***Versatile Blogger Award 2013 – crikey! a third blog award.

By Ian Cochrane, April 29, 2013

versatile_blogger_awardThanks so much to Melanie (motherofnine9) for thinking of my humble blog for this award, being one of the 1st BC members to touch base with me on  joining this great community.

Melanie is well respected in blogging circles, a warm human being, a prolific writer and a great contributor. Please drop by for her humorous, heartwarming and thought provoking take on things.

So, firstly, to select several blogs I’ve recently discovered and follow regularly. (Followed by 7-things about myself…sorry!)

1/ Life is Svalbard at 78° North – A personal blog of life in a magnificent northern Norwegian wilderness with more polar bears than people…surely a living environment requiring some versatility.

2/ MOMS are from MARS – The very funny personal blog of a versatile`weird mom’ author, including commentary, age-old wisdom, and a lot of ranting from `one of America’s keenest minds’.

3/ ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly – A fellow Melbourne blogger with a passion for all things art and architecture; each a broad church in their own right, again requiring – you guessed it – a versatile approach.


FINALLY, SOMETHING (more) ABOUT MYSELF – MUSIC! I love the stuff, in pretty much all its forms; immersed in my own collection or streaming the best community radio station in the world from all over the world. Live music is a particular passion.

Busking Troubadours - Paris, France

Busking Troubadours – Paris, France

In fact, it seems strange I’ve only managed 3-posts to date with a music content of some degree. If interested, those past `music’ posts are here, tagged with the actual composer/performer concerned –

John Jackson – the celebrated American, Piedmont bluesman.

Bedrich Smetana – the much-loved Czech classical composer.

Eric Bogle – the Scot writer of `And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’, the iconic Australian anti-war ballad.


Back on subject, here are those 7-things mentioned earlier; songs that have had an impact on the way I see things –

Highway 61 Revisited_Bob DylanBob Dylan’s `Like a Rolling Stone‘,
from `Highway 61 Revisited’, 1967
Hearing this for the first time was like flicking on a light switch, lyrically and musically –
`…you never turned around to see the frowns
On the jugglers and the clowns
When they all did tricks for you.
You never understood that it ain’t no good,
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you…’


Cannot Buy My Soul_Kev Carmody CompilationKev Carmody’s `Droving Woman‘, from the awesome compilation `Cannot Buy My Soul’, 2007
Yes, there are other great Australian writer/performers; both indigenous and non., but Indigenous poet Kev Carmody’s stories and imagery are so damn moving, and I do love this song. (btw, No KC video found. Intro by my favourite Melbourne Poet/Muso Paul Kelly)
`…The enormous vastness of them inland plains
Gives you a lonely contentment to which you can’t put a name
It’s satisfied glow city folks seldom attain
They spend life on a right rigid rail…’


West_Lucinda WilliamsLucinda Williams’ `Are You Alright?‘, from the introspective `West’, 2007
Living alone in exotic climes at the time, this was something special –
`…Just tell me that you’re OK.
Are you all right?
Cause you took off without a word.
Are you all right?
You flew away like a little bird.
Are you all right?..’


At My Father's Place-1979_Muddy Waters & Johnny WinterMuddy Waters’ `Mannish Boy‘, from `At My Father’s Place’, 1979
Although written in 1955, I’ve know this song for many years. The guy really was The Man, the absolute all-time king of the blues, and to see him perform this with Johnny Winter in full flight must have been downright awesome.
`…Now when I was a young boy, at the age of five 
My mother said I was, gonna be the greatest man alive
But now I’m a man, way past 21
Want you to believe me baby,
I had lot’s of fun
I’m a man
I spell mmm, aaa child, nnn
That represents man…’

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band_The BeatlesThe Beatles’ `A Day in the Life‘, from `Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’, 1967
Probably my introduction to an `orchestral’ type of production. (Just attended a Crazy Horse concert which began with same gigantic build up track. A Lennon masterpiece that always bring the house down. Timeless!)
`…Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up, I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
And somebody spoke and I went into a dream…’

Wheels of Fire_CreamCream’s `Crossroads‘, from `Wheels of Fire – Live at the Fillmore’, 1968
Not so much about Robert Johnson’s classic lyrics, as the explosive, blistering energy of Clapton’s guitar.
`…I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above “Have mercy now
save poor Bob if you please…’

Slipstream_Bonnie RaittBonnie Raitt’s `I can’t make you love me‘ from `Slipstream, 2012
Although undoubedtly one of the very best blues guitarist’s out there, Bonnie recently reduced a noisy multi-thousand Aus Byron Bay crowd to dead silence with this ballad. Stunning!
`…Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t…’


So, if you’re still with me, that’s No7… & tomorrow, to be honest, it could very well be a different 7!

But, now for something odd. Why is it that in my past there seems to be `musical gaps’? The truth is I’m occasionally incredulously asked: “You don’t remember that song??? But it was everywhere back then!!!”

Strange. Is my memory riddled with black holes?

I put it down to being otherwise occupied at the time… with some person or place… somewhere.

And lastly – as always – thanks for reading!


  1. Gavin Cochrane says:

    Belated congrats to my brother Ian,just so proud today.I remember you listening to Bob Dylan and The Beatles when i was a little boy,probably where i developed my love for music from.A positive influence on my life,my hero then and still today.Many more awards to come i think.

  2. nattsnakk says:

    Congratulations on your award! You have well deserved it 🙂 And I’m feeling very honored you mentioned my blog from Svalbard, that was a real surprise. Thank you very much!

