Blue Avenue

I gotta quit this habit
It’s like this drug for you

Actually, after a ruinous New Year’s Eve I was finally recovering, finally seeing a road unfolding in the future. She’d left back in May the year before and for a long time I thought she’d come back, but she didn’t. And then just when she said she was ready, I was worried, fearful of the craziness returning, but just before I could tell her I was unsure, her doctor told her the time was not quite here, and togetherness was tabled.

Until two months later, around noon, when there was a knock on the door. There she was.

That’s how life works in case you don’t know. Once you give up on something it happens. You can’t play mind tricks, convincing yourself it won’t happen, you’ve got to have truly given up, gone through all the Kubler Ross stages. And then…

She was smiling. Walking into the house we used to share. And for some reason, I showed her the video of Elton John’s “Club At The End Of The Street.”

I was a massive Elton fan, still am. And after he took a break, after “Blue Moves,” when he ultimately showed up on Geffen, it wasn’t quite the same. There was that other lyric writer, Chris Thomas instead of Gus Dudgeon, and there were hits but they didn’t have the same essence of what came before, until…

“Club At The End Of The Street.”

This was when MTV ruled. Before Nirvana eviscerated the hair bands, when you turned on the television to know what was going on, radio followed in MTV’s footsteps, after all, the programming team was poached from KROQ, the hippest station in the land.

And this was also when production values mattered, when a performance video no longer cut it. And I couldn’t get over how in the animated video Elton’s flip was imperfect. Like the clip was done on the cheap. In any event, I taped it and played it again and again, it made me feel good. Especially the bridge:

There’s a downtown smell of cooking
From the flame on an open grill
There’s a sax and a big bass pumping
Lord, have mercy
Ooh, you can’t sit still
Oh, you can’t sit still

That’s right, listening to “Club At The End Of The Street” lit my spirit, Elton was back, and quite possibly so was I. Lord have mercy!

And she walks in and it’s like she never left. And caught up in the mood, I showed her the video, you can watch it here:

Elton John – Club At The End Of The Street

And then she was on her way, to Seattle, to recover. We went out to her truck and she showed me our wedding picture and then she was gone. Like always.

I was doing my back exercises the other day and I was calling out songs to Alexa, on the Echo Show. I don’t believe in playlists, they’re unsatisfying. And I didn’t want to hear the hits, I wanted to hear the album tracks, songs that resonated with me.

And that’s when I thought of “Blue Avenue.”

And it’s no use each way we lose
You and me at the crossroads of Blue Avenue

Actually, I thought of “Club At The End Of The Street” first, but I wasn’t in an upbeat mood, I wanted something to soothe me, that lived in my head, that would make me feel comforted, not alone.

You see “Blue Avenue” is the last song on that 1989 album containing “Club At The End Of The Street,” “Sleeping With The Past.”

And playing the CD in the wake of loving “Club At The End Of The Street,” I fell in love with “Blue Avenue,” it’s got the gravitas Elton’s famous for, all the way back to “Sixty Years On” and “The King Must Die.”

And I’m lying on the floor listening, and I was wishing after the farewell tour Elton would go on the road to play all the album cuts. Yes, he does “All The Girls Love Alice,” but I need to hear “Elderberry Wine” and “Teacher I Love You” and “Blue Avenue.”

You’ve got the same obsession

And then she called. Just when I was coming down from her disappearance. I couldn’t be all lovey-dovey, I couldn’t make nice, I told her she called me when she needed me, but what I needed…

Was to get off, and I did.

And I found new love. Just like that. I was done. I was on the high of connection, finally feeling good after a year of hell.

And then she came back to L.A. and called.

She was now ready.

But I was not. I told her, I was involved with somebody else.

But that phone conversation totaled my love connection with the record company girl. You see she was upbeat and game, but I was married to the other one, we’d lived together for years, she could not be instantly forgotten, she’d touched my heart, and then broke it.

And it’s no use each way we lose
You and me at the crossroads of Blue Avenue
Hit and run hearts collide here
True love passes through
Looks like we’ve got a wreck babe
Up on Blue Avenue

Blue Avenue Spotify

Blue Avenue YouTube

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