The Image

It’s maybe the iconic image connecting music with an era. Abbey Road in 1969 was the gold standard. Like, were you in the crosswalk, on that day, at that time? It was an exclusive group, and a high bar. Fast forward to 2022, and what remains of that exclusive group is Paul and Ringo, and then there’s all the rest of us.

She came in through the bathroom window. I always pictured a smallish window, four feet by four feet, and about five feet off the ground. Curtains? I don’t know if there were curtains. But I saw it as a swing-out casement window, opening to the back yard. How she fit in through my mind’s version of the bathroom window, I don’t know. Maybe it was a conjured vision of the bathroom window in our house when I was a kid. Or it could be something to do with the window Robert Redford used to get away in The Sting.

The thing about a great image, in a song or in written word, is that everyone gets to see it their own way. If you don’t get people to see their own personal version of that image in their head, then whatever it is you were trying to do, it’s not such a great image.

When you hear “the pump don’t work cause the vandals broke the handles”, do you see one of those old-fashioned water pumps you find sometimes, rarely, in the country? You’ve seen that pump. I’ve seen that pump. Bob Dylan knew his way around imagery.

The Abbey Road image is a Volkswagen Beetle parked on the sidewalk, and green leafy trees on a city street. Crosswalk stripes, jeans, bare feet, black, and white, the line down the middle of the street behind them. For me, the sound that accompanies the image is “Because” and “The Medley”. The joke of it is the image was almost accidental.

Photo: Abbey Road, Photographer: Iain Macmillan


Within Sight

The warm day you walk along an old path and the trees look like June, poison ivy is green and reaching out across the walkway, and birds are singing and moving with a seriousness that comes with the job they have to do, and it’s like we never had winter. Right? There’s no way to go but forward into warm summer evenings, dark skies, and a sweaty version of life you should only miss if you have to.

The Times


Hey, hey Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song
Bout a funny ol’ world that’s a-comin’ along
Seems sick an’ it’s hungry, it’s tired an’ it’s torn
It looks like it’s a-dyin’ an’ it’s hardly been born

Bob Dylan’s “Song to Woody”. The 1962 song was a tribute to Woody Guthrie, but, sad to say, sixty years later, the words are still relevant today.

Wingin It

Like the graceless angel,
a young eagle winging in the dark shadows
of a brand new day.
Slow strong wing beats.
Talons lifting,
slipping,
gripping a pine branch high above its landscape.
Instincts, stamina,
and a body language the fledgling doesn’t own yet.
A spirit borne of its magnificent ancestry.

Photo courtesy of Lady Hawk.

Ringo

It’s sumptuous, burnished, flashy, yes. But not garish. A lot like you’d find on a dogwood this time of year. Color variations and velvety textures, and iridescent trimmings, like glistening droplets left over from last night’s rain.

There’s something infectious. No, more like uplifting, but not quite. There’s something relaxing about the guy or gal who looks totally comfortable in their own skin. It makes you feel like everything’s okay. As it should be. Even when he’s at the microphone, his hands are drumming. He’s a bit of a flashy personality. All the rings, you know. That’s why they call him Ringo.

Image from imbd.com.
Ringo at the Concert for George

David


The words that matter most come from somewhere deep. Deep in your core. Deep in your gut. The other stuff matters too. But it’s not what I want.

Tell me the stuff that hangs around the bottom of your soul.

The stuff that wakes you in the morning, and keeps you up tossing and turning at the end of your day. You don’t have to make it fit just so or sound perfect, but tell me. Tell me the stuff that comes calling in the dark middle of a lonely night.

Tell me what you think when you stand at the ocean.

Tell me what hurts more than you thought you could bear. The scrambled confusion you can’t sort through. Tell me.

I love. I love. I love David’s writing.

Jackson Browne: The Pretender

I’m going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
Gonna pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day

And when the evening rolls around
I’ll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I’ll get up and do it again, Amen
Say it again, Amen

Strange Magic

photo credit pitchfork

Jeff Lynne. He’s a bit of a mystery, isn’t he? The bearded face and smooth voice of ELO. Strange Magic, etc. He wrote and produced and performed with the best of the best…Dylan, The Beatles, Tom Petty, Orbison. But does anyone know what Jeff Lynne looks like? Under the hair and glasses?

I would seriously like to do that hair. I would most seriously like to do that hair. And the glasses too.

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