Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Friday, December 03, 2004

I Ain't No Fortunate-Aaaaaa

I wish I could have blogged yesterday, but I was too busy, but here I am now. Two nights ago, my wife and I headed into the city to see John Fogerty in concert. What an absolutely fantastic night. I know, I know, people will say that it's fogey dinosaur rock, music from the past, blah blah, but John Fogerty in his heyday with Creedence Clearwater Revival wrote more hit songs in the time the band was active than anyone else. The man's ability to capture an essence, a feeling, or a story in two to three minutes with a great voice, a great band, and a great tune was and is amazing. A Stephen Foster for the Woodstock Generation. Springsteen raves at the man's storytelling abilities, so there. My wife and I have always been huge Creedence fans and had seen Fogerty seven years ago in an amazing performance in Fresno just before we were married. Wednesday's show was a killer; Fogerty's guitar playing was blistering, and not for his abilities but for anyone playing in the rock and roll genre. The 'less is more' approach in soloing and song structure readily showed how music doesn't need to be complex to be brilliant. The anti-war theme running through the setlist was easily sensed; his "Rain" songs, with rain as an anti-war metaphor; his new single "Deja Vu All Over Again", which he played in October at the Vote For Change Tour with the E Street Band backing him; the poignant "Wrote A Song For Everyone", and the earthquaking fist-shaker, "Fortunate Son". That has always been one of, if not the greatest anti-war protest pieces of twentieth century popular music and on Wednesday it rang truer than ever since 1973. I found myself pumping my fist in the air and singing the words more in a fit of righteous indignation than I did rock and roll passion. Ain't no Senator's son, no millionaire's son, no military son. Right now we're seeing them helping themselves and doing so without remorse or second thought. In a way it's sad that a fifty-nine year old man's four-decade old music is the most relevant, piercing, damning movement music in contemporary culture. While understanding and relating to the anti-war theme, however, I was blown away at the intensity and magic of John Fogerty's timeless songs. His voice was in phenomenal shape, the band was hot, and the evening was another night of magic that I'll never forget.

My son turned three months old today. I can't believe how so much has changed. When I was bottle-feeding him tonight, he grabbed my hand for the first time. I started crying. My little Willie dazzles me every day with his new discoveries and accomplishments, and to see a young child develop so quickly is a blessing that I'll never relive unless I have more children. What an incredible experience to understand that because of him, I won't die; I will live through him and so will my wife and so will my family members before me. That little William will grow to have a family of his own; that the future truly consists of nothing but the past are lessons that I learn daily through my son. Thanks, Will.