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Sunday, June 6, 2010

James Taylor, Stevie Nicks and Me

I am a child of the 70's....We were all over the place. None of us knew what was really going on. For one thing we didn't really know what kind of music we liked.......It seemed like we were musically schizophrenic, there was hard rock, odd rock, slow music, loud music all of it, wonderful early 70's taste was devoted to Jethro Tull, Rare Earth and James Taylor. My parents had lived through the Monkees, the Beach Boys and of course the Rolling Stones...and then there were others....and all of the music had a story.

The summer before I graduated from high school I visited lots of colleges trying to decide which one could reject me first...and I heard "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart every ten minutes on the radio. I equate beautiful Texas campuses, warm summer evenings with Rod Stewart, and every time I hear Maggie May I go right back there.

During the race to become homecoming Queen my senior year the local radio station dedicated a song to me for luck every time I hear the song called "Sweet City Woman" by the Stampeders, I remember a wonderful Saturday afternoon at a great football game, and my yellow dress with shoes dyed to match. I didn't win, but it didn't really matter. I go back to that afternoon every time I hear...
"I can see your face, I can hear your voice, I can almost touch you
Swee-ee-eet, sweet city woman
Oh, my banjo and me, we got a feel for singin', yeah, yeah,"

And then of course that catchy refrain....sung about a thousand times, it doesn't matter how corny it is, I love it, I am 17 again....with yellow shoes dyed to match.
"Bon c'est bon, bon bon c'est bon, bon,"
(That is awful..but I still love

And then of course there was Fleetwood Mac...I wanted to be Stevie Nicks and sing Landslide, my favorite song...The fact I couldn't sing and didn't have a drug problem seemed to be deal breakers. I went to see her one time and she came out on stage in this amazing long black dress, she was beautiful....and her voice was perfect. It was years later that I read she lived in a small house behind someone's house with a couple of dogs. The article was clear she really loved her dogs....

I thought for sure Glen Frey from the Eagles would have asked me out. And he would have if only our paths would have crossed. But he didn't and they didn't.... I thought Witchy Woman was the coolest song...when I got older and really listened to the song I was a little surprised...I never paid any attention to the words as I sang along...I had no idea why "she drove herself to madness with a silver spoon...". My husband and I went to see the Eagles with Jane and Steve...everyone was our age, and I bet every one of us was thinking of another time...

"Mama told me not to come" by Three Dog Night was my anthem. I still think it is a great fun song, and it is still true!

Patti and I climbed on a table to sing along with War. Didn't they sing Cisco Kid too?

I knew all the words to "American Pie" by Don McClean, and I stun friends with my ability to sing the many years later.

High School graduation was a Rare Earth concert..."I just want to celebrate!" Remember that?
But do you know what makes me the happiest today is that Carole King and James Taylor have decided to get old. It took James Taylor a long, long time to find out that drugs are not a very good substitute for creativity. And just look at this picture...two old friends, still with a lot of talent....being who they are. This picture makes me feel good...I know James Taylor had a lot of things to over come. And he did it...there are lots of stars of music who died young, some tragically, many sacrificed marriages and were estranged from their children. I thought so many of them were the coolest.......I didn't really know.I am glad my life worked out the way they did. I wouldn't change a thing. Every bad decision I made helped me be stronger, and wiser. Every sad thing that happened every bumbling dumb thing I did......All of it made me better. All of our experiences are for our good, if we chose to look at them that way. And I do. I get to walk through life with the same person I started out with. That's the greatest miracle of my life. Thanks Ray-Ray. Congrats on 31 great years.

There is a great quote that says, "It is at the end of a man's life that he realizes how important the decisions were that he made at the beginning of his life."

I was never going to be a singer, or an actress, a great tennis player or Barbara Walters......I have a very small life, but it is an important one. So I don't look with envy at Stevie, or wonder if Glen is going to call...I think of that young girl looking at colleges listening to Maggie May and I know she would be happy for how things have worked out. Small lives are important lives...