Monday, March 6, 2017

Window Into The History Of Classic Films Sadly Closes

Beloved Film Historian, Writer, Actor and Turner Classic Movies Host Robert Osborne, Passed Away Of Natural Causes On March 6th, 2017.

This is sad news for fans of classic films, TCM and countless members of the entertainment industry. It's difficult to imagine any Hollywood personality more universally loved and respected than Robert Osborne. He pulled the switch that launched the Turner Classic Movies TV Network in April of 1994 and became a welcome household guest across the world from that day on. His extensive knowledge of the films he introduced, its stars, everyone behind the cameras, little known tidbits, together with his gentle on-screen charm, undoubtedly has played a large role in TCM's success.

In addition to introductions, Osborne hosted TCM's "Private Screenings" during which he brilliantly interviewed many of Hollywood's biggest and brightest stars. Many stars of the Golden Age were interviewed during TCM's first years, leaving us many fabulous segments with iconic legends. Guests such as Olivia de Haviland, Eva Marie Saint, Robert Wagner and many others went on to become close, personal friends with Robert. Eva Marie Saint has said on many occasions, "I love my husband first, Robert second," it's apparent that Osborne was equally charming and beloved off-screen as well as on. For twenty-three years he's been the face of TCM, during that time he provided unique insight into the world's most popular entertainment medium and thankfully he left us with a wealth of information that will continue to fascinate, captivate and introduce younger generations to the wonders of classic film.

Links relative to the life and career of Robert Osborne:

Turner Classic Movies

Alec Baldwin Interviews Robert Osborne for Private Screenings  

Heavy - 5 Fast Need To Know Facts

Eva Marie Saint Remembers Robert Osborne

Turner Classic Movies on Facebook

Friday, March 6, 2015

Live Long & Prosper, Food For Thought..........

Save Some Money, Gather Some Free Positive Thinking

People spend hundreds of dollars every day after watching daytime TV or listening to talk radio for books and courses from modern self proclaimed Gurus who have supposedly discovered secrets previously unknown and changed thousands of lives for the better. All of them make multiple references to music, such as think of "the song you love the most, body and soul, makes you feel fantastic when you hear it, now imagine all of your life being that way."  It's no coincidence they ALL make musical references, music is an extremely powerful force. Visualize, project - this wisdom has been handed down to us all through many amazing teachers and it's within us all from the start, ALL life is connected, even science now says so.  

Thinking of buying "The Laws Of Attraction?" save some money, head ancient wisdom expressed through the great John Hiatt - "We Only See The World We Make."  Project negative, it returns, as does, positive, creative and even pro-creative energy.  That's what you'll buy and spend hours on.  If you feel the need to read words of wisdom or a guide book to think positive, project positive and expect positive, I strongly suggest "Man's Eternal Quest," by Paramahansa Yogananda it's filled with all the wisdom now selling for hundreds in one place, for less than $10.

Proven ancient wisdom is what they're selling, it's applying it that's the tricky part for most. Jesus said "Love Your Neighbor," "Forgive Your Enemies." As did Muhammad and Buddha only in a different language.  A well known author and wonderful man released a book that only needed the title; "You'll See It When You Believe It." All of this is in our reminders "By Helping Others We Help Ourselves." and "For The Benefit of ALL."

Visualize true happiness, this isn't easy because most of us don't really know what would make us happy.  Many believe its money, Robin Williams had plenty, did it bring him a happy life?  Countless other examples like that. Discovering what would make you truly happy is the first step with or without a book.  Positive thinking is one of the most powerful forces in the world, when it becomes collective, amazing things happen.  For 86 years Red Sox fans collectively projected "wait until September," after the Patriots pulled of one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, Boston sports fans suddenly believed and October brought home another championship. If this connection isn't obvious I don't know what obvious means.  It is the clearest example of positive zeitgeist I've personally witnessed and only proved something I already knew in my heart.

Random acts of kindness - just should not be, they should be consistent acts of kindness. On the busy street cars should not have to wait 15 minutes for someone to finally stop and let them turn.  A small glimpse of how simple and powerful kindness and thinking of others can change things.  Project this globally and we'd see the Heaven on Earth most of us would like to see.  Revenge, greed, judgmentalism and imperialism on a national level leads to more death, war and destruction, forgiveness and understanding leads to peace, love and understanding, sadly it's never been done be enough of our world at the same time.  I still wonder what IS so funny 'bout that.  Be Well and Be Kind.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Why Do Musicians Play, Rather Than Just Listen?

Great question recently brought up in a LinkedIn Music Group.  Many equally great and very related answers were provided to which I could nearly say "all of the above."  Someone mentioned "pain relief," which is quite astute, touching on many levels and really hitting home with me.  I could simply claim this as reason enough but that would fall short.  When my body was smashed into many pieces I was 19, (2 years into my professional music career) my life passed over then was miraculously returned.  This second chance gave me a second sight, a rare extremely painful bone disease, constant creative drive and a desperate need to feel worthy, which I try to fulfill by offering my time and talents to Humanitarian Causes through A4H.  When immersed in writing (songs and/or freelancing for the industry), producing and most notably performing - my pain is eased far more than by any medication.  When I see toes are tapping, hear folks are singing along, I feel my music in its own small way is beneficial to the human condition.  All reasons enough for me to stay dedicated to my craft, yet far from the only ones.  There are times when worldly needs may keep my ax's hanging and studio door closed.  Then suddenly I'll realize that clinical depression has begun to set in, consequently I'm in agreement with the most common answer musicians in the group provided - that playing is an absolute necessity, just as art forever has been and will be for any artist. 

