A meeting forty years in the making

Perhaps you’re asking what did it take to break me out of a six-month blogging/social media slump? It wasn’t our continuing adventures in home improvement (Which include the good news of my still having 10 fingers following my first use of a miter saw). It’s not stories from the new gig (And there’s a lot to say, but now more than ever I gotta stand by my ‘No Work Rant’ editorial policy). It’s not that quadrennial exercise in democracy called an election (I’m itching to dive into this one, but my editorial policy also prohibits me from adding to the terabytes of opinions transiting the inter webs).

Well, you may be asking by now, what is it that’s inspired me to log back onto the blogosphere? How about a meeting that was 40 years in the making! Yes, I finally met one of my all-time favorite artists. I was face-to-face with John Oates when his book tour rolled into Philadelphia.

Not exactly shooting my best side, but in this we’ll make an exception!

What stood out most about meeting John (Exploiting the first-name basis like we’re old friends) wasn’t the memories of too many concerts to remember or those occasional times (Well, actually, often) when I pretend my car is the old Philly Spectrum or the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, and I throw my H&O playlist on shuffle and add my unique vocal stylings to the duo’s songbook.

What stood out most was how good John looked for a 68-year old dude. Bright eyed, tanned, with a sprinkle of grey (How I hope to look when I’m that old – well minus the tanned part).

What also stood out – even if just for the moment in time I was in the same space – was how many events in my life – good, bad and all in between – were accompanied with one song or another from the Hall and Oates catalog.

She’s Gone was the soundtrack for more than a couple of breakups along the way (As was a deep, album cut Ain’t Gonna Take it This  Time). Kiss on My List played on Lucky 99 FM in Atlantic City, blaring out of the speakers of our old Plymouth Duster in the summer of ‘81 shortly after I got my driver’s license. Maneater was a hit back in late 82, when I was trying to figure out where I fit in as a college freshman. When I think of those days after my father’s death in 89, I think about the entire Change of Seasons album that was released shortly thereafter.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Meeting John Oates was more than simply getting a book signed. It felt like seeing an old friend – a friend who’s been around, hanging out on the periphery of my life for the past 40 years.

Oh, and by the way, the book is a pretty darn good read!


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