It’s the very last day of 2012, and we’ve got a lot to look forward to, but we sure love lookin’ back. Stephen John Kalinich (poet/Beach Boys Lyricist) sent us this list of his top ten all time favorite songs, and it’s so very full of love and positivity that we thought it’d be a great thing to share as we head into 2013! So happy new year! We’ll see you all next year! (click the song titles to listen)
The Sound Track of My Life
By Stevie Kalinich
1. “Within You And Without You” (The Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper”) (George Harrison)
I love the sitar and the lyric and the music together are one of the most inspiring moments in Pop Music to me. Alex and I were talking about the space between us all and the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion. My God that sums it up all the phoniness and false postures we put on to be popular, rich or famous. To strip them all off and be authentic. An amazing album and an amazing, moving song. A song I can play again and again. George was a major force and I like this song so much. It is a permanent Album in the Soundtrack of My Life.
2. “Imagine” (John Lennon)
The melody and the words together make me cry and touch me every day. The union and the force of the message is unsurpassed. It is like a hymn a calling to arms. It may be idealistic but the thoughts and ideas musically and lyrically inspire me deeply and are a corner stone upon a world that can bring forth transformation and peace. The melody flows through me like an inner cleansing. The words are like petals of lotus blossoms. They cleanse the heart and refresh the soul and the music plays in me every day. I imagine and it is calling forth without preaching like, consider this proposition for the world . Is within reach? Where does the ideal meet the reality?
3. “In My Room” (Brian Wilson)
Brian captures here a melody and lyric that is universal and so profound and touching in its simplicity. The simple fact is it may be one of the most meaningful songs ever written. It really grabs me. We all spend so much time in our rooms alone as a teenager especially. All our insecurities, our hopes, our friendships are expressed here. How we will build a future and so much of our later life. We are in our room too, but mostly at the ages of 13, 14, 15, 16. Those years we are formulating. Not yet having families and being married. A sweet moving tribute to loneliness, to go to a special place .The room is the place inside yourself where you can just be you. This is a track that will always be in my life.
4. “God Only Knows” (Brian Wilson)
Possibly the most beautiful love song ever written! The melody melts my heart again and again and the simplicity of the words just echoe in my heart and mind. The sheer beauty of the melody even alone, touches me so sweetly and brings tears of joy to me. It is music that can heal me and comfort me when I am lonely.
5. “Let It Be” (The Beatles – McCartney Lennon)
Wow! What a song, what notes – what sentiment. A simple touching, powerful melody, that has touched a generation. I love this song. What else can you do as life unfolds but let it be? Take it from where it is and continue. No matter what I go through, what trial, sorrow, loss, sadness. I have to let it be. It is the only viable option. I love this track so much.
6. “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)” Don McClean
A story of a great artist, that in some ways reminds me of Brian Wilson, my sweet friend. It expresses the sadness of Van Gogh’s life, his inability to overcome his challenges and demons and still to produce this great moving human art. It expresses the struggle of an artist to create and how creativity does not always bring happiness and joy. The melody is breath-taking and beautiful. The words are wonderful and do not sugar-coat the reality. How the artist today mostly goes unrecognized and unacknowledged. When I hear the track I can feel the colours and the pain and the struggle. Yesterday I was with Brian and he said, “Stevie, I feel like an outsider”, and I felt sad that someone who has given the world so much beauty and inspiration could still be struggling and sad. He is courageous and still hanging in there but success has not been an easy path for him. True artists never know how much good they have done. If they could feel for themselves what they have put into melody for others and have compassion for themselves and be comfortable within their own skin that would be wonderful and this track does it for me very brilliantly.
7. “Whiter Shade Of Pale” Procul Harem (Keith Reid/GaryBrooker)
“We skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor, I was feeling kinda seasick, but the crowd called out for more” - I love this lyric and melody by a great group. I know in England this song is huge. The melody is haunting and it captures a spirit and an age to me that I adore and love. It is a trip too. I love this song and in the movie “Withnail and I”, it captures a time of innocence and wonder before they fell apart and crashed.
8. “Let Me Be” The Turtles (P.F Sloan)
This track, this version defines my young days when I was trying to find my way and everyone was telling me what to do and be and I just wanted to be left alone and do my own thing. My parents bugged me, my friends and everyone. Let me be was like an anthem to me. I loved “Eve Of Destruction” that P.F wrote as a teenager but this one really took hold of my heart and the melody was singable and rememorable and I loved it. “Let me be, let me be, that’s all I ask of you”. I still feel that way.
9. “Mr Tambourine Man” (Bob Dylan)
I love this track. The melody is kick ass and really rocks and the words “One hand waving free”, that is me! England, France, Ireland, Italy, UK, Scotland! On the travel on the road, I love this track. It is a lot like life to me. The song of the open road, the Walt Whitman way I have lived, a lot of my life. This track is a major player and holds true. Bob captures a lot of what so many feel and for me this was the one. Wow! Music like this is from the Gods Divine. I love pouring through a human being. It is exciting and life is vital and alive and open still, the mind is open and expanding. A great track! “Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind, Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves, The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach, Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow. Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands, With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves, Let me forget about today until tomorrow” – Bob Dylan
10. “Reign Over Me” (The Who – Pete Townsend)
“Only love, Can make it rain, The way the beach, Is kissed by the sea Only love, Can make it rain, Like the sweat of lovers, Layin’ in the fields Love, Reign o’er me, Love, Reign o’er me, Rain on me, Rain on me” I love this music. I love the Pearl Jam version in the new Adam Sandler movie. What a great feeling, touching, gut wrenching melody and lyric. I love, love, love this track. It really gets to me. When the world is falling apart at the seams, I think of this, or hear it and I am washed clean. It goes deep and gets at your soul.
These are the tracks of my life – Chapter One.