April 19th (2020)
Its my wife’s birthday today so I’ve given a couple updates to my post from two years ago. I’m going to write about some of the music through the years and add a few of her favorite songs that I hope others will enjoy as well. Before you decide to stop here, although I’m being self indulgent (and a bit personal), there’s some great songs to follow! I mentioned in ‘Classic Rock‘ the Led Zeppelin song “Fool in the Rain” being her favorite and the fact that she is not a huge music fan but supports my obsession. Having been dragged to more than one show that gets the “that was nice” response she has however seen live concerts of artists she likes such as; Elton John, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, and Jann Arden. She really enjoyed productions like, Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera.
Traveling back in time a bit (like I’ve never done that in my blog!), in high school most of us are exposed to a lot of music from friends, radio, music class and of course the Friday night school dances (do they still have those?). In the summer of 1975 we (that were around then) all heard “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” written by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. This autobiographical song was about John’s attempted suicide, his engagement to Linda Woodrow and the support he received from Long John Baldry (Sugar Bear). When you listen to the song, even without knowing the background you can tell it is deeply personal. The song reached #4 (Billboard), #1 on Cashbox in the US, #2 in Canada and #22 in the UK. Covered 16 times, half of them being instrumentals. Mumford & Sons (2018) from the Bernie Taupin/Elton John tribute album ‘Revamp‘.
1980 was during her time at University and in my opinion not a stellar year for the top playing songs on the Pop Charts. Released in 1979 on ‘In Through the Out Door’ (same album as the above mentioned Zeppelin song) was “All of My Love” Written by John Paul Jones and Robert Plant, in 1980 it was still getting a lot of FM radio airplay and spun on many a turntable. I’m sure ‘someone’ was also visiting a disco spinning round to “Funky Town” by Lipps Inc.
Working at Eatons in 1984 we would be listening to songs like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper written and first recorded (as a demo only) by Robert Hazard, and “The Longest Time” written and performed by Billy Joel. By 1987 we are married and living in the Toronto area (GTA) and Bon Jovi was
“Livin’ on a Prayer” a pretty cool cover from Alex Goot in 2013.
1989 saw the birth of our first daughter and musically it was the year of the group that never was, that being ‘Milli Vanilli’. Short story; two American guys living in Europe, one in his mid-40’s (Brad Howell) the other mid 30’s (John Davis) have great voices. A producer and the group founder Frank Farian decides to have two younger good looking guys lip sync the songs. Fab Morvan a French singer/model and a German born singer/model Rob Pilatus won a Grammy for ‘Best New Artist’ for fake singing songs like “Girl You Know it’s True“. They get found out, the Grammy is returned, people burn their CD’s, albums and cassette tapes, end of story. The songs however stay on the Jazzercise mixtape.
In February of 1994 we have daughter number two arrive and we’ve been living back in London for four years. Daughter number one is an instant little mother to the newly crowned princess. Earlier that month both of our fathers passed within the same week, while she is 9 months pregnant. In the coming months she looks after just about everything while I focus on working and my main method of keeping the family happy-cooking! Musically Sweden’s ‘Ace of Base’ take over the charts with songs like the #1 Year end hit “The Sign“. Elton John sings “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from ‘The Lion King’ joining the growing phalanx of Disney videos stored in the home entertainment unit. Since given away by the mother of a now traumatized daughter #1, as the princess remains indifferent to such trivialities.
The year 2008 was one of great challenge, my wife had a serious health episode in the spring, only to be met with me hospitalized later that year with a very rare illness. How she managed to keep it all together is still a mystery to me. Daughter number one moves back home to help out :). Neither us of likely have much of a memory of music from that time, though in the subsequent years “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay would resurface to distraction on daughter number two’s competitive dance circuit.
Now in 2022 we’re blessed with our first grandchild, who was born in Chicago from our amazing daughter #1 and her husband. We still have her Mom (a Great Grammy now) and amazing daughter #2 and her boyfriend all living in London. I still wonder how and why I got so lucky as to find such a strong, intelligent and beautiful woman to put up with me all these long years. No longer working from home, she is back in the office and as always hard at it. I’m trying to hold up my end while squeezing in some blog time as well! Some music from our past still gets some airplay around here such as Bowie’s “Suffragette City” or the very appropriate for the occasion, Rod Stewart’s remake of Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately”
…Happy Birthday. Fortunate are we 🙏
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