Remembering Laura: Day 2 #Writing 101

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

 

Okay, so that’s the challenge but I’m not sure that I will stick to that.  But, hey, I make the rules on Digital Bonnie, right?

 

So I’m driving home from my work with Christine this afternoon.  I have a good 40 minutes on the New York State Thruway and I’m listening to music on my Classic iPod.  They not longer make the Classic.  It’s larger and holds lots of tunes than the Nanos.  Mine is 12o GBs but I’ve only stored 8,000 tunes. Still lots of room for more, but something tells me I will never fill it.  I don’t really care.

I haven’t been listening to my music in a long time.  Ive become obsessed with NPR instead but just the other day I found my Classic iPod in a drawer, dusted it off, charged it up and attached to the AUX drive in my car and let the speakers loose of my tunes, set of song shuffle.  I was loving it. Stones, Beatles, Jack Johnson,  Bonnie Raitt… and then a tune written and sung by Laura Nyro and I was instantly brought to tears and I was back in my Hofstra U dorm and Laura was everywhere, in every dorm room on our floor.  And to think,  she was a singer-songwriter that I hated at first.  I just didn’t get why most of my band of buddies loved her.  I couldn’t keep up with her rhythms, couldn’t understand her lyrics… and then I realized that And When I Die‘ , a song she wrote and was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary.  I knew their version.  I loved their version but that familiarity with the song, opened me up to what Laura could offer her own work.  I knew all the words but Laura’s version was raw, demanding and at first easy to reject, but I had familiarity with it, a history and soon Laura’s arraignment made more sense, felt somehow more authentic., soon I was listening to more of her tunes, really listening.  They weren’t dancing songs, but more meant to be listened to on floor of my dorm room, looking up at the ceiling and seeing it..and soon I was moving to the next tune on that album…. and then another… and soon I was waiting on bated breath for a new album and I was loving the mystery of being challenged by a complicated song writer who’s voice just never sounded like anyone else’s.

Laura Nyro, from freshman days remained with me.  I saw her in concert but she never seemed comfortable.  I continued to collect her albums, listen to her music, old and new and I never lost my love of her passion and her nakedness.  One morning it was reported that she had died at 52 of breast cancer, leaving a young son behind.

So as I drove home today listening to Eli’s Confession, Emily.. tearing up, still mourning her loss.

I found out much later that her father was a piano tuner, the tuner for my teacher-friend, Sheila.  And even later than that, my brother Jeff, a lawyer was her father’s attorney for some real estate work.  How about that?

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5 thoughts

  1. I must confess, I’ve never heard of her. I will need to find some songs and listen. Music has such power to transport us to another dimension.

  2. Thanks bonnie … LN was such a distinctive composer and singer … Love all her work with special affection for NY Tendaberry and gonna take a miracle. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (where LN will feature)

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