April 9th marked 27 years Jan and I have been married. Yup, 27 years ago. A bit more than half a year before that, I was on the island of Crete. That time, I’d been away from the states better than a year. Jan, who had been in school in Paris, joined me in Spain and we lived and traveled together for some months. She left for New York and I went to Greece. I wrote this song there. It was played once. That was for Jan on the day I arrived in New York. And because the song was new and written for that one performance, I couldn’t remember most of it after a time.
For years, I thought I’d lost the paper it was written on. I tried to find it. I knew I’d put somewhere for safekeeping, but it was out my head. I looked in all my old songbooks, through every file and folder of papers, in every crack and corner of everything I owned. More than once. Plenty more than once. You know how it is. You know you have something, and you’ve searched everywhere. You tell yourself, it can’t be gone. You must be blind. So you go back time and again. Then you give up and, after a while, you give up on giving up and go try all over again. I did that so much, because I wanted it and it felt bad to lose it.
A few months ago, I was clearing out my studio. I had a leave coming up, and I wanted to get things just the way I liked them to paint. In a drawer stuffed with old shit, I came across the address book I use to carry in my pack. I leafed through it. There were old pieces of paper stuck in there. Notes. Phone numbers without names on them. Some with names of folks I’d meant to stay in touch with and didn’t. Addresses for this or that in some city or another. Just scraps stuck in there, torn and wrinkled. They were slipping out while I handled them, and some fell. One of these was a small, doubled over sheet of paper. I picked it up and, mood I was in, unfolded to see what it was about. And there was the song.
So I recorded it on April 9th, twenty-seven years and around seven months after that last and, up to then, only time I’d played it. This time, my son Noah played with me.