Behind The Music: “Giving Up The Ghost”

I was standing on the 79th Street subway station just a few days prior to the release of “Heartland” in November, 2005, when the phrase “giving up the ghost” came to me. “Somehow,” as I wrote a few years later, “It summarized...

Though You Failed, At Least You Tried

I love this story. Colossally famous rock star (Tom Petty) reforms his middlingly-successful first band (Mudcrutch), rescuing at least one former band mate from the drudgery of teaching high school. “I just had this random thought,” Petty said....

Amazing Grace – MP3

In U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love),” Bono sings, “Early morning, April 4 / A shot rings out in the Memphis sky.” Martin Luther King, Jr. was, in fact, assassinated at 6:01 pm on April 4, 1968 — forty years ago this very moment....

Waiting At Graceland (First In Line) – MP3

“I ran down Elvis Presley Boulevard beneath a sky bruised purple and gray and orange at the edges,” I scribbled in a journal entry dated October 21, 1996. “It’s the type of sky that removes roofs indescriminently.” “It’s...

Leap Year – MP3

I wrote “Leap Year” fifteen years ago, in the deep, dark winter of 1993. Syracuse winters were brutal. It’s nation’s snowiest metropolitan region, averaging 114.6 inches a year. I happened to be there for three of the top five worst years, the...