Thursday, July 20, 2017

MIDNIGHT CAFE





My blog critics (all two of them) have chastised me for talking too much about myself. 
 "You're really stuck on yourself, Jon!"

My answer:
Well, hell, of course I'm stuck on myself. I'm the most interesting person I know. Certainly more interesting than a couple of bitter critics.

You can't see the little sarcastic smile that is curling my lips.

I have earned the right to revel in my golden (or at least silver-plated) past. And I enjoy talking about it.

I'm presently a tarnished relic, a quirky hermit, living in a shack in the Tennessee hills....
like a faded, stale photograph buried under the bitter irony of fresh roses from the past.

When the owls are hooting and the coyotes are howling outside my window at night (like they were last night), my mind drifts back to the stark contrast of distant nights in a faraway place...

.....where warm balmy Los Angeles nights are scented with the intoxicating breath of succulent gardenias 
and languid palm trees glisten with the moist embrace of ocean mists....

...where I play the piano in a smokey cafe until 2:00 a.m. and the night - with all its possibilities - beckons the adventurous until dawn. 
I was young, eager, and extremely reckless.

Wake up! I'm not finished yet.
You just knew there was going to be music in here somewhere, didn't you?

I found some more old tapes of my piano "cafe" repertoire - - the music that I dutifully played in cafes, bars, and nightclubs in L.A. and Hollywood.
My diverse fingers faked their way over indifferent keyboards in anonymous cafes...and I assumed an air of confidence and sophistication that never really belonged to me.

As Time Goes By

Written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931 for the musical Everybody's Welcome.
Immortalized by singer Dooley Wilson in the 1942 film Casablanca.

This is the arrangement of As Time Goes By that I wrote - and played in my midnight cafe repertoire.
Note:
I have a video of me playing this, and if I ever find it I'll post it.
I'm sure you'll be breathless with anticipation.


 

24 comments:

  1. One of my all-time favorite torch songs!
    I like your more upbeat take on this, Jon. It's less likely to provoke my consuming too much gin in one eve. :)

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    1. It's not often that I'm described as "upbeat". Thanks!

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  2. I am breathless Jon with heat and anticipation. Do you like country music at all? I've been listening to Charlie Pride tonight.

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    1. My mother always liked Charlie Pride and my father was a huge Hank Williams fan. I do like country music. I actually like all music except "Rap".

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  3. "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." - Oscar Wilde

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    1. I never heard that quote before - - but I luv it!!!

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  4. Are you trying to my me fall in love with you??? One of my all time favorites songs.....and also a favorite Brit show of mine. Enjoyed that.

    On a side note, has anyone ever told you your face should be on cigars boxes?? You look like a wealthy cigar plantation owner.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the song. My goal is to enchant and intrigue....

      In my "old" age I look more like an old cigar box rather than a wealthy cigar plantation owner.

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  5. Now you have me wanting to watch Casablanca again--LOL! Been decades! :)

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    1. I haven't watched "Casablanca" in years, either. I have it on DVD somewhere. I plan to search for it soon.

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  6. As I listened, I thought of Dooley Wilson, Bergman, Bogart, the atmosphere and feeling of a favorite film. Couldn't help it. In that melody is a longing for the plane to Lisbon. I believe I'll scroll up and play it again, Jon. Thanks.

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    1. I love those atmospheric old flicks and "Casablanca" is a favorite.
      I'm always eager to play it again.

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  7. If you don't talk about yourself, who will? We enjoy hearing your tales.

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    1. Sometimes I bore myself...but that doesn't stop me from talking about me.

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  8. Now I'll have an earwig all day. What a nice one to have.

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  9. Great song choice! As I listened, I couldn't resist closing my eyes and singing along. (With my eyes closed, I could imagine myself clad in a long clingy number and stiletto heels and sitting atop the piano. Reality wears shorts and sloppy slippers.)

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    1. As long as I'M not wearing the long clingy number and stiletto heels we'll be all right (*smile*).
      Actually, I'm presently wearing shorts and flip-flops.

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  10. Jon,

    Glad to hear your playing. Showing how ancient I am, "As Time Goes By" was one of two my wife called our songs when we began dating. The other was "Moonlight in Vermont".

    Larry

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    1. There's nothing like the old songs, Larry. "Moonlight in Vermont" is a favorite.

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  11. Lovely rendition of one of my favorite old movie songs.

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    1. I appreciate that, Kirk - and thanks for visiting my blog!

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  12. love the song, but truth be told i love that cigarette hanging out of your mouth in the picture of you. it captured the moment.

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    1. That's a fairly recent photo. I haven't smoked in a very long time, but I used the cigarette as a sort of prop to enhance my "toughness".

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