Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wayne Newton – "Danke Schoen" (1963)

Picture show, second balcony
Was the place we'd meet
Second seat, go Dutch treat

A number of newspapers publish “blind date” columns that report on blind dates set up by newspaper staffers.

The Washington Post’s “Date Lab” is typical of these.  Post staffers look over questionnaires that potential daters submit, then play matchmaker.  They invite a young man and young woman to meet at a local restaurant for drinks and dinner on the newspaper.   (On occasion, they pair up a more “mature” couple, or a same-sex couple.)

Where you can find
“Date Lab” each Sunday
Then they debrief the daters and write up an account of the date in the Post’s “Magazine,” which is part of the Sunday paper.

*     *     *     *     *

Most “Date Lab” participants are wishy-washy and indecisive, and the upshot of most “Date Lab” pairings is  . . . nothing

The Post can usually be counted on to match couples who are reasonably compatible.  (Rabid liberals aren’t matched up with rabid conservatives, and svelte triathletes aren’t paired up with pudgy couch potatoes.)  So the dates are usually pleasant – the couples usually find each other physically attractive, and are usually able to sustain a pleasant conversation for as long as the date lasts.

The main problem with “Date Lab” dates is chemistry – or, to be more precise, lack of chemistry.  The daters have very high expectations: perfection is acceptable, but just barely.

As a result, “Date Lab” dates usually one-offs.  The couples may share digits, then exchange a text message or two – and occasionally they will meet for a second date.  But most of the time they don’t. 

“Date Lab” fine print
I can’t tell you how many “Date Lab” columns end with the couple engaging in some desultory follow-up that leads nowhere – e.g., “Jack texted Jill a week later and suggested they get together for a cup of coffee, but so far the couple have been unable to find a mutually convenient time to meet.”

If the millennials who make up the vast majority of “Date Lab” participants are representative of their generation, we’re not going to have to worry about overpopulation.

*     *     *     *     *

Sometimes there are other problems that derail any potential relationship.

In the most recent “Date Lab,” the participants were a 30-year-old male speechwriter for a mental health nonprofit (we’ll call him “M”) and a 25-year-old account manager for a health-care consulting firm (who we’ll refer to as “F”).

(I don’t know about you, but my reaction when I read those job descriptions was a big yawn.  B-o-r-i-n-g!)

*     *     *     *     *

The date seemed to start off OK – both M and F had started drinking before they met at the restaurant where they were having dinner, so the evening “buzzed with a sense of mild inebriation.”

The two were able to converse throughout dinner “with nary an awkward silence.”  According to the Post, “they were on the same page when discussing the Hollywood/media sexual assault allegations that seem to surface daily.”  (Note to all you women: guys don’t necessarily tell the truth on dates.)

The bar where F and M met
Also, F concluded that M “wasn’t a total creep.”  Things were really going well!

But the date jumped the shark when the waiter dropped off the check, which was $70 more than the allowance provided by “Date Lab.”  F said M suggested that they split it down the middle, “which cooled her on him even further.”

“As much as women’s equality is a thing now, and whatever, I do think that chivalry is not dead and should not be,” F told the Post. “When a guy offers to pay, it [sends a message] of, ‘I’m interested in you and I want to keep this going.’

In other words, F is all for gender equality except when it comes to pulling the old plastic out of her purse.

*     *     *     *     *

I’m old.  But when I was young, it was de rigeur for the guy to pick up the tab for a date.

This made sense in part because men usually made more money than women back in the day – especially those men who were dating younger women, which was almost all men.   So it seemed fairer for the man to pay.  After all, as Karl Marx once said, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  

But today women and men are pulling down comparable salaries.  

It’s not clear from the “Date Lab” article whether F or M makes more money.  F is younger, which might indicate that she makes less.  But M works at a nonprofit organization, while F is employed by a for-profit company – and has a job description that sounds a little higher-powered to boot.  So it’s probably 50-50 whether F or M makes more coin.

*     *     *     *     *

While considerations of gender equality and economics dictate that F and M should have split the bill even Steven, F wanted to have her cake and eat it, too – plus she wants M to pay for the cake.

