Thursday, April 8, 2010

This old guitar gave me my life, my living (John Denver)

DEEP BREATH...I bought a John Denver CD!!

Man that feels better - now that guilty pleasure is out in the open.

At the risk of completely alienating my regular visitors let me explain my long standing... (I hesitate to use the word 'relationship' but it has to be labelled that)...with Mr Far Out himself.

It goes way back - deep into the mists of a foggy male teenage hood (in my case from about 1971 to 1978 = age 13 to 19). John Denver was huge and his songs and TV show were everywhere in that time frame. But I listened to Black Sabbath (Masters of Reality and Paranoid), Deep Purple (In Rock and Machine Head), Uriah Heep (Wizards and Demons) and Frank Zappa (Live at The Fillmore and Just Another Band From LA) among other things. Not John Denver!

John Denver was wildly uncool - the glasses (I wore glasses), the terrible fringe hairstyle ( I had a terrible fringe hairstyle), the nerdish demeanor (you're no doubt getting the point). I loved the songs and watched the TV show but the overall package was enough that I NEVER bought a JD album EVER (the Far Outs and other attempts to be hip were and still are embarrassing).

The closest I got was when my good friend Greg lent me a double live concert called, cozily enough, An Evening With John Denver (I bet his sister or mum had bought it) and I taped about 5 songs off it onto a cassette.

Fast forward 30 years and I have finally succumbed - a double CD The Essential John Denver. I have looked and almost bought compilations over the years but each one has had the dire Grandma's Feather Duvet thing on it and I just couldn't. This one however, is free of that horror and instead compiles some unbelievably great pop songs.
Top 3 - Take Me Home (Country Roads), the obligatory Rocky Mountain High, and the orgasmically great Farewell Andromeda (Welcome to my morning).
My only quibble is they couldn't find a place for This Old Guitar - a great song that ends the live album on my old cassette tape and sums up his genius.

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