Friday, May 24, 2013

Norwegian Beatles? It's True....

Traveling from Norway to play The Beatles' music is an enormous undertaking, but Kjetil Linnes makes it look like an easy task. Kjetil will take time out of his busy performance schedule at Abbey Road on the River in Louisville, KY, to chat with me about The Beatles, Norwegian Beatles and his solo music production.
I've become a fan of song penned by Linnes, called "Tide," and look forward to hearing about his career in music.
I am welcoming Kjetil tomorrow, May 25, at 12 Noon EST (11 am cst)  
Check out this link tomorrow for the live show - or you can listen to the archived episode anytime after the show tapes.
 You can see the Norwegian Beatles THIS WEEKEND in Louisville, KY, at Abbey Road on the River 
The fest boasts thousands of guests, 65 bands, numerous stages, big names: Peter Noone, Leon Russell, Peter Asher, and much more.
Norwegian Beatles are from Alta, Norway and they are pretty certain they are the northernmost Beatles tribute band in the world.... These 40 something musicians fell in love with The Beatles when they were children and continue to share the Beatle love with America and beyond. You will not only enjoy their music, but their eclectic personalities as well! Check out performance videos & photos at their website:


Bjorn Conrad Berg- guitars and vocals, Kjetil Linnes- bass and vocals, Hovard Pedersen- guitars, Kai Skimelid- drums, Vegar Fagerhaug Johansen- keyboards

I hope to see you this weekend in Louisville!
Peace, Love & The Beatles
Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records Cookbooks


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Please Don't Be Long......(Blue Jay Way by George Harrison)

Several years ago, Maggie & I gave a food demo at Abbey Road on the River, a hip Beatles festival in Louisville, KY. We wanted to somehow include the song "Savoy Truffle" for our audience & the band Blue Jay Way stepped up to the task & delivered a killer rendition of the song. I've never forgotten the generosity of those kids---I believe they were still teens when they played for us. That is a very keen trait to have this day & age, especially when you are as busy as this talented group of musicians.
Hailing from Jasper, Indiana, the friends grew up together & played music for just about anyone who would listen. The group has not only achieved success with their band, but in their schooling & careers as well.
I'm excited to chat with members of Blue Jay Way: Travis Humbert, Alax Traylor & Joe Luegers, tomorrow on my radio show. Tune in to hear their great story & also find out why they are performing the Beatles album "Magical Mystery Tour" in its entirety at Abbey Road on the River this weekend in Louisville (they perform Sat. at 1:00 pm est) 
Listen live tomorrow or hear the archived episode anytime afterward - same link:

Do NOT miss the fest this weekend ~ Blue Jay Way's performance was on the Top 10 list of shows not to miss at the fest! I would not steer you wrong...

Get more info on the band at:

Get more info on Abbey Road on the River at:

I will also be at a HUGE Beatles Art Show at Regalo's New Art Gallery in Louisville - just 4 blocks down from the Fest (Galt  House)

Peace, Love & The Beatles,

Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records Cookbooks

John's Blurb with Jude Southerland Kessler

"If art were to redeem man, it could do so only by saving him from the seriousness of life and restoring him to an unexpected boyishness." - John Lennon 1968
This is a beautiful quote, and a quote that few (okay, no one?) could find objectionable. Art, John is saying, should restore our childlike joy in the world.
But the fact remains that this is almost never true. We find the greatest commonality and link to artists who express deep suffering. In their songs, paintings, poems, sculptures, and books, we discover our own torn souls. We identify.
*The Pieta in sculpture…Mary holding her broken son. It touches our hearts.
*The poignant poems of the invalid child, Robert Louis Stevenson, wanting to be up and out of bed; the broken-hearted longing of Edgar Allen Poe for his deceased love, Annabel Lee; The poems of recluse, Emily Dickinson, wishing to be a part of life: these poems invade our souls. We may smile at the whimsy of Ogden Nash, but we don’t treasure him.
*The sad smile of the Mona Lisa, the last moment of friendship before betrayal and death in The Last Supper, the vivid depiction of Washington taking his young soldiers across the Delaware River at midnight and into battle: these paintings stir us. We respond to sad-eyed children and haunting portraits. Even Gainsborough’s "Blue Boy" holds a special meaning because we know that the boy passed away, not long after the portrait was completed.
*And then there’s the music.

Paul McCartney’s "Yesterday." George Harrison’s rather melancholy "Something" (it’s not bee-boppy!). The sentimentally sad "White Christmas." And everything ever written by John Lennon, almost.
In art that expresses our grief better than we can express it, we find a friend. In art that wails for us, we find solace.
I know that in the Lennon quote above, John is telling us that he aspires to write songs of childlike joy ("silly love songs"???) but (like Sousa who wanted to write lullabies but always ended up writing marches) John gravitates to a deeper place. His art will never "restore an unexpected boyishness." However, it will embrace us and comfort us.
In art that lets us weep as we sing, we find our hearts.

