My One Thousandth Post

When I hear the word countable, I think about sheep, which works out even thought the plural of ‘sheep’ is also ‘sheep’.  If you can count it, then it is countable.  Countable is a mathematical property that usually refers to something being at least one and most likely more than one, so you are able to add it.  People in ancient times did arithmetic with piles of stones and the ancient Romans had an instrument called a hodometer, which worked in a similar manner to that of a taxi meter.  In the days of the Roman Empire, when all the empire’s roads radiated out from the capital city, all roads literally did lead to Rome, as the Roman highways connected isolated communities, helping them to absorb new ideas and influences, sell surplus goods, and buy what they could not produce locally.  The modern word ‘mile’ is derived from the Latin milia passuum, which translates to ‘one thousand paces’.

The major Roman roads were marked with a milestone, which was a circular column on a solid rectangular base, set for more than 2 feet into the ground, standing 5 feet tall, 20 inches in diameter, and weighing more than 2 tons.  At the base was inscribed the number of the mile relative to the road it was on.  Milestones marked every mile from Rome, so that no traveler would mistake the fact that they was on a Roman road under imperial domain.  Below the Temple of Saturn in Rome, Augustus set up the golden milestone, which was regarded as the point from which all the principle roads of Rome diverged, this gave the Romans a way to record the distances that separated the capital from the principal cities of the Empire.

Today I reached a milestone and I wanted to celebrate this with a memorable song which I figured would use the word thousand in it someplace.  I looked at a bunch of songs containing the word thousand, but none of them suited me and then I came across a song that contained the word million in it and since I don’t think that I will ever reach that milestone, I figured that I would use it for my post today.  To put a million miles in prospective, our moon is pretty far away from the Earth, but on an average it is only 238,855 miles, which is far less than one million.   On the other hand is four fingers and a thumb, no I am talking about Mars which can vary between being 33.9 million miles away which has never happened, to being 249 million miles away from the Earth.  Venus is actually much closer to Earth than Mars is, varying from 23.6 million miles to 162 million miles away from the Earth.  Even though Venus is closer to Earth than Mars is, nobody is going there and the Space Development Steering Committee says Mars missions in the 2030s have a chance of becoming a reality.  The only thing that I was able to find for this distance is a new satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) which watches Earth every day from a distance of one million miles away.

Now that I have one million miles covered, I thought that I should investigate what happened one million years ago.  In case you did not know, Raquel Welch was not around one million years ago.  I did find an article about a colony that was established one million years ago in Antarctica by Martins, but I found that harder to believe than Raquel Welch being a cave woman.  I discovered that 620,000 years ago the Cromerian interglacial began, which does not seem all that exciting, but 1.4 million years ago the first fires were made by humans.  It is thought that humans first learned how to speak one million years ago.  One million years ago our human ancestors are estimated to have numbered around eighteen thousand five hundred individuals spread across the entire world.  Records exist of beings using stone tools in Eastern England at this time.

I probably should apologize for the long introduction, all of that beating around the bush and pussyfooting around that I did, anyway now it is time for the song, which is what this post is actually about.  Without further ado, time to crack the whip, shake things up, get the show on the road and bring on the magic.  Before the Grass Roots became a hit-making machine for a decade from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, they started out as just another attempt by commercial songwriters P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri to break free of their contractual obligations to Trousdale Music, the publishing arm of Dunhill Records, so they could be part of a real band.  The duo had already found success either writing or co-writing hits for other artists including, ‘Eve of Destruction’ a No. 1 for Barry McGuire, # 29 ‘Let Me Be’ and #20 ‘You Baby’ for the Turtles, a # 8 ‘A Must to Avoid’ for Herman’s Hermits and a #3 song ‘Secret Agent Man’ for Johnny Rivers.  Their label, Dunhill Records allowed them to release albums of their material under a number of monikers, the best-known being the Fantastic Baggys ‘Summer Means Fun’, but none of these had any success.  Undeterred, Sloan and Barri in 1965 took another shot, this time as a band called the Grass Roots (originally called ‘Grassroots’) with a song sung by Sloan called ‘Where Were You When I Needed You’ that reached #28 on the Billboard charts on June 18, 1966, but the problem was that the Grass Roots was just an illusion, as there was no actual band.

Sloan and Barri found a bunch of San Francisco blues guys called the Bedouins, who briefly became Version 1 of the Grass Roots.  The Bedouins lead singer, Bill Fulton recorded a new vocal over the backing tracks laid down for the P.F. Sloan version of the song.  The Bedouins performed on the 1966 debut album, mostly with studio musicians, but they weren’t happy with the style of music or the lack of creative input that they were given, so it was inevitable they would not last and eventually they went back to San Francisco to re-form as The Unquenchable Thirst.

Sloan and Barri looked for Version 2 of the Grass Roots and found it in a demo tape of a band called the 13th Floor.  This version 2 group consisted of Rob Grill (vocals, bass), Warren Entner (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Creed Bratton (lead guitar) and Rick Coonce (drums) and these guys became the Grass Roots that pop fans know and love.  The group’s members were never close to being recognizable, and their in-house songwriting was next to irrelevant, however the Grass Roots managed to chart fourteen US Top 40 hits, including seven Gold singles and one Platinum single, as well as two hits collections that effortlessly went Gold.  The Grass Roots had a series of major hits, most notably ‘Let’s Live for Today’, ‘Midnight Confessions’ and ‘Temptation Eyes’ and the Grass Roots set a record for being on the Billboard charts 307 straight weeks.  They are one of only nine bands that have charted twenty nine or more Top 100 Billboard singles.  They set an all-time attendance record for a one act U.S. concert of 600,000 people on July 4th, 1982 in Washington, DC.  Over the course of their career, The Grass Roots sold over 20 million records worldwide and they were awarded two Gold albums, one Gold single and charted a total of twenty-one times.

