Sunday, March 22, 2015

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

…but if you try real hard, you can get what you need” ... Stones

This morning… a Sunday morning with an overcast sky and slowly waking up since I am alone at the house due to my wife and family traipsing somewhere on the other side of the world, the only company was the TV set. I dutifully turned it on and –again- being Sunday morning… it was a veritable deathbed for any decent programming. I turned to the movies and started going down the line… HBO, MAX and down at the bottom of the Showtime listing, just about as I was ready to turn off the machine and go back to sleep… I found gold. Yes, gold!! There it was… a two (YES…TWO) hour doc movie about the Rolling Stones’ Return to Hyde Park concert in 2013. Music Heaven… for me, anyway.

Some years ago (more than I care to remember) I was being interviewed by the host of a local talk show somewhere in CT. I guess his producer (Mr. Bubble… his dog, I think) couldn’t find anyone to fill the late spot and I, after all, had been an “aspiring-to-be-big-time-radio-jock” in the NYC market some time before. Anyway, he asked me which band, from the British Invasion of the 60’s and 70’s had been my favorite. Without hesitation and disregarding the gazillion of Beatle fans at the time, I said “Rolling Stones”.

He asked “Why?” I answered; Because of the energy they bring to a performance… it’s pure sin. And the pounding music is pretty good too. It gets you where it hurts, at gut level.

I was reminded of my answer then, as I watched today a 70ish Mick Jagger rumble about on stage, dancing, jumping and singing (well, ok… sing-screaming) and keeping some 300,000 thousand –yes, totally sold out as usual- fans in hysterics and wanting more… All the classic songs, including one of my all-time favorites, from which I quietly borrowed the title line for this entry.

But this goes beyond music and theatrics. It goes deeply to the core of a period –at least in my life- which was guttural, raw experience living.

As I think it was for many of my generation. Which generation is it? I guess I can say the 60’s generation. A questioning sea of young people, the flower children, the potheads, the lost souls, the soldiers coming back from a war they did never understand to find a country immersed in its own war. And yes, the future creators of Apple and Windows, among others, the computer revolution. A time which saw us get into a near nuclear war with a blockade, go to the moon, to Woodstock, to Viet Nam, to Selma, to Dallas (no, not for Debbie) to witness the death of a President, to Chicago for the Democratic convention riots, while bearing witness to a country which almost went into a second civil war.

A period which produced changes in our lifestyles and also the best music all around. From basic gut rock from the Elvis years, to the veritable trove of incredibly good folk music streaming from many sources and then, with the so-called British invasion and the American bands this spawned, what has by now become the classic era of rock music.

When I think of these times, as I did this morning, it is the RS who, with the body of work which is their music, bring them back to me in all its splendor. I still marvel, watching their recent performance at Hyde Park, how they can still galvanize people with their energy. Interestingly, the larger part of the crowd was under 30…

And while “I can’t get no satisfaction” by “Paint-in’ it Black” I love your “Brown Eyes”, “Brown Sugar” and in the end, “You can’t always get what you want” … but, guess what… “Time is on my side”.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

El Mono de Josefina (Josefina’s Monkey)

The old saying of “the monkey on your back” takes a whole new meaning.
Several years ago, during the beginning of what would become sort of an ongoing (well, at least it has until this moment… don’t know about the future though…) pursuit in the “007 like” world of private independent investments, I came to know several folk who populated my life, much like a fungus populates a wet piece of old, rotting wood…

Hmmm… come to think about this, not a good, nice start for an entry. But then, that is the way it was. I also know that along the way, it would also be my fate to become a “fungus” in someone else’s daily affairs, I guess… so, it kind of evens out.

Thinking back about my initial steps into this shadowy world of “independent investments”, vague shapes and memories of confused and confusing human beings begin to take form and come out of a never ending murky fog. And never ending it has been. At every turn, when you think that finally the weaving and searching are coming to an end, you peek around what should be the final corner… only to realize there is a whole new maze in front of you to be navigated.

In the course of these ramblings and/or rumblings over the last five years or so, there have been many entries related to this frustrating pursuit. Mostly along the lines of memories (albeit sanitized) of events and places in different countries, and all related into the central theme which this never ending story has been. In the beginning, there were few players. A couple from Argentina, one shadowy player from Brazil, yours truly and some folk who were in the background… way back in the background.

How do you start in this craziness, when there is very little information available? Good question. The answer –if there is one- is long… far too long to be able to insert into one of these entries. I am not sure I am ready to do so completely. Or that I truly have the full answer.

Long night drives into lonely isolated houses in the lower Mississippi forests, the urban canyons of NYC or up the mountains and lakes of Austria, Belgium, France, Portugal or Germany… Dinners in private lavish settings and nights spent in the squalor of a London park bench… separated by long stretches of days and nights in lonely little hotels in more places I can remember. Trying to figure life out and not really being able to.  

Sometimes in Disneyworld settings, sometimes in a world of pure Brothers Grimm, night crawlers included. Always getting to meet an unnamable “someone” who was very “important” and who always turned out to be just one more fool (yeah… me too… the fool part) who wanted to look important enough to justify his presence and price.

Yes, at the beginning I did say “007 like” drama. And it was. Over the years and the issues I have had to face, I have come to walk with both feet on the ground; also learned to separate those who could and did, from those who only wanted to lie and get money in exchange for nothing. A very large number this last group. Made some good friends who traveled along on this lonely road and I am sure some enemies as well.

And life goes on… with this heavy monkey on its back… 

Just a little something to add to the entries… maybe more memories in the next few days. Promise they will be lighter.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to

Doña América and other memories.

I know she has already been mentioned somewhen along this line of sometimes unhinged memories as they relate to moments of my life , but y...