    • IanC says:

      It was a pleasure to mention your blog @ the other side of the world. I do find your news & wonderfull photographs fascinating.
      Thanks & cheers, ic

  3. JerseyLil says:

    Crikey, I love those Aussie expressions! Ian, congrats on the Versatile Blogger Award, well deserved. I love music too, I hear ya on that. Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” one of my all-time favorite songs and the anthem of a generation. Big Dylan fan. You have listed other favorites of mine as well: Muddy Waters, Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt, Cream, and of course, The Beatles, my sentimental favorite. “A Day in the Life,” what timeless lyrics. The only one I was not very familiar with was Kev Carmody and I intend to check out his music. Your choices are excellent. I’ll check out the other blogs too. Great photo of the Troubadours in Paris.

    • IanC says:

      As always JL. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
      Please do have a listen to to Kev Carmody. He has such emotion in his writing. One of the most accomplished songwriter/poets in this country (in my opinion).
      Cheers, ic

  4. Congratulations Ian on your 3rd award, with many more to come I say. I too enjoy reading ‘Motherofnine9’ and ‘Moms are from Mars’ blogs, they are brilliant bloggers.

    Throughout my life I’ve always loved all types of music but didn’t actually follow any one band, group or person in particular. Music can change the mood in seconds, for better or worse 🙂

  5. Janene says:

    Thanks so much Ian! I feel so honored. *blushes* and I like your taste in music. I love Bob Dylan and Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is one of my favorite songs, too.

    • IanC says:

      Blushing. Are you? Oh yes, maybe just a little.
      My pleasure to nominate your blog Janine. Very funny stuff. & not meaning to cause further embarrassment,you are obviously a very nice person also (sorry).

      Music? We have much in common. I have all Dylan’s stuff, & like all his `stages’. Over the years he has been criticized for those changes. But my view is that the public do not own him. Like all artists, he’s entitled to move on.
      Cheers, ic

  6. Congratulations on yet another award, Ian. I’m sure your shelves and closets will be stacked with them before long. Your writing is simply marvelous. Music hasn’t played as great a part in my life as it has in many of my friends’ lives. I’ve always been pretty aloof from the music scene. I don’t follow bands or go to concerts or buy cds or any of that stuff. I like folk music for its emotional lyrics and 50s rock for its sheer silliness and fun. Otherwise, I don’t take the whole thing too seriously.

    • IanC says:

      Very kind NP. Thanks.
      Awards? Yes I’m very honored to receive them, but it is mostly about the writing.

      Although not taking music too seriously, you seem to have a wide palette of interests to choose from, not least being an affinity for the human condition.
      Cheers, ic

  7. umashankar says:

    Ian, the post is a moving musical feast. There are so many contesting claims on our lives that we let go our deepest passions once in a while. And when they return to us as they surely will, we become aware of the ‘black holes.’

    Bonnie Raitt reduced me to silence too.

    Congratulations on the richly deserved award!

  8. Charlene says:

    Your reward is well deserved. Congratulations! Cool music taste as well.

  9. Hels says:

    I am no music maven, but you happened to mention one song (out of 2938752934857932859285928958239 that have been written) that brings me to tears every time – And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. Bogel’s timing in 1971 was perfect re my life since I had recently married and moved to Europe. The Vietnam War had devastated my 4 years of university life and the lives of all males aged 20. And Gallipoli was emblematic of tragedy and slaughter, not of nationalist pride.

    Thanks for the links
    Art and Architecture, mainly

    • IanC says:

      Your comments re: Viet Nam are quite moving. Something close to my heart also.
      It’s a pleasure to mention your blog, with the subjects of art & architecture also close to my heart; along with music, they offset some of the other stuff.
      Thanks so much, & cheers, ic

  10. Music has been the soundtrack to my life Ian. In fact, I would say that music is the soundtrack to most people’s lives. Mind you, I would disagree with your description of Muddy Waters as the “all-time king of the blues”. My vote would always go to Howlin’ Wolf. Yours might have too, if you’d ever seen Wolf perform Smokestack Lightning live with his own band (Hubert Sumlin on lead guitar).

    I also thought it was odd that you describe A Day in the Life as “a Lennon masterpiece” (which it is) but then quote McCartney’s contribution to the song.

    I note that the seven tracks you describe “have had an impact on the way I see things”. I don’t think I’ve been influenced by music in that way, but there are scores of tracks that trigger specific memories, such as those I described in a post I called musical memories

    • IanC says:

      Yes Dennis, music is so important to many of us. Not sure about the majority though, as it often surprises me how many people have no real interest. Maybe that disinterest is a `modern’ thing?

      I agree with howlin wolf being way up there, & the Lennon-McCartney partnership being one of those magical partnerships. I guess Lennon has always been my personal favourite.

      Shall certainly drop by your mentioned post, & agree there are so many `trigger’ pieces of music.
      Thanks & cheers, ic

  11. Congratulations on your award, Ian! We seem to have a lot of the same tastes in music. Music has always been a huge part of my life, now more so than ever since my sons are musicians in a local band. In another life, I would’ve been a rock star.

    • IanC says:

      It seems we do have mach in common Kris!
      Your boys are so lucky to have such a supportive `big sister’, & I’m sure they know it. (I love anything howlin wolf btw)
      re: the music thing. It was so damn hard to pick 7-Tracks.
      Thanks & cheers, ic

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