Category Archives: Music

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker

Donald Fagen and Walter Beker

We attended a Steely Dan Concert last week. I was amazed by the beauty and balance the band displayed.

I was dismayed by the rudeness of the audience.

Maybe I’m just getting old.

Leave a comment

September 27, 2013 · 12:09 am

The Sleep of the Just?

I went to see Harry Chapin with my Mom. I couldn’t have been more than 13 or 14. My Dad was supposed to take her, but things were strained between them at that time, so Mom invited me. I didn’t really want to go (not a big Chapin fan at that time) but she wouldn’t go alone so …

I remember not being to impressed by the music. I think I knew ‘Cat’s Cradle’ and ‘Taxi’, but I was stunned by how much energy the man could create without loud guitars or pyrotechnics. He basically told a bunch of stories and made people feel good and bad at the same time. He railed against world hunger and our seeming inability to do anything to feed the needy. He moved people. One of his in between musings sticks with me even today;

There are two kinds of tired: there’s good tired and bad tired. The funny thing is, with ‘bad tired’ you can have ‘won’ all day. But you won other people’s battles, filled other people’s agendas, worked on other people’s dreams. There was little to no ‘you’ in it, and when you go to bed you toss and turn – can’t get settled.

Now ‘good tired’ can be a day when you ‘lost’ all day – but it doesn’t matter because you fought the good fight. You fought your battles, chased your dreams,  lived your life and used your gifts to the best of your ability. You follow the path your creator made you specifically for. You can fall back in your bed and say “Take me away”. I’ve done what I do for all of my life. I would have loved to be more successful, but I did what I was made to do and I sleep the sleep of the just.

When you come to face death – that black, impenetrable wall of sleep – will you sleep with peace, without fear?

Just a few years later I read in the paper that Chapin had died at the age of 38. He had used his gifts and fought his battles against world hunger until his end.

Harry gave me a gift that night, one I didn’t recognize until many years later.

I don’t always win. But I sleep well.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blither Blather, Music, Musings

What Do Magicians Call It?

It was winter – February 1984. The Police were on what was to be their final tour, supporting ‘Synchronicity’. In late October I waited in an ice storm overnight in order to score tickets. Several for my dorm mates and two especially for my girlfriend and myself. The overnight vigil is a story for another time. This story is about misdirection.

We traveled up to Greensboro early in order to have some dinner and get psyched for the show. I was decked out in my best suit; Ivory white – wide at the shoulders and narrow at the waist, pure eighties. The shoulder pads on that bad suit were so wide I would have become a kite in a stiff breeze. My hair was spiked and angry. The young lady was also dressed to stun; a dress that was all attitude and cut low. She was tall and leggy and had a swagger that would not quit. It was the eighties – it was rock & roll. The crowd was as much of a spectacle as the band.

Get the picture?

Now – we had borrowed her uncle’s camera. A really nice one, in order to record the event for posterity. At the time we weren’t aware that this was the last Police tour – but we were huge fans and really wanted to capture the moment. We parked and approached the auditorium. There was a huge sign at the door that “NO cameras or recording equipment would be allowed. Any cameras found will be confiscated.”  The Man was out to ruin our fun. Damn the Man. We stood in the parking lot debating. Hide the camera and test our luck, maybe losing her uncle’s good camera? Take it back to the car and just remember the show for what it was? What to do?

The lady was all for hiding it in her purse. taking a chance. I came up with another plan. I proposed we take the camera in, but not try to hide it. Just carry it in as though we hadn’t seen the sign. (Or possibly couldn’t read.) “If we hide it and we get caught, we’re nothing but guilty. If we carry it, we can pretend ignorance and run it out to the car if anyone says anything.” Brilliant, right? I slipped the camera strap over my head, wearing the Nikon like a big black necklace. We walked in. We got right through the ticket takers and headed around the concourse.

I saw them long before they spotted us; a cluster of four or five security guards. They were scanning the crowd, looking for contraband or unruly guests. We had to pass right in front of them to get to our seats. No way they could miss the camera. I watched as one of the guards poked another and then pointed at us. “Ah, well” I said, “It was worth a try.” The two guards moved to intercept us and we stopped. The first security guy spoke;

“Excuse me, Miss.” he said, almost making eye contact with my date. (If he had only raised his eyes about 2 feet) “But do you have a camera in your purse?”

She looked at me. I looked at her. I didn’t laugh. It was tough.

“No Sir.”

“Do you mind if I take a look?”

“Go ahead.”

He opened her purse and took a quick glance through the contents. It seemed hard for him to focus. Finally satisfied that she wasn’t sneaking anything by him, he returned the purse. “Thanks – sorry to bother you, but we have to check.” We allowed that it was no problem and moved on.

It took everything I had not to turn around and snap a shot at them.

The concert was amazing. We took a few shots (which I don’t have, she got them in the settlement.) but the music was so overwhelming we mostly sang and danced and reveled in being young and alive.

What is distracting you today? Sex? Money? Farmville? Is anything blocking your vision of the Lord and his plan for you? What is slipping by ‘under the radar’ while you are misdirected?

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Public Diary

To Paraphrase

This road is my life
Speeding through the night
I have been to these places
For barely a moment

Wide awake
Sometimes sleeping
Sometimes watching
Sometimes dreaming

Through stroby towns
Too fast to know their names
Too fast to know if I came or will come again

Sleeping towns joined together
By the Parallel lines
Parallel lives

You and I
We’re movie-rich
We’re reflected in the window
The dark night’s black mirror glass
Distant lights from the wrong side of the tracks

Christmas lights
Go by in the houses
Anonymous windows
Anonymous rooms of
Anonymous souls

So take my hand
Squeeze it tight
Make some light
In the darkness
I’m glad you came on this trip
Don’t lose your grip
This road is my life

Travel with me
And we’ll see..

1 Comment

Filed under Blither Blather, Music, Musings

Magician

Magician take me upon your wings and … gently roll the clouds away.  I’m sorry so sorry I have no incantations only words to help sweep me away.  I want some magic to sweep me away. I want some magic to sweep me away. I want to count to five turn around and find myself gone. (1,2,3,4,5)

Fly through the storm and wake up in the calm. Release me from the body from this bulk that moves outside me. Let me leave this body far away I’m sick of looking at me. I hate this painful body that disease has slowly worm away. Magician take my spirit inside I’m young and vital. Inside I’m alive.

So many things to do.  My fingers are weak – things just fall away. Inside I’m young and pretty. Too many things unfinished My very breath taken away.

Doctor you’re no magician – and I am no believer.  I need more than faith … can give me now I want to believe in miracles – not just belief in numbers.  I need some magic to take me away I want some magic to sweep me away.  Visit on this starlit night replace the stars the moon the light – the sun’s gone.

Fly me through this storm and wake up in the calm … I fly right through this storm and … I … Wake … Up … In … The … Calm

Leave a comment

Filed under Blither Blather, Music, Musings