Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mind Long Gone, Now I’m Losing My Time

Watching a documentary of the Traveling Wilburys, at the point where Roy Orbison dies, I remember it like it was last Thursday. Then they flash the date, and it takes a minute to register. 1988.

1988. A lot of things had happened to me by the time I was listening to the Wilburys in 1988. It didn’t seem that long ago, until the math kicked in.

In 1988, the year 2000 was 12 years away. Now, it is 24 years later. That’s 43 percent of my life, and 2 years away from being half of Orbison’s life. A long time, but it doesn’t feel that long ago.

remember November 22, 1963, and the Beatles on Sullivan. I remember Neil Armstrong on the moon, the U.S. Bicentennial, and the Cardinals in the World Series, 6 years later, all a long time ago.
Elvis died ages ago, seemingly long before John Lennon (although only 3 years), but Roy Orbison dying, that doesn’t seem that long ago. Bob Dole running for President and Martha Stewart going to prison, those seem far in the past, although both happened much more recently.
Why does Roy Orbison still feel current, while John Lennon does not? Is it the 8 years between their deaths? I don’t think so. I think it’s more of what was going on with me in those days, as Kelly suggested it might be.
Personal and professional struggles unlike any I’d had before 1988 left me, well, struggling for the next few years, a portend of things to come, it turned out. So I turned to music, which I listened to constantly, especially Orbison, and my CD collection, which absorbed any extra time and spare change I had.

I decided to buy every Orbison CD, an impossible task, and watched A Black & White Night hundreds of times. Orbison’s music was a security blanket in ways that Lennon’s was not, and he has stayed more current in my mind.
Could it be that simple? Am I missing something? Or is this just something we all go through once we are people “of a certain age”?


  1. I think you are okay as long as you spend your time with me. I love you. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  2. The only music that I ever cared for was Roys. A lot of my friends thought that I was weird for not going for Paul Anka or Fabian, or Elvis. "Only the lonely", and "Oh pretty woman" took my breath away. I had a huge crush on him and was devastated when he died.

  3. Hi Kathy. I agree, but must admit that I was late coming to know Roy's music beyond "Pretty Woman." My mother asked for a cassette of his greatest hits for Mother's Day one year, which I gave to her with a big "Poison" unhappy smiley face stuck on it. But I listened to it one night at her house, and I was completely absorbed by his voice, his emotion. "Uptown," "I'm Hurting," "Running Scared," "Blue Bayou," "In Dreams," on and on. My favorite, though, is "Crying." It breaks my heart every time. Oh, and my other favorite, "I Drove All Night," is one of the most impassioned love songs of all time.


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