Saturday, January 7, 2017

Come From Away and the end of the Trump Slump

The wealth of our new connected lives: I am listening to Chuck Berry, the first choice of Keith Richards who's being interviewed on BBC's "Desert Island Discs" - famous Brits for decades have been invited onto the radio to talk about their lives and choose their favourite music - and I'm listening on the internet, after reading an article about the show in the Guardian. And while I listened, for a bit I was on FB watching Laurel and Hardy dancing, exactly to the beat. Isn't this a marvel?

Keef's next choice: Hank Williams. Ooo that's sad.

This afternoon, glorious - I was smart enough to get one of the last tickets to Come From Away, the Mirvish-produced musical that closes tomorrow and opens on Broadway in February. It's about what happened in Gander, Newfoundland, on 9/11, when 38 international flights were grounded in Nfld. on their way to NYC. The tiny community leapt into action, feeding and sheltering almost 7000 people from around the world for days. A fantastic story, all true, joyful, magical, and now a joyful, magical musical about human generosity and kindness in desperate times. I wonder what cynical NYC will make of it. Surely the timing is perfect - in this time of Trump, the world needs to be reminded, as often as possible, of the goodness possible in the human soul. My guess is that half the audience will want to move to Newfoundland. And they'd be right.

Aaron Neville, with Keef playing in the background. "My True Story." What a sweet sweet voice.

This morning, I instituted my new "habits" routine, thanks to Gretchen Rubin's book. I won't write too much about it yet.

"Sugar on the Floor." Etta James. The world is full of glory. I am officially over what I call the Trump Slump - weeks there when it seemed hopeless, the world was doomed, human beings are hopeless, hopeless, petty, vicious, stupid, racist, blind and selfish. But - what's the point of that? There have been dire situations before, and on we go.

"Solid R and B," says Keef. "Freddy Scott." Whom I've never heard of. Gorgeous. "Are you lonely for me, baby?"

Music. What would the world be without music?

Gregory Isaacs. "One of the best songwriters from Jamaica." "Extra Classic." Which at the end he chooses as his favourite of all.

"Mozart is my man, basically," says Keef, but as his classical choice, he has plumped for the only composer Mozart spoke highly of, apparently - Vivaldi. "Spring" from his Four Seasons.

His final piece: "Top of the line R and B - 'Key to the highway,' Muddy Waters. Because if I'm on a desert island - where's the highway?"

Celebrate that Keith Richards is alive in 2017. Now that's a miracle. Listen for yourself.

PS An ad in the Globe today: "Considering renouncing your US citizenship? Make sure you renounce the right way." A seminar is being offered by tax law firm Moody Gartner.

Can you imagine? The Decline and Fall. We are watching it happen.


  1. Did you read his book, Life? Really wonderful. And although I know he had help with it (a journalist, if I remember correctly? But one who "got" him and who drew out the stories and the ideas), it's somehow real and fascinating and raw.

  2. Yes, I read it or some of it anyway, before having to take it back to the library, and also loved it. The interview shows the same voice - as you say, raw, but also surprisingly sensible, smart and warm. He has been married to Patti Hanson since 1983!