Let’s face it – she’s a hypocrite.  (She’s not alone, by the way.  Click here to read a recent Boston Globe article reporting that almost two-thirds of women believe men should foot the entire bill for a first date, and that over 40% of women are “bothered” if men expect them to go Dutch.)

Which is too bad because she’s pretty hot.  (Which may explain her attitude – good-looking women are used to getting their way with guys.)

*     *     *     *     *

“Danke Schoen” was recorded in 1963 by the 21-year-old Wayne Newton.

Many other singers recorded that song, but it was always identified with Newton – who was the quintessential schmaltzy lounge-singer.

Here’s Wayne Newton performing “Danke Schoen” live:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Frank Sinatra – "What's New?" (1958)

What's new?
How is the world treating you?
You haven't changed a bit

I met legendary music journalist Lisa Robinson in May 2014 when she came to a Washington bookstore to speak about her new book, There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll.

Lisa, who is currently a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, has been going to concerts and writing about rock music for over 40 years.  

She got to know everyone who was anyone in the music world during that time – including the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Lou Reed, John Lennon, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls, the Clash, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Eminem, and Lady GagaOn Bob Dylan: (to name just a few).

Lisa Robinson with David Bowie
I dove into There Goes Gravity on the way home from hearing Lisa speak at the bookstore.  But for some reason, I never read the book’s last chapter until this week.

That chapter is of a miscellany of anecdotes and observations from the entirety of Lisa’s career.  Here are a few excerpts:

On Bob Dylan:

He was, and still is, one of the few of his generation who had grown old but had not grown old and irrelevant.

On drummers:

[Record] producers often hate drummers.  Funnily enough, they prefer a drummer who can keep time, as opposed to someone who has the right “feel,” or had been in the band since the band was formed in college.  

Lisa Robinson LOVES “2 or 3 lines”!
On the process of “mixing” musical tracks recorded in a recording studio:

I’ve been  in studios when bands have stormed out, had fistfights, or broken up over mixes. . . . I’ve been there when some bands have listened to fifty or sixty mixes of the same song until you just want to scream that no one could possibly hear the difference.  

On the late Ian Stewart, the pianist and road manager of the Rolling Stones (whose members insisted that he be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with them):

In 1981, when the Stones played with Muddy Waters at the Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago, Ian Stewart sat in on piano.  I remember how Stu took a drink out of a bottle of whiskey, passed it around, then carefully put the top on the bottle so nothing would spill when he placed it back on the piano.  Such was his respect for the piano.

On Mick Jagger:

[A]fter having spent hours and hours interviewing Mick, when people ask me what he’s really like, it’s still hard to explain. . . . Mick can be wildly entertaining and funny and smart.  He can still light up a room.  But he’s insecure.  Wary.  He can’t ever really get away from being MICK JAGGER.

Lisa Robinson with Mick Jagger
On Led Zeppelin:

And no matter what the idiots thought about Led Zeppelin being a cheesy heavy metal band, their music was also about banjos, fiddles, blues, boogie-woogie, and the shuffle.  Music from the Smoky Mountains.  Howling’ Wolf and Muddy Waters and Chicago.  The Mississippi Delta.  Highway 61 revisited.

On modern-day concert tours:

By the time the Stones did their “Bridges to Babylon” tour in 1998, I had seen them in concert for 29 years. . . . I saw some great shows at Madison Square Garden.  But the one on January 14, 1998, was different. . . . For $500 a ticket, people could have a beer, some potato chips, and a fast meet-and-greet with Ronnie Wood.  I thought about how, in 1975, years before corporate sponsorship . . . [promoter] Bill Graham had set up hot dog carts . . . backstage at the [Stones’] New York shows.  By 1998, it was all about business. . . . The songs were great, the band still played great.  But none of it seemed to matter anymore.  With my memories, I left midway through the show.

On Frank Sinatra and what music means to her:

In February 2012, I saw [composer and record producer] Jon Brian at Capitol Records’ recording studios in Hollywood.  He was restoring Frank Sinatra’s great 1950s Capitol recordings. . . . Jon was taking off all the “gunk” that had “polished,” “improved,” and digitized the original songs.  When Jon played the vocal track for “What’s New,” fifty years after Sinatra had recorded the song, you could hear Sinatra breathe.  He was literally in the room with you.  It was thrilling. . . . [I]t reminded me why I got into all of this in the first place.  Ghosts everywhere.  Passing it on.  Let the good times roll.  One more for the road.  Full circle.  The music remains.  Some things last forever.

