Wednesday, May 19, 2010

[Not Quite New Music] Where Dan Seals is a Prophet

I had the realization yesterday that Dan Seals is (was, apparently!) a prophet. And not the alien variety who inhabit the Bajoran wormhole.

This might, topically, seem like blasphemy. Owning to Danny Wayland "Dan" Seals being a sweet, guitar toting country western star whose fame lay in the wasteland of the 1980s with no particular religious calling that I can discern. Which under normal conditions is a prerequisite for prophethood.

I'm not embarrassed to admit that I shed a tear when I learned he had PASSED AWAY upon boning up on his discography on Wikipedia this morning! Apparently I was smoking a great deal of crack in March 2009 to have missed this. Dan Seals was an integral part of my childhood. Back when I listened to a piped in version of the Grand Old Opry (on AM, since FM had long foresaken such awesomeness for the obviously more pertinent NKOTB) and knew exactly who was referred to when someone mentioned the "Redheaded Stranger" or "Beaucephus."

I "met" Dan when my Dad received a tape of his The Best (1987) and promptly left it somewhere, still under plastic, to be lost in the sands of time. Fortunately for Dan (and me), I have really sticky fingers when it comes to unprotected music, so I pocketed the 4" x 3" of plastic and magnetic tape and hid in my room. Little did I know how the lyrics would shift my reality (hrm... perhaps there are wormholes involved afterall?)

So, Everything that Glitters (Is Not Gold) is - after Toto's Africa - one of my favorite songs of all time. When my Dad died and I uploaded hundreds of his CDs on my iPod (in between crying my eyes out and cutting down wild blackberry bushes in my mom's backyard), I was sitting in DTW when it cued up:

But oh sometimes I think about you
And the way you used to ride out
In your rhinestones and your sequins
With the sunlight on your hair
And oh the crowd will always love you
But as for me I've come to know
Everything that glitters is not gold

The sentiment behind it is the reason I've been obsessed with Haley Bonar's Big Star (off 2009's Big Star) since downloading her Daytrotter Session. Particularly the lines:

i'm gonna read your stories
spend springtime in the gardens
tell my children all about the days

but i can't make you happy
i can't make you money
i can only fold your laundry

But Dan's All that Glitters isn't the only bit of lyric work that occasionally takes up space in my head. "...Believes without a doubt, that I could move a mountain and someone to tell it to..." (One Friend). "And they rage on some how searching for the answers/In the night like shadow dancers before their time is gone/They rage on..." (Rage On). "But you still move me/Though I'd never let her know/There's a place inside of me that just won't let you go..." (You Still Move Me). Siggggghhhhhh.

Danny Wayland "Dan" Seals (1948-2009) American Musician, Amateur Prophet, integral part of my childhood and sometime resident of my brain, you are missed.

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