Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Music · Oye Como Va! Gregg Rolie?s musical...
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Oye Como Va! Gregg Rolie?s musical journey

Rick Coates - June 28th, 2010
Oye Como Va! Gregg Rolie’s musical journey
By Rick Coates
Keyboardist and vocalist Gregg Rolie has accomplished something few in the music business have been able to do. It is tough to create one great rock and roll band, yet Rolie cofounded two legendary rock groups, Santana and Journey. He now fronts the Gregg Rolie Band that performs all of the hits from the early Santana days along with originals Rolie has written over the years. They will take the Bayside Entertainment Stage at the National Cherry Festival on July 4.
Carlos Santana and Gregg Rolie co-founded Santana in 1966 during a chance meeting in Palo Alto.
“When I am asked, I like to tell people I met Carlos in a tomato patch,” said Rolie. “It sort of went down that way. A buddy saw Carlos playing at the Fillmore during what was called locals night where Bill Graham invited local bands to come and jam. Well my friend said ‘you got to hear this guy.’ So he drove into San Francisco, found Carlos at a hamburger joint and brought him to the house I was jamming at. Well the music was loud, and there was some pot smoking going on, and the police were called and we ended up hiding in a tomato patch until the police left. So that is how we met.”
When it came down to naming the band, the Santana Blues Band emerged, but when they debuted at the Fillmore the “Blues Band” was dropped to fit the marquee and they became forever known as Santana.
“Actually Carlos didn’t want the band named after him, he saw himself as just a guitar player in a band,” said Rolie.

Because of the name, the assumption was that Carlos Santana was “the band,” and to this day many believe he was the vocalist.
Rolie was actually the lead singer of the group and his powerful vocals and keyboard talents on “Evil Ways,” “Jingo,” “Persuasion,” “Oye Como Va, and “Black Magic Woman,” combined with the guitar wizardry of Carlos Santana lifted the band Santana to superstar status literally overnight.
“Certainly Carlos and I were the driving forces behind the band,” said Rolie. “But what made Santana a great band was we were a melting pot of musical ideas and talent. Everyone in the band brought something to the table. Each member was important to the group’s success. We were not one style, we were blues, rock, jazz and Latin all blended together.”
That “group process” is why it took the band a whole year to record “Black Magic Woman,” after Rolie brought the song to their attention.
“I loved that song the first time I heard Peter Green (founder of Fleetwood Mac) play it,” said Rolie. “I thought it would be great for us, but the way we worked was everyone in the band had to take ownership of every song and it took a year before that happened.” It didn’t take that long for Santana to catch on. Without an album the group took to the stage at Woodstock early on day two of the festival and mesmerized 400,000 fans with a two-song set that featured Rolie’s vocals on the song “Persuasion,” and an extended instrumental “Soul Sacrifice,” that electrified the crowd.
Within weeks of Woodstock, Columbia Records would release the debut album by Santana. The group would also make an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show just two months after Woodstock. Because of Rolie’s role as the group’s lead singer he would receive about 90 percent of the camera time.

In 1972, Rolie, along with 16-year-old guitar prodigy Neal Schon, left the band.
“When we formed Santana we really didn’t know each other and things happened for us so fast that we didn’t get to know each other. We all got pretty full of ourselves and what we realized back then was the only thing we had in common was music.”
Rolie didn’t stay out of the music business for too long.
“I was pretty much done and headed to Seattle and opened a restaurant with my father,” said Rolie. “Then Neal called me and said let’s start a band and before I knew it we formed Journey.”
Rolie spent 10 years building Journey, recording seven albums and singing lead vocals on the hit songs  “Just the Same Way,” and “Feeling That Way.” In 1982 he left Journey to raise a family. The musical experiences were different but the end result was two bands that rose to the top of the rock music charts.
“Besides the musical styles being different, the difference for me was Santana happened so fast we were barely together and without a record contract and the next thing we are on stage in front of 400,000 people at Woodstock,” said Rolie. “Journey was a nice musical progression, it was a long journey.”
Rolie still keeps in touch with his former band mates.
“Carlos and I stay in touch and we keep in better contact then I do with the guys from Journey,” said Rolie. “We always stayed in contact and I produced several songs for Santana after I left.”
Rolie also reunited with Santana for their 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“When the original band Santana got back together in 1998 to perform at our induction ceremonies for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the magic was definitely there again,” said Rolie. “We did ‘Black Magic Woman’; we brought Peter Green on stage who made that song famous with Fleetwood Mac. Green was also inducted that night.  I think for me if I would have stayed with Santana for all these years it wouldn’t have worked for the band or me. As I look back on it I have a real appreciation for what we accomplished.”

The Gregg Rolie Band will perform Sunday night at the Bayside Entertainment Stage, part of the National Cherry Festival. Rolie will perform hits from Santana (“No songs from Journey -- the timbales don’t lend themselves to those songs”) along with some originals. He assembled an all-star line-up of musicians featuring Alphonso Johnson, the internationally acclaimed bassist and Chapman stick artist. Johnson was also a member of Santana during the 1980s and is a legend around jazz circles. Wally Minko is the famed keyboardist for Jean Luc Ponty, Tom Jones and Barry Manilow. Ron Wikso has played drums with Foreigner, David Lee Roth and Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi and guitarist Kurt Griffey who has taken the stage with such legends as Randy Meisner and Spencer Davis. On timbales is Adrian Areas the son of the original Santana timbale virtuoso Jose “Chepito” Areas.
For a complete lineup of this year’s National Cherry Festival offerings visit www.cherryfestival.org.
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