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Sunday, November 16, 2014

James Taylor, Stevie Nicks and Me

I am a child of the 70's....We were all over the place the children of the 60's were too serious for us.  It was clear we cared, but we didn't blow things up.  And one other thing we didn't really know what kind of music we liked.......We were musically schizophrenic, there was hard rock, odd rock, slow music, loud music, but all of it was 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 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.  I heard "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart every ten minutes on the radio.  Today every time I hear Maggie May I go right back to that summer when everything was in front of me.  

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 imagined I was Stevie Nicks and sang Landslide, my favorite song...The fact I couldn't sing and didn't have a drug problem seemed to be deal breakers. One concert I attended was at the Aladdin she came out on stage in this amazing long black dress that she simply floated in, she was beautiful....and her voice was perfect. She went through some hard, hard times...but today that seems to be behind her.

I thought for sure Glen Frey from the Eagles was going to ask me out. And he would have if only our paths crossed. But they didn't and he didn't.... Witchy Woman was my favorite song and I sang along at the top of my lungs...but when I got older and really listened to the words I was a little surprised.....I do remember having no idea why "she drove herself to madness with a silver spoon...".  I recently saw the Eagles with some friends and no one could get the smiles off our faces. We all were in a time machine...

"Mama told me not to come" by Three Dog Night was my anthem.  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.  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, but he did it, and I am so glad he did.  There are lots of stars of music who died young, some tragically, many sacrificed marriages and were estranged from their children.  Their very glamorous lives were not quite as amazing as I thought.

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 35 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...