*     *     *     *     *

“What’s New?” was originally an instrumental titled “I’m Free,” which was composed in 1938 by jazz bassist Bob Haggart.  A year later, Johnny Burke was hired to write lyrics for the song.

Bing Crosby was the first singer to record the song.  It was subsequently recorded by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Robert Goulet, Jack Jones, Linda Ronstadt, and many others.

Frank Sinatra’s version of “What’s New?” was released on his 1958 album, Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely, which Sinatra later said was his favorite album.

Here’s “What’s New?”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Presidents of the United States – "Lump" (1995)

She’s lump
She’s lump
She’s lump
She might be dead

In the previous 2 or 3 lines, you learned that President Trump is and always has been a teetotaler, while Barack Obama prefers beer but will drink just about anything.

What about the other Presidents?  What did they drink?

*     *     *     *     *  

According to Mark Will-Weber, the author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking,  Abraham Lincoln was the president other than President Trump who drank the least.

Presidents Hayes, Taft, (Benjamin) Harrison, and Coolidge also were light drinkers.

All of those men were Republicans.  (Is that mere coincidence?  I think not.)

*     *     *     *     *

Americans who lived two hundred years ago drank about three times as much alcohol per capita as current-day Americans.  So it’s no surprise that most of our early Presidents were fairly serious drinkers.

George Washington made whiskey at Mount Vernon, but didn’t drink it himself.  The “Father of His Country” preferred a dark, sweet porter made by a Philadelphia brewer and Madeira – a potent fortified wine from Portugal that contains quite a bit more alcohol than regular wine.  

According to one of his biographers, Washington often drank three glasses of Madeira in the course of an evening.  (A visitor to Mount Vernon in 1785 reported that Washington got “quite merry” after knocking back a few glasses of wine.)

John Adams had Puritan roots, but he enjoyed rum, whiskey, Madeira, sherry, beer (especially that Philadelphia porter that Washington also favored) and hard cider.  From the time he was a 16-year-old Harvard student, Adams started off his days with a generous tot of hard cider, which he described as “refreshing and salubrious.”

Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of French wine.  He bought so much of it, in fact, that he almost bankrupted himself.

James Madison and James Monroe were champagne aficionados.  The story goes that Monroe’s agent ordered 1200 bottles of Burgundy and Champagne and charged it to an account intended to buy new furniture for the White House (which the British had burned down in 1814). 

By contrast, Andrew Jackson wasn’t a fancy-pants French wine drinker.  He preferred whiskey, as did Martin Van Buren.

*     *     *     *     *

Franklin Pierce, who died of cirrhosis of the liver at age 65, was reportedly our drunkest President.  But Andrew Johnson gave him a run for his money.  (Johnson even showed up drunk for his 1865 vice-presidential inauguration.)

Franklin Pierce bobblehead
James Garfield was first and foremost a beer drinker, as was Grover Cleveland.  (Cleveland and a friend once pledged to limit their consumption to four beers a day.  They were able to stick to that pledge, but only by switching to somewhat more capacious beer steins.)

Teddy Roosevelt was a fan of mint juleps.  He got the mint for his favorite libation from the White House garden.

Franklin D. Roosevelt drank a variety of cocktails – martinis, Manhattans, and something called a “Bermuda Rum Swizzle” (basically rum with lime juice and orange juice). 

Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman, was a bourbon drinker.  In fact, he often knocked down a shot of bourbon when he rose in the morning.  

*     *     *     *     *

JFK drank like the Ivy Leaguer he was – daiquiris, Bloody Marys, and Heinekens (which was the choice of beer snobs back in the day).

LBJ loved Scotch.  He would drink it out of a plastic cup while he drove visitors around his Texas ranch.  When his cup was empty, he would hand it to a Secret Service agent, who would refill it for him.

Richard Nixon liked expensive Bordeaux wine.  He served cheaper stuff to his guests, instructing his staff to wrap towels around the bottles as they poured it so the labels couldn’t be seen.

