I’d never been to a Broadway show until last Friday night. A generous friend set us up with tickets to see Jersey Boys, a wonderful musical that tells the story of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons. I grew up with their music and still try to sing along with Valli’s falsetto every time the local oldies station plays one of their well-known tunes. It’s great stuff. Being in the Jersey Boys audience was a great finish to a day in Manhattan that included being served a great tuna salad on wheat toast by none other than Rupert Jee, of The Late Show and Hello Deli fame.
So we’re sitting in the theatre during intermission and talking about how much fun it is to learn the stories behind the songs we’ve been listening to for so many years. Then our friend Rick leans over and asks this question: “If you were going to spend the rest of your life on a desert island and you could take one album with you to listen to, what album would you take?” He then clarified by eliminating any compilation or greatest hits albums.
Hmmm. I’m still thinking. Because my musical tastes span decades and genres, it’s a tough question. I’d like to take an entire collection. But the parameters of the question say I can’t. I think I’ve narrowed it down to two. First, there’s the album from my junior high youth that grabbed me when my school music teacher, Miss Margolis, cranked it up through the Harmon Kardon speakers that hung on the front walls of the music room. Her goal was to get us to appreciate and deconstruct music. It worked. That album? Chicago Transit Authority. I loved it, got my own copy on vinyl, and wore it out. It was a musical watershed moment for me. And then there’s a disc that’s much newer, U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind.
So what album would you take with you, and why? Go ahead and comment. And remember, nobody’s allowed to laugh at anybody else’s selection. Anything is fair game.