~Jude Southerland Kessler


Friday, May 17, 2013

Buy Me A Drink...Sing Me A Song .... -Tom Petty

While I don't usually post concert reviews, I felt compelled to tell you about the goods delivered by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, along with opening band The Smithereens.
It's rare to find someone who hasn't heard a Petty song which, therefore, elevates him to the category of American Rock Royalty and his performance last night merely secured his position in the Court.

Nearly 11,000 fans packed the Ford Center in Evansville last night to witness the first show of a highly anticipated, high profile tour which was impressively delivered without a glitch.

New Jersey's pride & joy, The Smithereens, schmoozed the audience with their East Coast charm and tight performance. These veteran rockers have been performing together for 33 years, which cements their well-deserved place in rock and roll history. 
The crowd sang along with the band's biggest hit, "A Girl Like You" and followed the musicians across the bridge into a great rendition of The Youngbloods 60's hit "Get Together."
Lead singer, Pat Dinizio, expressed their 
appreciation to Petty as he described the thrill of being requested for the tour lineup. It was Petty's enjoyment of the latest Smithereens tunes on the radio which prompted the golden call. The band impressed the sometimes finicky Hoosiers and it was clear The Smithereens will be added to the top of our playlists. 

Once Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers entered the stage, among the electricity & excitement was also a sense of calm, peace & home. Petty's genuine smiles & waves to the crowd made it perfectly clear that he was happy to have his job. They opened with "So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star" and they nailed it, generating thundering applause. Their sound was as crystal clear as a CD and that meticulous perfection made this American Girl swoon. 

It was terrific to see Petty loving it, too. I recalled the comfort of my Grandpa's Sunday dinner, where you knew the food would be good and the company would be good and when it was over you have a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. It was Sunday dinner with Tom Petty & his soulful friends, as they entertained the adoring crowd with a delicious, non-stop, two hour menu of music, which was seasoned with genuine smiles and acknowledgement of gratitude. Petty shared his greatest stories with us via his music and what treasures they are.

Perhaps my favorite song of the eve was "There Goes My Girl" ... Petty's swagger & even the occasional shaking his tail for the audience indicated that you'd better not take your eyes off of him. He also included a couple of mellow pieces, including a Traveling Wilbury's piece (written by Petty & Bob Dylan) "Monkey Man," which stirred my comparison of Petty & his songs to a parent who tenderly shares & entrusts a newborn baby in the arms of another friendly soul...

The Heartbreakers were not even close to breaking the hearts of this Indiana crowd. It's been widely known that Petty's band is among the finest of talent in the world. This veteran rock band was acknowledged by Petty as being the hardest working band in the biz. And he proclaimed his love & appreciation for them to the world.....

In his final sealing of the deal, Petty & the boys shared the classic hit "American Girl," which left this girl completely satisfied and looking forward to our next Sunday dinner.

Rock & Roll Forever...

Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records Cookbooks
Evansville, Indiana
radio show:  /  Recipe Records

Monday, May 13, 2013

An Indiana Girl On An Indiana Night....

I relish the old adage "When in as the Romans do..."  And tomorrow night I plan to do exactly as the Southern Indiana folks do....jam with the magnificent Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at the Ford Center in Evansville. 
Petty is kicking off his first tour in several years right here in the River City. In my music dictionary, under "All-American," you'll find a picture of Tom Petty who would be described as an All-American talent, living the dream. This accomplished musician hit it big around 1976 with the Heartbreakers and they haven't looked back since. The band lures you in with the blending guitars, driving drum & keys, but while you are jammin' to the music, Petty unexpectedly reveals a story, in a very Dylan-esque manner ....which you just weren't expecting. 
I remember the first time I heard Tom Petty...somewhere around 1979, I was in 6th grade and our gym teacher, Mrs. Ripple, was teaching a unit on dancing not just for the girls, but the boys as well (which only made the girls squeal.) After learning to square dance, we moved to a dance which she called "The Chocolate Chip" and once she'd instructed us on one-two-steps, she turned on the jam and there it was....a song that faintly recalled a 50's doo-wop sound, a deliberate beat, followed by a pitter-pat drum fill, which was soon whisked away by a killer Hammond organ. And Mr. Petty's pure Floridian drawl tells the story of love gone wrong.
Take a quick listen:  "Don't Do Me Like That" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

5 things I love about Tom:

5.  He has a great show on Sirius XM Radio
4.  He's the hilarious voice of "Lucky" on the TV show King of the Hill
3. He knew he wanted to be a musician when he saw the Beatles perform on Ed Sullivan
2.  He's a rock star....incredible musician & lyricist

And the #1 reason I love Tom Petty ...
He was a devoted friend to Beatle, George Harrison.
That's good enough for me.

