Music: Beseeching Santa |

Music: Beseeching Santa

Craven Lovelace
Free Press Music Columnist
Craven Lovelace
Staff Photo |

Dear Mr. Claus (or may I still call you Santa?):

I know you haven’t heard from me in a long time.

It’s bad enough I haven’t written in the traditional way, but I have to admit I’ve been remiss in reaching out even via Facebook or Twitter. The truth is, I’m a little embarrassed to be contacting you this way. I have to admit, it’s probably a bit untoward that I would be sending you a Christmas wish list for a couple reasons.

First, as a 54-year-old man, I probably am too old to qualify for your attention under normal circumstances. Second, there’s that whole naughty-or-nice thing, and the less we say of that the better.

Nevertheless, it’s that time of year when visions of the many enticing box set collections, which have seen release in 2013 dance in the heads of music fans (and especially music columnists). There are a few such box sets currently dangling outside the financial grasp of Craven and his coterie, and so I turn to you with the following requests in the hope that you can see fit to waive your usual age and behavioral requirements, and squeeze my house into your December 25 agenda.

First, there’s those Legacy Records collections.

As I’m sure your elves have apprised you, Legacy has been issuing gargantuan, completist sets by artists ranging from Paul Simon to Herbie Hancock. But the Legacy collection Craven most covets is “The RCA Albums Collection” by Harry Nilsson, which brings together all 14 LPs Nilsson cut for RCA between 1967 and 1977, from “Pandemonium Shadow Show” to “Knnillssonn,” and which includes 65 bonus tracks, amongst which 26 have never been previously released. At $139.98, that’s about 138 more disposable dollars than Craven currently possesses. But oh, how it would jingle my bells to find that under my tree, Santa!

Another collection which makes Craven feel all holly-jolly inside is that new box set by the Clash. “Sound System” brings together all five of the classic punk rockers’ albums, and then augments them with three CDs of B-sides and rare material. Back in the day, they called the Clash “the only band that matters.”

If you saw fit to toss that one down my chimney (figuratively speaking, of course — there’s no tossing of CDs in the Lovelace household!), it would surely be the only gift that mattered! Otherwise, it will remain out of reach, as its current price of $161.91 on Amazon rocks Craven’s casbah way too violently.

Finally, there’s the new Sly and the Family Stone collection, “Higher,” from Epic Records and the forementioned Legacy. Too many people have forgotten how Sly Stone and his musical collective paved the way for the rock/funk/soul fusions of subsequent artists like Michael Jackson and Prince, but this collection will serve to renew the legend. Happily, at around $40, it is closer to being in Craven’s price range, but it would still make a great stuffer in his stocking, if you were so inclined, St. Nick.

If it helps, I’ll leave my porch light on and — this is not a bribe! — there will be cookies and a snifter of Bushmills on the kitchen counter.

Thanks, Santa. I trust you’ll keep this between you and me, as it would be very embarrassing if you told anyone about this letter. It would be especially mortifying if you shared it with the readers of the Grand Junction Free Press, so whatever you do, don’t do that!

Your old ho ho ho,


GJ Free Press music columnist Craven Lovelace is the producer of the Notes Blog & Podcast at and also writes about popular culture at the Cravenomena blog at You can also find him on Facebook. Notes is made possible by Tina Harbin of Real Estate West, the premier resource for all real estate information and services on the Western Slope.

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