May 6, 2020

Week 19 of my week-by-week history of music and culture in 1967 is now up at – and it’s a doozy! This week in 1967, from May 7-13, takes us back to London, England, where rock acts both established and new are everywhere, from the airwaves to the concert stages to a small town […]


Apr 1, 2012

Six months ago, I was living in a 1,600-square-foot, two-bedroom 1880 Victorian, with a formal dining room, a huge kitchen and bathroom, a foyer, a parlor and a library. A library full of books. Beautiful books, some mine for 30 years, some my grandfather’s for much longer. But after two years of dealing with the twenty-first century American Nightmare—bad loans, unemployment, short sale, foreclosure—along with a perfect storm of even more personal losses of family and friends—I’ve had to learn to let go.
So I’m letting go with a vengeance.


Mar 20, 2006

What would you do without Gracenote?
Well, for one, you’d be typing into your computer the name of every artist and every song on every CD you pop into iTunes or other music management program you use on your computer.
Do you feel grateful yet?


Mar 7, 2006

By David Watts Barton, The Sacramento Bee, March 7, 2006 Tower Records has seen better days. Everyone knows it. Russ Solomon certainly knows it. Solomon launched Tower in 1960 out of his dad’s pharmacy in the Tower Theatre building at 16th and Broadway. He built the company into the most influential record chain in the […]


Dec 8, 2005

It’s still hard to believe. Someone shot Beatle John. It happened 25 years ago today, but it still doesn’t make sense that someone – a fan – would kill a man who sang a whole generation awake. But John Lennon was indeed shot this day in 1980, and many Sacramentans are remembering that heinous crime, some shedding fresh tears over an old wound.


Nov 18, 2005

With the four-piece band he’s been leading for an ongoing series of tours that started in Oakland in 2002, McCartney has become one of the hardest-working classic rockers on the road. Still at the top of his game musically at 63, he looked and sounded a good 20 years younger as he worked through 37 songs in 21/2 hours.


Nov 13, 2005

You’d think that people would have had enough of Paul McCartney. But you look around you and you see it isn’t so. With a sold-out show at Arco Arena on Wednesday, yet another album in the Billboard Top 40 and a seemingly endless stream of books being published about his first band, the Beatles, McCartney is the object of enduring interest, especially for baby boomers who grew up with the Fab Four.


Oct 18, 2005

John Lennon been turned into a soft-focus pop icon, a pinup for peace. A driving force behind that, all agree, is Ono, who, as Lennon’s widow, creative partner, business partner and manager of his estate and legacy, has revised the man. Now, he comes across as a dreamy house husband, not as the firebrand who wrote the raw, violently emotional “Yer Blues” and “Working Class Hero.” Instead, we get the Lennon of clouds and dreams and childish doodles, widely available as lithographs – “limited edition,” of course.


Aug 9, 2005

From the time he first stepped on stage with the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, dubbed “Captain Trips” by his following, exhibited the kind of charisma that would make him a revered cultural figure. Even after his death at 53 from heart failure 10 years ago today, his influence echoes among the younger musicians and fans of the booming jam-band genre. The same is true for older fans who – long ago won over by the music – sport J. Garcia ties with their business suits and drink J. Garcia wines at suburban dinner parties.

read more about david

Thank you for checking out my blog - it’s just the tip of the iceberg.  I am working on projects regarding music history, Japanese culture and my songwriting.

- A week-by-week music history website,
- An upcoming book on Japanese culture, Japan from Anime to Zen
- A YouTube channel, featuring random songs and thoughts for the pandemic
- Original music on Spotify, with links to Patreon and Amazon 

David Watts Barton

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