Sunday, June 5, 2011

BOB

Friends are always posting songs on Facebook, and we often get into discussions, as well as adding others.  This morning, a friend bewailed the fact that listening to Bob Seger made her too sad about the loss of her step-father.  I sent her this essay which I wrote a while back.  I hope it helps her to learn to enjoy Bob again, and remember the good things.



BOB

          Janis Joplin usually lives in my CD player, but strangely, this morning, she did not suit my mood.  As I looked through my CD collection, Elton John looked back, as did the empty case for the stolen Led Zeppelin.  The classics were vying for attention as well.  Bob Seger.  Of course.  However, which one?  The Distance?  It does contain my favorite Seger song, but still, it was not right for the moment.  Live Bullitt!  Yeah!  While I do not have all of Bob’s albums, I do have all the songs, some on CD’s, others on tapes, the rest downloaded to my computer.  I am on my fifth copy of Against The Wind.  Two copies were stolen, one the tape player ate, and the other just plain wore out.
          Most of my friends know that Bob writes all of his music for me.  He speaks to my heart.  He writes what I would have written, had I not gone down another road.  I have never been able to attend one of Bobs’ concerts.  Life has always gotten in the way – no money, no car, illness, out of town.  Once I just plain did not know he was nearby.  Perhaps it is better this way.  I can see him singing only to me.  Still, I should send him a picture, so he will know that I have blondish, not dark hair.*
          We all have some music that makes us feel.  It is second only to our sense of smell, for evoking memories.  There are songs that have been part of celebrations, break-ups, reunions and every other aspect of life - and death.  They are the witness to the everyday occurrences of our lives.  Every culture has some kind of music and even when we cannot understand the words, we can appreciate the rhythms.
          Bob has gotten me through the worst of times and enhanced the joy in the best times in my life.  The timing of his new albums has coincided with the course of my life.  Even when the lyrics might not quite fit, the sentiment did.  I remember when my grandfather was dying of cancer, the Against The Wind album was my rock.  Songs like ‘Fire Lake’ – a place I wanted to take Grosspapa back to – ‘Shining Brightly’ – what he had always told me life would be – ‘No Man’s Land’ – a symptom of the times, kept me from losing my sanity.  While I was still celebrating my youth, ‘Night Moves was on all the jukeboxes to seduce us out into the woods.  Years later, when “sweet sixteen turned thirty-one”, ‘Rock and Roll Never Forgets’ was there for me to dance to and console me.  When there is no good man in my life, ‘Come to Poppa’ springs to mind, as I get ready to call a faithful friend.  Somehow I don't ever seem to stop running 'Against the Wind'.
          Bob has surprised me too.  When my recently former fianc√©, Robert Lee, committed suicide, I turned to the older albums, thinking the new album would not take me out of my grief.  In despair when they didn't, I put  the ‘Mystery’ cd in the player.  There was the solace I was seeking.  I should have trusted you, Bob.  ‘Golden Boy’.  I am positive it was written about a young man with a bright future, but whose life ended too soon.  ‘I Can’t Save You Angelene’.  While about a woman, I could not save Robert either.  ‘Sixteen Shells from 30-06’.  The seeming perplexity of the lyrics could have defined Robert Lees’ life.  I almost understood it through the pain and the music – both his life and the lyrics.  ‘West of the Moon’.  In that place is where I am sure he now resides, at peace.  Other songs on the CD were reminiscent of other people and times, although Robert was still in them too.  For the next few days, I listened and mourned.  Memories flooded me.  Mostly, I healed.
          Tonight as I was preparing to write, I turned the stereo on.  I was surprised it was tuned to radio.  NPR?  Oh, yeah, it’s still Sunday; Prairie Home Companion was on earlier.  Well, perhaps I would leave it, if they were playing some jazz or blues.  Even some rousing classical would do.  Nope, cannot handle that whiney funereal stuff, in any kind of music.  Bob was still in the CD player.  Again?  Why not.  Even his break up songs are upbeat.  I will even get to some of the other albums tonight. 
          You take some time too, tonight.  Listen to your Bob Seger.  Relive the memories.  Then tell them to someone.  Even if you have already done so.  Some of my favorite memories are of my grandmother telling me the same story for the fiftieth or hundredth time.  She is gone and I cannot hear her anymore.  Except in my mind.  Especially in the music.





I am a redhead again, been for several years...
         
           

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