More Than A Feeling of Loss
Spring is here and I’ve been reflecting on my own life and the lives of those in the music industry. Spring is a time of new beginnings. However, sometimes things do have to end.
A couple of weeks ago, I had reason to take a moment to face my own immortality. Instead of the crisp clear tones of the digital downloads on my MP3 player, my writing studio was filled with the static of a diamond needle on an overplayed album – Boston’s “More Than A Feeling”.
Boston’s lead singer, Brad Delp, 55, committed suicide in the bathroom of his New Hampshire home on Friday, March 9, 2007.
I don’t wish to replay his death for you in this article or give you facts from news stories and press releases, those things you can find on the web yourself. What I want to do is take a few moments and tell you what Delp and his band meant to me, the important part their music played in my life and perhaps your own.
I was almost a freshman in high school when Boston’s first album was released in August 1976. That September my high school started what it called a “Distribution Education” program. This program was developed to teach students how to work and run a retail store. The store opened in the commons area of the school and the front windows were stocked with our school logo items, notebooks, pens, and albums. There it was, the album with a blackish background and amazing iridescent colored spaceships flying on the cover. I forget how much I paid, but I know that I used babysitting money and lunch money quarters combined so that this treasure could be mine. I listened to it over and over again standing in front of my mirror (yes, I was in high school) with a hair brush as a microphone singing along with the band. It was the beginning of my love affair with pop and pop rock music.
I do not know why Brad Delp ended his own life. I have only read speculation. I do know the band was touring again this summer. I was excited and anxious to see if Columbus, Ohio would have a date. The tour has now been cancelled.
I’ve discussed this topic with several of my friends and asked for their memories.
My husband, Jeff who is 48, told me that he remembered attending a party for a friend who was getting ready to go into the Army. It was a goodbye party of sorts and his friend loved Boston. Jeff said he remembered they played “More Than a Feeling” over and over again at the party that night. The song always brings Jeff’s friend to mind.
Another of my friends, Marti who is 32, remembers listening to Boston’s first pop hit while she was having a fight with a friend. The lyrics made them both cry and they ended up patching things between them.
Gerry, age 45, told me that her boyfriend at the time, who is now her husband of 24 years, was traveling across country to start a summer job. She bought him a tape of “More Than A Feeling” so that he could stay awake. He later told her that he played it non-stop during the entire trip.
It’s sad when musical artists from our high school days die. For me, it’s almost as if a part of me dies, too. But, that’s not the case; I will always have that well-worn album and musical memories.
I think that I might give my old stereo a rest and download a Boston song or two in memory of Brad Delp.
A Birthday Present from the “Sir”
The last week of March will see another new beginning. Remember last week when I told you that the RIAA awarded status to ringtones for the first time last June? Another well known pop icon will soon be joining the artists whose songs can be heard on cell phones around the world.
Sir Elton John will be turning 60 on Sunday and as part of his personal gift to his fans, London’s Associated Press reports that John will be releasing some of his songs for ringtones.
In addition, the gift just gets bigger. I’m so excited to tell you that he will also be releasing albums from his back catalog for download. Please let one of them be “Leather Jackets”, I love that album!
The first downloads will hit iTunes on March 26 and then other download services will get songs for their libraries in the next several months.
I love Sir Elton John and picked up on his catalog around the time “Honky Chateau” was released. Be on the lookout for a new album called “Rocketman” which is expected to be a compilation CD.
Happy Birthday, Sir Elton John!
Have a great weekend and I will talk to you next week. Please feel free to comment on anything you read here in the forum or you can send me a message directly.