Eleven months after their hit ‘Let’s Live for Today’ was recorded the group had another chart entry, and during that period when their third album Feelings failed to sell, Sloan and Barri’s partnership broke up, with Sloan departing for New York in an attempt at a performing career of his own.  The band even considered splitting up as all of this was happening.  The Grass Roots did return to the charts in the late Fall of 1968, (with Barri producing), and it was a triumphant one, where ‘Midnight Confessions’ reached #5 on the US charts and earned a Gold record.  In April of 1969, Creed Bratton left the band, to be replaced by Denny Provisor on keyboards and Terry Furlong on lead guitar.  Now a quintet, The Grass Roots went on cutting records without breaking stride, enjoying a string of Top 40 hits that ran into the early ‘70s, including, ‘Baby Hold On’ (#38), ‘The River Is Wide’ (#31), ‘Heaven Knows’ (#24), ‘Temptation Eyes’ at (#15) and the song that I am writing about today, ‘I’d Wait A Million Years’ (#15), which was released in 1969 and written by Gary Zekley and Mitchell Bottler.

The Grass Roots went through several more personnel changes and eventually the group became a 60s nostalgia act, touring with other 1960s groups like The Turtles, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, The Buckinghams, The Monkees, Gary Puckett and Herman’s Hermits.  The Grass Roots were much more than a burble, they were a real fixture on the airwaves and they had a regular presence on American Bandstand.  Rob Grill the long time lead singer and a very nearly original member of the group played with the Grass Roots for more than four decades.  In 2011, Grill died in Tavares, Fla. at the age of 67.

The song writing team of Zekley and Bottler also wrote ‘The Grooviest Girl in the World’ which was done by The Fun and Games, ‘Hallelujah’ by Sweathog, ‘Sooner or Later’ by The Grass Roots, ‘I Can’t Break Away’ by Chuck Jackson, ‘La-La-Love Chains’ by Silver, Platinum and Gold, ‘Saturday Night, Sunday Morning’ by Thelma Houston, ‘Quick Slick’ by Syreeta and ‘Superman’ first recorded by The Clique, but made more famous by R.E.M.  In late 1966 when Dean Torrence (of Jan & Dean) needed some songs for a new album, he enlisted the help of Gary Zekley, and one of the songs that he gave Torrence was called ‘Yellow Balloon’.

This song is a jovial tale of a man who would do a million things in order to win the heart of a certain girl.  He is desperately longing for this girl and he is willing to wait a million years, walk a million miles, cry a million tears, swim the deepest sea, climb the highest hill, just to have her near him.  He will swallow the pain and pride, while pacing the floor, with sweat pouring down his chest, as he can’t hide all that he feels inside.

All of the lonely nights
Waiting for you to come, longing to hold you tight
I need you so desperately
Waiting for you to come bringing your love to me [but]
I’d wait a million years
Walk a million miles, cry a million tears
I’d swim the deepest sea
Climb the highest hill, just to have you near me
As love is reality
When you are near to me, I am in ecstacy
I’d swallow the pain and pride
Baby, I just can’t hide all that I feel inside [and]
I’d wait a million years
Walk a million miles, cry a million tears
I’d swim the deepest sea
Climb the highest hill, just to have you near me
A million years, I would wait for you
A million tears, baby I’d be true
A million miles, I would follow you
A million years, if you want me to
Pacing the floor, detest
Sweat pouring down my chest, still I can’t love you less
It’s worth all the pain and pride
Baby, I just can’t hide all that I feel inside [and]
I’d wait a million years
Walk a million miles, cry a million tears
I’d swim the deepest sea
Climb the highest hill, just to have you near me

Written for Daily Addictions prompt – Inevitable, for FOWC with Fandango – Illusion, for Ragtag Community – Burble, for Scotts Daily Prompt – Committee and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Jovial.

14 thoughts on “My One Thousandth Post

  1. I really liked the way you started and that information about Rome and milestones was amazing. Truly a milestone post, Jim.
    Though I was expecting a song by your favourite band, the song you have shared is very apt and quite nice too.
    Congratulations and I think it is an appropriate time to tell you I enjoy your posts, appreciate the research you put in and your song selection.
    Here’s to many more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats! 1 thousand!
    And yes, it is interesting. Your posts are always long when compared to all but the ‘serious’ blogs – oh, sorry, you are a serious blog! – but always interesting, especially with the music to reinforce the words.
    Well done!
    I feel a little green coming on, ‘cos I’ll never make it to that 1k mark – not because I won’t be around, but because I go through and do ‘housekeeping’ and delete a few every now and then (we freebies have a limit, you know!).

    Cheers, and congrats! 1K! [imagine the fireworks thingy]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I joined WordPress, I did not know that they accepted free members, but it does have advantages. I like not having limits and not having advertisements. Your writing is so much more important than creating posts and I appreciate the friendship that we have developed here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So bathe in the glory achieved not by fate but by hard work alone, All hail Jim. Celebrate with beer and bacon.. Pal… Here’s to another 1000 that I know you and your wisdom will add soon…

    Liked by 1 person

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