| Music for the elders
Last night I played for a Holiday Dance where many of the guests were in theiir seventies and up. I think there were a few in their nineties. When we were kids first getting into music we thought of rock stars as guys who were about ten or fifteen years older than us playing the music we thought was cool. We didn't think of musicians as people who played for people older than they. Yet as a professional musician you end up playing in all kinds of situations that you may not have expected. There I was last night at an exclusive East Side Ladies club, playing with a band leader who has been in the clubdate business for longer than I've been alive. I was the youngest musician on the stand and probably younger than most of the crowd. It was kind of a glimpse into another era. It's actually quite cool that htese people still dance and party.
Tonight I'll be somewhere else in the city playing for people around my age doing classic rock tunes. What a long strange trip it's been!
| Von Cello in Italy
| Laughing ... good. Hatred ... bad.
Have you ever thought of auditioning for a role as a Geico caveman?
Reminds me of the joke about the guy who visited a tribe in the African jungle. He hears drums in the distance and the chief says, Drums, good. The next day he hears drums and the chief says, Drums, good. This goes on for several days. Then one day the drums suddenly stop. The chief says, Silence, bad. The guy asks him why, and the chief says, Next, bass solo!
Von Cello is good. Terrorism is not good. Hatred is not good. Good music is good. Laughing is good. Killing innocent people...not good. 8SPE1...goes without saying...very good.
Here is a link to the site of the Lubavitcher rabbi in my area. On this page are many links to letters and articles related to the tragedy in Mumbai:
One major theme is that we must fight the forces of darkness by spreading more light.
| Ah yes, I remember it well ...
Plot summary for
Goodbye Canarsie (2008)
Canarsie, Brooklyn. 1973. Warren "Wolfman" Winkler has one dream: move to Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Frankie, and become a horror movie makeup artist. To finance his dream Warren has been dealing drugs; despite warnings from a local mobster. Sal, a young mafioso in training, unexpectedly shows up at Warren's door one day. Unfortunately for Sal, Warren is an old friend. Unfortunately for Warren, Sal is there to kill him.
its a movie
| The Mod Squad
Remember the Mod Squad TV show? There was a guy named Link. He was a good looking black guy with an afro. Anyway, that link you posted is not working.
I was teaching a bunch of guitar students today. Do you know that almost none of them knew that song, "If You Could Read My Mind", and none of them knew the name "Gordon Lightfoot". It's just another sign that the world we grew up in is slowly being erased from human consciousness. I would imagine a few things will survive. The memory of JFK and MLK will survive. The Beatles will probably survive. The moon walk. But not much else.
Maybe this guy who revolutionized the cello ... who also wrote that controvesial best seller, "Beyond Faith".
But then again...
| Gordon Lightfoot
Wow, I haven't heard that song in years. It used to be on the radio constantly. I always thought the words were amazing. Is he by any chance an Indian? His last name sounds like it, but it could be a made up name. His real name is probably Chaim Schwartz.
The Indians may not have the PR of the Jews, but the Jews have not had great PR either. Yet look at their influence in the world. Secular people do not like to attribute any of this to the supernatural but conventional explanations do not seem to suffice either.
probbly cause the white man living on indian land has good pr.the indians have bad pr/
[URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta0a3DFUU0Y]lightfoot indian [/URL]
| Here come the judge!
I like this kind of conversation where you really zero in on a problem. I think it is wrong to push things under the rug and ignore problems because they surface anyway.
Yes, Christianity is a lot larger than Judaism but I am not talking about how large a group is. I am talking about how valid is a claim. A thousand people can say they saw a certain event but if you were to interview them you might find that all of them were lying or at least unsure about a lot of details thereby making their stories suspect. In this case we are talking about the validity of a claim on a certain piece of property. Anyone, or any group of people, can make a claim on a certain piece of property. They can even say God gave it to them. But the question then is, is there evidence to back this up, and is the evidence widely accepted by society.
Look, you can question anything. You can question whether or not George Washington was the first president of the United States. I mean, who knows? Where you there? But there is a lot of evidence, and almost everyone in the world accepts this as a fact, so essentially it is a fact, even though there is a chance that it is not really true.
Almost no one outside of a few thousand Indians believes that God gave any lands to them. Almost everyone in the world believes that they came to the Americas from Asia over a land bridge during the ice age. They were here before others but that does not mean that the others had no right to come. It is a murky problem and that is why most Americans do not feel that they are doing something wrong by living on lands that were once lived on by others.
