I never saw The Ramones in concert. It kills me.

Last night my family attended an outdoor concert at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, CT. It's a summer tradition that we love. The band closed the show with The Ramones' Sedated.

I took the opportunity to grab Clara and teach her how to dance to punk music on the green grass under the dying light of the setting sun.

One of those moments I won't ever forget.  

I don't have many regrets in life, and those that I do have were mostly out of my control.

  • I failed to achieve Eagle Scout because of a near-fatal car accident at the time of my Eagle project made it impossible for me to complete the project despite all other requirements being complete.
  • I wasn't able to attend college immediately after high school, missing out on that quintessential college experience, because I was forced to move out after graduation and support myself.
  • I didn't continue to ride horses despite riding at a very early age because my parent's divorce resulted in the removal of the horses from our home and left me growing up on a horse farm absent of horses
  • I wasn't able to pole vault during my senior year because of the aforementioned car accident
  • I don't know my father very well and have spent little time with him since childhood, mostly because he disappeared from my life

Then there are a few regrets that are absolutely my fault.

Never seeing The Ramones in concert was one of them. 

It's inexcusable. It was simply the result of the stupid assumptions that there would always be a next time. The band would tour again. I'd catch them next year.

Then the band broke up in 1996, and by 2004, three of the four members of the band were dead. The last, Tommy Ramone, died in 2014. I can't believe that those boys are all gone.  

I will never see The Ramones in concert. It kills me.

As I held Clara's hands and jumped and smiled and laughed, I couldn't help but think, "What the hell was wrong with you? How did you never see these guys play? You're so stupid."

It's something I've said to myself many times.

When it comes to regret, The Ramones are my north star. They serve as my reminder of how fleeting opportunity can be. They are my admonition that I need to do things no matter how hard or inconvenient they may be before I can't do them anymore.

Last summer I came down with a bad case of pneumonia. I also had tickets to the Guns 'n Roses concert at Gillette Stadium. I went to the concert despite doctor's orders and the fact I couldn't walk 100 yards without running out of breath. 

Even though I had seen Guns 'n Roses before, what if this was the last time they ever toured? What if this was my last chance to hear Welcome to the Jungle and Paradise City performed by the actual band that made those songs iconic?

I didn't want to find myself dancing in the grass to Sweet Child 'O Mine in ten years, knowing that the band had broken up or died in a plane crash or gotten too old to play anymore, and I missed my chance to see them one more time. 

I sat for the entire concert. I sang along quietly and clapped like I was at a golf tournament. 

I'll never forget that night, either.

That's the goal, people. Pile up the moments that you will never forget, and before you know it, you'll have a lifetime of happiness and joy and hopefully very little regret. 

The Macarena is fine. It's these two songs that I despise.

I was asked by someone on Facebook if, as a wedding DJ,  I'm sick of the Macarena. 

Honestly, I'm not. I explained that even though I have led thousands of wedding guests in the Macarena over the years, I almost never get tired of a song that fills a dance floor with wedding guests.

When I'm not working as a DJ, I despise the Macarena, and I think that all of the songs that cause people to dance identically are stupid (including country line dancing). The purpose of dancing is not to establish military-like uniformity but to express yourself through rhythm and movement.

If you want to dance in perfect unison, audition for a musical at your local community theater. 

I like to imagine that if aliens were to land on the dance floor in the midst of a Macarena, they would determine that Earth has no intelligent life and leave immediately or vaporize us in fear that uniform dancing might spread to their planet. .  

Truthfully, however, the Macarena is almost never played anymore. If a bride and groom don't ask for it, we don't play it.

No, the songs that I despise as a DJ are the songs that clients request that never result in bodies on the dance floor. These are songs almost always requested by brides, and are often found on movie soundtracks.

The worst offenders are "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." 

"I Say a Little Prayer" took off after it was featured twice in My Best Friend's Wedding, and it's been requested ever since. It doesn't matter what version of this song is requested. It never works. It's a sing-along song without an adequate beat to inspire dancing.

At best, women stand on the dance floor and sing it to each other. 

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" is essentially the same song. It's a excellent sing-along, but it's stuck somewhere between a fast song and a slow song, leaving wedding guests uncertain about how to handle it.

