Archive for the ‘Bob Dylan’ Category

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize investiture is celebrated by Patti Smith’s rendition of his classic ‘A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall’. Listen to it. The second stanza is below. There is sheer brilliance in its lyricism and imagery.

“Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.”

Muhammad Ali was the most thrilling if not the best heavyweight ever, carrying into the ring a physically lyrical, unorthodox boxing style that fused speed, agility and power more seamlessly than that of any fighter before him.

But he was more than the sum of his athletic gifts. An agile mind, a buoyant personality, a brash self-confidence and an evolving set of personal convictions fostered a magnetism that the ring alone could not contain. He entertained as much with his mouth as with his fists, narrating his life with a patter of inventive doggerel.

Ali was as polarizing a superstar as the sports world has ever produced — both admired and vilified in the 1960s and ’70s for his religious, political and social stances. His refusal to be drafted during the Vietnam War, his rejection of racial integration at the height of the civil rights movement, his conversion from Christianity to Islam and the changing of his “slave” name, Cassius Clay, to one bestowed by the separatist black sect he joined, the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, were perceived as serious threats by the conservative establishment and noble acts of defiance by the liberal opposition.

Loved or hated, he remained for 50 years one of the most recognizable person on the planet.

The Champ went through troubled times when he refused to go to Vietnam as a soldier. “I am not going to fight those Vietcongs. They never called me a Nigger! ”

Ali became an object of hate for the White chauvinists. They labelled him anti-national! He was stripped of his title and awarded a 5 year prison term that was subsequently quashed by the Supreme Court.

“My enemy is the white people, not Vietcongs or Chinese or Japanese,” Ali told one white student who challenged his draft avoidance. “You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. You won’t even stand up for me in America for my religious beliefs and you want me to go somewhere and fight but you won’t even stand up for me here at home.”

Ali was a man of his convictions. He fought the white dominance both inside and outside the ring.

This phase of the American history was akin to the current hysteria in Malaysia of labeling anyone and everyone an anti-national by the affluent section of the society, if it doesn’t suit their diabolic game plan. The political elite are pushing jingoism, would like us to believe that the political elite is above the Rakyat even in a democracy!

See here another beautifully written piece on the Champ

Today is International Meatless Day – Animal Rights Day.

I am not having any meat today and I hope all my friends who had pledged to go meatless today will abstain from consuming all forms of meat, fish and fowl for the entire 24 hours. It is so nice to know that nearly 11 thousand in Malaysia had pledged to go meatless today.

The International Meatless – Animal Rights Day campaign was first started in India in 1986 by the Sadhu Vaswani Mission- a social service organisation with a spiritual aim dedicated to serving mankind, especially the poor and downtrodden. The mission has declared the 25th day of November as an international meatless day to honour and remember its founder, Dadaji T.L. Vaswani – a saint, philosopher, spiritualist and educationist.

Dadaji T L Vaswani set forth on a noble mission with a vision of practicing kindness that has created a phenomenal transformation that has saved the precious lives of millions of innocent and defenseless animals.

Many Hindus and Buddhists refrain from meat twice a month, on the 1st and 15th of the lunar calendar. Now, the idea has been raised to extend the practice to once a week. This idea might be useful with other religions that have meatless days.

Even Sir Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono, and our Late John Lennon were all for Meatless Day.

It is an inspiration to know that Sir Paul McCartney a vegetarian had urged the world to have TWO meatless days per week – the suggestion being that if the entire planet did this, it would reduce the amount of beef, sheep and pigs required for the table, cut down greenhouse gasses and help with climate change.

So guys, just try having one meatless day in a year in our household – just think it is good for the body – but if it contributes to the planet – what the heck – I can live with 20 days a year without meat lah.

What say you guys?

This is one of my favorite quote which was made by Late George Harrison a long time ago “The only thing which is important in life is karma”

And this is for all the Beatles fans including me….

A souvenir poster of Beatles’ iconic rock and roll album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” went under the hammer for USD 52,500 at a Christie’s auction of pop culture memorabilia that saw total sales of USD 650,862.

The auction of 193 lots featured a variety of Hollywood music, sports, and pop culture ephemera.

The Sgt Pepper poster had signatures of all four Beatles — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in blue ink circa 1967.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the The Beatles. Recorded over a 129-day period beginning on December 6, 1966. Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band the album was released on 1967 June 1 in the United Kingdom and the following day in the United States. Sgt. Pepper is recognized as one of the most influential albums of all time. It was ranked the greatest album of all time by the Rolling Stone in 2003.

Alternative rock icon Kurt Cobain’s Sears bass guitar sold for USD 43,750, while a classic black leather motorcycle jacket signed by members of his band Nirvana and Soundgarden fetched USD 12,500.

A set of rare handwritten and partial lyrics for the song “With God On Our Side” from Bob Dylan’s seminal 1964 album “The Times They Are A-Changin” sold for USD 25,000.

An original script of “The Godfather” signed by Marlon Brando in blue ink fetched USD 10,625 while a pair of handwritten and signed cheques of Marilyn Monroe sold for USD 4,750.