John Denver, or as his folks know him, Henry John Deutchendorf. I’m gonna say it – He isn’t even a guilty pleasure! I have no qualms with proclaiming my proclivity for him and his music. (see inset picture of my Denver to collection to know that I’m not shitting you). *also check out the awesome tee he’s sporting on the gate fold of the album – kiss a beaver!
Sure, he had a couple bad marriages, some issues with alcohol and smoke, and cut his marital bed in two with a chainsaw – but who hasn’t? So he was a stoner and may have dropped some acid and obviously liked his drink (had a few DUI’s under his belt) but he could totally just get high on nature! I mean, he was high on LIFE! I’m sure BADASS isn’t the first term you think of when you look at the pumpkin pie hair-cutted, bespectacled hippie he was. That’s where you would be wrong. He was, in fact, a badass. As “dorky” as he was, he lived life on his own terms (I’m not saying they were always the right terms). He devoted much of his time and energy on wilderness and wildlife preservation, ending world hunger and banishing nuclear arms. Plus that he flew his own Lear jet and mowed his lawn in the buff. What have you done today?
Want to know how I fell in love with JD? The Muppet Show! He was dressed in a night cap and sleeping gown and sang Grandma’s Feather Bed (‘it was 9 feet high and 6 feet wide, it held 8 kids and 4 hound dogs) – the bed was full of fluffy muppets! That pretty much sealed the deal for me. Here, you need to go watch it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2nHGlE06y0 – I love the internet!
ALBUM: John Denver, Rocky Mountain High, RCA Records, 1972
This is the 6th studio album from John Denver. The title track Rocky Mountain High has some great guitar picking and the lyrics are just, pardon my french, fucking awesome. I’m sure snow wasn’t the only ‘powder’ where he was but whatever the case may be, he churned out some damn fine reflections in this song: He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below, he saw everything as far as you can see. And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun, and he lost a friend, but kept the memory. Now he walks in quiet solitude, the forest and the streams, seeking grace in every step he takes. His sight is turned inside himself, to try and understand the serenity of a clear blue mountain lake. Sorry, that was a long ass verse, but look at the words and tell me you can’t imagine being there! Mother Nature’s Son is a Beatles cover, which he does well and is a little punchier, but it’s not as good as the Beatles. JD could have easily written this song, but he didn’t. Paradise is another cover song originally performed by John Prine. God, I should do a review on John Prine! Sorry. So this song is about the devastating impact of strip mining for coal Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land. Thanks Mr. Peabody for forking everything up down by Green River! Way to go asshole! For Baby (For Bobbie) is a lovely, romantic song he wrote for some chick named Bobbie. Darcy Farrow was originally recorded by Ian & Sylvia (I had to see who who Ian & Sylvia) and has been covered by over 300 artists. John Denver made it famous. Josh Ritter does a helluva version of this song. It’s about a beautiful, young woman who’s in love and ends tragically. She’s bucked of her horsey. *Sniff*
Prisoners starts with great acoustics from two guitars. JD almost sounds a little edgy in this song. Well, as ‘edgy’ as he could get. It’s a little diddy about a single mom working a shitty job as a waitress to support her and her young’un cuz baby daddy is apparently in jail. For what? Did he kill someone? Drug Trafficking? Copywrite infringement? Jay walking? Goodbye Again – time for JD to head out on the road again. Touring a bitch. The whole second side of this album is comprised of The Season Suites. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. I’ll be honest, I never listen to this side of the album. So sue me! All the gems are on Side 1. I have listened to this side but I don’t make it a habit. The only season song I care for is Winter cuz it’s kind of peppy. Feel free to listen to it if you want.
Yes, it’s folk music so I can’t see anyone throwing up devil horns while listening to this album, but it still kinda rocks in it’s own way. Am I gonna come home and be ready to jam to some Denver? Probably not. But if you’re hungover, this is some good stuff to listen to. So, you go do what you need to get your ‘Rocky Mountain High’ and put on a Denver Album.
BEER: Avery Brewing, Raspberry Sour, Boulder, CO, ABV 6.5%, IBU: None
I should have done some Coors or some shit like that but naaaah. I do have a beautiful Avery Brewing Raspberry sour (which is from Colorado so that counts). I don’t like raspberry and the only reason I got this beer was because it was recommended to me. I’ll give it a shot though. The bottle is pretty. It pours a very dark brownish-red. This says it’s aged in oak barrels. Ok, so you can most definitely smell the raspberries. First sip….OMG. Wow. That is freaking tart. Like face twisting tart. The tartness isn’t the raspberries. It’s just like… a sweet tart, tart. The raspberries seem like an afterthought. I want to like this. It’s almost like champagne except it’s super ass tart. It isn’t bad per se, because it could have nice flavors but the tartness is so overwhelming to me. This is about the third or fourth sour I’ve had, and this has got to be an acquired taste. One that I’ve yet to acquire. If you like the hard ciders or say warheads or sour punch straws this might be your thing. (My daughter took a video of me trying it. I’ll try to post it so you can witness the tartness for yourself). I think I’ll stick with Ellie’s Brown Ale or White Rascal. Cheers!