Usually they just head to the bar.

Both of these songs are also likely to drive most men off the dance floor, which cuts the possible dancers in half. For a song like "I Will Survive," this is fine, because women will undoubtedly dance to this song, but the same can't be said for these two songs.

Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" is similar to these songs. It's somehow become a female power anthem that is hard to dance to and usually result in women half dancing, half talking on the dance floor, waiting for the next song to arrive.

"Gold Digger" is also a song that shouldn't be played at a wedding unless ironically, both because of the lyrics and because it's also hard to dance to. 

When it comes to being a wedding DJ, the songs you want to hear in real life are very different than the songs you play for wedding guests. But as long as the dance floor is full and people are happy, I'll play just about anything with pleasure. 

Rachel Platten has it all wrong when it comes to truth and faith, and I have no idea why.

Rachel Platten's  "Stand By You" is a lovely song that my kids enjoy quite a bit, but there's a pair of lyrics in the song that trouble me deeply and should trouble you, too:

Oh, truth, I guess truth is what you believe in
And faith, I think faith is helping to reason
 

 

Let's just be clear: 

Truth is not what you believe in. Truth is accuracy comprised of incontrovertible facts. Truth cannot be refuted by personal preference or belief, despite what the President may think.  

The idea that truth can be whatever the hell you want it to be is partly why we are in the mess we are today. The idea that truth is malleable depending upon need is a frightening concept. 

What the hell were you thinking, Rachel Platten? WHY DID YOU SING THESE LYRICS? And please don't tell me that she didn't write the song, because as soon as you agree to sing the words, you own them. She could've just as easily said, "Hey! Wait a minute! This definition of truth in my song is insane!"

Also, she is listed as one of the writers of the song. She really owns these words.  

And "faith is helping to reason?" I have no idea what the hell that even means, but it's certainly not the definition of faith. It's not even close. I don't even think this lyric makes rationale sense.

In fact, the correct definition of faith is bizarrely close to Platten's definition of truth. In fact, had she simply reversed the words in these two lyrics, the song would make a hell of a lot more sense:

Oh, faith, I guess faith is what you believe in
And truth, I think truth is helping to reason
 

I'm still not a fan of the second lyric, but it's better than before, and now the first lyric actually makes perfect sense. Maybe the song wasn't written incorrectly. Maybe she just sung it incorrectly. Perhaps she transposed the words while recording and no one noticed.

Either way, I routinely remind my children after listening to this song that the definitions of faith and truth in that song are not right. I suspect that they may be sick of hearing it by now, but I am sick of hearing these two stupid, inaccurate, illogical lyrics sung over and over and over again, especially when it would have been so damn easy to correct them.  

Things About Me #6

I can sing all of the words to the theme song for Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, a Saturday morning cartoon that ran from 1985-1991. 

The math on this is a little disconcerting, given that I was 14 years old in 1985. 

I can also sing the theme songs to the first two seasons of Star Blazers, an American animated television series adaptation of the Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato. When I was watching it in the early 1980's, it was an after school cartoon on the UHF stations.  

The fact that these two theme songs are also embedded in my mind is disconcerting. 

Springsteen on parents (and perhaps a path to my salvation)

We honor our parents by carrying their best forward and laying the rest down. By fighting and taming the demons that laid them low and now reside in us. It’s all we can do, if we’re lucky.
— Bruce Springsteen

I have walked for a long time in the shadow of parents whose decisions I could not understand. Decisions that still hurt me to this day.  

I have been unable to find the forgiveness required to put the past behind me and move forward. Perhaps I never will.

But these words have perhaps shown me a path to that forgiveness. A means by which I can step outside that shadow and find some light.  Whether I can ever take those steps is still uncertain, but for the first time in my life, I feel like I can see the way. 

Bruce Springsteen understands the cliff. Do you?

I'm listening to Bruce Springsteen's autobiography Born to Run. It's incredible. The man speaks truth with eloquence again and again. 

How can someone be this talented?

springsteen.jpg

One of the aspects of this book that speaks to me most is the way in which he understands the cliff. If you've never stood on the edge of the cliff, it's hard to describe or understand, but once you have stood there, it's difficult - perhaps impossible - to step away, even when all seems right in the world.