The excitement has been building in the Tri-State area for months & you need to make every effort to see the show tomorrow night at our gorgeous new arena, The Ford Center.
Opening for Petty will be underground band The Smithereens, from New Jersey. My husband & I had the pleasure of meeting Pat Dinizio (picture on right,) lead singer for The Smithereens in New York last month. Loyal Smithereens fans are gonna lap it up and new fans are gonna freak out when you hear this acclaimed band. The Tri-State area is going to fall in love with them. I've been hooked on their CD "Meet The Smithereens" .... it's a treasure...

Rock & Roll Forever....

Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records Cookbooks



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

#9 Dream

In the spirit of Mother's Day, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the mother of one of the most famous musicians ever...John Lennon. His mother, Julia Stanley Lennon, wasn't able to care for John due to complicated circumstances beyond her control and for that John spent his entire life suffering. He transferred that emotional energy into his music and the music was a haven for his psyche. 

On my radio show tomorrow, columnist Shelley Germeaux is going to chat with me about the influences that Julia had on John's life. I think this mother-child relationship has to be one of the most documented in the world of music. Shelley's research & knowledge is extensive; don't miss a chance to learn more about this tragic story. You can read her latest articles at:

Shelley is a columnist for the National John Lennon Examiner and also the Seattle Rock Music Examiner. Her research of John Lennon’s life and music has taken her to Liverpool, London and New York. She has been the John Lennon Examiner since 2010, and many of her articles have been published in publications, such as Seattle Sound Magazine, Not So Modern Drummer, Daytrippin' and Beatlefan Magazines.  Don't miss the radio show LIVE - tomorrow at 1:00 pm CST:

Peace, Love & Rock & Roll,
Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records Cookbooks

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John's Blurb  ~   with Jude Southerland Kessler

"Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia…"
So began John Lennon’s eternal Mother’s Day missive to his mother, Julia Stanley Lennon, the girl with “seashell eyes” whose untamed heart was both his doing and his undoing. Extremely long story short (indeed, the bulk of my first book Shoulda Been There, so aptly named):  Julia married John’s father, Fred, on a bet, on a whim. And when World War II broke out, separating them –compounded by the fact that Julia discovered that she was pregnant – (something the bohemian Julia had barely allowed herself to anticipate) the erstwhile marriage began to collapse.
Once her baby was born (on 9 October 1940) and christened John Winston Lennon, Julia immediately wrote to Fred, asking for a divorce. Unfortunately, though Julia had married Fred on a lark, Fred had married Julia for life, and divorce was not (in his mind) a possibility.
Never one to be thwarted by the will of others, Julia began dating, and she fell in love with John Dykins, a swashbuckling man with a thin mustache and a trilby dipped over one eye. After some months of serious courtship, the two moved in together.
Only one thing marred their happy new relationship: a precocious, problematic toddler, John. So…through John’s choice (very complicated story…you Shoulda Been There, and can be!), John began spending more and more time with his aunt and uncle, Mimi and George Smith.
After a heartbreaking, TRAGIC scene between his parents (post World War II) in which Fred tries to take John away to New Zealand to live with him as “Father and son” but is denied, John comes to live permanently not with his mother, but with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle Ge’rge.
And THAT is the beginning of that quote you read above, that heart-breaking pledge, that whimper from a little boy alone in a strange bedroom, singing himself to sleep.
For the rest of John Lennon’s life, he would try to make his mother notice him. He would try to be good enough, popular enough, smart enough, rich enough, powerful enough, and “clamored for” enough to make her see that he should NEVER have been relinquished. John sets out to sing his love for her at the microphones of the world.
Go back and listen to his songs (“Hide Your Love Away,” “Nowhere Man,” “I’m A Loser,” “Help,” and all the rest) and you’ll hear the “child inside the man” (as the great poet Wordsworth phrased it) crying out to his mother. You’ll hear it in the cover songs he selected to sing, (notably, “Baby, It’s You” and “Anna”). You will see it in his actions, designed to always draw attention to himself.
I wish on this Mother’s Day I could give John his mother. I wish I could give all children the Mother they deserve and need. I wish that on this Mother’s Day every mother would be the kind of mother they should be. But they are not.
So, I suppose I must ask two final questions:
Are you? Am I?


