(And before we go any further, I need all you 1980s music mavens to hold tight! Stand fast!! Cool your jets!!! YOUR FAVORITE CEASE AND DESIST-ORIENTED PLATITUDE GOES HERE _________!!!!)
It’s true that I stole today’s title tag from the lyric of a long-ago hit from The Alan Parson’s Project, “Don’t Answer Me.” And I promise that we’ll have plenty of chances to head all the way back to 1984 – and beyond – before we’re done here.
But for today, let’s focus on what the above might mean for us, purely in terms of our countdown.
WARNING: Off the starboard bow, SUBJECTIVE QUESTIONS COMING AT YOU…What’s magic to you? Is it a person? Or is it more about the way another person can make you feel? Is it music, maybe? Remembrances of old friends and lost loves?
While you’re chewing on that for a bit, let’s say for argument’s sake, that the power of magic is whatever you want it to be. (You don’t need me to tell you that it’s different for every person; and wouldn’t it be kind of a bummer anyway, if we all had the same mountaintops and Eden(s)?)
If we can stick with the notion of magic and those who bring it to us, I promise you we’ll start heading back in the right direction.
(Hope you guys will afford me a mulligan here for employing some – how ’bout we call them fractured Fabian tactics?! Just trying to sprinkle a little hopeful magic dust on one of life’s significant – and certainly sad – ironies. And I want to make sure that we celebrate vs. lament the people who are the focal point of today’s magic number.)
So, 27, we hardly knew ‘ya. Or more to the point, we knew you well, but we lost you – and all too soon.
I imagine that demography may play a role here, but I’ll take on faith that most of you know something about the mystery of the number 27.
Take a minute, and think about all those members of what we’ll call
“The 27 Club.” (And I promise you that’s not meant to be a half-hearted attempt at gallows humor. Every time I’m reminded of the members of that exclusively tragic throng, I always find myself wishing that I could turn back the clock. I mean every single time.)
As I mentioned above, most of you know these names. And even with all of the expectation and fanfare – even hero worship – that surrounded each of them, it’s a long time that we have been deprived of their company.
So, let’s remember why we’re here. And let’s celebrate each of them.
This is for you and for all the magic you gave us:
- Robert Johnson (1911-1938)
- Brian Jones (1942-1969)
- Alan Wilson (1943-1970)
- Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
- Janis Joplin (1943-1970)
- Jim Morrison (1943-1971)
- Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (1945-1973)
- Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
- Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)
- Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)
And for all the magic that each of us has yet to find.
Have a great night, gang.
See you again tomorrow.
P.S. Sadly, the above list is not fully complete. If you would like to read more about the mysterious 27 Club and some of its additional members, there is a well-written article on RollingStone.com
(from December 9, 2019).