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Old 05-17-2015, 11:59 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,586
Default Salt Lake City article
I wasn't a fan of Gordon Lightfoot in the early '70s. That doesn't mean that I wasn't aware of his work. Anyone who listened to the radio for more than 10 minutes back then didn't have a choice.

In 1970, radio stations played Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind" until I lost what was left of mine.

I thought it was a stupid song. Why would anyone sing fondly about such a possibility? Any girl who could have read my mind in 1970 would have slapped me into a coma.

Similar feelings arose regarding Bobby Sherman, B.J. Thomas, Neil Diamond and I can barely bring myself to type these words "Knock Three Times" by Tony Orlando & Dawn.

It was a time of radio roulette. Driving to work, I would pray and punch a button. Every time that #%&@* "Knock Three Times" song came on, I would frantically push the buttons until I found a more edifying auto sales commercial to calm me down.

When I finally got an 8-track car stereo, I swore that I would never listen to any of those songs again. My car. My music. Get the hell out.

I considered myself a rock purist Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Steppenwolf, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad. This was real music. It inspired me. It was the soundtrack of my life to that point.

Before you say, "Yeah, and look what happened to you," let me point out that it could have been worse. Terrible even.

Just five more notes of Lynn Anderson's "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" and I would have gone down in history as the world's most prolific serial killer of disc jockeys.

Apologies to DJs "Skinny" Johnny Mitchell, Wooly Waldron, Paul St. John and Lynn Lehmann. If it helps, I know the stations made you guys do it. You'd still be dead though.

My music continues to help me. I don't care how boring a meeting is, I can get through it with some ear buds and Credence Clearwater Revival. John Fogerty can make even church tolerable.

On the downside, there are still those songs that can ruin an entire day and drive us closer to the edge. Some memory triggers are so volatile they can cause us to snap.

With apologies to Arrow 103.5's Jon Carter, spin a Bobby Goldsboro song and I cannot guarantee your safety. You just might need the National Guard to get home.

But music tastes can change as we age. We don't have to be idolatrous worshippers of the music of our brainless youth wait, yes we do. I can't believe I almost said that. Damn.

Nothing on this planet resonates in the human mind quite like the music we favored back when we were just clueless and limber bags of hormones.

I can lose 40 pounds, do 50 pushups, and drive 95 mph in pursuit of purple elves and unicorns again whenever I hear "I Got a Line on You," by Spirit. Ask any UHP trooper between Salt Lake and St. George.

But old tunes can still create new memories, and even transform us with magic we never realized was there all along.

For five years I maintained a zero tolerance attitude toward Gordon Lightfoot. And then the unthinkable happened I married one of his biggest fans.

Gord has kind of grown on me. Today, I can't hear "If You Could Read My Mind" without reflecting on how much I love a woman who actually can.

Maybe that's why I bought tickets to his June 24 concert in the Sandy Amphitheater, and I'm not sorry I did.

Robert Kirby can be reached at or Find his past columns at
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:05 AM   #2
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Location: Philadelphia., PA
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Default Re: Salt Lake City article

Interesting article. It's never too late to discover an artist who is really worthwhile. Better late than never!

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