You spin me round part 2

Well, folks, it’s June 30, 2012, at least in my time zone still and 20 years ago today, Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Come On Come On was released in the US. It went on to become certified multi-platinum in the US and seven of the 12 tracks were released as singles.

As I have gone through my collection, (and I still have more to show so my blog will continue), I realize that I have some favorite pieces. Without a doubt, the item that I write about today on the 20th anniversary is one of my top 5 treasured items in my collection.

This is the UK vinyl album of Come On Come On that was only rumored to have been in existence. There were a few hardcore MCC memorabilia collectors that searched for it though one was never found. It became, forgive the expression, the Holy Grail to add to my collection. Since the late 1990s, I searched for this record. At record shows, online auctions, record stores and yard sales, you name it, I looked for it. Zilch.

Finally, the record collector goddesses decided to shine down on me. I found it on eBay in 2009. The only other item that I was as ecstatic about was her outfit that she wore in the video for Down at the Twist and Shout. I was prepared to spend at least $50 for it because it is such a rare item. I had never seen the record up until that time nor have I seen a copy since then. Thankfully, the bidding stayed low and I won the item for $21.50 plus shipping costs. I felt like that was a steal because it is worth a lot more to me.

Oh, and get this, the record was sold by Gerosa Records in Brookfield, Connecticut. Have I ever mentioned that I live in Connecticut? A record that I looked high and low for over 10 years was in a record store about 90 minutes away from me.

Here is the back of the album:

It looks just like the CD except it’s the size of an LP.

So Happy 20th Birthday to Come On Come On. Long live vinyl and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Over & Out,

Lisa M. Luck

Eleven million later

This item in my collection was another find on eBay. At some time during my acquistion of Mary Chapin Carpenter memorabilia, I decided to collect as many concert t-shirts as I came across whether I got them at a concert myself or from some other source. It was sold during her tour for Come On Come On. I liked this one especially since my last name is Luck and the graphics refer to, well, items that pertain to Luck.

The back of the shirt looks like this:

The font used for her name is the one used in Shooting Straight in the Dark, the album released just previously to COCO. Note too, that there’s a hyphen between Mary and Chapin to let people know that her name is Mary Chapin, not just Mary.

A bit of trivia: I read somewhere that the album that an artist puts out isn’t really as profitable to the artist and that it’s the tour that really nets them some money. Since I’ve seen her over 50 times in concert, I suppose that does make sense since there’s only one album to buy but many times to see her during the same tour and any tour merchandise that’s for sale.

So why t-shirts? When I’ve gone to Disney World, I always buy a latex balloon of Mickey’s ears on Main Street before I leave and for me, going to a concert and not leaving with a t-shirt is like that for me. It ‘proves’ that I was there. Not just in the morning either but a month later, a year later or even 20 years later.

Over & Out,

Lisa M. Luck

You spin me round part 1

Today’s piece in my collection is a UK 45-rpm record of He Thinks He’ll Keep Her. I was so happy when I stumbled across this item in an ad in Goldmine magazine. I thought it appropriate to post this since Mary Chapin Carpenter is in the UK to promote the release of her new album, Ashes & Roses, on July 2 .

Shown here is the ‘A’ side of the album version of this song, penned by Carpenter and Don Schlitz. The record sleeve is made of durable paper not like some of the flimsy ones that sometimes US records were sleeved in. The promotional photo on the front cover was not included in the CD release of the album. Not the US one anyway. The round sticker on the front states the included is the live version of the song as recorded at The Victoria Palace in London. Are there any readers out there who were in the audience for this performance? I’d love to hear about the experience.

This photo shows the back of the sleeve and the ‘B’ side containing the live version.

When I received this record in the mail, it brought back memories of how much I enjoyed collecting records when I was a teenager. I had a stack of 45s that I acquired from shopping at our local Caldor store every Friday night with my father. I especially enjoyed the unusual records, the collectible ones, like my purple vinyl copy of ELO’s (Electric Light Orchestra) Sweet Talkin’ Woman, my red vinyl 33 of the Beatles 1962-1966, and a two of Soft Cell’s EPs that I purchased in Canada. I still have my copies of the Beatles and Soft Cell albums but lost track of my ELO record.

And still, I would put this 45 record of He Thinks He’ll Keep Her right up there with the records of my teenage years. It is a keeper, pun intended. As they say on tv though, but wait! There’s more!

Over & Out,

Lisa M. Luck

I dwell in possibility

It’s been over 2 weeks since my last post. I have a good reason too.

