Player, 1977, opening for Gino Vannelli, with this classic composition. It has been a long week filled with Greek drama and German persuasion. The economic situations tend to wear one down after a few days. But it is Friday and I have had my wine, thank you Hotel California, and now it is time to reflect a bit on that was the week that was, or TW3. Well, a little bit of American brandy, Paul Mason Grande Amber with cognac, a very good value for the money and I should know these things. I have been an enophile for many decades. I discovered wine back in 1974 and haven’t looked back. I have had the good luck to be in the right place at the right time and with lots of overtime money, I can say I have had so many of the world’s best wines, best vintages, a man might blush with from such experiences. I can no longer not afford the wines I once drank but I do not forget them, They remain just as vivid in my memory as the day or night I opened each bottle. All I can say is. “Suffer you peons, suffer.” So when I do find an exceptional bottle within my means I kneel before god and with great thanks, head bared, I give thanks for such wondrous bounty, as it should be.
I like to turn to the seventies for some of the wonderful music, such as Player, Hall and Oates, and many more. The melodies take me places that memory serves to obfuscate, we all love to believe that life was so much better when it wasn’t and I am no exception. The music stopped in the eighties when hip hop, punk, and a host of other noises crowded the airwaves. Well, what did you expect? I love classical the most followed by jazz and the various musics of my youth. Yes, I said various musics. I could listen to Tennessee Ernie Ford sing Gospel or the Kingston Trio or early bob Dylan. Man, I found a world of music to listen to and practically commit to memory. From the Beach Boys to the Silkie (an English group that John Lennon promoted) to the British invasion to a host of other musics, The air waves were filled with so much to fill your ears, listen to the sounds in your head.
So I reminisce a little with Little River, one of John Lennon’s favorite romantic songs. You Tube does allow me to listen to so much, from the early years of teen age angst to the day of angry war protest (yes, I was angry but I was in the service and couldn’t protest at the time, I could only be a captive civilian, much to the dismay of my captain. Late 1968 and the San Francisco scene was filled with so much doing. How do I describe it to you poor young slobs? The Fillmore West and the Allman Brothers Band, what a scene. Yeah, I got to partake of a few of life’s great adventures. I was driving the Pacific Coast highway, better known as Highway One, and I pick up a couple of hitchhikers in Half Moon Bay. They were on their way to the Esalen Institute where they heard that Judy Collins and Stephen Stills were in residence. Well, we headed down that way, down to Big Sur where others were gathering. I think that 1969, interesting year in my life. So I parked the car and we walked across a field and climbed the fence and found out way to the area where the two singer/song writers of great note were in residence. We were treated to an impromptu performance that I will never forget in my life. Somehow, in the annuals of Esalen, that performance never existed. I know it did.
So come the weekend and I play DeeJay for my pretty one. She has retreated to bed with the cat and a book. I sit here in front of a keyboard listening to the music I remember in my life. I’ve things to do tomorrow and we will figure out where are priorities lie. And to think it’s only 10:30pm. I must be slipping, I’m quite capable of staying up until three or four or six o’clock in the morning. Am I drunk? Of course not, else I couldn’t type straight. Oh, that’s right, I have the power of backspace and spelling correction. Well, what’s this modern world coming to, anyway? Billy Joel and it’s still rock and roll to me. At least I don’t have to point stone in the morning. This month is coming to an end and then March will take its toll. I look forward to the end of April and then it’s off to France for three months. Must be time for Orleans and Dance with Me. I want to be your partner, can’t you see?
Winter is coming to a close and the level of exercise is increasing, I am walking more, becoming more active and eating less, winter fat being burned off. We follow seasons in a natural fashion, in that normal order that promotes our lives as worth living. You’re still the one, I want whispering in my ears. Do you feel the music yet? Do you feel the rhythms of life? We’re still having fun and you’re still the one. Such happy music. Music to turn your soul to happiness, to fondness for life. Okay, so sometimes I play Sam Cooke or Lenny Welch. Since I fell for you, my god, what torch song. That was a standard in the late thirties and forties. and there was Lenny Welch singing it on the pop AM stations, belting out his pain. What can I do, I’m still in love with you? I get the blues most every night, since I fell for you. No, I was not a popular boy at junior or senior high school. I was barely on the periphery of the social order. My only claim to fame was a varsity letter in track in my last year of eligibility. After that, oblivion. Well, that is how life works for most of us. High school was just a waste of time. I’m glad I dropped out.
I repeat this behavior from time to time. I remember the good time, the bad ones that I dare to remember, and the average to mediocre. We all have memories, we like to remember how things were or perhaps improve how they were. But mostly we build cathedrals to our memories as if they were sacred relics. I am sad to say that such things never existed. It’s been you right down the line. So now we come to the end. Baker Street, light in your head and dead on your feet. You’re trying now. Yes, I identify with Baker Street. In my late twenties I wanted to leave the world. I had a dream about buying some land and settle down in a quiet little town. Ah, I was in love with Mendocino, I love that area. I mean, where else could you go to get out of the world? I suppose that the heaven I envision was less than heaven on earth. Still, the allure was there, how could you not want that life of simplicity? These dreams of utopia never go away. Perhaps that is what we all yearn for, that perfect life, that perfect being that gives us such immediate and long lasting happiness. That is the lure, the seduction of eden, of perfection. Just one more year and then you’ll be happy. Tie me to a mast and stop your ears, sail straight on until dawn. Music sways your soul, moves your backbone, and tempts you to a happiness you will never know. Did you ever see the film, A Hundred Thousand Miracles? Do you remember the dance scene with the seamstress? We look and long for the release of love, of wanting, of desire. If we are lucky we get what we want. If we aren’t, then we settle for second or third best. That is the irony of life. And then one day your luck changes. You find the love you have always wanted. You find that unconditional acceptance you have craved. Life becomes good, life becomes quiet, life becomes that essential living you need, How can I tell you of these things unless you have experienced them. For Irma, the music for the alter, Wedding Bells Blues.