President Nixon and Soviet leader
Brezhnev getting hammered
Not surprisingly, Jimmy Carter wasn’t a big drinker.  When he attended a summit meeting with Soviet leaders, he sipped from a glass of white wine when the obligatory toasts were made instead of downing shots of vodka like the Russians.

Bill Clinton seems to have been more interested in junk food than alcohol, but he reportedly drank “Snakebites” – half hard cider, half lager – when he attended Oxford University in England.

The younger George Bush drank a lot when he was young, but went on the wagon long before he became President.

*     *     *     *     *

Most of the bands from Seattle that were popular in the 1990s – e.g., Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarten, and Alice in Chains recorded songs that were depressing as all get out. 

But the music of the Presidents of the United States, which has been described as “carefree” and “happy-go-lucky,” was very different.

Here’s the official music video for “Lump,” which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola’s son Roman (who also directed music videos for Green Day, Daft Punk, Moby, Fatboy Slim, the Strokes, and the Vines):

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Don't Stop or We'll Die – "The President's Beer" (2014)

Speeding down the highway
With the President's beer . . .
He won't be launching scuds
Until he's sipping on some suds

We learned from the previous 2 or 3 lines that President Trump is a teetotaler.  

His predecessor, Barack Obama had eclectic tastes when it came to alcoholic beverages.  He and his wife were seen drinking wine, martinis, and margaritas at restaurants in Washington.

But Obama’s favorite drink was beer.  He was photographed numerous times drinking beer while campaigning, at sporting events, and during official visits to Germany and Ireland:

At the Iowa State Fair

At an NBA game

At a pub in Ireland
*     *     *     *     *
In 2011, Obama bought a home brewing kit, which White House chefs used to brew “White House Honey Ale.”

White House Honey Ale
About 100 bottles of the beer was made to be served at a 2011 Super Bowl party.  Another batch was made in time for St. Patrick’s Day. 

The next year, two lawyers filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the recipe for the White House brew.  Shortly thereafter, the recipe was posted on the official White House website.

*     *     *     *     *

“Scud” is the name given by NATO to the tactical ballistic missiles that were developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  The missiles were given to a number of other countries, including Iraq – which fired dozens into Saudi Arabia and Israel during the Gulf War in 1990.

Scud missile launcher
The United States never had scud missiles, so Barack Obama never launched any – while “sipping on some suds” or otherwise.

However, 563 drone strikes were launched against suspected terrorists in the Middle East during Obama's two terms – which was ten times the number of drone strikes during George W. Bush’s eight years in office.

The first of those strikes – which was aimed at suspected members of al Qaeda in Yemen – was a disaster.  Twenty-one of the 55 victims were children.  Another twelve victims were women – five of them were pregnant.

*     *     *     *     *

Don’t Stop or We’ll Die was a band that consisted of three young comedians – Paul Rust, Michael Cassady, and the late Harris Wittels (who was only 30 when he died of a heroin overdose in 2015).

Rust, Wittels, and Cassady
 Here’s “The President’s Beer,” which was released on the group’s 2014 album, Gorgeous:

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

Sunday, January 7, 2018

They Might Be Giants – "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" (2004)

Sure, let 'em talk about hard cider
And log cabins, too

As I noted in the previous 2 or 3 lines, President Trump is and always has been a teetotaler.  (You would think that word should be “teatotaler,” but it’s not.)  

Brothers Freddy and Donald Trump
Trump doesn’t drink because his older brother (who died when he was 43) had a serious drinking problem:

I had a brother Fred, great guy, best looking guy, best personality, much better than mine, but he had a problem.  He had a problem with alcohol.  And he would tell me don't drink.  Don't drink.

He was substantially older, and I listened to him and respected [him].  But he would constantly tell me don't drink. . . . [H]e would say it over and over and over again.  And to this day I've never had a drink.  And I have no longing for it.  I have no interest in it.  

To say that most of our previous Presidents were not teetotalers is putting it mildly.

*     *     *     *     *

William Henry Harrison was known as the “log cabin and hard cider” candidate when he ran against incumbent President Martin Van Buren in 1840.   

Harrison was the first American chief executive to die in office.  He picked up some kind of nasty bug – probably from sewage getting into the White House’s water supply – and served barely 30 days as President before he died.

