Solitary Man

I wrote a song last year entitled “Lost In You” (not yet recorded). Broken-heart-love-songs are not all that frequent for me – as much as I truly love them, I usually end up writing about something else. But this song was definitely one of those (and she knows who she is!).

Well, the heartbreak I experienced last Wednesday night puts “Lost In You” to shame. May 7, 2008 will be forever etched in my memory. If I hadn’t just arrived in this city but six months ago, I would certainly be planning to relocate again…to run, run, run for the rest of my life, in avoidance of the pain that now consumes me. (Well, actually, meeting the pain of a broken heart is, I think, one of the greatest opportunities for freedom…but I can’t miss this opportunity to wallow in the drama of it all.)

The night began without any hint of the horror that awaited. Dinner at home, including some appropriately boring (that’s how I roll) steamed vegetables – pretty standard, really – before I rushed out to take the F train down to the Lower East Side. Rockwood Music Hall: that’s the place to be. Especially on the first Wednesday of the month for the Rebel Spirit Music event. Great artists. Saw two of them – Rosi Golan and Brent Shuttleworth – before receiving the tip that sent my heart soaring and which would, in turn, see it plummet with equal force. While chatting with my bass player, Tom, and another artist in the audience, it was revealed that Neil Diamond was playing a secret show that night at The Bitter End! (Incidentally, I am ALSO playing a show at the Bitter End on June 5th – check my home page for details). Neil is one of my all-time heroes. Next to Joseph Campbell. And myself. (I was joking about that last bit.) (Maybe.)

The urgency of the moment leaving no time for courtesy, I shot out of Rockwood, hailed the nearest taxi and shouted “Bleecker St!”. The car moved, yet only hesitantly while the driver sought clarification: “Bleecker and what?”. “Hell, I don’t know,” I said. “The Bitter End!” Well, the cross street turned out to be Thompson, but it made no difference. I was too late. I arrived to find the remnants of a euphoric musical event: scattered Neil Diamond fans still littering the streets, unwilling to admit that their encounter with the man himself had come to an end. And then there was me, finding it difficult to accept that I had so carelessly allowed this opportunity for a sighting of Neil to slip through my fingers. I grasped at memories of a happier time – the 2005 Neil Diamond concert at the L.A. Staples Center – but it only made it hurt more. It was no use. I had dared to love; and paid the price. I’ll be what I am – a Solitary Man.

Epilogue:

I found solace in the new revelation, today, courtesy of my pal West (when it comes to easing heartache, West is best) that the Bitter End was apparently Neil Diamond’s first performance venue. And I’m playing there in 3 weeks. That’s gotta count for something. In truth, it wasn’t the first close call with Neil…and it certainly won’t be the last!

And now, it’s photo time. From the April 30th Voice of America radio show in Washington, D.C. Larry London interviewed me on the Border Crossings show, which included performances of Hiding So Long and Alive in a stripped-down acoustic setup: Oscar Bautista and Massimo Majorana accompanied me on guitar and percussion, respectively.

Voice of America 1

Sound-check

Voice of America 2

Damn I hate tall people! (tall = anyone less short than me) The gang with Larry London (great guy)

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