Thursday, August 16, 2007

Long Live the King


I woke up this morning remembering the news of a morning 30 years ago. I still remember hearing the news, crying, watching my mother and my grandmother cry. It was tragic. I was a child, but I knew Elvis. I mean, I didn't know him personally, but his voice had sung lullabies to me over the record player and the radio. My brother tried to copy his lip stylings, with limited success and much to the delight of all the relatives. It was a sad, sad morning. It is the first time that tragedy had stretched out it's hand and touched my life, really. Even as remote as it was from me personally, it was the first time I remember crying over a news story. It would be the first of many of those, unfortunately. Crying for a light snuffed out too soon, a lost boy in need of saving, a nation oppressed and in bondage. I guess it represents to me the loss of the self-indulgent childhood that only sees the things that directly impact one's own life.

One week short of 12 years later, another light was extinguished way too soon. Brian Ray Johnson, 9/5/65-8/9/89. He left behind a whole lot of people who were better off having known him. And, even if he never got those Elvis lip-stylings quite right...I still thought he was an amazing brother. He was in his (very) early twenties when he wrote and recorded this song - he was, as Mo said "...a wonderful, intelligent lyricist. A poet with an old soul."