Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Low-Sinkin' Sun

Typically, February's most endearing quality is its brevity.  This year, however, is a Leap Year.  Instead of a mere twenty-eight day sprint to March, an additional February day graces (or pockmarks if you prefer) the calendar.  For everyone out there begging for one more day of cold, miserable, shitty winter weather, rejoice!  I sought refuge in law school to avoid the hard sciences so I know not whether - at the initial meeting of the Committee to Adjust the Calendar in Leap Years - anyone broached the idea of adding Day 366 to one of the other eleven months...such as July.   

Who would have opposed the idea of having an additional summer day once every four years?  No school-age child within the geographical confines of these United States.  Except, perhaps, for my cousin Moira.  Moira and I are the same age.  She is a Californian so, as kids, we did not see each other often but we did chat on a regular basis.  Whereas I spent my high school career counting the days down to graduation, Moira went to school every chance she got - including attending high school year-round.  Lunacy.  

This year, February's saving grace is that it cannot be any more devastating to the music industry than the month that preceded it.  In January, the music world mourned the loss of (among others) David Bowie and, shortly thereafter, Glenn Frey.  Frey was one of the founding members of the Eagles.  In addition to his longstanding membership in the band, he carved out a nice, extended, and successful solo career for himself, which began in earnest way back when in the 1980's following the Eagles' decision to break up (or to take a timeout, whichever you prefer).  

Frey is a man whose acquaintance I never made.  However, while I was a student at CU, a woman with whom I was friends who had met him spoke very highly of him.  Her dad was the Director of Photography on Miami Vice and Frey guest-starred on at least one episode.  She happened to be in Florida visiting her father the week that they filmed Frey's episode.  During the breaks in filming, she not only had the chance to talk to him but to observe him as he interacted with the people on the crew, the extras, etc. and, apparently, came away quite impressed.  In the immediate aftermath of his death, as tributes poured in from all over the world, I noted just how often others made reference to the quality of his character.  He apparently treated practically everyone with whom he interacted as well as he had treated Karen and the other "regular folks" on the set of that television show thirty years ago.  

The Eagles are a band whose music I enjoy but whose catalog I do not pretend to know in any depth.  There is one Eagles track that I detest, which is "Hotel California."  It is a song that I have loathed since I first heard it close to forty years ago.  I cannot explain the root of my disdain.  Nor can I explain the hatred and loathing I have always felt for "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits, a band whose leader, Mark Knopfler, is one of my favorite artists.  

But I digress.

Whatever familiarity I have with the Eagles' catalog is almost exclusively with their "pre-breakup" material.  I understand that in connection with the somewhat relentless amount of touring they did over the course of the past decade or so, they released a couple of albums of new material.  Between the dates on which they released it and the date on which Glenn Frey died, the only "new" song of theirs I had ever heard was "Get Over It", which I like because of its "Kill all the lawyers" lyric.  

It was not until after Frey's death that I heard, for the first time, a song of his that appeared on the band's Long Road Out of Eden album.  "It's Your World Now" appeals to me for the same wholly inexplicable reasons that "Hotel California" does not.  It is a piece of music with which I wish I had become familiar much sooner than last month.  I did not.  But now, at least, I have.  That is the great thing about music.  Once it seeps into your pores, it is impossible to wash out.  It remains forever ingrained. 

That is the way it is meant to be...


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