billboard. “What gets lost with all of these on-going topical issues and cut from budgets, are music programs — especially in public education for underserved youth.”

That’s especially true for kids like Amanda Medina, a 10-year-old student at the Equity Project Charter School in the Bronx, who also performed at the benefit as part of her after-school music group the Tep Combos. “Singing is my life, so I’m grateful for this because they’re giving money to buy kid’s instruments,” said Medina, who cited Beyonce as an influence. “I always look forward to rehearsing; tonight is our first performance that’s not in front of our school.”

Throughout the night, various luminaries attested to the importance of both music and its education. Harry Connick Jr., who introduced honoree Bonnie Raitt, said he started taking piano lessons when he was four, noting, “They say music changed my life, but for me that doesn’t go far enough. Music is my life.”

Bonnie Raitt attends the 2017 Little Kids Rock Benefit at PlayStation Theater on October 18, 2017 in New York City. © Taylor Hill /FilmMagic

Raitt expressed similar sentiments. “I came from a musical family and was blessed to grow up in an era when there was school orchestra with 16 percussion players,” she recalled, citing Joan Baez as an early influence. “The guitar allowed me to expressed myself. It was my voice and it helped me build (since) I had a confidence problem and a self esteemed problem. There’s been study after study proving the benefits of music education and exposure to the arts makes all the difference.”

Raitt, who likened the cutting back of music education a “criminal act,” praised the work of Little Kids Rock. “To see from where he started with his wonderful team and all those teachers and all of those kids whose lives have changed. It’s one of the most successful and well-run organizations, with every dollar going to the right place that I know.”

And before launching into a spirited cover of Aretha Franklin‘s 1967 track “Baby I Love You,” Raitt expanded on the theme of the evening: “Here’s to the power of a beautiful ballad to break hearts and heal.”

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David Wish and Bonnie Raitt

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SoulmanLittle Kids Rock Honors Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt Who Likens Cutting Music Education to a 'Criminal Act'

Review: James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt deliver summer night delight at DTE

on August 9, 2017 No comments

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP — “You got your hands on the right ticket,” James Taylor told the DTE Energy Music Theatre crowd at the start of his concert there with Bonnie Raitt on Tuesday night, Aug. 8.

And it was certainly hard to argue otherwise.

A pair of veteran, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted performers, each packing a lengthy repertoire of enduring material, is, after all, the perfect formula for a summer amphitheater show. And in the case of Taylor and Raitt you had two artists with histories that gave them more right than most to refer to the place as Pine Knob.

It was indeed a case of one plus one equaling more than two, especially when these two spent time together on stage. Taylor even brought Raitt on at the beginning of the night with a warm and gracious introduction, then joined her for her hit rendition of John Haitt’s “Thing Called Love.” Raitt returned the favor during Taylor’s encores, joining he and his band for a “Johnny B. Goode” tribute to the late Chuck Berry — complete with Berry photos and videos on the rear-stage video screen — and then finishing the night with Taylor on an acoustic duet of his “You Can Close Your Eyes.”

DTE Energy Music Theatre - Clarkston, MI 8-8-2017

About the only thing the pair didn’t do right was pay some heed to the moment; On the day Glen Campbell died it may have been a stretch to work one of his songs into the performance, but it was unconscionable for neither Taylor nor Raitt to even mention his passing in some form — a genuinely disappointing misstep on an otherwise pleasing evening.

Raitt and her four-piece band, not surprisingly, breathed a little more fire than Taylor and his aptly-billed All-Star Band. Noting the tour’s end this week as “a little bit like the last night of summer camp. We’re getting kind of sad,” Raitt kicked her hour-long set off with sinewy versions of “Unintended Consequence Of Love” and INXS’ “Need You Tonight,” both from her latest album “Dig In Deep” and both leaving plenty of room for her sharply played slide guitar solos. Noting a history with Taylor that stretched back to the late 60s, Raitt paid tribute to her tourmate with a version of his “Rainy Day Man,” and she slide a bit of mentor John Lee Hooker’s “In The Mood” into Chris Smither’s “Love Me Like a man.”

Raitt laid back on favorites such as “Nick Of Time” and “Angel From Montgomery,” which set up a solid closing punch — a fiery rendition of Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House” and then “Thing Called Love.”

Taylor’s hour-and-50-minutes on stage, in contrast, was an exposition in soft rock, albeit some of the most sophisticated and iconic — “Sweet Baby James,” “Fire And Rain” and “You’ve Got A Friend,” anybody? — of the ilk. Excepting a sound mix that was often too bottomy, with percussionist Luis Conte’s congas far too hot and up-front, the gently paced 20-song set was filled with carefully crafted arrangements that made even less-celebrated fare such as “Sunny Skies” and “First Of May” (introduced with a few comic F-bombs from Taylor) go down easy.

