A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Still Believe (Great Design)

I am of that age where more and more often someone I knew of passes away. I know, as the “Dead” would say, Death has no mercy but when you start to count the ones who you knew or whose name you knew as those numbered among the angels it is a little bit sad. Sometimes a whole lot sad.
A boss of mine noticed when I was mourning the passing of Dale Earnhardt Sr. years back and made a big deal about it. He thought it stupid. How could I waste any emotion over someone I had never met? Save my tears for family members or pets, but not race car drivers who you had never been close to. For whatever reason this boss didn’t get it.
A close personal friend of mine passed away the other day. A close personal friend that I consider myself lucky to have known very well, even though we only met once. We spent hours together. As an adult American male the code is that you don’t cry or share feelings but boy did we share. He made me laugh and feel great and yes I spilled buckets of tears with him, for him and because of him.
He could make me smile on the worst of days, when I had lost my job, my dog died or the checks all bounced. And he could make me feel hope when deep in the dark corners of my soul I knew there was none. When I only had a spark to light my way, he was that spark. He and I came through some pretty heavy stuff. I made it. He didn’t.
Heart attack is what they speculate. He was 60, after all, and lived a rock star’s life. It takes a toll. At the time of his death he was working for his son in the profession that he loved. He was a musician. No that’s not strong enough. He was an Artist.
His music lives on and I guess that is quite a legacy. 10 albums with songs so strong that they could knock down walls. And the walls did come down when Michael Been played. And sang. Boy could he sing.
The Call were one of those late 80’s 90’s bands that should have been big but weren’t. Record companies are like any other business. Politics, greed and horseshit pile up so fast that it’s a wonder any Artist ever gets their due. Many, like The Call and Michael Been don’t.
I met him in a grip and grin at Lackawanna County Multipurpose stadium when it was called that. Moments before he had been on stage, his arms spread wide and gave me a message I remember clear as a bell to this day.
“I still believe
Through the shame
And through the grief
Through the heartache
Through the tears
Through the waiting
Through the years

For people like us
In places like this
We need all the hope
That we can get
Oh, I still believe
R.I.P. Michael Been. 1950-2010