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I never thought it would come to this, but I think listening to too much soft rock music in my lifetime has begun to hurt my writing career.
First, I innocently mentioned a song by Dan Fogelberg in my Dec. 20 column. A couple of days after I wrote it, but before the paper came out, I learned Fogelberg, singer-songwriter of “Same Old Lang Syne” and “Leader of the Band” from the 1970s and early 1980s, had died of prostate cancer. My timing has never been worse.
Sorry, Dan. Rest in peace.
Then, last week, my story about Lola Jackson in our annual “10 Most Interesting People” issue mentioned her uniquely painted car, a 1972 Maverick painted like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
But instead of calling the painting by its actual name, I wrote the car was painted in the style of “Starry, Starry Night,” which is actually the name of a light rock ballad about Van Gogh by “American Pie” singer Don McLean.
Since Ms. Jackson is an artist and an art teacher, I’m sure she noticed the faux pas, as did other fans of Van Gogh’s most famous work. I love Van Gogh, and I didn’t notice it until after the edition was out on the stands.
Please accept my apologies, Lola and Vincent.
I’m sure it’s obvious to most readers that I’ve never been much of a heavy metal head banger. While I like all different kinds of music, especially country, blues, Southern rock and standards, I will always have a particular fondness for semi-cheesy, acoustic guitar-accompanied love songs played on quality radio stations throughout America—stations with nicknames like “Lite 98” and “106-point- ’70s.”
But I know I’m not the only one.
I’m sure there are probably more fans of Leo Sayer, Jim Croce and Seals and Crofts around, and we should be proud to admit it.
After all, people certainly notice when we break into song after certain words are mentioned. For instance, if we’re having a conversation and you happen to mention a Chevy Van, a pina colada or someone named “Brandy,” I’m probably going to stop listening to what you’re saying and start either singing in my head or, unfortunately for you, aloud.
And now it’s starting to affect my work.
At least I always know where I can go to calm down if I get too stressed out:
At the end of my rainbow lies a golden oldie.