"I came for the earthquake"
Surrounded by Hollywood
Outside my window on the 6th floor ~ the Hollywood sign which used to be Hollywoodland is directly in front of my coffee.
The hills to my right and the ones to my left where I did backyard sessions somewhere up there at Miley's, her house, where she does things like that.
I am most comfortable several stories above the 2nd floor. I didn't grow up in a house; I grew up in an apartment. On the 8th floor where my memory best resides.
I'm most happy when I'm 6th through 12th.
It's going to be another warm and humid day but my windows are open as it's still early. The weather has been other than what I expected and remember. It's humid !!! I don't remember humidity, it's supposed to be perfect in Hollywoodland.
But that's OK. I've come to terms with small disappointments along the road to perfection.
The 'Prehistoric Garbage Trucks' (Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits, always loved that) are riding by ~ incongruous.
That's a New York City sound.
And I am here to shake the hills of California.
Shaking, which brings me to the 'why' I came.
For the earthquake of course!
Bound to happen anytime. Every time I come to LA I have a secret wish to watch the hills undulate even if I have to be in them to see it.
Ask me later if that sight was worth it.
Up here on the 6th floor... Watching the H and the W roll down the hill. And now I'm wondering what happened to LAND?
If it were still there it would be directly under the ugliest construction of...
Is that cable or phone towers? Couldn't be in a worse possible place, absolutely spoiling the view of the Hollywood sign. Do you know it is not lit at night! I thought it was, could almost see it in my minds eye. No subtle backlighting, no spotlight, nothing. But even in the dark I know it's there, right outside my window on the 6th floor. With the Hollywood sign tumbling toward me ~ those ugly cell phone satellite things (they must go).
Miley tumbling out of her backyard session house on a wrecking ball.
Brad waving goodbye to Angelina, or did he do that already? Palm trees flying into the building crumbling beneath me.
"Going down”, 5th floor lingerie, 4th house wares. Palm trees taller than anything that should grow from the earth. Silly trees that sway in the slightest breeze and so remind me of Dr. Seuss and the Lorax. "3rd floor" cynicism, nonchalance too cool to care, 2nd floor why bother, 1st floor, and I climb back up the rubble to see more.
So why Melanie why do you come to California?
For the earthquake of course, and a perfect fall.
Come with me for further adventures in Hollywoodland or where ever this ride takes me
I will write more newsletters.
Join me, if you dare, my dear ones, if you dare :)
There is news too!
Upcoming LA Dates:
Canyon Club Agoura Hills, Oct 14
The Rose Pasadena, Oct. 16
Those palm trees tell me there is a breeze but it's a warm one and I might have to close the window now. I hope you follow me!
Q & A with Melanie
I love your style but don't you get really warm in the layers of clothes and long dresses and sleeves? I'm still having hot flashes. Lol. How do you keep cool? Love you and hope to see you again soon.
I've never been cool, you must know that by now:)
In the 60s which were really the 70s I did become hugely immensely famous.
But following fast on the track I became the cool person to bash. PR wasn't quite science that it is now.(note how prevalent and slightly alarming, the study of "marketing" has become!)
I didn't have at my disposal the tools to create a counter PR campaign. Hence Melanie became the cool person to bash, especially in that ever so cool Rolling Stone magazine.
Atlantic records made a brief attempt and there was a favorable coverage with photos by Norman Seeff and a slant on how Melanie grew up and is now an adult. An attempt to make her worthy, intelligent, relevant. So many of my fans now are the younger sisters and brothers of the people who were manipulated by the negative press. The ones who didn't get to read Rolling Stone, they just got to hear the music.
Well all these years later...here we are with the new EP Ragamuffin and a 70th birthday fast approaching.
" Autumn lady " so much more real to me now with winter on her heels. At that point, where one needs a lot of layers.
What event, if any inspired you to write Baby Day? Was it a difficult song to create and write? I'd also be curious about the words of the last stanza...they are interesting within the context of the song.
Was it a difficult song to play publicly? I can only imagine the softness of the song would be drown by the din of the gathering..
It's in my top three Melanie songs all-time. I just love it!
