Friday, March 31, 2006

Rock'n Roll Travel in U.S.A.-West Coast-

I finished to read Japanese translation of "Rock'n Roll Travel in U.S.A.-West Coast-" written by J.Perry and Ed Glinert, published in 1996 by Fodor's Travel Publishing. I want to have an original English book, but I can't find it in Amazon.U.S.A. Title could not be correct. Authors tell music, musicians and clubs in West Coast with inside story. I found a lot of new things to me. I have been in California for three years form 1999 to 2002. I watched lots of concert at relatively bigger stadiums or halls, like Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, HP Pavilion in San Jose, Warfield in San Francisco, Yoshi's in Oakland, Villa Montalvo and Mountain Winery in Saratoga, etc but I have never been to House of Blues, wall painting by Santana in San Francisco, former Winterland, The Roxy Theatre in Sunset, Wisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood. When I have a chance to go to California again, I want to visit these places without playing golf for a while.

Strange Custom of Golf in Japan

I finished to read ""Strange Custom of Golf in Japan"" written by Nobuyuki Ando who is a director of Japan Golf Association. I agree with him about that practice of golf in Japan should be changed from very local practice to golobal standard. He explains in this book how different from global standard golf in Japan is. Course design, caddy, separate start from out/in, two greens, lunch time after front nine, or local rule like starting from fourth shots from very front tee in case of out of bounds at tee shot. In Japan many golf courses have electric carts now, so recently we don't play with caddy often. But I played about 250 rounds for 3 years in California and played with caddy only twice at Pebble Beach GL and Riviera.

He doesn't say in this book, but there are two points that I can suggest to golf courses in Japan. They are (1)rate discount for 9 holes only (early morning back 9) and twilight, (2)discount for residents. Some courses in Japan already have early morning back 9 discount or afternoon start, but still not many. I suppose that (1) plus (2)can increase numbers of resident players greatly. Increase of income can cover maintenance cost increased by introduction of early morning or twilight start. I live very near to Funabashi Country Club, but I cannot play often because play fee is incredibly expensive, almost US$300 in the weekend for non-members. If they have early morning back 9 for US$70-80 and twilight for US$100-150, and more discount for residents at the weekend, I can play once a month here. I will be a good guest for Funabashi because they will be my home course.

One more thing I can remember in this book is the words in the Analects of Confucius, The Master said, "The progress of the superior man is upwards; the progress of the mean man is downwards." I like this words. This is surely applicable to golf.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Soubu Coutry Club North Course

I have just come back from Soubu Coutry Club North Course. Today I am day-off because I have to attend the meeting for retiree of my company in the afternoon. I have decided to quit my job and join the company I was temporarily transfered to. Mr.K, who went Taiheiyo Club Minori Course with me yesterday, is also off today, so we decided to play golf today in Soubu Country Club North Course because it is very near to our residences. This course is next to Soubu Country Club Inba Course and has beautiful nine holes with tall trees. Besides the condition of greens, Soubu Coutry Club North Course is one of the best public courses in Chiba prefecture with excellent cost performance. I hit some terrible shots but we enjoyed very much this morning.

Taiheiyo Club Minori Course

I went to Taiheiyo Club Minori Course to attend Tokyo Bay Club golf tournament on Sunday. Tokyo Bay Club is a private club which members have an experience of staying in San Francisco Bay Area for his or her overseas assignment. I won the tournament. To be honest I didn't expect my win because of my triple bogey, double bogey, double bogey, bogey from second hole to fifth hole. My gross total 46+46=92 score, not so good, was second but net score 75.2 was top. Strong wind in the afternoon and very fast green troubled all players.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov

I started to read Isaac Asimov's books recently. Very good! I has been well impressed by his novels. I have just finished reading "The Naked Sun" (1957). "Naked Sun" is a sequel to "Caves of Steel" (1954). Of course I read it in Japanese. So please refer to here about the story.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Candy More in Kabukicho, Shinjuku

On Thursday I went to drink beer to a bar, Candy More in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. Five friends gathered and talked about our future. I already decided to take a new job outside of the company I have been worked for these twenty years. Others worried about their future. Candy More is good place. They have been in Kabukicho for more than twenty years. Kabukicho is one of the severest places for bars, restaurant and other night life in Tokyo. Candy More's twenty years in Kabukicho is amazing.

