Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Painted Ladies

They said that the Painted Ladies is one of the “must see” sites in San Francisco. So we thought why should we miss it when we were so close to it.
These Victorian era structures got their nickname because of the number of colours used to decorate their exteriors. Frankly speaking I was not taken in by what I saw.

I found the surroundings more interesting. Like the park in front of it. Liked this water fountain with spouts at different levels to suit all age groups.

This guy in the park was engrossed in his creative work.

He chose this spot as he had a good view of the city.

There were these dog walkers who were enjoying a sun bath while the dogs basked and frolicked with each other.

One of them decided to take a stroll all by himself. He too (like me) was not impressed by the “painted Ladies” as he was walking in the opposite direction.

We were back on the main road.

While we waited for the “Big Bus”, the change over conductor (who was also waiting for the bus) gave us some tips about how to travel in the Hop on Hop off Bus.

Graffities on the wall break the monotony of the plain walls.

Some 45 RPM records in a shop window. About four decades ago this area thrived when the Hippie culture was in full swing.

Noticed this eating joint

And a few shops next to it was another one.

Lombardia Street had some lovely houses.

The tiles on the roof of the house. Even though they were decorative, they reflected the light well to give a good contrast against the green leaves.

I found these combination standpipes at the entrance of many buildings. These standpipe systems are designed to deliver a prescribed amount of water at a prescribed pressure to the top most outlet. This one was well polished.
Ending this post with this lovely house which I managed to frame and click when the vehicle stopped momentorily.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Music by James Last

Way back in the seventies we had a few records of James Last among the collection of LP and EP.

What I remember was that we used to play more of James Last than the ones by Abba or Boney M. The reason could be that all his music was “Happy Music”

A German boy who ran messages to Air Defence command posts during air raids in WW-II, he has come a long way in his 84 years of career.

After the fall of the Nazis, he joined the Hans-Gunther Dance Orchestra.

From there his chart was on the rise.

One of the hallmarks of James Last is that he does not give up on his troupe members. That is the reason why you see many elderly members in his troupe at any given time.

But even if they are slightly older, their spirit and enthusiasm is never dampened as can be seen in the video below.

He has done shows with other stalwarts like Richard Clayderman, Abba, and the like.

All his earlier records had this font and it was easy to spot his record from far in a music store.

His 1965 LP Non Stop Dancing was his very first big hit.

‘Hansi’ (as he was earlier known) tried this idea of including the party effect of people clapping and laughing into his records. This was something he picked up as a boy while listening to the radio.

His dress sense may look outlandish but I presume that is his idea to make his shows more colourful and lively.

"I have always made music, which I liked and then I realised that lots of people like what I like. I play only what I like, otherwise I would lie to myself and lie to the audience. I must enjoy what I'm doing and then there's a good feel on stage and if people come to the show they can say, "oh yeah, they like what they are doing, it's fun." We enjoy what we are doing on stage and that's why the concerts still sell out. The audience can see that we enjoy what we are doing then it goes over to them as well."

When he crossed 80, he came out with a new record titled “80 Not Out”

No wonder he has sold seven million albums worldwide in his lifetime. 

His live shows still manage to get a lot of audience

His advice to others: “take care of your life, make the best of it and enjoy music”

I have this video (The Mexican Hat Dance) on my cell phone and often watch it when I am in the mood for something peppy. 

Nothing like music to lift your mood.