"Baby day" I still take that out of the hat now and then and sing it live.
It's not difficult to write songs, if it was I probably wouldn't do it!
They are musical moments that need to come out. They whisper at me and then sometimes get loud enough for me to stop what I'm doing and create them.
Later I may tweak or finesse them. But they are the insistence of who I am. Nothing I or anyone else can do about it.
I wrote baby day when I was at Dr. Bernard Jensen's; Father of iridology in America, my nutritionist and health guide in the early stages of questing for what was the right thing to do.
It was he who led me to think that the cycle of the day is what we should follow. Rise when the sun was rising and sleep when it was dark. And it was the morning of one of those days that I didn't see the sunrise from the other way around. I actually woke up and went hiking up in the Hills of Escondido California.
"Why sleep I heard and I followed it today,
to the top of the hill where the wind songs play,
and I sing it like I heard it,
why I heard it who knows why
why sleep when we can watch the sun arise"
Robert Ian Smith:
Next year it will be the 50th anniversary of the release of your first single, “Beautiful People” on Columbia Records. I was wondering what you recall of those early recording sessions, and did you ever get to hear the song played on the radio and, if so, how did that feel?
Peter had a budget to record a group that he was producing, they had somewhat of a success and he switched their session and made it mine, unbeknownst to myself and the powers that be at the time on Columbia records.
A full out session with strings. Engineers in lab coats. Me singing at the same time at Peter's insistence with the entire production live.
It was four track recording!
Amazingly live in spontaneous strings and all.
When the performance was over the studio was electrified, hardened studio players I had hit a chord!
It was the first record of mine I had ever heard on the radio. I was in a shoe store in Greenwich Village trying on shoes. Roscoe from WNEW FM had gotten a copy and played it and I started to cry and the girl asked: is there something wrong with the shoes?
And I blurted out: it's me it's me on the radio........
Thank you for asking, thank you for remembering. 50 years wow!
A couple of questions for you. 1) Are you still planning to play Carnegie Hall for your 70th birthday next February?...and 2) I know that your mother was of Italian descent. I am interested in what her maiden name was and the part of Italy she was from. I have done quite a bit of Italian surname research and was just curious about this. Was she or her grandparents born in Italy? Thanks and glad to hear you are on the mend.
1)Man makes a plan,God laughs. Perhaps it will be The Hollywood bowl!!!
2) My grandmother was born in Brazil of Italian descent, they immigrated to San Paulo~ Napolitano Romano
Then she married a Calabrese: Altomare
Virginia Chach English:
Melanie, did you ever think Brand New Key would become so big?
Not when I wrote it but after Peter produced it... That's when I knew and with that knowing came the dread~I knew I was doomed to be cute for the rest of my life!
"Melanie, girl . . . don't you ever just get . . . tired?"
It's not a job to me you know, Ian, I do it for love, God I do and if I put on a real nice show it's coming from the love in you
But seriously folks...
When I'm tired I go to sleep, don't like to trouble anybody about it. And if I get tired when I'm not sleeping I just pretend.
Then soon enough I'm not tired anymore...every once in a while I'm afraid I'll lose it... :)
And I'm turning into Dr Seuss
Can you stand it? The urge toward life, and at my age too…
So it's 1969 the year after the summer of love and I have just posted #BeautifulPeople
It's gone viral, oh my God mom, it's viral there are other people who sense our connectedness and that were all in this together!!!
A new world is forming
A Renaissance, yes it is happening!!!! Then a voice from 2016 says...ummm
Excuse me, that can't happen,
and I say of course it can, I'm still here!
And that reality just never goes away. Time changes, people don't and the truth remains.
Men can live as brothers candles in the rain.
So my dear ones it is a time when I will say hasta Luego Adios ciao D'oei, Tot ziens,Au revoir
But it doesn't need to be forever... Wait ~ join me next time for more wit and pith,
juxtapositions and answers to questions, as I am just days away from knowing everything
I love these little moments we have together, my dear ones
If I weren't afraid you'd laugh at me
I would run and take all your hands
And I'd gather everyone together for a day
Men can live as brothers candles in the rain