Belated Birthday Wishes
My nephew turned 30 the other day.
I'm a terrible about sending birthday cards, everyone in my family knows this. What I lack in the cards sent department, I try to make up for in other areas.
I'm an exceptional hugger, ask anyone. I'm a good listener, and I'm capable of offering solid advice. I'm reasonably dependable.
In Jared's case, I like to think I played a small part in his musical development.
I don't know who got him hooked on Don Henley and Billy Joel when he was a kid, but he came to love Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg, and Robyn Hitchcock. We met for coffee a couple of weeks ago and he was talking about the new Graham Parker album.
We are both fans of Joe Strummer.
In October 2001, Strummer and The Mescaleros played a great show in Phoenix. I was there, Jared was there. From what I remember, Jared was sequestered upstairs, away from the alcohol. He was underage at the time.
The band played a little bit of everything. I never thought I'd hear Joe Strummer sing "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" live, but it happened just a few feet in front of me.
I bought this picture disc from the old Rhino Records on Westwood Blvd. in the late 80's. I know I paid a quarter for it because the price tag is still on it. Why didn't I buy more of them? Maybe it was the last one in the bin.
There was an in-store event at a local record store on the night of the show. I was working late, but I gave the single to a co-worker. The story Phillip told me was that Strummer got a real kick out of signing the single, showing off his old picture to his current bandmates.
Joe Strummer died unexpectedly the following December. Congenital heart defect.
Jared just started reading his poetry in front of audiences. I think he has quite a few good years left in him.