Friday, June 16, 2017

Blue Collar

June 16, 2017

My introduction to pop and rock music came by way of a little transistor radio. I was probably around eight years old. Motown was the big thing on the local stations but after dark, when the local stations went off the air, rock and roll from distant lands sailed in across the airways. Sometime in 1970, the first big local FM station lit up, screaming that it "came from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow."  Yes, the first song they played was Led Zeppelin and after that, rock in all its myriad splendor ruled my musical world. 

Why a picture of a Strat?  My partner has a black and white Strat, his last guitar and the one he won't part with, so it's now my logo when I want to talk about music. 

Fast forward to today and there's a new-ish station on the satellite tv - AXS. (I have DirecTV so that's channel 340.) They are music-focused and I've really enjoyed tuning in while I'm in my home office. Beats having to listen to the ballgame every night, that's for sure. This past weekend, they aired a Bachman-Turner concert. One of the songs, Blue Collar, jumped out at me. 

Blue Collar is one of those album songs that I loved at the time but managed to forget as the years rolled down the highway. Listening to it with a more seasoned perspective, I realize it's more than a lively guitar duel. I have a fondness for smooth jazz, and this song might be where that originated. 

Fred Turner's voice has lost nothing over the years. Maybe it's even better now than in 1973. Of course, Turner wrote this song so he knows its heart. 

With apologies to Fred for posting his words, here is the opening verse:

Walk your street, and I'll walk mine
And should we meet, would you spare me some time?
'Cause you should see my world, meet my kind
Before you judge our minds, 
Blue collar 

I think Fred Turner is a prophet as well as one incredible bass player and vocalist. 

We all walk the same streets, but do we do we take the time to get to know one another? We live in the same communities, but we segregate ourselves into groups of like-minded thinkers. In doing so, we think we know the Others, but do we? It's too easy to pass judgment on the thinking of those Others without adequate understanding. After judgment comes the wrong action. We see it on the news every day and it doesn't need to be that way. 

But in the end, Turner really sums up being blue collar, at least for me. 

You keep that beat, and I keep time
Your restless face is no longer mine
I rest my feet while the world's in heat
And I wish that you could do the same
Blue collar

If you have a moment, go to Youtube and find this guitar gem. It's worth a listen. 

KC Kendricks

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