In the case of Israel, there are over a billion people, maybe more, who believe that the Bible is the word of God. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the Torah in particular is a book unlike any other ever written. It seems to predict the future with astounding accuracy, it contains amazing number patterns, and incredible levels of meaning even in the language itself. Even its scientific claims have been proven more often than denied by science. Its view of morality and spirituality has been accepted or at least imitated by much of the world's population. Therefore, when it says that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews, millions and millions of people accept this as a fact.
Now, you can say that it is no more of a fact than what an Indian tribe passes down by mouth to its members, but the reality is that the Jews are back in Israel and the Indians are not back controlling their former lands. Nor are they likely to ever. So the biblical statements do carry more weight in the world as we know it.
As for non-Jews, there are many who say Israel has no right to be in Israel, but there are many who say they do have the right. And the Jews, and Israel, remain an major preoccupation of politicians and news agencies around the world. While the plight of Indian tribes in Arizona are not. There must be reason for this. For some it is proof of the divine intervention that surrounds Israel through the generations. For others it is just a quirk of fate. But to say "all religions are equal", or "all claims of all religions are just as valid", or "all religions are the same", is refuted by the evidence.
| a is to b as b is to see you
and was given to them by the "Great Spirit", but no one outside of their little tribe believes this
i think religion is tender territory.One religion can always be bigger than the other but wheres the defining rod the minimun ?
cristians outnumber jews as jews outnumber indians and the jesus thing really shadows the jewish thing as the jews outshadow the raindancers.
your very words are what nonjews in iowa say about jews.
In life we deal with our beliefs and actions in these ways. We support israel from new jersey. we take back our land while living on others in long island. Life history is full of these ,"if we think about it legally we are just as guilty" situations.
| Rabbi Lederman Stikes Again!
My first job was working in an Orange Juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn't concentrate.
Then I worked in the woods as a Lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.
After that, I tried to be a Tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it - mainly because it was a sew-sew job.
Next, I tried working in a Muffler Factory, but that was too exhausting.
Then, I tried to be a Chef - figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.
I attempted to be a Deli Worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.
My best job was being a Musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.
I studied a long time to become a Doctor, but I didn't have any patience.
Next, was a job in a Shoe Factory, I tried but I just didn't fit in.
I became a Professional Fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.
I managed to get a good job working for a Pool Maintenance Company, but the work was just too draining.
So then I got a job in a Workout Center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.
After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a Historian - until I realized there was no future in it.
My last job was working in a coffee shop, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.
SO, I RETIRED AND I FOUND I'M PERFECT FOR THE JOB!
| Status Back Baby
"Status Back Baby" was a great song by Frank Zappa. Anyway, I see your point but I didn't mean status in terms of better, I meant it in terms of its affect on the world. For instance, there are people who still believe that idols made out of stone have real powers and should be worshipped. Now, you can say that this belief is as valid as the Jewish belief in one amazingly powerful yet incorporeal God, but you can't deny that the Jewish concept has influenced much of the world, whereas those few small tribes that still worship stones have no influence outside their small group. In this sense, Judaism has more status. That is how I am using the word.
Yes, there are groups of Indians who had lore that was passed down saying that their land was given to them by the "Great Spirit", but no one outside of their little tribe believes this. However, the Jewish Bible is still revered not only by Jews, but by Christians and Muslims, thereby making it revered by the majority of the people on earth. Literally billions of people revere it, so in this sense it has status. Therefore, if the Bible says that Israel was given to the Jews by God, then that carries more weight in the world than an oral story passed down by a few thousand Indians.
Again, I'm not saying it is any more true, but in the context of the world as we know it, it does carry more weight. And the proof is that the world body did give Israel back to the Jews, despite the objections of some. But it is highly unlikely that the U.N. or any other body will give back the lands of the American Indian to them. And in part the reason for that is that no one but they believe that God gave America to them. But many people believe that God gave Israel to the Jews.
but those religions do not have the status of Judaism???
aaron this was the classis statement of cristians about judaism..
one must never see another religion as lower in status .
remember that jews are out numbered 1000 to 1 so maybe judaism doesnt have enuf status.
the indians do infact have a bible but its lower in status on amazon.com than our bible is on amazon.com
I think indiand have suffered as jews have and have lost their land having been kicked out homeless. Jews crossed the border from 1 country to another as indiand did wen they lost their land.
