Thank You, Neil Finn
My son is fascinated by music. The last few days have been great. I think this may be due to the fact that we have had a lot of music the last few days. On Saturday night we went to see our friends The Sons of Bernard play at It's a Beautiful Pizza on Belmont. The Boy was dancing all night, either with Joe or I, or on his own two feet. He watches the musicians play, and I think that I'll likely be buying earplugs during his teenage years.
I know that some of this is probably my influence, but "want Crowded House" is heard a lot around here. Two days ago, "Time On Earth" was played four times at his request. I love Neil Finn's music. It's been a lovely long time since I first saw Crowded House's "World Where You Live" video and was intrigued enough to also explore the Split Enz catalog. Brings back memories of high school and being unpopular and curling up with the Walkman, like so many of us privately did back then. When Crowded House toured for "Temple of Low Men", I took the opportunity to ask a guy I liked to go to the show with me. I can't even remember what I liked about him, but it's still a vivid memory of Roger McGuinn opening up the show and me thinking "The dude from the Byrds...How freaking cool is this?" (I'd have another experience like this many years later, watching Robyn Hitchcock and various friends play "Eight Miles High" at Doug Fir.) In years to come, every Crowded House and Neil Finn and Finn Brothers show always introduced me to a great opening act. Especially a few years ago, when the Finn Brothers toured with Angela McCluskey. Being able to tell her how much I appreciated her music was a treat.
But I've never had a chance to meet Mr. Neil Finn, and to tell him what a constant his music has been in my life. How much I enjoy it, how much it makes me think about certain little turns of phrase-- a line here, a cluster of words there. But I am grateful that my jazz-loving son, who knows how to ask for "Brubeck" or a few other cds, likes the music that is tenderly close to my heart. "Wants to", sings my son, "nobody wants to". We had fun, watching a Neil Finn concert video in bits and pieces for a few days, and the fun ended yesterday. Then today I was surprised to turn on the tv news and find the channel on OPB3--and there was Neil and the rest of Crowded House and my boy and I smiled at each other. He began nursing to soothe his sore mouth and I began singing to soothe my sore everything. Because it made me happy, and made him happy, and a happy mom is probably the best thing I can give to my son. We danced, we jiggled, we clapped and stomped. When it was over, I was gleeful.
How wonderful, music is. We come together in it, are encircled by it. I love that I have friends that can give my son some wonderful experiences, and I love that there are musicians that feel like friends to us, because they risk and put themselves out there and keep sharing that part of themselves with us. It's beautiful. So, thank you to everyone who has the urge to share something of themselves that uplifts us, no matter if it's music, or a great poem or book or artwork. Or a caring word or deed. And thank you, Neil Finn, for being one more person to inspire my son to be interested in music.