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P.F. SLOAN

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it was the season of youth
when the music was sublime and everything was filled with
wonder
and
possibilities
even for a poor kid who hated school
if the music hadn’t saved me
i may’ve realized how dangerous my future looked
in the eyes of the realists
and those who suck the joy out of everything
but lennon’s voice sneered in their ear
and defended me
and paul sugar coated it
so even
the establishment unwittingly accepted the
revolution
while sweet George
played the guitar breaks that
implanted themselves
in our psyche
ringo conjured up beats
that shouldn’t make sense
but made us all want to dance
then a song
“eve of destruction”
came on the radio
and foretold us all
what the truth was
that
there were shadow people
who didn’t
dance
and
hellbent on
destroying our world
and us
a brave man must’ve written
this
song
i feared they would make him pay
and
they did
i looked for his name under the song title
on the record
it was
p.f. sloan
i loved the name
even
and i then after noticed
that he had written
so many songs
that i’d loved
that he must be the fifth beatle?
maybe?
he could’ve been
thought i
but i was just a kid
and the soundtrack of my life
was being written
by
giants
whose like we wouldn’t
much
see again
i even bought his own record
the 45rpm
p.f. sloan was now in bigger letters on the label
of him singing
his own song
“sins of a family”
on dunhill records
and he warned me again
of the world
and what can happen
to
those whose
innocence and light
distance you
from the
shadow makers
and that the
enemy may’ve even infiltrated
your own
family
but
he had said too much
rocked the boat
sang in a voice
that raged
and was defiant
he must be
a
communist
said the men of darkness
we can’t categorize him
which
makes him a threat
to what we know
and the system
of
counting beans
and labeling tins
and there were others
envious of his talent
and light
and
youth
so the people who gave him to us
eventually took him from us
one of his publicity photos
shows him holding his guitar
as though it’s a machine gun
little did I know
he was caught up
in a battle
of a war
that no one wins
then oneday
p.f.sloan went away
disappeared
became a mystery
he took something of me with him
that day
i eagerly awaited
his return
checking the writing
credits of every record
just in case
but alas
gone
no more
i waited 40 years for his return
in the meantime
his legend grew
even his protégé
jimmy webb wrote a song for him
about him
“i have been seeking p.f.sloan
but no one knows where he has gone…”

if jimmy couldn’t find him
how could i?
then
one night
in los angeles
when I was lost
and at bazza’s place
i surfed the internet
and typed in his name
that magical name
and there he was
we met
we became friends
like it had always
been
destined
that we would
we
talked
and found
that we had
traveled a similar
road
he had been banished
from the industry for 40 years
me for ten
we were brothers in hurt
and strength
now
every minute i spend with him
inspires
me
enlightens
me
and
even when we
are far apart
half a world away
we
are still connected
in song
in spirit
and
when i think of him
i smile
he
is now back in the world
reborn
with a new album
“my beethoven”
and a new book that explains it all
“what’s exactly the matter with me?”
and one night soon
we’ll
sit at dan tana’s again
over a martini
and without a word
connect
for the world is magic
if you believe
it
so
and
i do
(c) Frank Howson

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