The cliff is the place where you have nothing. No money. No home. No future. No hope. The cliff is the end of the line. The place were unbelievable misfortune and unknowing misstep have taken you against your will.

The cliff is the place where you turn around and see nothing. No mother or father standing in support. No childhood home awaiting your return. No safety net waiting to catch you when you fall. There is a wasteland behind you and the cliff ahead you, and there you stand, alone on a sliver of substance in between. 

The cliff is the place where you wonder about your next meal. You worry about staying warm. It's the place where you learn to stay low and dodge the law and the lawless. It's where you wrap worry around you like a blanket because it's all you have. The cliff is the place where you endlessly debate how to spend the last $10 that you think you will ever have.  

The cliff is the place where you wonder why your life didn't turn out like everyone else's life. It is a place of shame and regret and fear and resignation.

But the cliff is also the place where you find strength. It's the place where every cell in your body universally and unequivocally points in one direction for the first time in your life. You become a being of one purpose. One singular goal. If you do not fall - do not plunge into the abyss as so many will - the cliff is also the place where you can rise up. It's the place where your mettle will be tested, and relentlessness and confidence are forged in the fires of solitude and survival.

Once you stand on the edge of the cliff, I don't believe you ever leave. You stand or you fall. If you stand, you remain in place, feet planted firmly on the edge of oblivion. Someday, you may turn around and discover that you are no longer alone. No longer lost. The wasteland once behind you you is now green and lush and full. But the cliff remains before you. A reminder of what could have been and still could be.

The cliff is both destroyer and salvation. Shame and pride. Fear and courage. The cliff was where I became me, and I believe it is where Bruce Springsteen became The Boss.  

Springsteen's second album was abandoned by his record company. Executives at Columbia Records did not believe in his sound, and so they did not support his music. In fact, the actively petitioned against it. Torpedoed it. Fought for its demise.

It could have been the end of Springsteen's musical career. He was standing on the cliff. He faced oblivion. No money. No career. No safety net. Little hope.

Here is what he writes about this moment.  

"The basic drift was these guys thought we were just going to go away. Return to our day jobs. Go back to school. Disappear into the swamps of Jersey. They didn't understand that they were dealing with men without homes, lives, any practicable skills or talents that could bring a reliable paycheck in the straight world. We had nowhere to go, and we loved music. This was going to be it. We had come to liberate you, confiscate you, and all the rest." 

This is the edge of cliff. Springsteen stood. He remained, and the world is better for it.

If you are standing on the cliff today, please know that you do not stand alone. Hope exists even when it is impossible to see or even imagine. I find myself on this Christmas morning in a warm home, alongside a loving wife and two happy children. I am the teacher and writer that I once dreamed of becoming but never thought I could be. I am more than I ever imagined I could be.   

But like you, I am still standing at the edge of the cliff. I will likely be here forever. But today my feet are planted firmly, and that once arid wasteland at my back is now green and lush and full.

It can be like this for you, too. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday. 

I am living in my someday. It's a someday I never thought would come. 

Stand firm and fight for your someday, an inch at a time if necessary.   

Be happy for the good fortune of others. It's a happier and more productive way to live.

One of the saddest and most inexplicable things that I see in this world is the inability to be happy for the good fortune of others.  

Sometimes it's a large bit of good fortune. A friend's early retirement. A sister-in-law's pregnancy. A colleague's promotion. A friend's wedding proposal. 

But more often, it's the small things that I fail to understand. 

  • You're trapped in an endless meeting that a colleague has managed to avoid through accident or subterfuge.  
  • A teacher or professor has failed to notice that a fellow classmate didn't turn in an assignment and has inadvertently given her credit for completing it.
  • A golf ball is launched into the trees but somehow ricochets out onto the fairway.
  • You are pulled over and ticketed for speeding by the police while the friend who you were following manages to drive by undetected. 
  • A coworker at the same level as you and being paid commensurately is not required to complete an assignment that you consider onerous.

In situations like these, the instinct is often to become angry at the injustice and unfairness of the world. I've actually seen people attempt to mitigate the good fortune of others in order to achieve greater equity.