I don't think the U.S. courts have ever ruled that the Indians should get back their land. For one thing, U.S. law is about the U.S. and Indian tribes are not under U.S. law as they are their own nations. But as to your point that Indians and Jews have a similar history, I would agree. In fact, you could argue that both groups were kicked off their land by the same people, the Europeans, or more accurately the Romans and those descended from them. The Indians never had a "holocaust" but they did suffer what amounted to a genocide. In some ways they suffered worse. But the Indians did not have to wander from country to country like the Jews. They did not suffer the same level of dislocation. Another difference is that the Indians do not have the Bible saying that their land was God given and is theirs eternally. Of course their own religions may give some justifications but those religions do not have the status of Judaism, a religion which spawned two of the biggest religions in the world. But, in any case, if the Indians did have a recent Holocaust and were then given a tiny piece of their land back, I would be happy for them. I would feel bad for any Americans who got kicked off of their land, but I would know that they had a very large country to assimilate into quickly. The same is true of the "Palestinians". They have a vast amount of Arab land to assimilate into to.
in fact many indians do want back their ancestral land which they have proved was stolen taken tricked away in us courts. however the us gov keeps them from gettin back their land even tho the us law itself says they should get it back because the very act of giving it back, of fullfilling the law would thro millions of innocent americans out of their cities,,, thus we kno they are right but we cant we just cant abide by the law cause it hurts it hurts millions..
so the usa gov and people treat the indians as the jews are treated. but you i and neal live happily on their land and think nothing of it.
we eeny their right even after our own laws say they have been wronged and the righting is the return of their lands..
jews and indians both were kicked out and both legally prove their rightful ownership of their land but the difference is that the indians never had a indicaust after which the world would vote with some pressure from rich indian groups to return their land to them..
it never really bothered me that ilived on stolen land as declared by my own law and courts.. ijust said its mine now so get lost..
so infact indians have been treated as jews have been treated but jews got back theirs...and you i continue to live on that of the indians eating our turkey
| Pray for the peace of ... Mumbai
I got this today from the local Chabad rabbi:
At this moment my colleague Rabbi Gabi Holtzberg and his wife, the Chabad emissaries in Mumbai, India, are hostages in their Chabad House in the horrific terrorist attacks on the city. Their infant son has been released with the nanny, however reports indicate that the Rabbi and his wife are "unconscious, but alive". Hundreds of commandos surround the house and it seems that a full-scale assault is imminent.
I'm asking of you: while everything must be done - and is being done - by the security forces to rescue the hostages, we know that it is within the hands of each of us to storm the Heavens and pray to G-d that this situation and all other terrible current circumstances in Mumbai are resolved peacefully immediately.
PLEASE say a prayer for Gavriel Noach Ben Freida Bluma, Rivkah Bas Yehudis (Rabbi & Rebbitzin Holtzberg) and all other affected by this horror.
Please remember that a small act of "light" in one part of the world can dispel darkness wherever it may be.
Here are some suggested mitzvahs:
a) Give charity in their merit
b) Men: Put on Tefillin today; if you already did, see to it that someone who hasn't yet, should.
c) Women: Resolve to light candles tomorrow evening; if you already do, see to it that someone who hasn't yet, should.
Thank you for your attention. May G-d bring peace to our pained and darkened world!
| 8SPE1 is good ... and so is Zionism!
Back in 8th grade, as Neal surely remembers, we had as our class motto, "8SPE1 is good!" That was my inspiration for the title of my latest youtube video, "Zionism is Good!" I just did a search on that phrase and look what comes up first:
How cool, out of all the usages of that phrase on the entire internet, my video comes up first!
Today is the American holiday called Thanksgiving, on which we recall a myth about an early dinner shared by the American Indians (Native Americans) and the European settlers. Of course the Europeans ended up confiscating most of the land of the Indians sending them off to reservations. Now imagine if the Indians instead were shipped out of the country and forces to flee to other parts of the world. Imagine if they spent centuries, even millennia, being persecuted because they were Indians. Imagine if they were expelled, beaten, murdered, and even had attempts at genocide against them. Now imagine if after 2000 years of this they manage to get back some of their original land through a vote by a world body called the United Nations. How mean spirited would it be to oppose this and try to paint "Indianism" as evil! This is similar to the story of the Jews, and that is why I support Zionism and say it is good!
