Ask iAN

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Ask iAN * Birthday Greetings to Babe Shadow (Robert Levon Been)

Years ago I met a young man who asked me my humble opinion on his music.  He was soft spoken yet very humorous, introspective, generous and had a dark twist...that young man was Jeff Buckley.  One doesn't meet men like Jeff Buckley everyday and so after he died...not only was i heavy with the blues but rather disappointed...that i would never find such a man again to warm to...and then God, the Devil or maybe it was the good witch from the wizard of oz brought me Robert Levon Been.

This cat from the other side of the tracks, from celestial city, we circled one another like indian runners without ever having an inkling that one night we would eventually run smack dab right into one another.

Most men you can figure.
Stereotypes at the most with one foot in the grave and one foot in the poolhall
or the T & A bar, chokin' on antique meat and clubbing his own ding a ling while reading some jock's batting average...

Robert Been is not one of those men...it's a decade since we crossed paths and shook hands and i still cannot figure him, get an angle on him, or even understand the trigonometry woven hallway webs of his flash mind...which is so what i adore about people like him,
Baudelaire
Socrates
Billy the Kid
and Greta Garbo

Robbie gives it to you straight like a shot of whiskey and like a phantom sometimes you never know where he is lurking or sailing off into...could be some desert with coyotes creepin' and hawks circling the sky high above, could be the salton sea, could be some dank den sitting in a corner or in a small black room with only a record player, an acoustic guitar and a book of dreams...or Paris... Mexico...China...Oklahoma...

Best friends are hard to come by for me...the few i've had in the past, well, some lost their minds, some went to jail, some i just threw away for being too pretentious, some died and few inspired me...inspired me to be a better person.  To not only talk about keeping on...but keeping on with a sense of self worth and style...Robbie is a gentle and generous heart with a lot to say yet with the time to listen as well...and a person who makes me feel ok in my own skin when i am around him...and the kind of good soul that can still laugh when i say the word "Dong".

I am a very gracious and lucky person to get a brother like babe shadow, i hold onto him loose as he works the roads, the streets...haunting my mind in the way that only he can...

For his birthday i've decided not to
text him
ring him
or flood him emails...
Think i'll just say some prayers for the cat
maybe bake a cake in the shape of a dong
and wear a black hood around the flat...while sending birthday greetings and wishes on the air and let the good spirits take them to him where ever he's roamin', writin' or sleepin'.... .*

I love you brother
Keep on keepin' ON
fuzzy was never so clear.... .*

iAN

 



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