In regards to the deeper psychological aspects of the questions, a noted Psychiatrist chimed in with clinical reasons for this necessity, all of which I agreed with.  I'd like to offer an additional thought to our common "need" for playing and I'd love to hear what other players, pro or amateurs make of this; I feel it safe to say that "creative energy" can be called the fuel that gets music from our minds and into our instruments.  Further, I believe it is very closely related to our natural, life influencing "pro-creative energy" and as we age, hormones settling down (at least to some degree), this powerful drive branches out, seeking new outlets.  A petty criminal may become the latest Dr. Evil or an amateur songwriter may suddenly come out with the next chart topper.  Some who once played now and then may naturally grow into an incredibly talented player unable to imagine life without their instruments, discovering a life long avenue for creative/pro-creative energies, providing pleasure for themselves and others alike, along with helping to keep the music world alive and well - as commerce and art - the fine line all professionals must face. Something I've often thought about and in the words of C.S.N. & Y, I mention it here - "for what it's worth."

This is truly is a great question and the group provided exceptional insight into why we players do what we must.  It was reassuring to read many examples documenting the importance of music as an essential part of so many lives.  To all players out there, I wish you the best in your creative efforts and implore you to keep on shining your light and enriching the lives of listeners.  How would you answer this question? Let us know your views on the importance of music in your life, as a player, listener or both. If you question it's value, try if you can to imagine a world without music, would it be deafening or silent? 

Peace, Love & Music!

Jeff Hayford

Copyright, 2014 A4H Productions, all rights reserved.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A tragic loss... and a lot of misunderstanding....

I've read many insensitive remarks about the loss of the extremely talented Phillip Seymore Hoffman and they've gotten my goat.  Saying "addiction" is a choice and not a disease shows a total lack of empathy - dragons are being chased in corners of your world - I guarantee you.  It's truly an epidemic in our great land and for many reasons.  Here's one few are aware of - people from all walks of life have been severely injured in our great city's and treated in insanely busy hospitals with extremely addictive medications - it takes just one to be captured for some, then they're sent home with no proper "ween off" scripts. This leads to people seeking off the streets, far more often than anyone one realizes.  The medical profession itself, documents and admits to not knowing how to correct this horrible problem.

I know this was not the case with Hoffman, his addiction battle was well documented, even on 60 minutes. He spoke of how he brook free and later admitted to falling back.  He may well have had serious pain issues. I live in chronic pain from being smashed to pieces when a car blind sided me on my motorcycle 30 years ago.  I have an extremely rare bone disease with no known treatment and a lower leg with half the muscle gone and 13 pieces of bone that were miraculously put back together by a truly great woman.  The first 3 doctors wanted to amputate, saying there was "no hope for it."  Kathleen Robinson, RIP - did not agree, she had worked M.A.S.H. units in Korea and had seen ONE similar leg injury from a land mine.  For 4 weeks I had multiple surgeries and had to sign an approval every time.  Each time they came in I expected it to say "amputation."  Amazingly she saved it, one morning saying "we're out of the woods now," however there's just one bone, no Tibia and extensive nerve damage.  Still I prefer it over some prosthesis.  Get blown apart in a terrorist attack and you become a Rock Star - having it happen on a highway in NH gets you nothing but monstrous medical bills and severe pain.

I've tried every possible pain treatment I could find and sadly, a narcotic is the only thing that allows me to be writing now and it's very difficult to admit to this.  However, without it I would probably take my own life as my father did - the pain is just intolerable. Alcoholics are spoken of as diseased people - take a narcotic and you're just a "user."  This is a sad misconception that I hope in my small way to help correct.  I tell no one about my medications, yet "abusers" have broken into my home and stolen them - they're desperation will make them turn on their best friend or even family members.  There is a HUGE difference between people who are in genuine need and those just seeking a high.  So, yes there are many, many abusers that become diseased by their own actions. However, pigeon hole stereotyping people who take narcotics is a terrible issue for those of us truly in need, taking them properly as prescribed - not snorting or shooting up, they are the safest, historically longest known long term pain relievers.  They develop the very same chemical that our brains do to fight pain on our own.  A "high" for people like myself is feeling well enough to make our way in this world, or for me to tell this story - without being in absolute agony.

This new A4H blog is about the music and entertainment business primarily and here's the first post being somewhat off subject, sadly the recent news about Hoffman showed the world how big the misconception is when it comes to fighting the demons - self created or forced upon us - they are completely different worlds and people. Look to your hearts and realize this and find a little empathy for all who live with this battle - just don't assume they're all self inflicted wounds done by "choice."

Up Next:  How Bob Dylan suddenly got loads of money from a song he never finished writing in 1971....

Peace, enjoy good health and the beauty of every sunrise and sunset.

- Jeff H
A4H "Arts4Humanity"