Dear Marty and Julie,
A good friend deserves a good playlist sendoff. As I thought about you going back to your roots and how you are opening up a new road in your life, I thought I would create a soundscape. At first, a lot of the songs are just California/San Francisco/Los Angeles songs. But then I thought about your great love of 1970s AM pop, which I also have; then I thought of some theology songs for Julie; then I got input from your sons and Lisa. Then I thought of songs and albums and groups we had discussed over the past 18 years. I can sincerely say I love all these songs except two: the Childish Gambino “California” and the Vampire Weekend song, “California English.” I like the rest of the Gambino album (thank you for the lost bet between our Cubs and Dodgers, 2016). I could not ignore the Vampire Weekend since I know you went through a phase talking a lot about them at the V-dog.
Some of the songs are guesses that you would like, based on our conversations. Some are of newer groups that sound like something you have mentioned liking (the Whitney song is strategically put next to Fleetwood Mac). Some are spiritual in nature; after all, when your friend is a U2 fanatic, how else can it not be? I did not ignore the 80s, even though you are now somewhat dismissive of our coming of age decade beyond the aforementioned band. The Beatles, Paul McCartney, and Wilco are all represented to symbolize Lisa and me. “Theologians” is specifically for the wonderfully soft-spoken, large hearted Julie as well as some others such as “Heaven on a Sunday.” Some of the songs are about going home, a concept I love to think about: “What makes ‘HOME?'” I hope that you find a spiritual home in Berkeley. Some of the songs are about how great you two are as people, exemplifying the Sacred Heart charism.You were the “talk of the town” for me and will be for others. Some of the songs simply express my depth of affection for you both while I included a couple of songs for the history/political science teacher (“Spanish Bombs” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”). A few of the songs speak of the resistance that we must now take in this era of Drumpf. A couple of them honor the greats we lost in our time together: Prince, Tom Petty, David Bowie. It includes many California groups, The Byrds being my personal favs. Included a Beck song–remember when several us geeked out on his album “Morning Phase?” Many of the songs have direct messages for both of you; some are just for you; and some are just melodies that I thought you would like. Don’t read TOO much into a particular lyric says the theology teacher!
A couple of deep cuts are definitely there: the Al Stewart cut is way before “Year of the Cat” but I wouldn’t have included it had I not loved it. The Go-Gos song is about Los Angeles, but I wouldn’t have known that unless it came up as a “suggestion” when I started doing the playlist! The list is definitely not very funky or hard rocking, but I have included a couple of things that might work in that vein here and there. One thing I have always loved is that you continue to listen to new music, courtesy of your musical sons. As with your teaching, you’re always up for something new. Rust never sleeps, and neither does your curiosity. Some of the songs are about the world, at least in a glancing way. My brother-in-law, Vern Carr, loved The The’s album Dusk (1986) and the included song makes me think of him, a principal and educator. The chorus lyric also reminds me of you. And I found what I hope is a deep cut version of “God Only Knows.” Is this really the best song ever? Discuss and debate.
There are a couple of overlapping songs from the Lisa and John wedding playlist which you were so complimentary about…so there you go. I can discuss each song in detail but then it would be overkill and you can always text me and say, “What the hell? Why that one?!?!” And I will respond. I hope you can enjoy this playlist three times over the long drive but don’t feel guilty if you need to listen to something else, LOL. I know Julie is into a lot of death metal. 🙂
Dear Marty and Julie, Enjoy your trip back to the West and to your future. May it be golden as your best days teaching, writing, parenting, and loving have been here in St. Louis and beyond. May your sons and your family be exceedingly blessed in this new era.
Love in the Sacred Heart, Peace in the Sacred Heart and Resistance in the Sacred Heart, be yours…
John and Lisa