Joy

Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon was on the record charts for nearly 294 weeks. That spanned a period of time from 1973 to 1979. The album lingered in the charts in the US until 1986 due to the introduction of new technology ( the CD ). In that time, it has sold an estimated 23 million copies. It is considered one of the classic rock albums of all time and definitely holds the record for endurance.

Now, let’s put it in another perspective.

Martin Janus wrote the words to “bleib­et meine Freude, mein­es Herz­ens Trost und Saft” in 1661. In 1723 Johann Sebastian Bach put a score to those words as the finale of his “Can­ta­ta 147″. The combination became known as a song called Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. The score is still played today at countless weddings and other celebrations. Although the rights to the song were lost a long, long, long time ago, and although the “album” is no longer on the charts, it is more popular today than Dark Side of the Moon. If Billboard tracked it’s play time, it would definitely beat out most songs today. The life span of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” would therefore be about 14,612 weeks. You don’t see MTV or VH1 touting it in the same league. They can’t, they don’t want to reveal exactly how shallow the pop industry is. “Greatest song of all time”? It ain’t Stairway To Heaven. For Stairway to Heaven to even begin to compete, it would have to be popular in the year 2251. And that’s only assuming “Jesu” is forgotten soon, which won’t happen as long as I’m alive.

In 1972, a studio band called Apollo 100 redid “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” into a peppy tech jig they called Joy. That was right about the time I was learning to play piano. My teacher wanted me to learn Bach’s version, I couldn’t keep my mind off the Apollo 100 version. For my recital, I started with the Cantata 147, but when it led into the “Jesu” chorus, I switched to the Apollo 100 version. It was a major hit. I can still play the Apollo 100 version, I doubt I can play the Bach version.

I have loved the Apollo 100 version since 1972. Along with the influence of David Bowie, I consider it probably one of the most influential impressions on my musical youth. What I have done now is take my love of “Joy” to the next level, it’s 21st version now. There was only so much Apollo 100 could do with it in 1972. One person, with a computer and some cheap equipment can do a lot more, more easily. You don’t have to be a professional any more to make songs the way you want to hear it. Here’s my proof.

Enjoy, and remember, I only do this for fun!

When Satan Calls

When I was a little kid, I used to invariably hear a voice very firmly in a man’s voice speak my name. That was it. Just my name. If I answered, it said nothing else. That was it, just my name. Sometimes it would catch me doing something, so when I heard this voice I would answer it. This really upset my mom. So, I learned fairly quickly to ignore it. It was always the same voice, so that was easy to do.

Years go by, the voice infrequently still calls my name on occasion, I still ignore it. It doesn’t bother me, so I never did anything about it or even said anything about to anyone else ( voices in your head sounds kinda loony ). When I was in high school, I had the major hots for a girl named Becky. It was hot-cold kinda thing as I was just a little wild for her. However, going into her senior year, which was my junior year, things started warming up quite a bit. We talked or visited each other almost every night. Then one night, when I was in my house alone, and while I was on the phone with Becky, sure enough, that voice called my name. Per routine, I ignored it. But this time it gets weird. Becky asked me who that was. I assured her I was alone. She didn’t buy it. Since I refused to acknowledge there was anyone at home to answer to, she finally had to believe me that it was indeed a bodiless voice. Well, she then informed me that we couldn’t see each other any more because I had scared her too bad. She was kinda religious and somewhere in that religion ( Southern Baptist ), it talks about Satan calling people to walk with them. Whether or not I chose to walk with Satan was irrelevant, he was just too close to me for her comfort. I tried one more time a few years later in college to get Becky to go out with me. She never could get over that voice.

I never told her, and I’m sure she probably doesn’t want to know, but, I never heard that voice again after that call. It was Joe’s belief ( the guy in the occult ), that when she heard Satan, he left me and went to her. That’s fine by me.