Dear James Taylor,
I'm not a big writer of fan letters. Sitting here thinking about it, I am sure that in nearly forty-five years of making an imprint on this earth, this is the first one. (Ooops, maybe the second, if you count that one to Ben & Jerry singing the praises of the no longer produced Dastardly Mash Ice Cream. Seriously! Almonds, chocolate chunks, pecans and raisins all crammed into a container with chocolate ice cream? How much better can it get? I still mourn that ice cream.) Anyway, I was fully present at your performance last night in the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH. I have to be honest here. I have been fortunate enough to see you perform live many times and seeing that it was a one man show (well, two, since you had that awesome pianist with you. He rocked. *Focus.* Ahem). Knowing this was to be a show with out the percussion, bass guitar, full brass and back-up singers had me worried that I would miss the driving beats and the wonderful harmonies that I love to sing along with. Those worries dissappeared before you even played a chord on your guitar. From the second you took the stage I saw the twinkle in your eye (those big screens are genious!) and felt that you were going to make it right for me. That large arena shrank to an intimate lounge or living room where you had invited some guests to hang out and listen to stories and song, and among the guests was a girl you really wanted to impress and that girl was me. I felt the connection James. I am more in love with you now than I have ever been. It was partly the song, music that has followed me through my life, heavily weighting the soundtrack of my days, getting me through hard times, bringing me joy and wonderful memories of my youth. It was partly the tales told between the singing, giving insight to your early days and the stories behind some of the songs. It was partly the multi-media presentation, bringing tunes like Mexico (which you are right, cannot be done acoustically without losing something-well, everything really) to full life. It was partly the attention to detail, bringing the members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus back for their bows, and the humor (the photo of your parents together, ha!). But the rest of it was all you. A performer can do nothing better than connect with an audience, and I don't mean the audience in total, but each individual member. On top of making that connection, you had us all convinced that you considered yourself the lucky one, that leaving your comfy home, your wife and kids and having a few friends or an auditorium filled with people to kick back and hang out with is a dream come true for you, not work.
I am wondering though, weren't your handlers and stage crew a little ticked off at the interlude? I mean, shaking a few hands is one thing. When you squatted down to sign a few autographs I'm sure that everyone expected you to get up and head off stage to, you know, take care of things. But when you gave it all up, sat right back on your ass and kept signing anything that was handed to you, I could scarcely believe it. I have the feeling that your handlers, who kept coming over and whispering in your ear what I am sure were little reminders that time was passing and they had lives, families, beers and what all to get home to were in the disbelief zone as well. Could they see up close what I could see from the audience? You wanted to sign everything that was passed up to you, you did not want to let anyone down. Who does that these days? I am quite sure that had the lights not finally been turned out, blacking you out of anymore signature writing, that we would still be there now, every t-shirt would have been sold, people running up and buying more to have them signed so they could peddle them on ebay today. It felt so much like another gesture of gratitude for being there, loving you, spending hard earned money on albums and concert tickets, one that you truly felt.
As is my usual, I had one song that I hoped you would sing to me last night. I always do, it isn't always the same song and you don't always sing the song of the night for me, but from the first chord you played, I was hoping. Oh, you kept playing my favorites, and at each encore I held my breath, waiting. At the third or fourth, when you sang Copperline, my hopes did sink a bit, and when your accompianist took what was certainly his final bow and you got up to follow him, I was still really thrilled to have been a member of that audience on that night, it felt magical. But when I saw you turn to the stage hand and gesture "one more," then pick up your guitar again, tears came to my eyes. The lullaby that I have sung to my children and listened to to soothe my own heart so many times was the perfect icing on a day and evening of really great cake.
So that you know who you made that connection with last night, as I'm sure you felt it as much as I did, I was the one in the white fitted shirt and jeans (I was going to wear a cute little sundress for you James, but New England weather being what it is, I wore what I am sure is one of the next sexiest things, a white top and blue jeans) and my newest socks. Today, as you sip your coffee, making the rounds of your favorite knitting blogs, know that these will forever be my Traveling Star Socks. With each wear they will remind me of the wonderful evening of song, story and the reciprocal fest of love and gratitude. Thanks for being so much a part of my days.
- Pattern: JT Travelling Star Socks or Priscilla Gibson-Roberts inspired socks
- Yarn: Regia Cotton Surf Color #5415
- Needles: size 0
- Cast On: August 7, 2007 (for the second time)
- Bound Off: August 16, 2007
So James, in closing what is my first and possibly only fan letter (although, who knows? this could be a new trend), I want to thank you again. I love you more than ever.
Your huge fan,
P.S. Dude! Has anyone ever told you that you have freakishly long thumbs?