One of the good ones gone………

A friend of mine died last week.

He’d been round my house on Thursday night. Wednesday night for that matter as well. He talked more on Thursday evening than I’d ever heard him talk. He was animated and what he said was vivid.

He work up Friday morning vomiting. An ambulance was called. He lost consciousness and never regained it.

He was a quiet man. He was a gifted saxophonist. Solid, never showy. He had a deep and real faith in God. He liked people but he was smart enough about human nature that he didn’t take everyone at face value. And he was a friend to many.

I shall miss Reuben

Song to see you through – or Song to See Through You – or This one’s for you

Bye and bye now
We’ll get over
The things we’ve done and the things we said
But not just now when
I can t remember
Exactly what it was I thought we had
’cause I waited so long, girl, and I came so far
To find out you’re not always who you say you are

And there’s a star in the book of liars by your name

Santa Claus came in late last night
Drunk on christmas wine
Fell down hard in the driveway
Hung his bag out on the laundry line
There’s a cobra gunship for his golden boy
And there’s a hello kitty for his pride and joy

And a silver star in the book of liars by your name
They hung a star in the book of liars by your name

Stars imploding
The long night passing
Electrons dancing in the frozen crystal dawn
Here’s one left stranded at the zero crossing
With a hole in its half-life, left to carry on
But now the world’s much larger than it looks today
And if my bad luck ever blows me back this way

Then I’ll just look in my book of liars for your name
I’ll just look in the book of liars for your name

Steely Determination

Friends not only die – they get you through situations like this (you know who you are!).
As well as friends I’ve had a lot of music along for the ride. Some of these bands have been with me for thirty years now so I know that music is an important part of my life.
One important thing on my player at the moment is a box set by Donald Fagen (he who is lead singer of Steely Dan). The box brings together the three solo albums Don has recorded in his career – 1982’s The Nightfly, 1993’s Kamakiriad, and 2006’s Morph the Cat. If you know these albums you’ll know just how good they are. If you don’t know them and can’t imagine liking Steely Dan or anything associated with it, why not give one of them a spin? Look at how broad my musical tastes are on my profile, you might just find something here. These albums are jazz, they are rock, they are adult and articulate, they are spiritual and sexual. They are restrained energy personified.
Now if you know the three albums and agree with everything I’m trying to say, you might still not want the box set but you’d be making a mistake. The albums are presented here in a variety of musical formats – enough to make anyone’s amp and speakers come to life if you choose the right one – across 6 discs with videos and out-takes and the whole smorgasbord. Still not tempted? There’s a seventh disc. The unimaginatively titled “Trilogy – 10 extras” is a masterwork all on its own. It has a cover of Al Green’s Rhymes, it has a jazz piece that Fagen wrote for an accomplished player, it has three live tracks and singles that didn’t make the albums. You can’t buy it on its own and it’s not to be overlooked.

The Nightfly Trilogy has something for you and music can get you through the tough days.

Death, the last enemy

Hi

Death is a bastard. Because of the nature of my day job I seem to encounter it a lot more than the average man on the street but don’t let that fool you into thinking you ever get used to it. You never get used to it. Losing someone you’re caring for and helping others through is hard, but losing someone you cared for before they became ill is harder. I never want to get used to losing friends and loved ones and if I ever do I’ll know that I have become less of a human being than I want to be. People matter more than most everything else and friends are top of that list. Tell me if I stop caring…..

Larry Norman – 1947-2008

Only Visiting this Planet
So Long Ago the Garden
In Another Land
Something New Under the Son
Stop this Flight
Stranded in Babylon
Tourniquet

Larry Norman probably released way too many cds. I pretty much own them all. But if I was new to his music I’d probably want to buy one (or more) of the seven I’ve listed above. There were others….. Bootleg, Upon this Rock, Home at Last…. which I could use to round out a ten but seven seems a good number when you’re thinking about Larry. I first heard his music in 1982. I first met him in 1984. I brought him to London to play a concert in 2001. He was an inspiration every step of the way and I don’t think my life would have worked out the way that it has without the soundtrack of his songs – which is tough when you think he’s not going to be recording anymore. I found Larry difficult in many ways but this was out-weighed massively by his contribution to my life in many, many ways.