Thursday, 5 November 2009

Legend in the Dining Room.

I'm a bit of a John Denver fan on the quiet. I get it from my dad who played Country/Easy Listening as I grew up. We attended many of his concerts whenever he was in the U.K. and I even managed to see him when I was working on a summer camp in Maine over in the U.S. A girl I had become friends with, (I forget her name,) borrowed someones pick-up truck and we drove out to Orchard Park for an open air event. I was amazed by how relaxed the audience were sitting on their picnic rugs scoffing sandwiches while he stood on stage doing his thing and couldn't resist blagging my way to the front under the pretence of having travelled there especially for his show.

We had a blast, well as much as you can to his kind of music.

One of dad's favourite songs (and mine too) is 'The Wings That Fly Us Home,' which comes from the album, 'Spirit'. He wants us to play it at his funeral and is only sorry that he won't be able to fully embrace the experience himself except from some far away place wherever that may be. Dad thinks he is John Denver whenever he picks up a guitar to have a strum or a singalong which he doesn't do so often these days because his fingers have become gnarled with age and arthritis.

I loved it when he played. He became someone else for a little while as he escaped into that other world of dreams that didn't involve face masks to protect against inhaling sawdust from the machines he worked on all day turning out kitchens we could never afford to buy. I'd watch his fingers picking the chords, his eyes closed,on stage somewhere with John by his side rather than on the turn-table in the dining room, until one of my sisters' begged him to turn it down. He even got together with a few others to form a group and went around the old folk's home at Christmas time. (I may have been persuaded to take the mic' myself on one or two occasions but that's another story.)

I received a parcel today from America which I have been waiting for. Inside was 'Spirit' on CD because like dad, I only had a vinyl copy which has long since been gathering dust in the loft. The memories came flooding back the minute I put it on to play. My children stood amazed as I embraced the moment and howled along with John at the top of my voice in my own dining room this time, lost in another world altogether until they begged me to turn it down.

Johnny-boy died in'97, the same year as Diana. My dad misses being in concert with him and I miss being in concert with my dad. Anyway, here he is, follow the link below, close your eyes, relax and enjoy.


  1. Thank you for the introduction. Music is wonderful for transporting us isn't it.. ah those memories.)

    Have a great day, lovely.)

  2. Some of your best writing yet. Quite engaging. Give us more. Cull those deep trenches and render it for us.

  3. Hello Sarah, thanks for the lovely comments. Might surprise you one of these days with a phone call:)

    Oh Brad, how I do miss you. How are things? Whenever I hear or read the word, 'render' I always think of you. It is a Brad word.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Takes me awile, still DREAMING

    Dad xxxxxxxxxx

  5. Nice...reminds me of when we left Roswell NM and we were stationed in Ethiopia. The "reel to reel" tapes of Denver came with us, along with the Glen Campbell reels. In second grade, I think those were the first two artist's I listened to.

  6. Patrick,
    Good to see you again and Glenn Campbell is another artist I have inherited from the old man.
    I looked for somewhere to leave a comment on your blog but couldn't find anywhere and I'm not into the whole Face-book scene I'm afraid. Nevertheless, pop over anytime, you are amongst friends here.

  7. Thanks. Yeah, Got one of them there stalker types that likes to leave junk comments and try to get credit card info, so I shut them down and put up e-mail link on profile page so nobody gets scammed clicking on a comment to check out another blog. Be seeing you....

  8. Hi Tracey, writing to you from Rome on a borrowed computer. Back home later next week. I am also a John Denver fan, and my best friend, a musician and music producer, produced Denver's last album at his studio near San Diego. It was a hoot. I also used to play and sing his playable and singable songs, until, like your Dad, arthritis made it too uncomfortable ... same reason I had to stop rock climbing. Be a good girl in my absence, see you soon. Don

  9. I am always a good girl Don.
    Throw a penny in the Trevi for me please, I wish I was there and hope to get back again soon.

    Who'd have thunk it, you a John Denver fan too. We have more in common than we think. I can just imagine you and my dad having a blast with the old guitar. Come back soon Don, we miss you.

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