I visited the San Joaquin Valley twice in March to photograph the Fresno Country Blossom Trail and surrounding area. Compare my photos from the first visit and the second visit. During the drive to and through the valley, I reflected on ”being from the Valley” while listening to the radio. On my first visit, a local radio station asked listeners to name their “theme song.” A theme song was described as the music that would play whenever a person walked into the room.
Well, I knew my theme song (or at least I thought I did.) It was Bad Company, by Bad Company. Yeah, this guy with a face of fear “chose a gun and threw away the sun.” It does not make sense. It is a great song, but as far as a “theme song” it falls apart after the first two lines.
Company always on the run/ Destiny is the rising sun… after that, who wants a theme song that announces your bad disposition and willingness to die using firearms? When I was younger, I thought it was cool.
Bad Company’s song Bad Company reminds me of another old running song “Bullet the Blue Sky” by U2. I lived in Las Vegas when the Joshua Tree album was released and Bullet the Blue Sky was my favorite running song. I was living with my father in Las Vegas and I would run through the desert air drumming the beat. I never understood the lyrics. What did Bullet the Blue Sky mean? As often happens, in the absence of complete information, I made up my own explanations. I decided that those white airplane trails were evidence that a plane had Bulleted the Blue Sky. Bullet is a verb… I thought I was clever. Besides, I was running during a Vegas summer. I was in the desert and I was young,
The beginning of Spring is the end of blossom season… but it is the beginning of Spring. When I photographed the blossoms two weeks earlier, the sky was full of trails and clouds. The trees also had fewer leaves and more blossoms. Two weeks later, I spent the evening with my children and woke up on Good Friday at my mother’s foothill home. As I watched the children search for the Easter eggs hidden by their grandfather, I thought about the song I have often wanted played at my funeral. This was another mistake. It is Simple Man, by Lynyrd Skynrd.
This is a great song, but it is not a funeral song. The singer recalls a lesson from a mother to a son. The tune would work for a funeral, but these are lessons to practiced daily. Keep it simple. Take your time and understand yourself. Surround yourself with people who love you. Love yourself. When trouble comes, remember their is a power greater than you.
Boy, don’t you worry… you’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart, lord, and nothing else.
If only it were so simple to keep it simple. That is why it will be my new theme song. It’s my daily reminder. For my outdoor funeral, Hopefully, airplanes will bullet the blue sky just for my bad company.