Kansas: A Portrait of Professor Einstein

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fall term will be starting soon, and I’ll be re-joining the ranks of my fellow professors behind the ivy-covered (not really) walls; sighing heavily over paperwork, complaining bitterly about the lack of parking space, eating pale, bland meals in the faculty commons, etc.  Actually, now that I’m a part-timer and don’t have any non-teaching duties, committees and so forth, I’m quite looking forward to it.  One of the greatest privileges I’ve been granted in my life is to teach others.

I was delighted to find Kansas’ “Portrait (He Knew)” to use for the second selection in my series on MetalGuruMessiah’s videos.  What a great tribute to that king-daddy of all professors, Albert Einstein!  If I taught in the hard sciences, I would definitely open the first day of class with this video.  What the heck – I may do it anyway.  I can’t think of a better way to kick off the term.  Genius is always inspiring, even if it’s in a completely different field of study.

Before we watch the video, here are some great quotes from Professor Einstein to get us ready for our portrait of the man…

“Imagination is more important than knowledge…”

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

“Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe.”  (THIS!  Think about it – and not just Mozart, either.)

“What I see in Nature is a grand design that we can understand only imperfectly, one with which a responsible person must look at with humility….”

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”

“I want to know God’s thoughts. The rest are details.”

“I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience.”

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

“Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” (Ha ha!  Love it!)

“I am very happy with my new home in friendly America…”  (He likes us!  He really likes us!)

*All quotes were taken from einstein.biz and quotationspage.com

Ah, to have been given even a small fraction of the brilliance of Einstein, or the talent of Kansas, for that matter.  But alas, I’m merely an eternal, enthusiastic observer of greatness.  Enjoy this outstanding video by our fellow blogger, MetalGuruMessiah.

But he knew – he knew more than me or you…

Okay, we gotta hear one more, right? This song is almost eerily prophetic in view of composer Kerry Livgren’s religious conversion years later.  Wow.  Just give it a listen in light of that little factoid!  The guitar man says that Leftoverture was one of the most well-produced albums that he’d heard up to that point – crisp and crystal clear.  And to think, it was recorded just down the road at the Studio in the Country in Bogalusa, Louisiana.

This clip is far from perfect, but I had to use it because I saw Kansas in concert this very year – 1978. I don’t remember Steve Walsh’s on-stage antics, near-nudity, yellow gym shorts, or tube socks, but I do remember quiet, dignified Kerry Livgren on that smokin’ guitar. Now that’s my kind of guy.  Nothing against Mr. Walsh, though – he’s a great singer.  My dear friends, here is “Carry On Wayward Son”…


Thoughts?  Comments?  Please Share! 



Filed under Music, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Kansas: A Portrait of Professor Einstein

  1. I agree that removing “Mozart” from that quote makes it even more true. That’s a great song, too.

  2. Yeah, I love classical music and certainly recognize its grandeur, but nothin’ sends me like good old rock n’ roll. 😉

  3. Jon

    Wow….hadn’t watched this vid in probably almost 2 years. As one of my very early videos it’s pretty rough….in those days it was much harder to find high quality elements to use and I’m surprised that my computer at that time was even able to produce all the layers I was throwing at it….you can see the lagging video as a result. I used to hear my little processor screaming “I’m giving her all I’ve got, captain”!!!!!…..

    (It’s nice to know I’m communicating with people old enough to still get the reference from the original Star Trek series….funny as you get older you realize you are getting more and more blank looks from always younger and younger co-workers and friends!!!!….oh the JOYS of getting old!? Can you believe I actually work with people who don’t have a clue who Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Supertramp, etc. are…..keep hoping the music labels will begin to embrace some of the fan videos to keep their once widely known and popular artists from their slow fade into obscurity? Lots of younger people with $$$ might never even THINK about buying say, “Portrait (He Knew)” unless they hear it presented in way that might appeal to them….that’s why the more fan vids the better, there’s always somebody doing something that somebody else will relate to.

    ….it’s a song I love and one of quite a few of my earlier videos that I am always tempted to re-work, to update the elements and make it move faster….oh well, maybe one day, but this was me “giving her all I got” at the time…nice you enjoyed the video effort and so awesome to know you’re another big fan of the tune!

    I remember getting some early comments about how the song was about Jesus, when i clearly remember at the time Kerry mentioning it was about Prof. E….as IF it couldn’t have been any more obvious? LOL! (Of course later he did make the Jesus reference, in his update “Portrait II”).

    Thanks again, Marie for the gracious comments….you also reminded me this remains my sole video for a Kansas tune, even though I’ve started several others….gotta move on the closest one I have to finished, a much cooler, smoother video for another track from Point of Know Return….the song that for some reason I must always hear after “Portrait (He Knew)”….”Nobody’s Home”. Wish me luck!


    • Hi Jon, I can’t see any rough edges at all in this video – it’s great! I agree that it’s sad to see all these excellent songs slipping into oblivion as the initial audience grows older. I know I say this a lot, but we really did have the greatest music in the 60s and 70s.

      I’ve seen a good many comments on YouTube from younger people, saying they wished that good music was still being made. I doubt that’s going to happen, though. Music technology (and the world in general) has changed so much that I can’t see the music industry going back to the authentic, artistic, grass-roots sounds that we all enjoyed in years past.

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