And when Taylor, in his flat cap and sport coat, was rolling out the hits — from the opening couplet of “Carolina On My Mind” and “Country Road” through the likes of “Mexico,” “Up On The Roof,” “Something In The Way She Moves,” “Your Smiling Face” and Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” — it was non-stop singalong city for the boomer-dominated crowd. His own voice may have shown some vestiges of age but still had the familiar mix of Carolina twang and New England nasal, and his three back-up singers (particularly Arnold McCuller on “Shower The People”) kept the harmonies sublime.

Taylor also maintained an air of familial nostalgia throughout, liberally placing home movies and personal photos in the video display — even of his dog during “Sunny Skies,” after which Taylor confessed “there’s nothing we won’t stoop to.” His song introductions were warm and insightful, and with a near-full moon slipping in and out of the clouds, having a ticket for this show definitely seemed like the right thing.


Source: © Copyright The Oakland Press

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SoulmanReview: James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt deliver summer night delight at DTE

James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt Make a Perfect Fit at Toyota Center

on August 2, 2017 No comments

James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt
Toyota Center
August 1, 2017

Houstonians had other entertainment options other than live music on a Tuesday night, with the red-hot Astros barreling towards the playoffs and playing at Minute Maid just up LaBranch Street from Toyota Center. This was apparent, as the arena was not sold out for two legendary performers. Many fans were still wrapping up their early-bird specials as James Taylor sauntered onstage and greeted the crowd with, “Houston, welcome to the James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt Summer Tour. You got the right ticket.”

He then brought his tourmate and her band up onstage. The 11-time Grammy winner’s flaming red mane with the white spot up front makes her look more like a Marvel superhero than a badass blues guitarist.

Before the band broke into a folksy-rock cover of INXS’s “Need You Tonight,” Raitt spoke of being back in the land of Urban Cowboy, reminiscing about being in the classic film: “My liver is just now starting to recover.” If her liver was having issues, it had no effect on her voice or guitar playing; both were flawless and impeccable.

As the band started playing a mashup of Chaka Khan’s “You Got the Love” and “Love Sneakin’ Up On You,” a handful of people too smart for their own good left their seats to go to the restroom and/or grab a drink before the massive intermission crowds hit, but they missed a big surprise — the last song of her set, when Taylor came out with an electric guitar to accompany Raitt on “Thing Called Love.” The two legendary singer-songwriters meshed perfectly together, neither of them stealing the spotlight from the other.

Photo by Jack Gorman

Taylor emerged from the break to take a seat in front of the incredible stage, a large LED backdrop supplemented by several smaller screens of various sizes that floated across the stage. The great storyteller thanked everyone for bringing him back to Houston and started the set with “Carolina On My Mind.”

Someone screamed “Sweet Baby James!” Taylor said, “we will play that” and held up a huge set list, at least three and a half feet tall, and pointed towards the bottom. “It’s down here,” Taylor said. “We are up here still, but I’ll remind you when we get there.” The 69-year-old performer seemed to truly be in his element during the “Steamroller” jam session moving across the stage like one of those whippersnappers at the Warped Tour. Upon catching his breath, he thanked the crowd for indulging the group during a “shameless display of pseudofunk.”

The crowd was seated for most of the show but gave standing ovations after “Sweet Baby James” and “Fire and Rain.” Taylor must have thought this was the old Summit building, because he took the Toyota Center to church during the gospel sounds of “Shed a Little Light.” Like a trail of annoying sugar ants, by then people had started streaming up the stairs. It was definitely past some bedtimes.

Taylor brought out Raitt again for the encore and shredded the guitar during a Chuck Berry tribute of “Johnny B. Goode.” Taylor then sung “You’ve Got a Friend” and appeared to walk offstage, only to grab Raitt for one more unexpected closing tune. As the duo sat signing, “You Can Close Your Eyes Now.” tears streamed down many faces while some couples held each other tenderly. As fans left the building just after 11 o’clock, the weary faces gave proof of the energy they emitted during the show, even if they sat through most of it.

Photo by Jack Gorman

SET LIST
Carolina in My Mind
Country Road
Sunny Skies
Never Die Young
First of May
Montana
Mexico
Steamroller
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
Something in the Way She Moves
Sweet Baby James
Fire and Rain
Shed a Little Light
Shower the People
Your Smiling Face
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)

ENCORE
Johnny B. Goode (with Bonnie Raitt)
You’ve Got a Friend
You Can Close Your Eyes (with Bonnie Raitt)


Source: © Copyright Houston Press

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SoulmanJames Taylor and Bonnie Raitt Make a Perfect Fit at Toyota Center