"Death of Harrison"
While governor of the Indiana Territory in 1811, Harrison led about 1000 men into battle against the celebrated Indian leader, Tecumseh.  His victory in the Battle of Tippecanoe made him a national hero.

In 1836, he was one of four Whig candidates for President.  (The Whig strategy that year was to run different candidates in states where they were personally popular in hopes of denying Democrat Martin Van Buren an electoral vote majority, and then uniting behind one candidate and winning the election in the House of Representatives.  It didn’t work, although it might have if Harrison had gotten  4000 more popular votes in Pennsylvania.)

In 1840, Harrison ran against Van Buren again.  His victory over Tecumseh had taken place almost 30 years earlier, but that didn’t stop the Whigs from campaigning under the slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!”  (John Tyler was the party’s vice-presidential nominee.)

A Harrison campaign cartoon
Van Buren’s supporters tried to paint Harrison as an dumb hick.  One anti-Whig newspaperman wrote that the country should “[g]ive him a barrel of hard cider, settle a pension of two thousand a year on him, and . . . he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin.”

The Whigs turned this gibe against the Democrats.  Although log cabins were few and far between in the United States by 1840, many Americans had grown up in one, or had parents or grandparents who had grown up in one.  Hard cider was a popular working-class drink, and the Harrison forces served  many barrels of cider at their campaign rallies.  

A Harrison log cabin bottle
*     *     *     *     *

The Van Buren campaign tried to persuade voters that the 67-year-old Harrison was too old and feeble to be President.  

Of course, 67 seems almost young for a Presidential candidate nowadays.  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump turned 69 and 70, respectively, during the 2016 campaign.  Bernie Sanders was almost 75 when he conceded the Democratic nomination to Clinton, and Joe Biden turned 74 just days after the election.

Trump will be 74 in 2020.  Clinton will be 73, but that doesn’t matter because she has no interest in running again.  (HAHAHAHA!)  Sanders and Biden will be 79 and (almost) 78. 

Jerry Brown first ran for
President 41 years ago
Some have suggested that California governor Jerry Brown might seek the Democratic nomination.  Brown will turn 82 in 2020 – 15 years older than Harrison was when he was elected.

*     *     *     *     *

They Might Be Giants got the lyrics for “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” from an 1840 campaign song.  (The 1840 original had twelve verses, but the They Might Be Giants version has only three.)

Here’s “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”:

Friday, January 5, 2018

Amos Milburn – "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer" (1953)

One scotch
One bourbon
One beer

On average, Americans consume 2.3 gallons of alcohol per year.

That translates to about 500 drinks annually, or ten per week – one or two a day.  (By “drink,” I mean a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a mixed drink made with a jigger of 80-proof booze – each of which contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol.)

New Hampshire residents appear to consume 4.6 gallons a year, more than any other state – although that number is likely misleading.  (New Hampshire is one of only two states that doesn’t levy excise taxes on alcohol, and a lot of folks from neighboring states buy their booze in New Hampshire.)

DC has the second-highest per capita alcohol consumption, which is to be expected given the number of Senators and Congressmen here.

Delaware, North Dakota, and Nevada round out the top five.  It’s no surprise that people drink a lot in North Dakota and Nevada – although for very different reasons – but I can’t explain why residents of Delaware drink so much.

Residents of Utah drink only 1.4 gallons of alcohol annually, which is significantly less than residents of any other state.  

Surprisingly, the next most abstemious states are West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.  You’d think that people who live in those states would be trying to drown their misery, but apparently not.

Here’s a shocking fact: women drink less than men!  (Or at least women claim to drink less than men.)

Two hundred years ago, the average American consumed 7.1 gallons of alcohol per year – or more than three times as much booze as we drink today.  (That’s 30 drinks a week instead of ten – which is quite a difference.)

*     *     *     *     *

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, some 30% of Americans don’t drink at all, while another 30% drink only rarely – they average less than one drink per week.  

(She might be one of those in the top 10%)
The top 10% of American drinkers average an astonishing 74 drinks per week.  That works out to over four bottles of whiskey, 15 bottles of wine, or three cases of beer of week.

