Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Peter Gabriel!

Feb. 13, 2012
Dear Peter,
In high school a friend introduced me to your music. You were the lead singer and flautist for the art-rock band, Genesis.  It was about 1978 and until then, I was only familiar with the “Phil Collins-Genesis.”  However this friend played an album from the Genesis before that.  It was the “Peter Gabriel-Genesis.” I was hooked. You were so unique, with your distinctive music and extravagant costumes!  There was no one quite like you then, Peter.  And a flautist?  How rare it is to have a flautist in a rock band!  You, and maybe Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, are the only ones I can think of. 
You left Genesis to pursue a solo career and in 1977 you released your first solo album “Peter Gabriel 1,” which included the hit single, “Solsbury Hill.”  I heard once that it was a song about your departure from Genesis.  I thought it was about homesickness! LOL!   “…My heart going boom, boom, boom…’Son,’ he said ‘Grab your things, I've come to take you home.’”
I truly admire you, Peter.  You are not one of those rock stars who just sits around counting your millions--releasing an album every few years or so.  Not only do you produce music—even collaborating with other artists, you have your own record label, Real World Records, Ltd.  Furthermore, you are an activist.  Over the years you have worked with Amnesty International, as well as other organizations dedicated to human rights and environmental issues.  
As part of this 62nd Happy Birthday wish, Peter, I would like to share some memories with you.  Your hit single, “In Your Eyes” is unquestionably my favorite.  It is one of those songs that I hear and a flood of memories comes back to me.  I remember when it was released in 1986 and played on the radio frequently.  It was a time when I would be driving home from a long day of work with my 2-year old daughter in the car.  Many evenings we would be sitting in grid-lock traffic on the southern California freeways.  I remember being so worn-out at the end of the day.  I would hear “In Your Eyes” and I sing along…  “I get so tired of working so hard for our survival.  I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive.”
Something else that comes to mind is the 1989 Cameron Crowe film, “Say Anything.”  Who can forget the memorable scene when John Cusak’s character stands in the rain outside the bedroom window of his ex-girlfriend?  He’s holding a boom box above his head, playing the song “In Your Eyes.”  It’s brilliant!
In closing I’d like to quote something you said once:  “There has always been a strong relationship between music and religion.  It is because they both plug directly into the heart and can have real power for good or evil.”  I completely agree, Peter.
Thank you for the music and the memories!  Happy 62nd Birthday!
Regards, Mrs Love

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Birthday James Dean!

Feb. 8, 2012
Dear Mr. Dean,
In my life I have been in situations where I’ve seen many actors--"cattle-calls" with hundreds of promising young men and women, hoping for that big break.  Now and then--and it’s rare--an actor shows up who has “it.” When they walk into a room, all eyes turn and look at them.  When they audition, they do it with ease, as if they were born to do it.  I read that while at UCLA you were picked out of a pool of 350 actors to play the role of Malcolm in Macbeth.  From the start, Mr. Dean, it was apparent that you were one of those rare actors who had “it.”
Having been one of the youngest actors accepted to the prestigious “Actors Studio,” where you studied method acting under Lee Strasberg.  In 1955 you were cast as the emotionally complex character of Cal Trask in Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.” Next was “Rebel Without a Cause” and then “Giant.” Shortly after the filming of “Giant” was completed, you were killed in a car accident while driving your Porsche 550 Spyder in Cholame, California.
Oh, how I wish I had been alive when you walked the earth, Mr. Dean!  You are one of those actors I would’ve sought out and made every attempt to see in person.  Just to be in the same place as you, would have been the thrill! 
In your life you only made a total of seven films. On screen, you have been one of those actors who I can’t take my eyes off of.  Sure, there are other actors on the screen, but they practically disappear.  In whatever role you have played, I could feel your emotion…sad, happy, lonely, angry…whatever.  
In still pictures, you were perfection. No matter the pose, it was flawless.
Mr. Dean, it is hard to believe that today you would have celebrated your 81’st birthday.  However, you left us too soon.  You will be eternally 24. 
Happy Birthday to a legend!
Regards, Mrs Love