Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Story Of A Life

Today marks one month since The Master Baiter and I set off on a road trip unlike any we've ever taken.

Other than quoting a lyric early on, I've avoided posting any Harry Chapin content up to now.

When Al first entered cancer treatment I gave him a special gift, a compilation of Harry Chapin's music entitled Story Of A Life which included a booklet that is, indeed, the story of Harry's life and music.

Al had a number of Harry Chapin albums, but for some reason he never replaced them with CDs. There was something he liked about dropping a needle on those records.

My intent wasn't to replace the albums with CDs, but more that I thought having the music on CD, and a player with a remote control, would make it easier for him to enjoy music I knew warmed his heart.

Al and I both admired Harry Chapin, both for his music and his humanitarianism, and we had the good fortune to see him play live three times in the late 70s, at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Maryland and at the Front Row Theater in Cleveland, Ohio.

We were planning to see him at the Stanley Theater again in 1981, but we didn't make it to the show because I was late getting back to town. Harry only played three dates after that and he died less than two months later.

I never got the feeling that Al held it against me that we didn't make it to the show, but, at the same time, I knew he didn't go by himself because we planned to go together.

Earlier today I played Story Of A Life for the first time on this trip. It's the only one of Al's CDs, that he carried in the rig, which I've played.

Up to now I haven't been able to listen to it, because the first time I opened the CD player, before we set off, one of the CDs from that compilation is what he had loaded. That last music he listened to? I don't know.


crys said...

As I have followed this story,watch this part of your life unfold, I have been both saddened by your task,and enthralled by your recollections.
I have also enjoyed the musical journey you have taken us on.
Funny, our lives run in different circles and even wavelengths, and our lives would never cross paths... yet being as this is a small world, music actually connects so much of us together.
I wonder yet how many others, who would never be in my world or yours, would never-the-less be connected through the music you've shared here.

Jennifer/Connect with your Teens said...

I've always been a big Harry Chapin fan. He gave a concert at my high school when I was a senior because I lived on Long Island where he was from and the proceeds were for charity. His songs will always remind me of my teens and I'll never forget him.