But why not simply be happy for the person's good luck or clever maneuver or strategic bit of thinking? It's so much easier. Such a better and happier way to live. 

In the spirit of being happy for the good fortune and strategic thinking of others, I offer you this:

At a recent concert in Chicago, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong noticed a kid in the audience holding a sign saying “I can play every song on Dookie” and pulled him up on stage to prove it.  

I am so happy for this guy. I couldn't stop smiling as I watched.

    Quite possibly Bruce Springsteen's most brilliant and perfect observation ever

    Most people’s stage personas are created out of the flotsam and jetsam of their internal geography. They’re trying to create something that solves a series of very complex problems inside of them or in their history.
    — Bruce Springsteen

    Springsteen is an obvious musical genius. A brilliant writer and musician and performer. My favorite. 

    It also turns out that he also has the clearest of windows into my soul. 

    Kiss the Girl: The creepy, stalker, possible sexual assault version

    I realize that Sebastian of The Little Mermaid is racial insensitive at the very least, but I've always loved the song "Kiss the Girl."

    But in a nod to the fact that everything can be ruined if you want to ruin it bad enough comes "Kiss the Girl" in a minor key, which sounds like it's being sung by a stalker who is preparing to assault a young woman.  

    I think my daughter is becoming cool.

    Clara came downstairs yesterday morning, asked Alexa (the name assigned to the Amazon Echo) to play Francis England (her favorite musician, who she found independently on Spotify), and then just sat and listened.

    One of the best things about our Amazon Echo is the control it's given our kids over the music they love. It's not uncommon for either one of them to walk into the room and ask for music if none is playing. 

    But yesterday morning was especially great. Given television, iPads, or breakfast, Clara chose music.

    She might be bordering on becoming legitimately cool. 

    Four interesting facts about the song "Laid" that should not only be interesting to me (but probably are).

    1. "Laid" is one of my favorite songs, but I have yet to find another song by James that I like.

    2. "Laid" does not contain the word "laid" anywhere in its lyrics. This happens from time to time in the music industry. "Baba O'Riley" by The Who, "Danny's Song" by Loggins & Messina, and a whole bunch of Led Zeppelin songs come to mind, but still, it's not common. 

    3. Ever since I heard the song for the first time, I've wondered (and worried about) the song's protagonist. He's tried to escape an apparently unhealthy relationship with this woman, only to find her returning to his life again and again. Then he sings those last two unforgettable lines:

    You're driving me crazy
    When are you coming home?

     Haunting. Right?

    Does this mean he's trapped? Unable to escape her charms? Doomed to return to her again and again? Destined to never find happiness and real love? 

    Or does it mean that he's finally realized that she was meant for him? Has he finally found true love? Do they live happily ever after?

    Perhaps you haven't wondered about these final lines like I have. Perhaps you think I'm worrying too much about a fictional protagonist in a minor hit song from 1993. 

    You would be wrong. 

    4. Here's the craziest thing about the song: 

    The chorus is just the single word "pretty" stretched out over at least six bars of music and modulated vocally throughout those six or more bars. Except I would argue that the chorus isn't the word "pretty" but instead the second half of the word "pretty." It's really just the modulation of the second half of that word that makes up the chorus. Just half a work, and yet it's still catchy and easy to sing.

    Crazy. Right?

    Here are the lyrics in case you're unfamiliar (and if so, shame on you):

    "Laid"

    This bed is on fire with passionate love
    The neighbours complain about the noises above
    But she only comes when she's on top

    My therapist said not to see you no more
    She said you're like a disease without any cure
    She said I'm so obsessed that I'm becoming a bore, oh no

    Ah, you think you're so pretty...

    Caught your hand inside the till
    Slammed your fingers in the door
    Fought with kitchen knives and skewers
    Dressed me up in womens' clothes
    Messed around with gender roles
    Line my eyes and call me pretty

    Moved out of the house so you moved next door
    I locked you out, you cut a hole in the wall
    I found you sleeping next to me, I thought I was alone
    You're driving me crazy
    When are you coming home?