Happy Thanksgiving to all! And let us give thanks that we live in a world where sometimes miracles do happen and a persecuted minority, expelled from their land and forced to wander for centuries, can finally get to come home. Now if only that messiah will show up...
| "Listen and you will see"
That is the link to the tape that has the song on it. It was a tape I made at sleepaway camp after 11th grade. I'm so glad I made tapes back then that preserved my voice, my guitar playing, and my thoughts from that intense time.
It's nothing I would expect anyone to listen to with rapt attention, but it's kind of cool to let it play in the background while doing paper work or searching the net. The first song in a different arrangement became a song on my first CD, Breaking The Sound Barriers.
| I Am My Grandson
On this page: http://voncello.com/recordings_vcec.html
I have a song that I wrote in high school called, "I Am My Grandson". It was a song about the future, basically about what I would tell my kids about life. So with the title I was trying to say that whatever I was going through would be gone through by my kids and their kids and in that way any wisdom I could impart to myself could also be partaken by them in the future. Unfortunately it was a very sad song. They lyrics went:
You know I keep on thinking
What can I tell my kids
When they ask me daddy,
Why'd you bring us here?
Why'd you bring us here?
Don't you know I wanna die.
Don't you know I wanna die.
This may sound adolescent
But you know I'm still alive.
Anyway I'm just repeating
what my daddy had to hear,
Daddy, why'd you bring us here.
Don't you know I wanna die.
Don't you know I wanna die.
And so for my conclusion
I will have to say goodbye.
I wasted some of your time
I wasted more of mine
I left some more behind.
Don't you know I wanna die.
Don't you know I wanna die.
The song was written when I was 15 and was going through some type of depression. It almost sounds like a suicide note, or a call for help, but there is a bit of dry humor to it. The whole idea about writing a song with a chorus of "Don't you know I wanna die" seemed funny to me. This was one of many songs I wrote over the years that were so sad that they actually struck me as funny and I got a certain weird enjoyment playing them when I was feeling blue.
"Why'd you bring us here?" - in other words, why did you bring us into this world of suffering and misery? Even at the early age of 15 I was feeling that my rockstar career was probably not going to happen and that made me feel like I was dying. It was out of the turmoil of that year that I got the idea to become a cellist. It seemed like a safer path than a singer/songwriter/rock guitarist. There were orchestras, chamber groups, college professorships, and there was that chance of really becoming Von Cello and being the next big thing in rock world.
It's funny but I seem to be at the crossroads again. Not quite sure what the future will bring. But I think it is a strange and difficult time right now for almost everyone. So maybe its a good time to look back, take stock, and figure out the next move.
in 1996 my mom remarried in brooklyn.. she invited all her family and all the canarsie neighbors she could find thru the grapevine plus my x friends. that foto is similar to your memory here. ALL the dads moms in the foto are gone in just 12 years except my mom and my friend scotts dad. about 20 canarsie moms dad have gone since and even 2 friends from cancer heart attk
mom was 76 at the wedding..lil did we kno it was the graduation picture and graduating from earth to a bigger place up there somewhere...
I see you are a sentimental guy which is good. You have a soft heart and a big place for the PAST..not just canarsie but your ol days with your bubby granpa etc..
goin back there is good but keep in mind that TODAY will be the past .
My kids will oneday take out the foto i made yesterday and show it to their grand kids and recall me..
what message could I record for them to read or hear or see in that future?
what words would you like to hear right now in some ,only now found, recording of that day at that wedding of yours?
imagine a recording had been made that day and your granpa and others left their philosophy recorded...
I sometimes make youtube vids with my ideas incase in 100 yrs someone like my grandson is listening..
infact your youtube vids are just that..you are some futur kids granmas brother...maybe youre sisters kids kid will marry and youll go to that wedding and leave a memory..
youve seen your future..now make it special
| Deja Vu all over again
It had to happen eventually. I had a gig this weekend at the same place I got married. It was the first time I saw the place in ten years. It was amazing, but I could see the guests I had there and I remembered where they sat. Sadly, some of them are no longer with us. One in particular, my grandmother's brother, stays in my mind. I didn't know him well but he flew up from Florida just for my wedding because my grandmother has passed away and he wanted to be there to represent her. As I walked down the isle I looked at him and he kept mouthing the words, "Once in a lifetime." What a great guy.
We took our honeymoon in Florida and went to visit him, along with the other relatives that lived there. I say lived because most are gone now. It seems we got married just in time before that whole generation left us. It was a sweet honeymoon, but not the exciting one that a young couple might have. But then again, I had plenty of excitement back then.
So there I was playing my cello for another bride and groom walking down the same isle!