That’s what I call Stevie Wonder… because you can make up silly names for people when you’re best friends like I am with Stevie.
Anyway, last weekend when I was in NY, I had some time to kill and I dropped by this bar in the financial district — I think the name of the bar was “Bar & Food”. At least that’s what the sign said on the outside… :) When I got in there, there was a nice little crowd at the bar and the music on the jukebox was great. As each new song came on, the older bartender guy took a lotta pride in letting everyone know that he’s the one who selected the songs… in a particular order for a particular reason. I remember hearing “Always and Forever” by Heatwave and “Johnny Was” by Bob Marley. Not sure what the narrative was supposed to be as the former is a love song and the latter is a song about a woman whose son was just shot dead in the street… But I digress… The last song that came on while I was still in the bar was one of my favorite Wevie songs ever ever. Joy Inside My Tears… Man I hadn’t heard that song in literally over a decade.
So I sang.
In full voice.
And people stared — no doubt in disbelief at my non-embarrassment . But I didn’t care. Jack wouldn’t let me care… Cause it’s a great song! Six and a half minutes of ear yummies… I loaded it on to my iPod last nite and I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past 33 minutes. Songs in the Key of Life. If you don’t have it. Get it. Today. Cause when music hits you “there” there’s nothing better.
When I was a kid, in the house we lived in in Jersey, my Dad built these wooden bins along the walls and floorboards in the downstairs of the house. And they were filled with records separated by alphabet tabs and by genre. You could sit in the family room and literally be surrounded by music. I remember my dad putting on a record and asking, “Who’s that, Boont?” And I’d be like Count Basie or Coltrane… And sometimes he’d let me pick one and he’d play it. No matter what it was. My love for music–GOOD music–goes back as long as I can remember. And I thank my parents for it.
My Grandma used to call me the “Disco Baby” and Saturday mornings growing up meant Mom and Dad dancing to 45’s and Felix Hernandez on the Rhythm Revue on WBGO Jazz 88 in NYC. I miss those days. Not that there isn’t any good music around anymore. But it sure is getting harder and harder to find.