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This Saturday, May 11, Lanea will be at the lovely Studio 4905 in Henderson, KY  ~  from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm. A GREAT day is in store for you - awesome prizes, drinks, food, art, jewelry...and cookbooks.... 
Studio 4905 ~ 4905 Timberland Dr. ~ Henderson, KY  ~  270-869-4469
Please check out the outstanding children's program at Willard Library in Evansville this summer -
 My friend Rhonda will answer any questions you have about their awesome summer activities connected to "weird science."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Magical Mystery Story

It's a familiar artist's rise to fame and then the unfortunate demise as a result of the success.  I've often read about the "hard days nights" that The Beatles endured to achieve fame and fortune, only to realize that fame and fortune would change their lives forever.
In the summer of 1964, the height of Beatlemania, Ringo fell ill with tonsillitis & had to be hospitalized, unable to perform with the band. The band was getting ready for their first world tour and in those days, concert contracts were very primitive and didn't allow for rescheduling due to illness or emergency. The band would have to incur the expense of the cancellation and all of the backlash that would follow. So it was decided that a replacement for Ringo would be sought and Jimmie Nicol, an outstanding drummer, became that lucky guy.

However, as quickly as Jimmie was hired, Jimmie was forgotten. 
Jim Berkenstadt's book "The Beatle Who Vanished" is a fascinating account of the life of Nicol; his humble beginnings, his terrific talent, his experience as a Beatle, his unfortunate struggles afterward and eventual disappearance. 

Don't miss Jim's appearance on my radio show TODAY! Please call in to the show with your questions for this Rock & Roll Sherlock Holmes.

Go to the show link:
If you miss it live, you can still use that link to hear the archived episode. Share it with your Beatle friends ;)
You'll enjoy hearing Jim's stories about Nicol, along with his other books: "Black Market Beatles," "The Beatles Digest," and "Nevermind Nirvana."  Tune in today.

Jim Berkenstadt
Author of The Beatle Who Vanished
(608) 335-9754

Peace, Love & The Beatles,
Lanea Stagg

**Mark your calendar for Sat., May 11th (1 pm-5 pm) -- I'll be at a lovely Open House in Henderson, KY -  Studio 4905, a most beautiful art gallery will be hosting art, jewelry, sewing, photography & Recipe Records! Join us for drinks & food & Mother's Day Shopping....I'll be there with plenty of books!
Studio 4905 ~ 4905 Timberland Dr. ~ Henderson, KY  ~  270-869-4469

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John Lennon

John's Blurb with Jude Southerland Kessler

Time you enjoyed wasting wasn’t wasted.”
-   John Lennon

                If you’d read the first book in The John Lennon Series, Shoulda Been There (and hey, why haven’t you???), you’d know why John said this and to whom it was addressed. It was a direct swipe at the decorous woman who reared him –his Aunt Mimi.
                When I speak to groups about John, I tell them that if you Google the term, “Duty” (or look it up in a dictionary if you’re “old school”), you find a color photograph of John’s Aunt Mimi beside the definition. Yes, Mimi Smith was a stern, no-nonsense woman who believed that children should “do something productive” rather than waste time playing. Therefore, as a boy, John wasn’t permitted to own toys or “dawdle about” or go to picturedromes (movies). Mimi thought those activities a gross misuse of the meager time allotted on this earth.
I understand. As a little girl, I wasn’t permitted to waste time reading comic books or watching cartoons or “doing something silly.” Instead, I was encouraged to read, write, draw, and be creative. Daily, I was reminded that “idle hands are the Devil’s playground” and that “a job worth doing is worth doing well.” My father often told me vivid stories of a family member who “lost her husband because she was lazy and sloppy,” and I was warned against the tendency to grow up like that unfortunate, slovenly lady.
Yesterday, I spent several hours cleaning my patio…Windexing the windows, cleaning the table and chairs, sweeping the deck, pruning plants that had survived the winter and planting new ones. When I finished, the patio was lovely; it was ready for the sipping of coffee, for lazy lingering over crossword puzzles. Over the phone last night, I told my parents what I’d accomplished.
“Pffff!” my mother sputtered. “And when will you ever sit and relax on that patio? How many times have you used it since you’ve lived there? None, I bet.”
Of course, she was right. Because “dawdling about” on the patio doesn’t fit into the category of “productive.” It’s wasting time, isn’t it?
Maybe this summer I can be less like my parents (who now seem on board with relaxing!) and less like Mimi. Maybe this year, I can be more like John.
But wait…if you examine John’s life in detail, you’ll find he was just like me (and Mimi!). He wanted to be free of his heritage, but he was free in quotes only. John spent each and every hour of his life engaged in something “worthwhile.”
How about you? Is your patio ever used? And if  not, what does that tell you?
What is “time wasted”? Maybe it’s something to mull over.  -  J.S.K.