Where would movies, songs, books, art, etc be without the theme of love? Where would we as human beings be without love, or the promise of it? It'd be a sad, much less interesting life, wouldn't it? I had two girlfriends in kindergarten. They didn't know they were my girlfriends but that hardly mattered. I'll leave out their last names but Susan was the bombshell and Kathy was the cute, but really cool one. I learned an important lesson that year. Cool, sweet, nice, sincere, funny will win out over hotness in the long run. Goodbye Susan.
My first real girlfriend happened in the eighth grade. And wouldn't you know she lived in the same neighborhood from where I'd just moved? Dang!!!!! I met her on my first gig. I was thirteen and playing guitar with "The Esquires" at my friend's basement bash. How we were gonna get through the night on three songs was a mystery but it didn't matter. The guitar worked!!! I would commute from Piscataway to Plainfield by bike a couple of days a week.......about an hour and a half ride...and live for Sats. Guitar lesson in the morning, wandering around downtown Plainfield, then meeting Debbie for some serious movie time. The Strand Theater had a great balcony in 1966. I saw Goldfinger four or five times and still can't tell you why that woman (Ursula Andress?) had to get painted to death. Getting home was always an adventure. My mom would drop me off at the lesson and then I was on my own. My ties were slowly moving from Plainfield to Piscataway. And meeting Debbie was only locking me back in.
Turns out....get this....she was also a guitar player.....and could smoke me on my best day!!! But she had a secret. She was already in a cool band with gigs and, for the time, great equipment.
I never could figure out why she didn't tell me. Maybe it was the tail end of that women shouldn't be as talented as men thing. Weird. We'd do most of our communicating by phone during the week and I should have known something was up when I played "Day Tripper" for her and she played it back to me smoother, faster and....right. I realized later when we'd play together, she'd play down to my level.....to not embarass me?....I don't know. She never did come clean. I had to find out from her mother!!!! When I walked past her bedroom and saw this great amplifier she said it was her cousin's and looked really nervous explaining it...and.....I BELIEVED HER!!!!
Debbie and I eventually went our separate ways and I settled into new friends, bands, school and...... new girlfriends. There is nothing like the feeling of a new infatuation......learning all about someone...the way your heart does a flip when you see them coming. Anything beyond that is gravy. No wonder songs, poems , operas, paintings have been dedicated to this nutty emotion. Love. It's as good as it gets, man. Countries have been lost, wars have been fought, murders have been committed..... Mick Jagger, Mother Theresa and Leonardo DaVinci have been brought into this world.....because of it. My kindergarten pals taught me to look beyond the facade and into the person. Not easy, being a human male, and I've fallen into the trap more than once. But sooner or later the cream always rises to the surface.
I will always believe in the fabulous institution of love......from "All You Need Is Love" to " Love Stinks." I've never cried.....or laughed....so hard because of it. I've embraced it, cursed it, celebrated it, regretted it....and searched for it. Once again I have to quote the poets of my generation. "And in the end....the love you take...is equal to the love....you make." Well said, lads.