"Sunshine (Go Away Today) (Single/LP Version)" - This Land Is Your Land: "1. Sunshine (Go Away Today) (Single/LP Version) - This Land Is Your Land" <bgsound src="" loop="infinite">

Saturday, October 08, 2005

 

Fire and Rain

It is still a vivid memory ---we were laughing and enjoying some early fall weather. The window was open when we heard the shot, and then we ran outside-- I was barely fifteen, my girlfriend was only fourteen. We could see commotion up the street. The house belonged to a friend of ours--Andy. When we heard the ambulance, my girlfriend started towards the house---I reluctantly followed her with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. David, another fourteen year-old kid, was sitting on the porch crying. The ambulance driver yelled to us, as he wheeled out our injured friend,"He's still alive--what's his name!"

"Andy," my girlfriend answered, "Is he going to be OK?"

No reply came.

As the police escorted David back into the house---they also ran us off. David had been playing with a .22 rifle. The gun discharged and the bullet entered into Andy's forehead. As we walked back to my girlfriends house I assured her everything would be alright. He was being taken to a hospital---"they make people better there". I naively believed what I told her. I called Andy's parents home latter that night. I was in complete shock when an Aunt told me Andy was dead. A kid that I had playfully flipped the finger towards earlier that day was forever gone.

On the morning of the funeral I borrowed a friends motorcycle and went to the lake. I did not want to see his lifeless body. I parked on a beach under the Lake Worth bridge. I watched cars go by, I watched a plane take off from Carswell AFB, and I heard a nearby Mother laughing with her kids. The Mother threw down a blanket and turned on a radio. James Taylor was singing 'Fire and Rain'. The song had been on the charts a year or two earlier and I knew all the lyrics---but I had never heard the words.

I started wiping moisture from my eyes. Embarrassed--I got on the bike and left quickly-- the song was still playing in my mind to the hum of the small engine. I wasn't emotional because my friend was gone. The tears were coming because of a realization. I realized that the people in the cars, the plane, and on the beach-- didn't know or care about a young boy who had been robbed of his life, and that boy was being buried at that very moment. It was surreal. Everything he was ever going to be was over-- yet the world did not stop moving--and those who did care would soon put all of this behind them. It was the first time I had lost someone my age to death. At that moment I knew forever--Death doesn't care---and Death doesn't care.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

 

Smoking With Head-Phones On!

One summer in my High School years I learned the pleasures of smoking dope and staying out late. I would inevitably come home and crank-up the rock and roll to trip a bit (CHILL)! Soon my parents tired of having the high volume disturb their slumber---I was given my first set of head-phones. This actually opened a magical door to an illusionary world.

It wasn't long before I would smoke a joint or two, come home, and be right up on stage with Led Zepplin. I somehow managed to become their lead singer. I was famous of course---and enjoyed the nightly concerts. There would always be an intermission, I would flip the vinyl, and then finish the show. I would close with 'Stairway to Heaven' and finish with an encore of 'Misty Mountain Hop.'

However, I was a novice at using head-phones. I had no idea that my off-key singing was carrying through-out the house. One night my sister (one-year-younger-than-I) banged on my door until she had my attention, " I have listened to you screeching those songs--but I will not listen to you thanking your fans one more time!"

I was so damn embarrassed---I quit the band!

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