I was talking to my Mom over Thanksgiving getting her thoughts on the mini-family reunion we had just attended. It had been years since I had seen some of these folks and I wanted to get her take on how a few of them were doing. I ended the conversation with “You know that this will probably be the last time I ever talk to or see a few of them again.” She smiled and said “Probably more than just a few”.
2017 hasn’t been a good year for many of my musical heroes and sadly I know more are to follow. Tom Petty, Gregg Allman, Chuck Berry, Butch Trucks, Walter Becker, Malcolm Young and the one I am still struggling with Chris Cornell all died this year.
With the exception of Chris all the members of the bands I listened to as a kid are in their 70’s and some are pushing 80. Hell Keith Richards who should have died years ago is 73 and looks all of 90. I was thinking about the music that I loved growing up the other day and who those artist are that I need to be preparing myself for their passing; Brian Wilson-75, Pete Townshend-72, Jimmy Page-73, Neil Young-72, Bob Dylan-76, Bob Weir-70, and Elton John-70 just to name a few. What’s funny to me is these guys are just 15 to 20 years older than I am. When I was 14 they all seemed much older.
When I was in college I worked at a local appliance store in the video (VHS tape) department. One of the salesmen was a cool guy who was once was a Disc jockey at the local radio station. In this small town Terry was famous, a rock star, a legend. Terry knew everyone, and everyone knew Terry. He was the stadium announcer for the high school football games and still hosted a Sunday night call-in radio show playing 1950’s rock and roll classics.
Terry died last week and my Mom sent me his obituary. He was just 69, thirteen years older than me. When I was 20 Terry seemed old, or maybe a better word is mature. He was worldly and wise and oh so cool smoking his Winston’s and wearing way to much Jovan Musk Oil but he wasn’t old, he was just a 33-year-old a kid. It’s funny what we perceive through 20-year-old eyes and how different the world looks through 56-year-old eyes.
Yup I am preparing myself for the day that Keith, Brian, Pete, Jimmy, Neal, and Bob go to the great Rock and Roll Heaven in the sky. It will be sad but each have left me with a soundtrack to remember them by. I think of this blog as a soundtrack I am leaving for my kids to remember their Pop by. Maybe Trump will “retire” soon and I can get back to writing about stuff that really matters like the sky, rocks, breathing and just living, living for as long as we are able too.
“The magic fades too fast, the scent of summer never lasts, the nights turn hollow and vast, but nothing remains…nothing lasts.” – Sanober Khan