They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Jan 11, 2009

Grandma, Sit Down Until Frank's Done Singing...

So I was sitting in my room today and Pigpen came by and we were just listening to some music and talking about the usual bullshit when Frank Sinatra's "One For My Baby, And One More For The Road" came on.

Now this song holds a special place in my heart due to the fact that some of the best friends I have introduced me to the song in the first place. Secondly, it is the song that I used to close down the bar (which is my second home) when I was working. That's right, Paulie & Tony maybe I'll just go on and get a little sentimental. You didn't know that I could do that, did ya?

This is the song that makes me dream about home. I can just remember sitting there in an almost empty bar with a couple of my friends and sometimes my kid brother and listening to this song, and singing it with them...and not even realizing how much I would miss these times when I was gone.

Now Pigpen and I are almost the same guy as far as personality and demeanor goes. But we couldn't be further apart when it comes to backgrounds. He is from Iowa, somewhere near a cornfield. I am from just outside of Chicago. He is a tattoo artist, and I work in law enforcement. Whatever, we both have the same sick sense of humor, the same taste in punk rock music. Social Distortion anyone? And we both have an unnatural love of Frank Sinatra. So it goes.

Now at home there are three artists that you never turn off when you are listening to the radio in the car. They are Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, and Frank Sinatra.

Elvis holds a special place in my soul because of the fact that he was one of the artists that my mother made me listen to when I was a kid. I mean I knew the words to "Burning Love" before I even knew MTV existed. Not to mention, "Blue Christmas" is a great one two. Unfortunately its also a bad one in that it makes my mother think about my father which sucks, but to know that no matter how long its been the love between your mother and father is still strong, it kind of gives the kid (me) a bittersweet feeling inside.

Pink Floyd is another one. They are the band that fed my soul for the entire time I was getting stoned. Not that I am proud of it, but between the ages of 14 and 19 I do believe I inhaled more smoke than air. Between, "Coming Back To Life" and "Another Brick In The Wall" I think I spent more time listening to Pink Floyd than I did any other band in that time. They just symbolize the whole time period for me.

Now it's The Chairman. C'mon folks, "Swinging On A Star" convinced me to go to college! "My Way" perfectly spoke to me as to how a really good life should be lived. "Chicago" always made me remember that no matter where I was or what I was doing I wanted to go straight home as soon as possible. Finally, "One For My Baby" has served as a rather subtle reminder of what I am missing and who is going to be there when I get home.

And then there is always, CCR, Credence Clearwater Revival, who's song "Long as I can see the light" is the song that I told my mother to listen to every time she missed me. I know it sounds depressing but listen to the words and you'll get it. Not to mention, "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" was my old man's favorite song.

But, now I am jumping around here, I got the title from a story Pigpen told me as we were listening to Frank croon. He told me of a time when he was driving along with his wife and grandmother in the car with him. Mr. Sinatra came on the radio, and during the song they reached their destination. Mrs. Pigpen stayed seated right where she was at because she knew the rules. However, Grandma Pigpen did not know the rules and she started to get out of the car. Pigpen politely instructed her, "Grandma Sit down until Frank's done singing, Show a little respect!" Admittedly, that might be a bit much. But these songs are more than songs for most of us. Especially now. Every single one of these songs is connected to one degree or another with my home, and the people who are there waiting for me to get back. They become all the more meaningful the longer that I am gone.

So I have managed to give you a pretty good playlist there. Between Frank, Elvis, Pink Floyd and CCR I would have to call that an all-star music marathon. So I have said it before and I'll say it again, have a cold one for me, except this time I want you to put a little Frank Sinatra on the juke box and listen to him sing. It'll be good for your soul.

I am done now.


I love you mom...


  1. you and Pigpen have great taste in music. I could listen to Sinatra and Elvis everyday and never tire of them.
    take very good care,

  2. Well, at least we both like Elvis. Not much of a Sinatra fan or Pink Floyd but definitely can CCR. I am a product of the 60's and Janis Joplin, Jimmie Hendrix and Charlie Daniels are my favorites. I also like, I know this is going to sound strange but, Beethoven also. Just an all 'round type of guy I guess.


  3. Mud Puppy,
    It is always interesting to see and in most feel the profound impact music has on our lives. Music has the unique ability to transport us to a different place and time. I am a country boy and Garth Brooks has the ability to take me back to Friday nights in Oklahoma. Huge bon fire, the back hatch of my car open (yes, I was the geek with the massive stereo) sitting in the middle of a field outside of town. A keg, whatever we could get, with a 50 or so of our closest friends. Good times.
    Stay Strong, Stay Safe

  4. is simply an amazing way to return to a moment... The song which reminds me of my mom is "My Way"...I can always slip back to a place and vividly see her singing it in my mind. My personal Sinatra favorite is "It Was A Very Good Year"
    CCR and Floyd are both great bands, when one must partake, but not inhale (of course). I always enjoyed Jethro Tull... Ian Anderson is about as animated as they come! Then of course there's the Stones, Led Zeppelin and Barry Manilow (c'mon everybody has at least one BM fave)
    You are lucky to have PigPen over there with you...and PigPen is lucky to have you!
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!

    ~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

  5. Three of the very best orchestrated rock bands around in no particular order are Chicago, Pink Floyd and Yes.

    Think Sinatra influenced 'em...and I do happen like Frank Sinatra. Along with George Strait, Toby Keith, David Ball, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Steve Earle...

    Take care lil bro. Ya'll be strong, stay safe.


  6. MudPuppy,

    Sounds like you and PigPen are good friends. Glad you have so much in common.

    Music rekindles memories. Many of the songs you mentioned bring back memories for me as well. CCR was great and a favorite of mine during the time when I was raising a daughter as a single parent. And Frank Sinatra. Who wouldn't love him. Known as Old Blue Eyes, I was weened on his music.

    Take care, my friend. Be safe and know I'm praying for you.

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