Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Musical Interlude

When I was in college and for a few years after, I hung out with a group of (mostly, but not all) guys, who are generally referred to as "Wall Street". Most of them lived on Wall St.* (no, not in NYC), and we all hung out there, drinking, playing cards, watching movies, and living lives of debauched and impoverished youth. They were fine times.

These guys, more than anyone else, influenced not only what kinds of music I listen to, but how I listen, with an ear to detail. From them I got Dylan, The Who, Roxy Music, and acres more. At the time, I didn't understand Jimi Hendrix (I'm happy to report, not I do) and I have never understood the appeal of Led Zepplin (straight, stoned or tripping...nope, don't get it). When I met them, Paul Simon was my Dad's music -- and how can that be good? Certainly not cool. Happily, they showed my the light. K once said that his "Hearts and Bones" was the standard by which he measured all songwriting. He may have been exaggerating, but I, myself find it hard to argue.

I've recently gotten a copy of Simon's first solo album from 1972 (thought I had one, but apparently not). This lyric, from "Peace Like a River" seems especially apropos to the world today:


Misinformation followed us like a plague
Nobody knew from time to time
If the plans were changed
If the plans were changed

You can beat us with wires
You can beat us with chains

You can run out your rules
But you know you can'’t outrun the history train
I've seen a glorious day


I love how he looks into the abyss, but still finds some kind of hope.

*Probably it was just a coincidence that when the last vestiges of Wall Street moved out, the Kellogg Eye Center needed a new parking lot and thus bought the property and tore down the house. But isn't it more fun to believe that they totaled the house?

3 comments:

Kerrits is good 4U said...

We gave that house a good head start on its tear down. I still have a couple pieces.

I thought Paul Simon was some silly old hippie until M exposed me to Hearts & Bones in '85. He & I have been finding musical treasures for one another ever since.

Kerrits is good 4U said...

For the music we (mostly) *weren't* listening to then:

http://musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1990.htm

http://musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1991.htm

More kerrits even better said...

Hey, blogger ate part 'o my post. The URL should end with:

/1991.htm

(or substitute the year of your choice for a different vintage of cheese)

and Zepplin rules, btw. They sold their souls and the devil gave them the loosest tightness. or tightest looseness?