    "Third verse same as the first" is stupid and annoying

    I'm fond of Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance."

    That is, I'm fond of about two-thirds of the song. Then Womack repeats the first verse as the third verse, and my fondness is gone. This annoys the hell out of me, and though it's not done all that often, it's still done too much. 

    As a storyteller and writer, I would never think of covering the same ground twice. It's the least interesting way to fill a page or time on the stage. And with music, repetition is already embedded in most songs in the form of a chorus. Adding a second layer of repetition seems crazy to me, and yet musicians - great ones, too - do this for reasons I will never understand. 

    A few notable examples:

    • "Eight Days a Week" - The Beatles
    • "Little Lies" - Fleetwood Mac
    • "Never" - Heart
    • "Walk of Life" - Dire Straits
    • "Legs" - ZZ Top
    • A whole bunch of Savage Garden and Christopher Cross songs. 
    • "Prove My Love" by The Violent Femmes, who actually acknowledge the ridiculousness of repeating the first verse by singing "Third verse same as the first" in the song. 

    With the exception of The Violent Femmes, who seem to note the silliness of the repetition and therefore escape my wrath via irony and self awareness, I can't listen to any of these songs (some of which I like a lot) without thinking that they are deeply flawed in some way.

    Four lines. That's all that each of them needed. Just two more pairs of rhyming couplets. 

    Would it have been so hard to produce something original for the last verse?

    A peek into a typical day of our marriage

    Last night I told Elysha that I had a song stuck in my head. She asked me what the song was. I told her that she wouldn't know it. She assured me she would. 

    "Fine," I said. "It's I've Never Been To Me."

    "I know it," she said.

    Of course she knows it. The woman can't find west if she's driving into a setting sun with a compass on her lap and a flock of geese visibly flying south overhead, but she knows just about every song ever written. 

    She asked me how this song could possibly be stuck in my head. I explained that it was on a CD that I would throw in at weddings if the dinner was running long. Before my DJ partner and I could burn our own CDs. "I heard it today in the supermarket," I explained. "It's been trapped ever since." 

    I also told her that a quick Wikipedia dive revealed that the song had tanked in 1977, barely scraping the bottom of the Billboard chart, but it was re-released in 1982 after some insane DJ in Tampa began playing it and his listeners - also clearly insane - liked it.   

    "I can't believe you know the song," I said. "You even know the ridiculous spoken words in the middle?"

    "Yeah..." she said. "What were they?"

    "I'm not saying," I said. "I don't want the song any more stuck than it already is."

    "If you don't tell me, I'm going to play it." 

    "Don't."

    "I will," she said, smiling. 

    "Don't." 

    Then she did. She played it, And sang it as it played, To me. Smiling the whole time. Looking beautiful and joyous in a way that only she can. Speaking the words from that ridiculous spoken-word bridge (which is wisely absent from the Youtube version of the song) like she was speaking them to me. Cementing the song in my mind. 

    "I've been undressed by kings and seen some things that a woman ain't supposed to see," she sang.

    "Yeah?" I said. "What wasn't she supposed to see?"

    "Ugly penises." 

    I laughed. She's annoying and cruel, but she's funny, too. 

    More than 24 hours later and the song is still jammed in my head. She tried to tell me that research indicates that the best way to rid yourself of a song it to play it all the way through. Beginning to end. 

    Nonsense, of course. Or at least nonsense if the person you love is singing along. 

    Now she's sitting across from me again right now. Same song still playing in my head. It's so awful, and it's going to be with me for days. 

    I'm not saying a word to her. She can sit over there and think that my mind is empty of subtle whoring (yes, a line from the song) and Marlow in Monte Carlo and ugly penises.

    She can't be trusted. 

    Question: Which person alive today deserves immortality for the sake of future generations?

    I saw Springsteen on Wednesday night. After watching him perform for almost four hours, I felt so fortunate to have seen him sing and play almost a dozen times over the course of my lifetime.

    As I exited the stadium, I thought, "That man can never die. No one does it like him. No one will ever do it that way again. We need that man."

    It got me to thinking:

    If the Gods were kind and just, they would allow humankind to choose immortals. Human beings who we decide are so universally unique and beloved and needed that we can freeze them in time. Stop their aging process. Hold them as we have them now and forever more.

