This past February, Margaret and I were driving down HWY 128 near Boonville when we heard a song that would change our lives. The song, "Jerusalem", was very funny and caught our attention. We listened for the credits and heard the name: Dan Bern. His first CD would be coming out in March ('97). We bought it in Mendocino and haven't stopped listening to it for the past three months.
The title track is called "Jerusalem". A love song that describes his visit to Jerusalem, "...sweet Jerusalem", where he "ate mountains of olives". In the song, he talks about how the world is waiting for the Messiah and how people hate to wait, "...even for a bus or something, or an important phone call". So, he helps us out by declaring that his therapist told him to get it out in the open: Bern declares: "I am the Messiah".
The other songs include a song about Marilyn Monroe and how much more fun she'd have had if she had married Henry Miller instead of Arthur Miller. Bern's guitar and voice are reminiscent of Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and his drive is like Bruce Springsteen. Not bad company!
So, Margaret and I went to a Dan Bern concert in San Francisco on May 15th. The Great American Music Hall was packed and we had front table seats. The energy and talent of Dan was glorious. We were having one of those experiences that you don't want to end. He sang of his Jewish roots and how his relatives were killed in the Holocaust. One song, "Lithuania", was a transfixing celebration of Jewish survival.
Bern's music grows on you. Give it a chance. His CD is available in record stores in our area. And the BIG NEWS is that Margaret and I will be bringing Dan Bern to perform a concert. Mark your calendars now: November 9th, Crown Hall, Mendocino, 8:p.m. It will be a sold out show. Get your tickets ($10 ea.) from Mickey and Margaret. This will also be a fund raiser for local charities.
(Dan Bern's Web Site at Sony)
- Mickey Chalfin Copyright 1997
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