A lot of you seemed to share my sentiment that music is a place to turn to, a refuge if you like, when things get tough, or world events get too much to take. For this second part, I've used my phone as a reference point. On my phone is the music I listen to all the time in the truck. It's music I turn to when I'm on a road trip, travelling hundreds of kilometres. It's in no particular order, hence Annie Lennox being first. She was the first artist I saw on my phone, and my old friend Andy Richards played the keyboards on this album. So it's a good place to start.
How lucky were we to be around when Born To Run came out? Interestingly on CBS, the same as Billy. As I recall, there was some infighting at the label over who to push the most. I'm glad they pushed both of them. Born To Run is a classic, but Meeting Across The River and Jungleland do it for me every time. Jungleland especially, with the late Clarence Clemons taking one of the all-time classic sax solos, and the rest of the band providing accompaniment to a rock masterpiece.
Men were building ships again on Tyneside, but they were being built to send men to war. Costello saw the irony. Men were killed building the ships, and men on the ships faced death too. Hence the immortal line: "Wouldn't you rather be diving for pearls?"
A work of genius which you can hear at the end of this piece.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Joni, James Taylor and Jimmy Webb are the three writers who changed everything for me. Everything. They changed the way I play, the way I think, and the way I listen. They are the music of my life, and I am so grateful for that. I can't think of a period where so much music was created that changed song structures, tunings, broke rules and simply worked. I remember reading that Joni had used so many different tunings that she couldn't remember them all, and years later someone worked with her to try and document them all. Listen to any early Joni album and the raw emotion pours through. David Crosby produced Blue, and thank God he did, stripping it right back to basics, letting the songs breathe and tell their stories without any unneeded embellishment.