Justin Hayward is the celebrated singer-songwriter from The Moody Blues. At some point, he became the frontman for the band, despite being a latecomer to an already existing group, probably because he is the main singer and lead guitar player. Or maybe it could be chalked up to his insightful and philosophically introspective reflections of life and love. Maybe it was his melodic voice or skillful guitar playing. Or maybe it was the long list of songs he has written over the years, this compilation credited to The Moody Blues' website:
"Justin’s much-respected and comprehensive songwriting and recording career can be listed under various categories, as follows:
A lot of those songs were written when he was in his late teens and early 20s, making this list even more amazing.
The discography is long and one can argue many songs would be the one to pick as his #1 Best. A very strong candidate must surely be "Question". Written in April of 1970 when Justin was 24 years old, it hits all the notes musically, philosophically, in its complex arrangement, and melodically. Here is a wonderful video from the 1970s, most likely one of the early performances of it:
Here is another great rendition, this time Justin is performing an acoustic version of it by himself. Note how well he carries this on his own. Never mind the complacent crowd, at least they seem to be somewhat roused by the end. I wonder if some of them wanted to dance but felt they should just go along with the crowd and stayed seated.
And lastly, I sadly missed the Moody's performance in late August here in Minnesota. They played at the newly remodeled Northrup Auditorium but tickets were priced especially high and it just wasn't in the cards for me right now. Fortunately, someone videotaped it for our viewing pleasure and here is a brand spanking new version of it.
I have a feeling I will be talking about The Moody Blues or Justin Hayward again in the future. I am a renewed-old fan of theirs, it actually all started about 25 years ago and involved a box of Suddenly Salad, shrimp impostors, a Magritte poster ("Golconda"), In Search Of The Lost Chord, and my friends Jes and Martha, so thanks a lot Jes, this is all your doing. Actually, I really mean that, thanks Jes and thanks to The Moody Blues for reminding us still, after all these years, to think a little deeper and for raising more questions than answers.
Until next time, and I do hope they become more frequent, thanks for stopping by and I hope you are enjoying the beginning of the change to the fabulous colors of fall.
Excitement is building in Minnesota this year as the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will be coming from the Chippewa National Forest, located right here in our great state. The tree has been chosen and it is 65 feet tall. Along with the tree, our state will be donating 10,000 ornaments to help decorate it. There are several contests running to encourage artists and citizens to create works of art to send along the way, and one of those is taking place at our wonderful State Fair.
The contest has some criteria to meet including the ornament has to be less than 12 inches tall, it must be 2 or 3 dimensional, and it has to weigh less than 1/2 pound. It also has to include one of the following features from the state park logo: an eagle, Ojibwe floral bead work design, spruce or balsam fir tree, and/or elements of nature found in Minnesota such as lakes, rivers, or ecosystem.
I was able to convince my youngest daughter to design an ornament. I also decided to do it with her since they had an adult as well as a youth category. The prizes were substantial. First place was awarded $100, 2nd $50 and 3rd $25. Those are big prizes for the State Fair. Most creative or educational ribbons only award $8 for first place so this was definitely worth putting some serious effort into. Here is what we created. My daughter's is first (she wanted to wear her Christmas sweater for the photo). Mine is second.
My daughter turned out to be the proud 1st place ribbon holder at our State Fair, and she already got her $100 check in the mail. We have the option to donate the ornaments to the tree after the fair and we both decided we would send them along to Washington, D.C. We are hoping to see a presidential portrait that might happen to have our ornaments in the background. That would be pretty neat!
Update: We made it to the display at the fair last week. Here are photos of the winners. I was surprised to see that I got a 4th place ribbon, since only the first 3 ribbon holders were published on the State Fair website, so I thought I hadn't received anything for my piece. It is my first ribbon at the Fair and I am very proud of it!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.