First off, the mystery picture below was a hair clip. The first guess, by Rob, got it correctly. Nice job, Rob. Let’s hope you didn’t recognize it right off the bat from so much personal use, eh?

This was the first weekend in quite a long time where I had very little to do. The past few months have been a whirlwind of weekend plans – drives here, parties there, commitments everywhere. All good, but I really needed a full weekend to just be in my own element for a while and I got one. Nice.

Of course, it ended up being a double-edged sword. It allowed for plenty of time for me to assess and then reassess the death of my friend Rick Crawford (see post below), something I probably didn’t really need to think more about, since it’s been at the forefront since it happened. It actually reminded me of the great John Cusack movie “Better Off Dead” where Cusack is driving in his car, fresh after being dumped by his girlfriend and every song that comes on the radio reminds him of the girl and/or the breakup. I’m not sure why, but the only song that I can remember from that particular scene is “She’s Gone” by Hall & Oates (points for anyone who can name a few of the other songs that came on – it was a pretty funny scene).

Anyway, not to make light of the tragedy at all. My point is that it seemed like everything I did or saw reminded me of a particular moment with Rick. Or worse – reminded me of something Rick won’t get to do anymore. Like holding a baby. Or hearing a great, great song. Both of which I did this weekend. The good thing is that I had a few exchanges with some common friends and it’s was nice to just talk about everything and get it out there. It’s still hard to even believe. I keep expecting to see another blog post.

Anyway, coinciding with my weekend of relaxation was the Live8 show. Upon scanning the lineup, I have to admit I wasn’t terribly devoted to tuning into every last second of this, except for my curiousity in seeing the reunited Pink Floyd. So I tuned in occasionally and most of the time wasn’t captivated all that much, especially in light of the horrific coverage by MTV & VH1, who felt it was necessary to break into mindless VJ chatter halfway through songs! Let me tell you something, as a music fan, I despise when TV or radio cut into music like that. It definitely didn’t happen when they broadcast Live Aid. It’s just inexcusable. I forgot where I read it, but in the many reviews of the show afterward one writer nailed it when they wrote (paraphrasing) that this may have been the event that moved MTV to “old guard” status and pushed the idea of watching live events on the internet into the mainstream. AOL covered the entire events, all locations, without brainless VJ drivel and apparantly hit a home run with it, as many accessed the shows via their browsers.

Anyway, I did manage, through a bit of a miracle, to catch the entire Pink Floyd set. As I predicted a few days ago, their set consisted of songs that you can hear anytime you want on your local classic rock station, but I understand why bands do that. An unexpected treat was the opening song, “Breathe,” which is one of their songs I do appreciate quite a bit. It was actually exciting to see David Gilmour playing steel guitar during that open and I thought the band sounded fantastic throughout. My recent mentions of Pink Floyd may have you thinking that I’m some kind of hardcore fan, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, actually. In fact, looking at it from 35,000 feet, I probably only like 10-20% of their music. But that 10-20% is music I find to still be quite fresh and inventive, even today. I certainly go back to it more that I ever thought I would.

Naturally, when the opening chords to “Wish You Were Here” rolled out (third song, I believe), it was definitely a moment I thought about Rick again.

As I did my best to move on with life this weekend, two videos late Monday night on VH1 Classic really caught my eye. First was Peter Wolf’s late 1980s hit “Come As You Are,” where he rolls out of bed, hungover, steps out into a sunny day, and proceeds to literally hop like a rabbit for the rest of the video. Hilarious. I had actually forgotten that “Come As You Are” was a pretty good song, too. That makes two different songs both titled “Come As You Are” that I really like. Can you name different songs you like with the same title? Pretty rare.

Anyway, just before I came up here to type (12:22am now), “Dust In The Wind” by Kansas came on. Holy hell. Of course, the song itself is dated and chock full of cheesy ’70s style melodrama, but I never knew they cut a video for it! As one might expect, Kansas was a band with a lot of hair. It was so classic that I suddenly felt a crazy urge to try and snap some pictures of my television during the video, in case I never see this again and need a laugh. Believe me, I’ve needed one these past couple of days. So, for your edification, enjoy…..

I close my eyes….

Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and sky….
All we are is dust in the wind…..
…..of course, it made me think of Rick. 35 years old.