The first news I saw this morning was that Walter Becker, co-founder of the band Steely Dan, had died.
I’ve written before (a main example is in this post) about the power of music and memories.
And as I – and the singers and songwriters and musicians I grew up listening to – get older, and the years and the decades pass, there are more and more deaths of people who have been part of the soundtrack of my life.
In just the time between the beginning of 2016 and now, there have been several (not a complete list by any means):
Prince. George Michael. David Bowie. Maurice White. Leonard Cohen. Al Jarreau. Leon Russell. Glen Campbell. Paul Kantner. Gregg Allman.
And Glenn Frey.
I mention Glenn Frey separately because the music of the Eagles has been extra-huge in my life. And… it was after watching the documentary History of the Eagles on Netflix shortly after Glenn’s death in January 2016, that I felt compelled to finally do a final revision of one of my novels – In New Harmony – and publish it. (You can find it right here.)
Watching that documentary, which I’ve seen several times now, simply does something to my creativity, especially when it comes to writing fiction.
Watching that documentary makes me WANT to write – and, specifically, write fiction – so much that my fingers start to almost physically itch to do it.
Listening to Eagles music does something to me very similar to how I feel when I watch that documentary. For the past year and a half, I’ve come close several times to writing a blog post with the title “the Eagles are my spirit animal” but I simply haven’t been blogging much… (So maybe I’ll write that blog post sometime, but I’m just not sure when.)
Music is a muse for me.
And music is a memory-holder and time-traveller for me.
That’s why when there’s news like today’s passing of Walter Becker, I feel an impact.
Steely Dan’s music has definitely been part of my life’s soundtrack. I’m 55, so the music of the 70s and 80s will always have a unique and special place in my heart and my memories, and Steely Dan songs are part of that for me: junior high and high school in the 70s, beach trips with my friends, going to see FM on a Friday night at the movies.
When I decided to post on facebook this morning with a link to a youtube video of a Steely Dan song, I had trouble deciding which song to choose. I finally decided on “Deacon Blues.”
As I said in that facebook post: Someone else in the soundtrack of my life has passed. I always feel sadness along with the nostalgia… and I always feel so grateful for the music shared with the world.
RIP, Walter Becker and so many other song-makers.
And thank you for the music.