    And it's not like we need an infinite amount of immortals. Let's say that we get ten names. Ten immortals to keep with us forever.

    This is what I proposed to my friends as we left the stadium.

    Who would those ten people be?

    I added the stipulation that the person needs to be alive today. While someone like Abraham Lincoln might be deserving of immortality, once a person is dead, they cannot be brought back.

    Given these parameters, which ten people deserve immortality? Who would we choose to keep in place forever?

    Bruce Springsteen is on my list. 

    I have yet to find a second name worthy of inclusion.

    Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship and one unbelievably bizarre video.

    See if you can follow this.

    There once was a band called Jefferson Airplane. The band played together with its original members from 1967-1971, appearing at (among other places) Woodstock and scoring a number of hit songs. 

    Their 1967 record Surrealistic Pillow is regarded as one of the key recordings of the "Summer of Love." 

    The band consisted of Marty Balin, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen and Grace Slick. 

    The group broke up in 1972 (following Grace Slick's near-fatal car accident), and essentially split into the two bands.

    Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassady formed Hot Tuna, eventually adding former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Marty Balin as well.

    At this same time, Jefferson Airplane's singer-guitarist Paul Kantner recorded Blows Against the Empire. This was a science fiction concept album featuring an ad hoc group of musicians, including former Jefferson Airplane members Kantner, Grace Slick, Joey Covington, and Jack Casady, as well as Crosby & Nash and members of Grateful Dead and Santana. The LP is credited to "Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship", marking the first use of the Jefferson Starship name. The band would officially come together in 1974, producing hit songs of their own, including a number one album in '74. 

    Over the course of the next decade, Jefferson Starship played on, slowing losing and replacing members. 

    In June 1984, Paul Kantner, the last remaining founding member of Jefferson Airplane, left Jefferson Starship, and then took legal action over the Jefferson Starship name against his former bandmates. Kantner settled out of court and signed an agreement that neither party would use the names "Jefferson" or "Airplane" unless all members of Jefferson Airplane, Inc. (Bill Thompson, Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady) agreed. 

    The next album was finished with the five remaining members, consisting of Slick (the only original member of Jefferson Airplane , co-lead singer Mickey Thomas, guitarist Craig Chaquico, bassist/keyboardist Pete Sears, and drummer Donny Baldwin.

    They called themselves Starship. 

    This album, Knee Deep in the Hoopla, produced two number-one hits: Sara and We Built This City. It was the first time since 1974 that the band had a number-one hit record. The band went on to record two other number-one hit songs. 

    Grace Slick left Starship in 1988, joining the reformed Jefferson Airplane for one more album in 1989, before announcing that she was retiring from music.

    The last member of the original Jefferson Airplane had left the music industry.

    Despite the success of We Built This City, a 2011 a Rolling Stone magazine online readers poll named "We Built This City" as the worst song of the 1980s. The song's winning margin among was so large that the magazine reported it "could be the biggest blow-out victory in the history of the Rolling Stone Readers Poll."

    I like the song, perhaps for nostalgic reasons.

    I was led down this rabbit hole by this song, which I played as while Clara and Elysha were building a Lego set. I played the song off YouTube, which caused me to watch the video, which is unbelievable.

    It's terrible, of course. 

    The length of time of a single shots in this video is astounding. They camera remains on musicians forever, simply refusing to cut away, and the fading in of various people and objects is just weird. 

     But something happens in the video around the 1:30 mark that makes absolutely no sense and blows my mind every time I see it. 

    You won't believe it.

    Impressive vocabulary and outstanding musical taste

    Seven year-old Clara told three year-old Charlie, "I only have the capacity to listen to Brass Monkey once at a time, so stop singing it please."

    Yes, she used the word "capacity."

    And yes, Charlie was singing The Beastie Boys' Brass Monkey. Credit my wife for my children's outstanding taste in music. 

    Charlie's response: "You're a funky monkey, Clara."

    My kids are killing it today. 

    Richard Marx is trapped in my head, and I didn't even know it.

    My wife decided that the theme of our next Speak Up show at Infinity Music Hall in Hartford would be "Should've Known Better."

