It was March 1977. I was in my bedroom listening to the radio when I heard a commercial spot about a festival coming to Lakeland, FL on April 2nd. It was billed as ‘Sunfest.’ I listened closely to the long list of major acts booked for the fest and to my surprise, folk-rocker, Melanie (Safka) was on the bill. This was the best news I’d heard since my parents told me I didn’t have at attend church on Sunday and that I could smoke cigarettes at home. A rebellious teen takes that as pretty good news! That was a big battle to win! It was the early seventies, kids. It’s now 2014. Don’t smoke and for the love of God, do NOT let your kids smoke, but I digress.
I had seen Melanie live in concert only once before. It was 1971 and I was in the tenth grade. I had fallen hard for her and her music that year when a friend (more on him later) from school turned me on to some of her available records at that time.
Melanie had no idea that how, through her music, she became a real friend to me. She was right there for me on vinyl when I needed her company. There’s a sound in Melanie’s voice that resonated with me on a level deeper than I was aware of at the time. In those days, surpassing just hope or desire, I knew I would come to know Melanie in a very real way. One day. But how?
Photo Credit: Maddy Miller
Photo Credit: Bob Cato
You’re Not A Bad Ghost, Just An Old Song
“You’re not a bad ghost, just an old song
Good love gone wrong
Something knocking on my funny bone
You were right for the moment, but not a whole life
But you’d be right tonight ‘cuz I’m singing old songs
You’re not a bad ghost, just a false start
A pain in my heart, but not a bad one
You were right for the moment, but not my whole life
But you’d be nice tonight ‘cuz I’m singing old songs
Ah, you’d be nice tonight ‘cuz I’m singing old songs…”
– Melanie Safka