The purpose of my blog  has been and is all about the 20th anniversary of Come On Come On but on June 12th, Mary Chapin Carpenter released her new album, Ashes and Roses and since it’s been about 2 years since a new release, I had a hard time focusing on COCO. So allow me to write a few words about her new album.

A few of the early reviews described the album as a downer because the themes are about grief and loss. And I would say, why not? The songwriter has experienced these things personally since her father passed away just last year and she divorced in 2009.

I truly appreciate this album as it came out at a time since I just lost my mother last month. As usual MCC has put my feelings into words for me as she does many times before and for so many others as well.

Ashes and Roses has 13 tracks and four of them have risen to the top for me such as the proverbial cream does. They are: The Swords We Carried, New Year’s Day, Jericho and especially, Learning The World.

LTW has been a comfort to me since my mom died as it describes how grief takes over our lives. I’ve already experienced the following lines:

And pushing your empty cart mile after mile

leaves you weeping in the wilderness

of the supermarket aisle

I was in the game and toy aisle at our local Stop & Shop when I happened to look at a container of pinwheels, a rather benign thing or so I thought. I picked one up and I flashed back to when I was 5 years old.  I remembered how my mom bought me one at the grocery store. I held it out the window the whole way home and in that moment in the aisle, I could still hear the sound of the pinwheel rapidly spinning in the wind. I became a bucket of tears.

Thank you, Mary Chapin Carpenter, for your gift of music and words.

Over & Out,

Lisa M. Luck

Southern serves the south

This is my Mary Chapin Carpenter: Passionate Kisses from Austin CD. This is one of my favorite finds ever. I came across it at a record show and this was during the time before Stones in the Road came out and I was craving some new music by her. Well, it wasn’t exactly new music as it contains songs from State of the Heart and Come On Come On, but it has different versions of the songs that were live so that was okay with me.

It is the recording of MCC playing at Austin City Limits in 1992 and it was her usual setlist that she played during her 1992-1993 tour to promote Come On Come On. The CD is imprinted with the Western Beat label. And I would call this a bona-fide bootleg CD.

On the back of the CD is the track listing : Never Had It So Good, You Win Again, Going Out Tonight, How Do, Rhythm of the Blues, Passionate Kisses, Read My Lips, Only a Dream, Come On Come On, He Thinks He’ll Keep Her, The Moon And St. Christopher, I Feel Lucky. It also contains another track of Never Had It So Good as a duet with Pete Kennedy on guitar which was taped from another one of her appearances on Austin City Limits. Since it is a live show, the artist talks to the audience between songs which are quite amusing stories about the songs and the artist.

The players in the band were John Jennings on guitar, Jon Carroll in keyboards, J.T. Brown on bass guitar and longtime drummer Robbie Magruder. The song Read My Lips is sung as a duet with Jon Carroll who once belonged to D.C.-based The Starland Vocal Band who sang Afternoon Delight.

Inside the folded sleeve, there’s a photo of her reclining in an easy chair at the train station. The train car in the back is Southern which refers to a line in I Am A Town. This photo was never released anywhere else promotionally that I can recall.

I’ve seen this CD a few times over the years listed on eBay and if you enjoy live music of an artist and especially that of Mary Chapin Carpenter, then I would highly recommend adding this to your collection too.

Over & Out,

Lisa M. Luck

Down in Mary’s Land

I’m in Maryland this weekend to celebrate my great-nephew, Dakota’s high school graduation. I woke up this morning thinking about a photo that I have of him when he was  2 years old, holding a signed edition of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s children book, Dreamland, based on her song of the same name. He even had the chance to meet her in New York City for the book signing of this book. He wore his favorite blanket as a cape and he called himself Frooper Man.

My, how time flies.

Today’s piece is a promotional 1-hour radio special from CMT called On Location: Conversation and Music By Mary Chapin Carpenter with special guests Joe Diffie and Don Schlitz. The broadcast date was for October 1-31, 1992.

The track listing is How Do, Never Had It So Good, This Shirt, You Win Again, Down at the Twist & Shout, I Feel Lucky, The Hard Way, Not Too Much to Ask, and I Take My Chances.

Between each song, Mary Chapin talks about several subjects such as her childhood, early songwriting and co-writing with Don Schlitz. Then Don Schlitz talks about his co-writing experience with Mary Chapin. Joe Diffie talks about singing Not Too Much to Ask, a duet with her. 

