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Brother, Brother, Brother...
on October 23, 2006
In 1971 I lived in a very well integrated neighborhood. We had the Romants who were Puerto Rican who lived a few doors down from us, the Sakai's, who were Japanesese, lived next door to the Jones and the Jones who were a black family lived next door to us. Mr. and Mrs. Jones were my mom and dad's best friends'. we did everything together. I'm sure we got stared at quite a bit because I guess there were still a few people who couldn't handle seeing black and white people being friendly with each other and even letting their children play with each other. I can assure you, none of us were hurt in the process. In fact, we learned a real "silly thing". We learned that all people are pretty much the same. That no matter what you may look on the outside, your soul still looks the same to God who made you out of "His" Colorless Self...because as my mother would say, Love has no color...
But anyway, flashing back to 1971, we were at a barbecue at the Jones' house, and Alicia, their oldest daughter, who was 15 at the time (and who I had a mad crush on)came out of the house wearing this pretty yellow sundress and holding this record. She carefully took it out of its cover and put it on. I just remember it getting very, very quiet. It was like each and every song took our breath away. I remember after the record played, Alicia wanted to play it again, and Mrs. Jones wiped a few tears from her eyes simply said, "Another time, dear...another time..."
This album is heavy. It's not party music. It really makes you think and feel about your place in the world. We have become such a plastic coated society. It is like we are numb to everything that is going on in the world. Oh, I see North Korea has a nuclear weapon that they want to test, ho-hum...pass the butter...WHAT? PARIS HILTON GOT ARRESTED FOR DRUNK DRIVING! OH, THE INHUMANITY! It's a weird world in which we live in. There are somedays I am just thrilled to the bone to be a part of such a lovely world and then there are other days when I just want to stick my head in the sand.
I consider Marvin Gaye a prophet, a very unlikely prophet, but if you really think about it, all the truly great people didn't look like they would amount to much, at the time..."Oh, you didn't invite that Jesus kid from Nazareth over, did you? He's always making the water taste funny..." But Marvin sang about what we all wanted to sing about. He talked about the war, about the ecology, about people that felt oppressed and lost and confused and I don't think he was just singing to people of his own race, I think he was singing to all of us.
This record will be 36 years old in 2007 and it is still just as relevant. And even though I haven't lived in that old neighborhood of mine in years, I still feel very lucky that I lived in a "world" where I was exposed to different ideas, different beliefs, different ways of being in the world because it just makes me realize that the only thjing that we all have in common is that we are all so diverse and it's a beautiful thing.
Peace and Blessings