Friday, October 12, 2012

How I Found The Straight & True

Our wedding anniversary is June 19.  We arrived at that date because Margaret and I wanted to get married on or about the second anniversary of our first date.  And we wanted to get married on a Saturday.  As luck would have it, the 19th fit the bill on both counts.  For those keeping score at home, our first date was June 21, 1991, which was a Friday.   There will be neither a quiz on this nor a prize at tale's end for those who remember this particular piece of information so feel free to disregard it - starting right now. 

I was thinking about that first date this morning because tonight the Missus and I are traveling down to McCarter Theatre in Princeton to see the great John Hiatt.  Mr. Hiatt is on tour in support of his latest release, "Mystic Pinball".   While it is Mr. Springsteen who occupies more slots than any other artist in the jukebox of my life, Mr. Hiatt is not far behind.  He has written cerebral yet approachable stuff for decades.  In my mind it has always seemed to me that had my oldest brother Bill been a musician/songwriter, the one he would have been was Hiatt.  Both are possessors of an intellect so vast so as to not be restricted to the "same old, same old" and a sense of how to make what is said or written accessible to practically anyone.  A remarkable gift.  

I first fell into Hiatt's music as a student at CU Boulder in the latter half of the 1980's, assisted in my pursuit of it by a musical oasis on the FM dial, KBCO 97.3, which back in the day played a fantastic, eclectic mix of music.  Two of Hiatt's best-selling records, "Bring the Family" and "Slow Turning" were released while I was faking my way through the College of Arts and Sciences and multiple tracks from each ended up getting airplay on KBCO.  They provided me the inroad needed to explore the older portions of his catalog.  I was hooked.  I have been a fan ever since. 

Over the course of the past two-plus decades I have been lucky enough to see Hiatt perform, both as a solo act and supported by a band, on a number of different occasions and in a number of venues, ranging from Madison Square Garden (he OPENED for Hootie and the Blowfish....and no I am not making that up), to the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank and from the State Theatre in New Brunswick to McCarter Theatre in Princeton. 

In fact, this evening marks the second time I will have seen him perform at McCarter Theatre.  It is the first time, however, that I am being joined in Princeton by the Missus.  Tonight Hiatt is performing with a band.  When I last saw him in McCarter Theatre, he was by himself.  As was I. 

Tonight will be the first time I have seen John Hiatt perform in Princeton since June 14, 1991.  How do  I remember the date so readily?  It was the last Friday night I ever spent without Margaret.  It was my last Friday night as a "solo act".  One week later, we were off to dinner at Chan's Garden in Dunellen and some after dinner cocktails at Tumulty's in New Brunswick.  Almost twenty-two years later and she has yet to kick me to the curb.  

Truth is I never was young
Shot like a bullet from a rusty old gun
I could never find the straight and true
Honey, baby till I found you

I ain’t saying I ever grown up, girl
Oh, I’m the biggest baby in the world
I know you can say a lot about that
But you’re so sweet you keep it under your hat

Honey, I’m still the same old man
That you married way back when
A few less brain cells, a lot less hair
Honey, tell me do you still care?


I love you more than I ever did
I love you just like a little kid
Guess I’ll always be your biggest fan
Honey, I’m still the same old man

We been down a rough road or two
This is another one we’ll get through
Don’t ask me how I know
I’m just saying baby, please don’t go

'Cause I can still sparkle up your eyes
And you can still cut me down to size
Please take me as I am
Honey, I’m still the same old man


Honey, I’m still the same old man
That you married way back when
A few less brain, a lot less hair
Honey, tell me do you still care

I love you more than I ever did
I love you just like a little kid
I guess I’ll always be your biggest fan
Honey, I’m still the same old man

You start out trying to change everything
You wind up dancing with who you bring
I loved you then and my love still stands

-AK





 






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