This weekend I was going through some of my old files and came across one labeled “John’s 70’s Songs” containing song lyrics and poems I wrote between 1970 -73. It was sort of fun to take a little trip back in time to the days of my youth through songs. I say sort of because there were also some painful memories that came up along the way.
I was just six months out of high school when the 70’s began and had been playing guitar for about four years. My first attempt at song writing was in 68. I was 16 years old and had met a girl. Things hadn’t been going very well for me at the time, I’d gotten into some major trouble and been kicked out of school. Yeah times were really tough. Then one Sunday afternoon I was at the Village Theater with my cousin and a girl approached and started up a conversation. She was pretty cool, but as we talked we realized I wasn’t who she had believed me to be and we parted company.
The following week she was at the Village again and we talked again. She even sat with me during the movie! Before long we were going steady, just what I needed to get me through my mountain of problems. In a few short months I thought I was in love, and inspired to write love songs. Ah young love isn’t it grand! Some of the early stuff I wrote was real trash, light, trite and every line rhymed. Yeah my very first song was entitled ‘Now Until Forever’ forever etched in my memory. The first verse went something like
From the moment that I wake up, you’re all I ever think of, I’m longing just to hold you, wonder if I ever told you…
It was a little sappy, I confess, but not a bad start for a first time song writer. Of course the rest of the song crashed and burned, it suffered from rhyming word overkill with lines endings with words like: me & be, dare & care, beside & guide etc. I’m sure you get the idea, romantic rhyming dribble. Some of my other attempts included ‘Feelings of Love’ and ‘Why (I love you?) It was all love, love, love, but we’ve all got to start somewhere right?
When I opened up the file and started looking over the songs I nearly cried, so many memories. In 1970 I was still in love and writing love songs but they were better, at least I think so. The best of the lot were ‘Dream Away My Love’ and ‘Smile my Child” a song I wrote for my sister. By then I had also started collaborating with my good buddy and kindred spirit Brian. We were writing some crazy fun, stuff like a bizarre Superman parody called, what else, ‘Superman,’ and a song about a tough talking, hard drinking, truck driving man called ‘Big Murly’. God those were good times.
I tell you it was really cool to look through that stuff and see where my head was at that time. I even had a song that year called ‘Things are Changing’ that took a very optimistic view at my life which was huge for me. At that time I was definitely more the glass is half empty type or my life is half empty would probably be a more accurate description.
to be continued…