I told them about my intersting life in Silicon valley.
(1)I went to the concert of Steely Dan in Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View just after watching The US Open Golf at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Saturday, June 17, 2000.
(2)I missed to watch Bob Dylan show at same place on Saturday, June 24, 2000 because I was late due to traffic jam on Root 17 from Santa Cruz to Mountai View. I could only watch Phil Lesh after Dylan's show finished. (I tried to get Bob Dylan ticket, and finally I watched Dylan at Compaq Center at San Jose on Friday, October 12, 2001)
(3)I wanted to watch Neil Young but I could not for some time. I found show on Monday, September 11, 2000 at Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Although I lived in Foster City in northern California, I arranged my business trip to Los Angeles only for this concert (that's a joke but I was very serious at that time). After that I watched him several times at shows of CSNY and Bridge Benefit.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sapporo/"Hatake" Beer

Today was my non-alcohol day, but I wanted to wash barium out of my stomach, which I had for my medical examination the day before yesterday, so I had a "Hatake" beer of Sapporo Brewery which is made of German malt and hop. Ah, this is good!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Neil Young with Linda and/or Nicolette(2)Old Man

This is a 2nd post of Neil Young with Linda and/or Nicolette. "Old Man" in Harvest" was played by fine banjo and steel guitar and Young's vocal was excellent.

New Musical Express, 2/12/1972 "Neil Young's Harvest - Exclusive track-by-track review by Rob Drysdale said;

"Old Man (3.22): One of the best produced tracks, with brilliant banjo and steel guitar. The song was inspired by an old man who lives on Young's ranch: "Old man look at my life/I'm a lot like you were." Familiar themes of loneliness and lost love are also present: "Live alone in a paradise that makes me think of two" recalled with a certain pain "love lost/such a cost/give me things that don't get lost." Yet he is still searching for a heart of gold: "I need someone to love me the whole day through/Oh one look in my eyes and you can tell that's true." James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt again provide backing vocals."

Jonny Rogan had an interview with Young in Music Center in Los Angels on Feb 1, 1971. Young talked about "Old Man";

"This song is written about my ranch. I moved to northern California and bought a ranch. An old man was there. He worked for former ranch owner. About 70 years old. He cannot work like he used to 40 years ago. He lives but he is like a dead man. I wrote somthing like that"

This is in "NEIL YOUNG:The Definitive Story of his Musical Career" by Jonny Rogan in 1982, but I have only Japanese version, so actual sentences could be different. Anyway this song was written after his purchase of a ranch in Woodside, California, near San Francisco. I have visited Woodside during my stay in Norther Califronia from 1999 to 2002. Woodside is very small and beautiful town. It is said numbers of cows are more than numbers of people who live in the town.

By the way Linda Ronstatd. Linda Ronstatd and James Taylor were on backing vocal again, same as "Heart Of Gold". Their harmony was always excellent.

Old Man by Neil Young
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

Old man look at my life,
Twenty four and there's so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.

Love lost, such a cost,
Give me things that don't get lost.
Like a coin that won't get tossed
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life i'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes and you can tell that's true.

Lullabies, look in your eyes,
Run around the same old town.
Doesn't mean that much to me
To mean that much to you.

I've been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
But i'm all alone at last.
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life i'm a lot like you
I need someone to love me the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes and you can tell that's true.

Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I'm a lot like you were.

At Taiei Country Club

On Saturday I went to play golf at Taiei Country Club attending a tournament arranged by an owner of a bar in Shinbashi, Tokyo. Taiei CC is relatively easy course for average golfer to play from regular tee because most of the holes are very flat and no tricky holes. Score card says it has 6260 yards but on Saturday most of the tee marks were near the front tees, so actual yardage could be 6000 yards or less.

I never practiced my driver since January because I have practiced up to 6 irons and 3 wood. So I tried to play safely with tee shots by 3 wood, second shots by irons even if it was a par 5 holes. It might worked and my score was Out 41 (17 putts) In 47 (16 putts) Total 88 (33 putts). I got 7th place with net score of 74.8 by double peoria among 23 players (3rd place by scratch). It was not bad after my 3 months absence from golf course.

