- 10:09 PM, Sunday,
October 9th, 2005:
- On December 9th,
1994 I surprised my girlfriend by flying her to
NYC and proposing at the 10th bench from the right on
the south side of The Lake. I wore the black hat, the
Ireland pajama top, the raggedy old green army jacket,
jeans and black boots. No place in the world
symbolizes my life better than this bench. And on my
30th birthday, it was exactly where I needed to
it's probably not in the way many
newcomers to "The Journey" would assume.
I'm not still in love with Burgundie,
although she is very precious to me. I'm
not really heartbroken by our eventual
divorce, 10 years tends to heal those
wounds. No, this bench, this park, this
city means so much more. And nothing
explains what I mean more than this
reaction I got last night when
I said I had been divorced
you're a romantic."
What a positive response! My thought
process was, "Yeah, I am...but what
does that have to do with - ohhhhhh. Wow."
That is the past 30 years in a nutshell.
That's what that bench represents. I'm not
afraid of what it might look like, what
convenience I may sacrifice - I lead
with my heart. And I have absolutely
no regrets about that moment 11 years ago
when at 19 I looked Burgundie in the eyes
and wanted to spend my life with her. It
was romantic in every sense and although
I didn't know it at the time that act
would define my 20s and literally my life.
It was a risk, it was holding the egg over
your head and not worrying if it cracked.
And booooooooy did it crack. LOL. There's
still remnants. Ha. ;-)
it's a moment I'm intensely proud of. In
all seriousness. That moment defined
everything I stand for. I didn't
rush into the proposal, it was planned out
for months. I was not afraid of committing
to her and embraced it with everything
6 months I'd be working at WTVN and that
same passion and risk taking would lead me
to running a talk-show as a teenager and
pushing my creative talents every way
possible. Fearless. Determined.
Successful. Everything I tried worked
better than the idea before and things
consistently moved forward.
December 9th, 1995 - Burgundie and
I went back to the bench and enjoyed
another week in NYC, the show was going
incredibly and I was producing my
first CD with my father which would
be released the following May. Had CD
signings and performances - pushed my show
to new heights, got write-ups in the
paper... ZZZZZZ - read the bio. I went
ROARING into my adulthood counting the
successes by the month. I decided to
not go back to college for my Junior year
and pursued radio full-time and by the
fall of 1996 I literally had
everything I could imagine.
- That December 9th,
Burgundie and I got married and somehow were able
to make it to the bench within the same day. It would
be the last time I was in New York for 9
following summer Burgundie came to me and
said she had made a mistake. She loved me
only as a friend and couldn't apologize
enough. It was the first of a decade of
heartaches, but really the true test of
what I was made of. It's easy to jump
when you always land on a trampoline, but
when it's concrete, do you jump
hurt worse than anything I had ever
known. I wept. I was so shocked, so
devastated and had absolutely no voice.
She never budged, she was certain and
I was obliterated (thank you
thesaurus.com). The outcome was throwing
myself into the radio show, and making to
date my favorite collection of songs:
"Hearing My Thoughts". It was my public
therapy, a type of therapy that has
continued my entire life and it was also
the other side of my character. It was
dealing with the consequences of leading
with your heart...
we all lead with our heart when we're
kids. Little by little getting "burned"
slows you down. Hard to jump when you just
sprained your ankle. No, it's these type
of heartbreaks that define just how
"romantic" you are. If you can
continue to take risks when you now KNOW
what it feels like... it is no longer a
kid with wreckless abandon - it is who you
are, it is your soul...it is your
- Enter 1998,
Palaur, CD101, Jessica and 4tvs. Yeah, my heart wasn't
going anywhere. In fact, it started a pattern. A
negative consequence always made me risk more
to counteract it. ABOT drops out helping you produce
4tvs? Buy all the equipment you don't know how to use
and do it better than them. Fired from CD101? Give up
the only world you've ever known and move to Los
- The rest of course
has been painstakingly documented for 6 years and it
makes the heartbreak of 1997 look like the drama of an
8th grade dance. The definition of heartburn. The
content and creativity produced in LA has never been
stronger or more "risk-taking" and has also provided
some of the biggest burns imaginable. So as
I look back on the last 10 years of my life, I'm
taking stock. It's what you're supposed to do on the
round numbers, right? You look at what you did and you
celebrate and try and look ahead.
that's what brings me to NYC on my
30th birthday. That's why that bench is so
powerful to me. It began my adulthood and
catapulted me into the greatest adventure
I could imagine.
- It is
also...someone else's birthday, John
Lennon would be 65 today. And New York
knows it. As you'll see at the end of the
it has been a ritual since his death 25
years ago to gather and sing his solo work
and Beatles songs. Once they created
"Strawberry Fields" in Central Park, that
is where it's been held.
- For a
Beatles fan, it's just awesome. To sit and
sing with 100 or so people is so fun. They
had drums, bass, guitars, tambourines -
even clarinets for the strange parts. It's
also strangely emotional. This is
happening because he was fuckin' murdered.
So in between songs it would really hit
you. You see the flowers and candles on
the ground and it's really just a happy
vigil. Grr, don't get me started again.
Such an incredible waste.
Post did a story on what Lennon would be
doing if he were still alive. It was
really good - Yoko said he'd be an
internet geek creating all sorts of art
and absolutely LOVING the ability to
publish without a label. They also did an
artist's rendition of what he'd look like
awesome. I know the picture that was
taken from very well and they really did a
good job. He'd be wearing contacts though.
He wouldn't be caught dead in the grandpa
"what he'd be doing now" stories were
just fascinating. And strangely enough -
I never realized how much
I relate to him. "He'd be protesting
the war in Iraq, leading the charge on the
internet". Ha. I'm glad people understood
what a little kid he was about technology.
He got a kick out of all the bells and
whistles of what was state of the art.
Thought cable was genius. It's a side most
people don't know.
would absolutely have been into internet
and video as a means to create - the fact
that you can literally produce an
orchestra on something the size of a
dictionary would have inspired the hell
out of him. I really see him taking the
grass-roots approach to it and making
really raw art. He would definitely make
the major releases, but it would be on his
terms in a way that only he was able to
would certainly be on his own record label
and I guarantee you his new CDs would not
have been in Walmart. He would've loved
giving the finger to the brick and mortar
executives and sell 'em on his website.
Fun to imagine isn't it...
- Anyway, things are
coming to an end here. One more entry tomorrow (The
Journey magic of round numbers will strike again, be
sitting down for #470) and I can finally take a
break from these insanely complicated entries. My big
project to end out the year is going to be putting
together a legitimate CD with "Saying When" and
"Smiley Girl" leading the way. Remakes of the
songs of this year, fully produced for no other reason
than I want to. I've had a helluva good song year
and I want to capture it with a great disc as
opposed to random snippets on a website...
I believe we've got an album cover. ;-) Happy
Birthday John & Sean.