Peace Love & Understanding

Looking at a long-gone tune tonight, folks. It is still around thanks to the ability to preserve stuff for posterity. I rarely hear the song played on any radio station. Such is the bane of monolithic corporate ownership of USA radio stations. That’s a different subject I shall place at one of my other blogs that are far more negative than this one.

Thanks to modern technology and YouTube here is the song I am referring to:

The song was written by a gent long before Elvis offered his version. Below is a snippet from this Web site/page:


(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding by Elvis Costello

“Lowe told The A.V. Club that this song started out as a joke: “I wrote the song in 1973, and the hippie thing was going out, and everyone was starting to take harder drugs and rediscover drink. Alcohol was coming back, and everyone sort of slipped out of the hippie dream and into a more cynical and more unpleasant frame of mind. And this song was supposed to be an old hippie, laughed at by the new thinking, saying to these new smarty-pants types, ‘Look, you think you got it all going on. You can laugh at me, but all I’m saying is, ‘What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?’ And that was the idea of the song. But I think as I started writing it, something told me it was too good idea to make it into a joke. It was originally supposed to be a joke song, but something told me there was a little grain of wisdom in this thing, and not to mess it up.”

I saw the same thing in northern California during that era. Changes in the San Francisco Bay Area and outlaying environs. Then  move to southern California that was akin to happenings elsewhere. Enclaves of “hipness” remained but youthful society itself was changing. In the USA I believe the end of the military draft in 1973 had a major effect on youth society especially. Far more complicated are the impact of economics. 1972/1973 are two pivotal years that had a huge impact upon the 95% of common folks inside the USA. The trends that began then continued as what I label a “class war” started and of which the common folks of the USA have been losing ever since.

Oh heck. That stuff is such a bummer, dudes and dudettes!!! At least we are not common folks in North Korea or Sudan or Somalia or other cesspools where life is far rougher than in our Wester World Wonderland.

Here is another song by Nick Lowe, the writer of the song above. Some label the genre as “Power Pop” and that seems to be appropriate:

Sure, not a “great” song with the lasting power of some Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd songs but I enjoy listening to these tunes from time-to-time.

What the heck… another offering from that latter 1970s era…


I mostly prefer songs recoded in the studio where the engineers fine-tune and polish the output. Live recordings are obviously “raw” and the natural output of the musicians. There are a few live recordings that I believe to be superior to studio versions.

The finest live recording of all times for the rock/pop era I suggest this wonderful performance:


Rock Spectacle is the first live album by Barenaked Ladies

Not as well-honed as the Barenaked bunch is a more “raw” down-to-earth offering by Dave Mason and pals:


Certified Live is a live album by Dave Mason, which was released as a double-LP in 1976

I listen to the Barenaked Ladies around four times as often as I do the Dave Mason offering. Mason’s recording satisfies one aspect of my musical desires while the Ladies fill another. Hey, everybody has different musical tastes!!!

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