Sad stories about happy things

Last month, for the first time in more than a year and a half, I visited an airport and went on a trip for my Dark Corporate Overlords. With all the changes going on in my life during the past year I haven’t been complaining about the break from traveling. It’s been a welcomed chance to sort things out and establish a new normal. Yet all things must pass, and eventually work required me to stuff a week’s worth of clothes into a carryon suitcase, and squeeze myself into a germ infested metal tube with 300 other humans for 12 hours of confinement. Ah… the glamour of business travel. I’m sure some company still pays for their employees to fly business class, but I’ve never been lucky enough to work for one. Digressing…

While on the flight I watched the movie “Love and Mercy” about Brian Wilson and his struggles with mental illness, and how he managed to find his way back after decades of struggling with his demons. It reminded me that I had somehow reached age 47 and had still not listened to the album Pet Sounds in its entirety. Sure, I’d heard just about every track from it at one time or another, but one of the great achievements of Pet Sounds was its place in music history as being one of the first complete concept albums. So I made a mental note to pick up a copy when I got back from my trip.

Sitting around bored last Saturday morning, I remembered, and downloaded both Pet Sounds, and his long delayed follow up album, Smile. So began a 7 day long immersion in listening to these two works on endless loop. At home. In the car. At work. Just about every waking moment has either been consumed with listening to these albums, or reading and learning all I could about them. Yeah, when I decide to do something I have a tendency to go a little overboard.

While watching a documentary on the youtube about the completion of the long unfinished album Smile after 37 years I came across a phrase that resonated with me. Someone in the film, I forget who, referred to “Smile” as being “Sad songs about happy things.” Like a stone dropped into a well, this phrase has just echoed around inside of me for the past several days.

Sad songs about happy things…

While I can’t compare my ramblings with the work of a brilliant musician like Brian Wilson, I don’t think that I could have conceived of a better description of this blog. Amended of course, to be “stories” not “songs”. And so it is that I have finally found a new byline for 20 Prospect.

Sad stories about happy things.

It feels good to be back interwebz. I hope you stick around and keep me company as I return to exploring.



2 thoughts on “Sad stories about happy things

  1. Pet Sounds is brilliance, Smile reeks of Van Dyke Parks upsettingly tremendous sense of self importance.
    I may or may not have said that because his daughter came dangerously close to engaging in a weird online relationship with my husband. Or maybe I’m drunk?

    Either way, it’s still funny.
    Sorry Van Dyke, you’re like a melodious Geppetto!

    Anyway- you’re rolling again. What the actual fuck is going on? Everyone is writing again!

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