I will play at Taiheiyo Club Minori Course next week. I hope I can play better.
(Above picture:From 18th hole green side at Taiei CC)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Neil Young with Linda and/or Nicolette(1)Heart of Gold

I start series of reviews for albums or songs of Neil Young which Linda Ronstadt and/or Nicolette Larson are on back vocal. This first review is "Heart of Gold" in "Harvest".

Neil Young started very exciting year of 1970. He appeared at a venue with CS&N in a month, then next month at other place with Crazy Hoerse. Together with the release of "Deja Vu" of CSN&Y and start of 2nd tour of CSN&Y, Young seemed to be one of the most important rock musicians at that time. The release of his "After The Gold Rush" in August, 1970 also pushed him to higher position. But he was almost off in the latter half of 1970 because of his slipped disk. After appearance at Carnegie Hall on December 4-5, he started recording in Nashville with so called Stray Gators (Ben Keith-Steel Guitar,Kenny Buttrey-Drums, Tim Drummond-Bass, Jack Nitzche-Piano & Slide Guitar, John Harris-Piano on Harvest). We had to wait for "Harvest" for another 14 months until February 1972 because he couldn't play electric guitar due to his slipped disk. "Harvest" recorded biggest sales in the year, more than 2 million albums sold. "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man" were cut to singles. Actually "Heart of Gold" has been Young's only No.1 hit single in his over 30 years career. It is said that "Harvest" was not much better than "After the Gold Rush" because of no new thing and some weak songs even after 1 year and half absence". But now there should be no doubt that "Harvest" is one of most important albums in 1970s.

American people pre-ordered "Harvest" because they heard the single cut, "Heart of Gold" everyday on the radio. However I think this song is best in the album. The lyrics are simple with good melodies. Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor's harmony on the last chorus of the song are notable. One of my friends, Linda nerds, bought "Harvest" only because of Linda's harmony vocal on this album. To be honest, I bought LP of "Harvest" 2-3 years after its release, but it has been my all-time best album since then for alomost 30 years.

According to Numbers on The Site "The Neil Young Tour Statistcs", "Heart of Gold" has been performed 555 times since first debut on January 10, 1971 to latest data on August 17, 2005. "Cinnamon Girl" was performed 531 times from February 25, 1970 to October 30, 2005. "Like A Hurricane", 463 times from December 20, 1975 to May 14, 2004. I supposed that "Heart of Gold" was No.1 perfomed song, But, "Powder Finger", surprising 605 times! Young said in hand-written liner note in "Decade", "This song put me in the middle of the road. Travelling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I met more interesting people there." Was he bored? I don't think so. But Mr.Thrasher of Neil Young News says it wasn't performed from November 20, 1976 to January 10, 1983, for almost 7 years. He was surely bored!

By the way, Linda Ronstadt. Linda released "Linda Ronstadt" just 1 month before "Harvest". Further more Linda recorded "Birds" of Neil Young in his "After the Gold Rush", as might have been expected.

"Linda Ronstadt"
released January 1972
produced by John Boylan
Rock Me on the Water [Jackson Browne]
Crazy Arms [R Mooney- C Seals]
I Won't Be Hangin' Round [Eric Kaz]
I Still Miss Someone [Johnny Cash]
In My Reply [Livingston Taylor]
I Fall to Pieces [Hank Cochran- Harlan Howard]
Ramblin' 'Round [Woody Guthrie- Huddie Ledbetter- J Lomax]
Birds [Neil Young]
I Ain't Always Been Faithful [Eric Andersen]
Rescue Me [C Smith- R Miner]

Heart of Gold by Neil Young
I want to live,
I want to give
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.
It's these expressions I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.
Keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.

I've been to Hollywood
I've been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold
I've been in my mind, it's such a fine line
That keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.
Keeps me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.

Keep me searching for a heart of gold
You keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old.
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Live at The Gaslight/Bob Dylan

Last week I also received Live at The Gaslight/Bob Dylan. This CD is historic live recordings in 1962, New York, and has been on sale only in Starbucks. I didn't know when this was issued. I got it from FotRecords in Burbank, California through But it is a brand-new and has a giveaway of felt-tip pen of FotRecords. Thank you, FotRecords!