passing through b/w a cab rolls through philadelphia…George Harrison

passing through b/w a cab rolls through philadelphia the road... it's a blur and the sound of tires on the highway but life goes on beyond the suspended time and dates of the tour and so i am in philadelphia, where lee ann womack kicked off her christmas tour with no less than the duke ellington riding shotgun it is morning, too early not yet light but i am concerned about security and making sure i make my flight not even certain when i stepped out of my hotel i'd find a cab because there was just no traffic fate smiled a car pulled up... and i visited with a philly native who'd turned his life over to maharj ji the same indian guru that jimmy dale gilmore follows when he found out i was in "the music business," he turned around "i have some sad news...." he began, tentatively "george harrison died in the middle of the night." now i believe the world is divided into two camps beatles people and stones people and in the interest of fair play and full disclosure i'm probably the latter but that doesn't mean this won't go down in my mind's eye in the pantheon of where-i-was-when-i-heard along with on my tummy, doing my alegbra in the pepto-pink bedroom when 'mms broke in with the news that lynyrd skynyrd's plane had gone down on my bed, wrestling with chinese history in the lemon and lime bedroom of boynton beach, florida when my father came in with the "this has just been on television... they've gunned down one of your generation's heros" struggling back to consciousness in a soon-to-be-boyfriend's place when, upon picking up 19 messages all expressing their grief and concern -- and finally getting cnn on, i learned that my dear sam kinison was gone and now, george harrison the quiet one the spiritual one the mystical one the wilbury, damn it 57 -- and it's all over what of those left behind the people for whom"something" was a song hummed almost without KNOWING those of us who know harrison in only iconic terms or the personal refractions that come from seeing him through the facets of our own life experience... it begs taking that moment to ask "what does this man? this music? this cultural phenomenon meant to me?" i remember a friend bringing "eleanor rigby" down the street so i could hear it on my parents hi-fi remember watching that little green apple spin, almost hypnotizing me remember the notion that a frothy little hook could contain a pretty dark story and i remember thinking, "THIS is the enemy?" for while i'd missed "the ed sullivan show," the cultural war was on hair was getting long, patchouli was being worn, baths were being skipped and the status quo was being topped it was a scary time for middle america -- and while the stones were much darker, much more satanic -- it was the sweet-faced beatles formerly of the matching suits and "yeah yeah"s who were supposed to hold the line of common human decency only "LOOK at them..." they betrayed the grown masses, who wanted things to stay constant but they opened up a whole new world, a whole new perspective and if all the changes wrought weren't perfect, they brought us tolerance and exploration... not that i understood it on that level i just knew my baby sitters were getting progressively groovier and when you're a good girl in shaker heights, ohio, the peasant blouses, bell bottom corduroys, long straight hair were intriguing and music seemed to be the instrument and inspiration for it all indeed, catalyzing what would become a movement that WOULD ultimately set me free WOULD ultimately bring me here to the back of a cab in philadelphia where the streets fall away as the airport comes closer so i can go home and meet with more people, churn more moments, make more arguments, offer more counterpoints knowing, though, that it will all be gone and then what? will any of my clients impact lives the way george harrison did? who's to say... and perhaps on a smaller scale, they already have maybe they won't change the world but last night, there were several young girls dressed up for a big night out seeing the duke ellington orchestra, seeing lee ann in the name of "i hope you dance" -- and they may look deeper, farther, beyond because of a song it's a limited world you come in you go out hopefully, you live it with a passion and you experience it fully what you believe is what guides you what you leave behind is the lives that you've changed for better or worse in a year of the unthinkable (9/11, anyone?) and the personal (finally looking at my father's grave), i roll towards the holidays with clarity live now live out loud make a difference for whomever you can i don't know if george harrison were that over about it all but he was a quiet witness to that truth he knew that talking and doing were not the same and that may be why, keith richards girl that i am, i am sitting quiet and black irish mourning a man who's gone too soon, but according to the plan personal passages tied up in people we'll never know it's one of the things that drives us...and it's certainly something that shaped me think about that as the beatles music becomes the new aor white noise and remember what made them great beyond the hooks help those who don't get it get there celebrate the poetry and dignity and passion he embodied don't forget that it's all happening... right now... no matter wherever you are 11/30 -- Holly Gleason
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