Friday, March 13, 2020

Music Friday: Donald Fagen Says His Ex Wouldn't Know a Diamond If She Held It in Her Hand

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Donald Fagen likens himself to a precious stone in Steely Dan's 1972 classic, "Reelin' in the Years."

In the song, we learn that the lead singer is having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that his long-time girlfriend has found another man.

He sings, "Well, you wouldn't even know a diamond / If you held it in your hand / The things you think are precious / I can't understand."

Written by Fagen and Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, "Reelin' in the Years" has stood the test of time and continues to be one of the band's mosts popular songs.

Beyond the diamond reference, the track is also famous for a memorable guitar solo credited to a guest musician. Elliot Randall, who had been part of a backing band for Jay and the Americans, recounted the story to a journalist from Guitar World Magazine.

“They were having trouble finding the right ‘flavor’ solo for ‘Reelin,’ and asked me to give it a go,” Randall said. "Jeff Baxter played the harmony parts, but my entire lead—intro/answers/solo/end solo— was one continuous take... The whole solo just came to me, and I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to play it.”

How good was the solo? The legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page told Classic Rock magazine that it was his favorite guitar solo of all time and Q magazine placed the recording at #95 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.

Steely Dan fans may consider listening to the song's quadraphonic mix, which reveals extra lead guitar fills you don’t hear in the stereo version.

As the second single from Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill album, “Reelin’ in the Years” peaked at #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and #15 on the Canadian RPM chart.

Founded in 1972, Steely Dan is credited with having sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. The group — led by Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals) — was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Becker passed away in 2017, leaving Fagan as the sole founding member of the group. At age 72, he continues to tour, with upcoming engagements scheduled for Austin, TX; Thackerville, OK; Portland, OR; Auburn, WA; Concord, CA; Hollywood, CA; Chula Vista, CA; Phoenix, AZ and Fort Worth, TX.

We hope you enjoy the video of Fagan and the rest of Steely Dan performing "Reelin' in the Years." The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"Reelin' in the Years"
Written by Walter Carl Becker and Donald Jay Fagen. Performed by Steely Dan.

Your everlasting summer
You can see it fading fast
So you grab a piece of something
That you think is gonna last
Well, you wouldn't even know a diamond
If you held it in your hand
The things you think are precious
I can't understand

Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine
Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine

You been tellin' me you're a genius
Since you were seventeen
In all the time I've known you
I still don't know what you mean
The weekend at the college
Didn't turn out like you planned
The things that pass for knowledge
I can't understand

Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine
Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine

I spent a lot of money
And I spent a lot of time
The trip we made to Hollywood
Is etched upon my mind
After all the things we've done and seen
You find another man
The things you think are useless
I can't understand

Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine
Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine

Credit: Image by Raph_PH / CC BY via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Pizza Ring Empowers Aussie Woman to Pop the Question During Soccer Match

In early February, we announced that the Aussie division of Domino's was giving away a one-of-a-kind, pizza-slice engagement ring topped with bubbly diamond “cheese” and ruby “pepperoni.” This past Friday, the lucky winner got down on one knee and proposed to her boyfriend just after he scored a goal in the waning minutes of an Adelaide soccer match.

“I went to take the kick and I turned around and saw all the boys lining up,” said Jamie Bowes. “I thought, ‘Oh, the game must be over’ but then I saw Jasmine on the field, and I thought, ‘Why is she here? What is she doing?’"

His now-fiancée Jasmine Ireland pulled off the surprise proposal with the help of Domino's, the referee, Bowes' coach and the players on both teams. With their friends and family in the stands, Ireland marched onto the field and the teams parted "like the Red Sea," according to the official Domino's account.

“When she got down on one knee, I just couldn’t believe it," Bowes said. "I was in shock! I’m still in shock. I had no idea she had been planning this with the rest of the team and my coach!”

Ireland and Bowes have been together for two years and are the parents of seven-month-old Jarvis. Inspired by Leap Day (a time when traditional roles are reversed) and International Woman’s Day (March 8), Ireland decided to take matters into her own hands.

“I was so nervous and excited," she said. "It was amazing to have all my family and friends around me, including my sister who made a special trip from Brisbane to Adelaide just to be here to watch me propose.”

Fabricated in 18-karat white and yellow gold, the ring has a value of AU$9,000, which is equivalent to about US$6,000. The design features a triangular “slice” of yellow gold pizza garnished with three pieces of ruby “pepperoni” of varying sizes and six smaller accent diamonds that look like bubbling cheese.

“The ring is everything I thought it would be and more," she added. "I can’t stop staring at it… I can’t believe it’s mine!”

In order to win, contestants had to submit a 30-second video detailing how they will involve pizza in their proposal.

In her submission, Ireland described how pizza is the cornerstone of the couple's relationship.

“We met playing club soccer and we had a bet that whoever got a goal, the other one had to shout 'pizza,'” she said. After each game, the couple would head to Domino's for dinner.

After the on-field proposal, Domino's treated the newly engaged couple and their guests to a Garlic Bread Guard of Honor and a special Domino’s feast.

Nearly 300 video entries were received in Domino’s pizza proposal competition from across Australia and New Zealand.

“We were overwhelmed by the power of pizza to bring people closer,” said Domino’s chief marketing officer Allan Collins. “It just goes to show that sometimes all it takes is great conversation over some great food for sparks to fly."

Credits: Images courtesy of Domino's.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Royal Canadian Mint Launches World’s First Diamond-Shaped Collectible Coin

The Royal Canadian Mint has created an extravagant, three-dimensional diamond-shaped collectible coin adorned with an actual diamond. Crafted from three ounces of 99.99% pure silver, each 2020 $50 coin is punctuated by a 0.20-carat square-cut Forevermark© Black Label diamond sourced from Northern Ontario's Victor Mine.

With a limited production of 700, the offering has already sold out.

The unique coin is aimed at the collectors’ market and is the world’s first coin to be shaped like a multi-dimensional diamond. Designed in collaboration with Crossworks Manufacturing and Forevermark diamonds, the coin displays a matte proof finish.

The four main crown facets of the coin include the square-cut diamond, the year "2020," the word "Canada" and the face value "50 Dollars." The table facet features the likeness of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

The coin’s patented square diamond cut is exclusive to Crossworks, a Canadian company and the top diamond manufacturer in North America.

According to the Mint's R&D team, it took more than a year to design and develop the diamond-within-a-diamond showpiece, as many challenges were overcome. Getting the right shape, size and angles was an enormous undertaking, and each step of the process underwent rigorous testing to ensure the finest quality.

“This coin is an incredible example of the capabilities of our Research and Development lab,” said Royal Canadian Mint Product manager Erica Maga. “Getting this coin right took months and months of testing!”

The premium luxury collectible is packaged in a specially designed Royal Canadian Mint-branded clamshell with a black beauty box. The mirrored bottom reflects light on the angled diamond cuts. Although the engraved face value is $50 CAD (about $37), the coin was priced at 30 times that, or $1,500 CAD ($1,117).

The Royal Canadian Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world.

Credits: Images courtesy of CNW Group/Royal Canadian Mint.