In my mind’s eye, I’m walking that two-block long stretch of 31st Street in blistering, shimmering, soul-annihilating heat. And instantly, the song that comes to my mind is Santana’s Eternal Caravan of Reincarnation. Never have I heard a number that so vividly conveys sheer atmospheric heat.
Posts Tagged ‘1972’
To the audiences thronging recent New York productions of The Common Pursuit and Clybourne Park, any effort by the playwrights to make a “just distribution of good and evil” would surely have seemed both unpalatable and dishonest. And the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man [sic] shows the dangers of labeling choices and characters too confidently.
The way I became familiar with the piece is a sort of a shaggy dog story of lonely young people leveraging what social assets they had, and making do with what was available.
Perhaps a lot of us sing loudly of feelings that are not quite our own, assert kinships and allegiances we do not exactly feel, try to feel familiar and comfortable in places where we are not thoroughly welcomed.
And there is much melody in this ditty, especially as contributed by a deceptively simple ukelele. Hearing that plangent instrument obsessing over a C# minor 7th chord with McCartney’s sweet falsetto crooning the leading tone at the top and then swooping down through the chord to the tonic, lifts you into a sublime, solitary, and calm place.
I knew from having my ear well trained over the preceding decade what a good song sounded like. I knew what the proper approach to literature looked like. I knew that mysticism didn’t sell ice cream. And now I was in a world where no one who ran the show cared what I knew; they thought they knew better and were going to do it their way.
Lennon’s voice comes across as exhausted by sadness. And it speaks to me because that’s how I feel after this close encounter. I could have been a war casualty; I’m not, thank God. But I tell myself I must never forget what it felt like nearly to have been one. And I never do.