That’s ten shots of whiskey . . . or two bottles of wine . . . or almost two six-packs of beer . . . each and every day (including Sundays and holidays).

Keep in mind that 10% of the adult population translates to 24 million Americans – two of which are in the above photo.

*     *     *     *     *

President Trump is one those 30% of Americans who never drink.  

Trump’s older brother died of alcoholism at age 43.  He recently talked about how his brother’s addiction affected his own attitude toward drinking:

I had a brother Fred, great guy, best looking guy, best personality, much better than mine, but he had a problem.  He had a problem with alcohol.  And he would tell me don't drink.  Don't drink.

He was substantially older, and I listened to him and respected [him].  But he would constantly tell me don't drink. . . . [H]e would say it over and over and over again.  And to this day I've never had a drink.  And I have no longing for it.  I have no interest in it.    

*     *     *     *     *

“One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” was a hit for Amos Milburn and his Aladdin Chickenshackers in 1953.  (The record was released on the Aladdin label, and Milburn’s first hit single was titled “Chicken Shack Boogie.”)  

Amos Milburn
Milburn, a Houston rhythm-and-blues pianist and singer who recorded a number of booze-themed songs, was a great influence on Fats Domino.

John Lee Hooker and George Thorogood released very different covers of the song in 1966 and 1977, respectively.  Both titled their versions “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.”

Here’s Amos Milburn’s “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer”:

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Kanye West (ft. Desiigner) – "Pt. 2" (2016)

All his cash
Market crashed

The stock market certainly didn’t crash in 2017 – the S&P 500 ended the year almost 20% higher than it was at the beginning of 2017.  

That was good news for Kanye West, among others.

*     *     *     *     *

Ladies, were you happy with the Christmas gifts your husband and/or boyfriend gave you this year?

Kim Kardashian West
I’m pretty sure that Kim Kardashian was happy with the gifts she received from Kanye West.

When Kim opened the box that Kanye gave her, she found items from Disney, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and Adidas.

For example, there was a Disney Mickey Mouse figure, a pair of Adidas socks, Apple headphones, and Amazon and Netflix gift cards.

“And I’m like, ‘That’s so sweet!’” Kim said.

Kanye gave Kim Adidas socks . . .
I guarantee you Kim was not really thinking “That’s so sweet!” when she opened Kanye’s gift.  She was thinking WHERE ARE MY F*CKING DIAMONDS???

No need to get your knickers in a twist, Kim.  Kanye’s no fool – he knows better than to think you’ll be satisfied with socks, headphones, a couple of gift cards, and a stuffed Mickey Mouse.

It turns out that Kanye not only gave the missus trinkets from Disney, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and Adidas.  He also gave her hundreds of shares of stock in those companies.

A photo Kim posted on Instagram (she later deleted it) shows the stock certificates that were in the gift box that Kanye gave her for Christmas.

For example, she received 920 shares of Disney stock.  Those shares have a market value of just under $100,000 (which may explain the odd number of shares he gave her).

. . . as well as Adidas stock
Kanye gave Kim 995 shares of Adidas stock, which have about the same value as the Disney shares.    Assuming he gave Apple, Netflix, and Amazon stock worth the same amount, his gift was worth a cool half million altogether.

Which isn’t all that much, relatively speaking.  (Forbes magazine says Kim’s 2016 income was $45.5 million.  That’s over twice as much as her hubby’s income, although Kanye’s net worth may be double hers.)

*     *     *     *     *

“Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 2” was released in 2016 on Kanye’s seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo.  “West just drops broken pieces of his psyche all over the album and challenges you to fit them together,” according to Rolling Stone, which called the album “both a mess and a masterpiece.”

West first said that The Life of Pablo would only be available through Tidal, a new streaming service owned by Jay-Z, West, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Daft Punk, Madonna, Jason Aldean, and a number of other famous musicians.  After an updated version of the album was released for streaming on Spotify, Apple music, and Google Play, a class-action lawsuit was filed that claimed that West never intended to make the album available only on Tidal, but said that in hopes that his fans would download and use the struggling streaming app. 

The day that The Life of Pablo was released, West tweeted that he was $53 million in debt and asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to invest a billion dollars in his ideas.

Here’s “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 2”: