YouTube & WordPress, Oh My (A Plea For Help)

A funny thing happened during my simple quest to add a YouTube video to one of my posts. It wouldn’t happen. After hours of fruitless attempts to fix (and helpful suggestions from fellow bloggers/YouTubers), I’m at a loss.   No help on WordPress or YouTube help pages, either. Anyone figure this out?

1.  I joined YouTube, selected a user name, confirmed the email address, and located the video I wanted to attach. (Yes, I’m signed in).

2. Selected the “post video” option, clicked to add my blog to video posting/clicked to add a blog-site.

3.  Selected WordPress as my blog service, added my user name and password, and waited.

4. YouTube gives me this message ” An error has occurred. Message: Unknown
Reason: <ProtocolError for 302 Moved Temporarily>”

Anyone have advice?  Thanks.


Another Day

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s all sit down at the table, raise a glass, and toast the music. Many of us listen to a lot of it. A zillion songs, more or less, floating around our collective consciousness. Some songs are dismissed right off, others burrow into our brain, and a few delve deep into our soul. Blame it on the melody, the lyrics, a particular time and place connected with the song, or something else. Everybody has a story connected with their favorites. One such tune, for me, is none other than Roy Harper’s Another Day.

Roy Harper, the bloke immortalized by Led Zeppelin in Hats Off to (Roy) Harper is a British singer-songwriter. Well, he’s more than that, better known in the UK than stateside. Another Day is from Harper’s fourth studio album, 1970s Flat Baroque and Beserk. He said “Another Day is one of the greatest love song I ever wrote.” The record, unhappily, escaped my notice then. I did catch on to the next one, though, Harper’s scathingly brilliant When An Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease (titled HQ in his native UK).

It took the better part of the decade for another chance with Another Day. A video of the song surfaced on Kate Bush’s 1979 Christmas Special tv show (shown in the UK). The video, a collaboration between Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, offers a poignant illustration. The clip opens with Bush and Gabriel sitting at a kitchen table. They look straight ahead Behind them, a video backdrop of Gabriel and Bush, acting as their own inner thoughts. Gabriel begins “The kettles on, the sun has gone, another day. She offers me, Tibetan tea, on a flower tray. She’s at the door, she wants to score, she really needs to say.” Bush picks up “I once loved you a long time ago, you know. Where the winds own forget-me-nots blow, you know. But I couldn’t let myself go. Not knowing what on earth there was to know. But I wish that I had cause I’m feeling so sad that I never had one of your children.” Their anguish is absolute.

This is the version I knew first. I’m a KB fan since her Wuthering Heights debut and a Gabriel fan since he sang about Carpet Crawlers. The musical collaborations between the two have always been special. Perfect for this song and video. Later, I sought out Harper’s recording so I could make the comparison. Both versions were haunting and both were different. Both are superb. However, Elizabeth Frasier (This Mortal Coil/Cocteau Twins) presents the one I prefer. She coos, soars, and envelops her voice around the lyrics, “Across the room, inside a tomb, a chance is waxed and wained. The night is young, why are we so hung-up, in each others chains-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh. I must take her, I must make her, while the dove domains- heh-heh-heh-heh-heh- heh-heh.” Frasier’s delivery slightly holds back the affectivity, but it’s the most ethereal. I’ve always liked ethereal.

Copyright © October 06, 2007

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When I head out on the highway I usually bring along my own mix of music. Depending on a particular radio station to play my favorite tunes is an exercise in futility. I didn’t always feel this way. Never worried about taking my eyes off the road to glare at the radio, hoping that I’d find one station that played the songs I liked best. It worked out much of the time. That’s how I first discovered U2’s I Will Follow. I really liked their Boy album and went scouting for anything else they released. Soon found U2-3, a 12-inch import EP. When October was released, I had the record company send over a copy. Then the band came to the states to promote it and I made sure I got an interview.

U2’s publicist directed me to the hotel where the band was staying. Larry Mullen, Jr., Adam Clayton, and the Edge were there. Bono was not. I considered myself lucky, anyway. I’m waiting for one of them, or all three, to sit down and tell me things. Clayton and the Edge are deciding who will sign for room service. Then they talk. The interview first appeared in Relix Magazine and then was changed around for several other publications.

I’m looking at the Relix piece and remember the buzz. There was a string of press people scheduled to meet the band that day. We patiently wait in the hotel lobby ’til we were tapped to meet the band. It was like meeting royalty. They were a few years away from major rock stardom, but were on the way. Constant touring and rounds of press interviews were simply part of the plan. Mullen said, “We play five dates in a row that are 200 miles away from each other, so we don’t see much of anything.”

U2 shrugged off any attempts to label them as a certain type of band. The Edge explained, “I would never want to label the band. We’re a three-piece band with a vocalist. We use bass, drums, and guitar. The three primary colors. We approach it in that type of way because each instrument is individual.”

The press did label U2 with a psychedelic tag and grouped them alongside Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes. Mullen continued, “We tried, right from the beginning of the band, to avoid any boxes. I think we succeeded.

The hotel room is getting crowded and noisy. A publicist stops by to check on things. I worry if I’ll hear the interview when I play back the tape and how I can get the band to provide quotes that will impress my editors. Clayton offered, “We grow and we’re going to change. The reason that some people like Boy and not October is because it’s a different album. For others, maybe some of the reasons they didn’t like Boy changed for October and they could relate to it better.”

Everything stopped for the briefest moment when Bono walked in. He smiled and headed right back out. I sure would have loved to have a sit down with him. At least I’m able to exploit that moment now and title this U2, a hotel room, and me!

Copyright © October 01, 2007

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My Failed Career as a Radio Jock (The Gasp Heard ‘Round New York)

I loved my transistor radio. It was black and silver, smaller than my hand, often hidden away in my pocket or attached to my ear. I listened to the tinny sounds of my favorite tunes through the postage stamp sized speaker. As I remember, the power players in New York City were WMCA’s Good Guys, WINS’ Murray the K,, and the jocks at WABC. They had personality. These jocks became more than the connection to the music; they transcended it. Cousin Brucie, Murray the K, Frankie Crocker, Harry Harrison, Jack Spector, and Dan Ingram were the ones who had style, a rhythm, the banter. Something.

FM changed everything. These deejays played a different tune and were a breed apart from their AM counterparts. I listened to WLIR-FM, a local station, and jumped at the chance to hang around the studio. When I wasn’t rewriting PSA’s for the jocks, I’d watch them cue up records and talk on air. I then landed at WYNY-FM. The jocks worked in a semi-automated system. The mics opened for a minute or two and were turned off automatically. I marveled that the jocks filled the space perfectly; they never were cut off early or ran out things to say.

One of my favorite deejays was WNEW-FM’s Alison Steele, the Nightbird. Steele began her nightly broadcasts with a poetic invitation, “..come fly with me, the nightbird.”. I did and listened to Renaissance, King Crimson, Babe Ruth, and wonderful new sounds from the UK. I idolized Steele and wanted to be an FM jock, too. I also listened to WPLJ-FM’s Jim Kerr. He had listeners come in once a week and play deejay for a Beatle hour. When Kerr moved over to WPIX-FM, I got myself an invite to host one show. That week I prepared a playlist and scripted my on air commentary. I thought my opening and closing songs, Good Morning and Hello Goodbye, respectively, were nothing short of brilliant.

I made it to the studio on time and toured around with Kerr and newscaster/jock Bree Bushaw. After pulling the albums from the station’s library, I returned to watch Kerr and Bushaw on the air. When it was time for me, I was handed a pair of headphones. I plugged them in. 30 second to go. I began to get nervous. After all, this was a big New York station. Lots of people were listening, including all my family and friends. I arranged to have an air check of this colossal event. A five second countdown, the red light went on, the mic was open, and the thousands who tuned in heard a strangling sound. It was me trying to get a word out. I gamely pressed on, but didn’t dare look at Jim or Bree in the eye for the rest of the hour. When I got home I tossed that tape in the garbage, along with any idea of pursuing this as a career choice.

Years later I met Alison Steele at a radio conference. I told her my radio story and she laughed. She graciously listened to my rehash of her trailblazing. We had a bit in common besides a keen interest in rock and radio; we both loved cats. Alison Steele lost her battle with cancer in 1995. She was a class act who left her mark and a true inspiration for me.

Copyright © October 01, 2007
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Lost at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen Summer JamIt was steaming hot that particular weekend in July of ’73, the time of The Summer Jam at Watkins Glen. A ticket to this one day jam, with The Allman Brothers, The Band, and The Grateful Dead, cost $10, half the price of admission charged for Woodstock, which covered three days. The Jam’s promoters and the town of Watkins Glen remembered Woodstock, especially the problems of crowd control. Some new friends and I grabbed a few rides, joined a caravan, and ultimately walked past miles of traffic jam, which stretched out forever. In terms of numbers, we were 600,000 strong and surpassed the Woodstock figures by 100,000. Many of us did not buy tickets, but it didn’t matter. We would get through the gate, somehow, despite rumors about security guards turning away those without tickets. Campers arrived earlier in the week and made things easier by knocking over the fence designed to keep out freeloaders. We simply walked along with hundreds of others, and eventually put down our blankets to claim the space.

I didn’t get to Woodstock, but a year before the Jam, I did make it to the Festival of Hope, a three day mega-concert for charity held at Roosevelt Raceway in Long Island. I was allowed to go because it was close to home. Dozens of rock, pop and soul acts were crammed into this one weekend festival. I went specifically for Jefferson Airplane. The Festival was the biggest thing that happened in Long Island during the summer of ‘72. News crews in helicopters flew over Roosevelt Raceway to document that hundreds of thousands came to party. It was a blast and I didn’t worry about a thing. A different story with Watkins Glen, though, I made the journey without telling anyone and I was a long way from home.

The first hours of the jam were sublime. Everyone soaked up great music blasting from colossal speakers. We were also soaking up the sun. It was bloody hot. My group was too far from the stage where hoses kept things cool. I drank up everything in sight until I realized that it was time to seek relief at one of the portable stations placed somewhere on the grounds. I made a mental note of my friends’ proximity to the stage, unaware that I wouldn’t be seeing them again until the next morning. I don’t remember which band played first, nor if I missed Duane Allman, who had died in a motorcycle accident in ’71. The bands played on, but I wasn’t able to camp out and enjoy the experience. When I found a spot, the person next to it claimed it for a friend. There was no space for me; no community to join. Day turned to night and the temperature dropped. I was lost. No choice but to head to the security tent for a rescue. Not quite saved, but, I did fend off the advances of a scruffy security guard. I was on my guard. At the next sunrise, I ambled around without a clue on how I was going to make my way home. Thousands of people were heading out. Against the odds, I spotted my so called friends. They had forgotten to look for me and were leaving the grounds. Lucky day for me. I caught up with them and trekked back home.

Copyright © September 30, 2007

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Rock Radio, a Stopwatch, and Me

I had my first writing experience in 10th grade, a quasi-internship at WLIR-FM, a local rock radio station in Long Island,. WLIR and WBAB were the foundations of rock radio on the island. WLIR was the cool station. They played new music from the UK and songs you would never hear anywhere else. New York City radio had the major backing, but had to bend to corporate will. There was too much interference with the playlists. The radio jocks on WLIR played whatever they wanted. They were were cool souls, very accessible. I had phone conversations with most and held my own. I started hanging around the station. Opportunity knocked, and when they were looking for a few people to write public service announcements, I stepped up Scripting PSA’s is not as glamorous as you might think. I was shown to a closet sized space with a drab metal desk, given a stopwatch, and a bunch of news releases. It was my job to write PSA’s in 15, 30, 45, and 60 second increments. Anyone passing by in the hall would have smiled at my industrious efforts. I would recite the damn scripts repeatedly until the timings matched, depending on that stopwatch like a wanderer in the desert depends on her canteen. My status was kicked to the stratosphere when one of jocks read one of my scripts. I was almost famous, untouchable to the girls who used to shove me around the school halls. I liked that, almost as much as I liked being involved in the rock world. Soon, I joined the staff of the school newspaper and never looked back.

Copyright © September 28, 2007

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Where It All Began

My story begins years back, one Sunday evening in February. Most of my mom’s side of the family are in the house. We bustle about, like 73 million other souls across the USA, waiting for the Beatles to do their thing on the Ed Sullivan show. It’s a very big deal. I was a couple of years away from the double digits, the youngest in the house, and the one who was the most excited about what was coming down the pike. Mom likes when Ed announces VIP audience members and makes them stand up and smile for the camera. Dad likes Topo Gigo, that cute little puppet mouse. I like the musical acts.

The hysteria begins seconds after Sullivan begins his intro of the Fab Four. Miraculously, the screams from those lucky girls in the tv studio audience are contained and we all hear the songs. The universe slowed down, the stars alligned, and my world was changed forever.

“Meet The Beatles” was the first album I ever bought with my own money. My mom patiently tolerated my emerging musical tastes; dad never did.. He believed his musical icons crushed my icons to dust and ridiculed most of my world during his lifetime. No gems from the girl groups, the Beatles, the Stones, the Brit invasion, the Beach Boys, the California sound, and the rest, pleased the man. A minor tragedy rectified only by gift he gave me, a strong appreciation of other types of music. His collection included lps from Dolly Parton, “Man of La Mancha”, “HMS Pinafore”, and precious 78s containing the classics. I scoffed at the time, but am forever grateful to his insistence that I listen.