This is a true promotional piece because it also includes the actual commercials for CMT- Country Music Television.

I love listening to this CD because I love hearing Mary Chapin speak. For me, her speaking voice is as comforting to me as her singing voice. And I’m happy to have been comforted for 20 years now.

Over & Out,

Lisa Luck

One day you’re a diamond

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Today is a good day in the music world.

Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter’s recent tour partner, wrote a memoir entitled Diamond in the Rough which was released today. Oh yeah, her latest CD, All Fall Down, was released today too. And let’s not forget that MCC’s latest release, Ashes and Roses, will be out next week on June 12th.

But with all the buzz of a new Mary Chapin Carpenter CD or really a download, I don’t wanna get off track of the purpose of this blog. It’s just 25 more days until the actual 2oth anniversary of the release of Come On Come On. And my intent is to post a piece of memorabilia everyday until that day. 

This item is another unique piece of my collection. It’s a promotional window static cling for the release of The Bug. Its diameter measures 5 and 3/4 inches and it has a copyright date of 1993 on it.  I’ve never displayed it on a window but just always kept it squirreled away. Another promotional item that was released with this one was a 5-foot cardboard windshield visor with the same graphics on it. I’ve seen on eBay once or twice at most but I was never lucky enough to acquire one for my collection.

The song was the fifth single off the album and it reached #16 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. I pointed out in another post that oftentimes the song lyrics are attributed to Mary Chapin Carpenter but it was written by Mark Knopfler of the rock group Dire Straits. Oh well, you know what they say: Sometimes you’re the windshield…

Over & Out,
Lisa Luck

The rain in Spain

From Japan in my previous post to Spain in the next. Mary Chapin Carpenter sure is known internationally. This vinyl record was an unusual piece to add to my collection. Passionate Kisses was popular in the US and apparently from this edition in the European market as well as this is a Spanish version of Passionate Kisses. No, it’s not Passionate Kisses sung in Spanish but the English language version released in Spain as you can see from the non-English writing on it.

It is truly a promotional vinyl record since only 1 side is playable. Back in the day of only vinyl, that’s the way the promotional vinyl was made, grooves on the playable side of course and just slick and shiny on the flip side. Also, the yellow CBS/Sony label indicates that this copy is: Promocional/Prohibida Su Venta.

I find it interesting that her whole name is not spelled out on the label either. It says: Mary-Chapin Carpent.  Though enclosed in the record is a paper that spells out her whole last name and lets us know that Passionate Kisses is translated to Besos Apasionados in Spanish.

Also on the paper are the following facts about MCC:

  • Norteamericana, de New Jersey. Pasó gran parte de su infancia en Japón
  • Es uno de lost nuevos valores del folk-country norteamericano
  • Debuto en el 87. Tiene mucho que ver con el sonido de las cantautoras folk de los primeros años 70
  • Segundo single de su cuarto album “Come On Come On”

I won’t provide a translation since most of the Spanish words I know are the “wrong” ones that my adult students have taught me. Seriously, I do know some words from watching the kid shows, like Sesame Street, with my grandson.  And I definitely do understand the part about New Jersey.

Over & Out,

Lisa Luck

Only a dream

Hi Folks,

So much has changed in my life since my last post in April. Since May 14th, life feels like it’s only a dream to me. My mother passed away that day after a courageous 2 and a half year battle against multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow. In my last post, I asked for readers to send healing vibes out to her and I thank any and all readers that did that for her and for me.

And now, it’s time to get back to my blog and keeping with the theme of posting Come On Come On memorabilia. It’s the 20th anniversary of its release on June 30, 1992. 

The photo above is a Japanese version of COCO on CD. Now none of the songs are in Japanese though come to think of it, I don’t recall ever actually playing the CD. So I’ll do that at a later sitting. Notice though that the packaging is quite different from the US version.

On the paper case, the lettering is raised and in Japanese. The CD finish is like a matte finish instead of the usual glossy finish of a CD. And the fonts used for the lyric booklet is completely different than the US version.

I’m guessing that I paid about 20-30 US dollars for this but as I believe that I’ve said before about other items, it didn’t matter to me because it was such an unusual item to add to my collection. Another reason I thought it so important to add this to my collection is that Mary Chapin Carpenter spent 2 years in Japan during her teenage years when her father worked abroad for Life Magazine. I’m sure she never imagined while living there that she would ever have an album of her music released in that country. Well, life is stranger than fiction they say.

Over & Out,

Lisa Luck