    We decided this in the car on the way to New York. As she spoke the words aloud, I said, "Isn't there a song called Should've Known Better? 

    And there is. It's a Richard Marx song from 1987 - almost 30 years ago.

    The song never hit #1 on any billboard chart.
    I've never owned a Richard Marx album.
    I don't have a song by Richard Marx in my iTunes library.
    I was never a Richard Marx fan. 
    The song probably hasn't been played on a radio station since 1990.

    And yet when Elysha played the song, I knew every single word. 

    That song - one I don't partuicularly like by a musician I never particularly enjoyed - has been living in my head for almost three decades, just waiting to come out. 

    Even Elysha - a woman who has more music in her head than anyone I have ever known - didn't know the lyrics to this song.

    I knew every single word. 

    I can't help but wonder what else is living inside my head, waiting for the moment to raise its ugly head. What other song or memory or bit of trivia is still lying dormant, as pristine as the day it was encoded into my biological hard drive, waiting for someone to ask the right question and bring it forth?

    The brain is a strange thing. Capable of forgetting something you were told five seconds ago yet also able to retain enormous chunks of information over decades without any effort to maintain the integrity of the data. 

    Oh, and I took a look at Richard Marx's other hit songs., I know at least six others by heart. 

    Perhaps the man is simply a virus. 

    Hire this guy. And please don't do anything like this to my Wikipedia page.

    My favorite story of the week, including a man who you should hire immediately. 

    At a recent concert in Melbourne, Australia, one fan managed to sneak backstage by convincing a security guard he was related to one half of the duo Peking Duk. How? By editing the band’s Wikipedia page on his phone. He simply showed his ID and the Wikipedia entry to the guard, who waved him through and told him to wait.

    “I stood out there for five minutes and I started to think this isn’t going to work,” the clever fan, David Spargo, told The Guardian. But then band member Reuben Styles popped out and invited Spargo into the green room.

    Styles and his bandmate, Adam Hyde, were so impressed by the stunt that they weren’t creeped out or concerned by the security breach.

    “It was probably the most genius, mastermind move that I’ve ever witnessed,” Hyde said. “We ended up having a bunch of beers with him and he was an absolute legend. He wasn’t a creep or anything. He was like the most normal dude we’ve ever met. That’s what makes it more hilarious.”
    — http://time.com/4136607/peking-duk-fan-wikipedia-backstage/

    The question:

    What can you do with my Wikipedia page to take advantage of me?

    Also, please don't.

    Peking Duk

    5 questions about the third line of James Taylor “Fire and Rain,” which will likely plague me until the end of days.

    The first lines from James Taylor’s song Fire and Rain confuse me.

    Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
    Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.
    I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
    I just can't remember who to send it to.

    Put aside the first two lines, which are confusing in their own right, and the fourth line, which is also slightly baffling. I’m interested in the third line, where Taylor says that he wrote the song ‘this morning.” It raises a number of interesting questions.

    This may get a little complicated. See if you can follow:

    1. Did Taylor actually write that line on the day that he wrote the song? Did he really walk out on the morning in question and write this song?

    image

    2. If he wrote it on the morning in question, did he then insert the line, which is the third in the song, into the song after writing the rest of the song? Or did he write the third line as the third line, indicating in the past tense that he had written a song this morning even though he was only three lines into the song at that point?

    3. Is the line unauthentic? Did Taylor actually write this song at some other time rather than on the specific morning mentioned in the song? Is the mention of writing the song just part of the fantasy of the song, written only for the purposes of the narrative?

    4. If the third line is inauthentic, why say it at all? Does this falsified timeline within the song really add anything to the song?

    Here’s the most confusing of the questions:

    5. If the line isn’t meant to be authentic, are we to then believe that James Taylor is singing these words, or is the songwriter referenced in the song someone other than James Taylor? Is Taylor writing and singing about a different singer-songwriter who has supposedly written the song, and if so, while performing the song, are we supposed to understand that Taylor is merely playing the role of that singer-songwriter, even though he also a singer-songwriter?

    Did you follow?

    More importantly, are you as disturbed about these questions as me?