Last Friday evening, I decided to buy last minute concert tickets to an artist whom I have wanted to see for quite some time . . . Paul Simon. I have so many memories, dating back to childhood, regarding Paul Simon. After all, I first learned what a “whore” was from signing along to my mother playing “The Boxer” on her guitar. So on Friday night, I piled into the Key Arena with the crowd of graying Baby Boomers, to sing along to such hits as, “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.” What was so particularly great about the Paul Simon concert is that practically every song had some memory or person associated with it. “Me and Julio” for example – that just reminds me of my sister, Melissa. Just a few highlights –
“You Can Call Me Al” – Of course this song reminds me of Chevy Chase, who was funny, back in the day. But what this song also reminds me of is singing along with my sisters to this song, in our Wood Paneled Buick station wagon, while being shuttled between school, swim practice, and dance lessons by my mom. We would change the words to “You can call me Alf.” We really liked that show back in the 80s.
“The Only Living Boy in New York” – This song reminds me of being in New York, sitting in the Jet Blue Terminal in JFK Airport and waiting to take off for trips to Seattle. I just remember sitting in the airport, every time, so tortured about whether I should stay in New York or move to Seattle.
“The Boxer” – see above. I loved those nights as a kid singing with my mom’s guitar.
“The Boy in the Bubble” – This song is responsible for my yahoo email address – thegirlinthebubble. I just thought it was particularly appropriate when I was living in Provo, UT, and I kept imaging my life in some more exciting destination somewhere else.
“Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” – the beginning of this song just reminds me of being in Africa.
“Father and Daughter” – I love this song so much. It always makes me cry because it makes me feel good that after all of the years of turmoil with my dad, we have such a good relationship now. I always think that if I ever get married, I would like to dance with my dad to this song at my wedding reception.
“Graceland” – Summer 2003 – the worst summer of my life. I had just finished law school, was living at home with my parents, and I was impossible to get along with. I was in the worst depressive funk that I ever experienced in my entire life, based on my ridiculous break-up that consumed my life, and the only thing that I had to do was study for the New York Bar Exam. After I finished the Bar Exam, before I moved to New York, I took myself on a road trip over through New Orleans, and up the Mississippi Delta, with Graceland in mind, and in my CD player. It was the perfect trip and rehabilitated what had otherwise been a disastrous summer. “I may be obliged to defend every love and every ending, or maybe there’s no obligations now.” With that, everything in the past was done. I was moving on.
I also have to say this about Paul Simon – he is 65 years old and played a monster show including three encores. That is much better than these 20 something rockers today. All in all, an evening well spent.
This activity as well as the slate of my upcoming activities makes me feel quite aged. I am going to a taping of “A Prairie Home Companion,” and to hear Al Gore speak, later in October. I feel so middle aged.
Or maybe not . . . I am going to Disney World this weekend!
So maybe it is just my own age group that I cannot relate to.