Tuesday, November 15, 2016


My Bestest Friend introduced me to Leonard Cohen via a mixtape she made me in the 1980s. The song was "Suzanne," which is probably the best place to start a decades-long love affair with Leonard Cohen.

I'm terribly saddened by the death of Leonard Cohen, as I've been saddened by the deaths of David Bowie, Prince, Merle Haggard, Vanity, and Leon Russell. So many losses in one year. Hillary Clinton's loss is almost inconsequential compared to these and so many others.

But this isn't a post about death, or politics. It's a post about friends, and mixtapes (and mix CDs), and all the wonderful music to which I've been exposed because people loved me enough to compile sets of their favorite music and gift them to me.

Music is my favorite emotion after love.
I thought I'd share with you just a few of the artists who were introduced to me via a friend's mixtape. My life is immeasurably richer for having discovered this music. I hope in turn I turned on someone, somewhere to a singer/songwriter/band that is important to him/her because of I tape or CD I made.

Here's a partial list:

Talking Heads
Tom Waits
The Cure
The English Beat
Laurie Anderson
Joan Armatrading
Janis Ian
John Gorka
Christine Lavin

...and, of course, Leonard Cohen.

And that's only who I can think of off the top of my head. There are others, I promise you. It's just that I don't own a cassette player right now, so I haven't listened to any of my tapes in a while. And my CDs are tucked away in the storage compartment of my sectional, and as usual I'm sitting on it and can't access any of them.

You have that problem, right?

It's just really comfy here.
Anyway, here's an idea.

Let's make a virtual mixtape, right here on the old blog.

Comment with a a song, or an artist, or a link to a video that you love and want all your fellow Drunkards to know about. I'll bet we can come up with a killer playlist that way.

I won't censor or judge. If you post it here, it gets on the list. That's how mixtapes go, right?

I'll get things started with this...


  1. I only know of this one because I watched "Guardians of the Galaxy", but it helps me feel better sometimes:

    The Five Stairsteps - O-O-H Child

  2. Just to make it a little more interesting I set myself some rules:
    1. My choice would only be a song I first heard on a bona fide mix tape.
    2. It would be something most people are unlikely to have heard but will hopefully enjoy.
    3. There would be a connection to Milwaukee.


  3. Big Chief by Earl King, the Professor Longhair version. Come On, by Earl King.


    Chuck your musical influences seem largely dependent on commercial radio, and I am sorry for you for that. My favorite music is live music, but most people don't live where they can see/hear it easily. Again, sorry for those people.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Don't be sorry for me, dude. I don't feel sorry for anyone who is moved by music, even if it's different from what moves me. I only feel sorry for those who can't enjoy what they enjoy and let others enjoy what they enjoy.

  4. This one. Duh.


  5. Christine Lavin! Joan Armatrading! I finally tossed all my mixtapes a couple of years ago when I realized that (a) I had nothing to play them on and (b) they would probably shred instantly if I tried. I need to search Spotify. Some other favorites: The Roches, Ellen McIlwaine, Ry Cooder, John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Steve Goodman, Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli.... I could go on.


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