Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Billy Joel and Me

There are times when I look back and think my life can be told in Billy Joel songs.  I like Billy and find him sort of a broken, funny, gifted musician whose songs never get stale for me. 

In the my teenage years it definitely would have to be "Only the good die young".  I mean really who is not invincible at those ages???? Everything you have to wait for that is just right at your fingertips, is right there but slightly out of reach and there is a point where every moment, which at the time seems like forever, is about why oh why should I wait ?? What's the point of not doing something ?  Some of those choices were correctly "no" but the whole world of possibility and discovery is as great as when you first learn to walk and talk.... Come on Virginia!

In my late teens to early 20s which were in the height of the 80s, height being the word for hair, for shoulder pads, for heels, for shortness of skirts that showed heights of leg, for Bonfire of the Vanities moments it would be "Uptown Girl" and "We Didn't Start the Fire" as the Iron Curtain came down.  Oh the stuff I couldn't reach in the previous years was here with flair and "Dynasty'' and "Dallas".  It was fluff but it was fun. 

Then the crash and Billy got put away because after all angst came from Seattle not from a Long Island boy.  I wanted more Soundgarden and Nirvana more of Eddie Veder and his ProChoice writing on his arm then "Downeaster Alexa" but in all of that shoving, flannel and fallen hair along with the economy there was still "Allentown" which told the same story but not for the point of view of only the youth but how the dire economy was destroying families. 

I remember driving home from having lived in San Francisco and as I got to that place where the Lincoln Tunnel is almost in sight I saw the skyline, at night shining and when it is magnificent, and I cried.  Cried like I had just been reunited with a lover .. which in some ways is what NY is for me .. and wouldn't you know "New York State of Mind" came on -- Billy knew what an East Coast girl needed after trying to be a West Coast resident. 

There are the songs about being a woman "she only reveals what she wants you to see"  oh yes only what I want you to see, the vulnerable spot only few get a glimpse of.  That moment when I loved someone and hoped that what they were thinking "she's got a way about her I don't know what it is but I know that I can't live without her".  There is "Just the Way You Are" - cause I hoped he wanted to change nothing about me even when I was being everything for the guy and losing a lot of just the way I actually was.  

As a mother "Vienna" or "Lullaby" were songs I actually sang to my babies as I did not know that many, ok with my oldest none, actual lullaby songs.  

Now as I get so much more past the point where I care what people think, where I am ok with who I am more than when I was a teenager or even up to my 30s, now I think I am all about "You May Be Right" .. after all I may be crazy but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for .

I cannot imagine my life without music, Billy's and others of course, my tastes are very varied but it is the music that I turn to for a smile, a memory, to make a memory, to cry and just to belt it out along with.  Thank you Billy for providing so much of the soundtrack. 


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