The Front Porch Go to Mickey Newbury Back Porch
Back Porch


Author:  Hank Beukema
E-mail:  not available
Date:  3/12/2006 1:26:19 PM
Subject:  Oh, Whatever
Message:  "Where was I, darlin'? Did I lose my place again? Oh yes, we were talking about heart and wouldn't you think that one heart could only hold so much pain and joy, longing and yearning, heartache and delight without bursting? There's a heart I know of that seems to be boundless in that regard.... His heart takes in and pumps back out more than you would think one could handle in one lifetime, but it just keeps on pumping and beating, going on and on..... Mickey Newbury mines the mountains that we all climb everyday..... He stands amidships on a vessel that sits just offshore of our long, lonely nights and our loving, joyous days..... He pilots a train through the tunnel of our memories and our lost, aching pasts and comes out the other side whole and fresh and bursting into a morning's sunlight.... At a time in a life and a career when most people are redoing the one or two old hits that link them to their public, Mickey has given us Ten new pieces of that heart and Ten new tales of his life and ours.... But, enough about us, darlin', let's deal....."

This is how I started a piece four years ago, and because of that I have had untold meetings and memories with people by email, by phone and in person... I got to talk to Mickey Newbury by phone and late night emails enough to consider him a friend [like thousands of others he drew into his big, big heart and made them all feel like they were sitting in his living room with him...] It was not the first I had written of Newbury, but it was the best, and because of the kind graces of Bob Rosemurgy and a hazy being known as Mister Beve, two of my three past articles about Mick still currently reside on the website www.mickeynewbury.com on the Articles page....

So, let's catch up a little here.... Mick passed on in 2002; my darling Barbie passed over in 2003 and my own mind passed somewhere around the same time..... But, life goes on, sometimes whether we want it to or not... We are the survivors, the ones still living, the ones that the torch has been passed to; if we are writing this and reading this we are still in the body and spirit that we came to the dance with, for better or worse, for richer or poorer [[um, Buckman, do you Really want to go there?]]... Ignore that last comment by Ralph [[wink, girls]], because this is Serious stuff; no polar bears, no jokes..... This is unedited from my mouth to your ears, unedited, unexpurgated, un-anythinged.....

I am not just a Mickey Newbury fanatic; I listen to and love everything..... Newbury is just one of many songwriters that I love and depend on to comfort me as I go on in this long beautiful, dark trail we are all on... But, whenever the subject comes up of "My Favorite Album", I hear from friends about Pet Sounds and Revolver and Zeppelin, etc and with Mick I hear Lulled by the Moonlight and Looks Like Rain and, you know what [[Should I guess?]], I don't really care anymore.... It makes me tired, all that energy spent over something that could matter less than black-eyed peas on new years or good wishes to an old friend leaving summer camp.... THIS is MINE and it can never be taken away by the new Van Morrison or the new Ellis Paul or even the next Doug Lang or Rudy McNeely.... It's over and done and will be for the next hundred years....

How many times has one of America's or the world's great songwriters had a chance to write his whole life, at 62, to leave as an elegy, a postscript, an autobiography behind for people to hear for the ages about what happened and what he felt about it? Buddy Holly, Lennon, Otis, Jim Morrison? Mickey Newbury knew it was coming, he knew it was ending.... He took a trip, both literally and musically and lyrically through his past life and put it down on paper and plastic..... This will last a hundred years.... This will last as long as people listen to music; this will last as long as people.....

Here's a line from my original article:

"The concise, aching melodies, so lovingly surrounded by beautifully crafted arrangements, and layers of sounds that can actually make you feel like you are soaring above yourself.... The range of vocal power, that has not lost, but gained as the years have passed, like a fine scotch taking in the flavor of it's oaken casks..... from a full throated cry to an aching whisper in the same line..... There comes a time when experience and life's fullness conspire to meet at that perfect juncture and an artist is at his peak...."

Now, despite Mick's phone call that quarreled [just a little] and laffed about my comparisons of his voice to old scotch, in the early days, in Houston, among the old gang there of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Vince Bell, it was one of them that told me that Mickey was considered the "Pavarotti" of all of them..... and yet he always considered himself a songwriter, singer later, maybe, but not just another singer/songwriter...... Well, folkies, this man, who at 62, had such extreme breathing problems, that, as only his family could really tell it well, still sat up late at night and pushed, yes, pushed out this album of his life, of our lives, of a piece of time on this planet that will simply refuse to die as the years go by...... Listen to MAYBE and tell me, call me, write me and tell me that it is not the most lovely song you have ever heard.... Listen to In 59, Listen to A Long Road Home and tell me that you have Ever heard anything like this..... I dare ya.... I am lean and strong now, since the fat ol fool that wrote the first article and I am ready for ya..... Once, late at night, on the "Old Blue Board" on www.mickeynewbury.com , I told some guy name of Poe that if I ever saw him walking down the street I was gonna kick his everlovin ass for what he had said about Newbury..... Mick wrote me to tell me he was glad I was on his side..... A long time later, I found out that Poe was Mick [ or so we think]....... Just havin fun.... Just makin us think and feel and live a little, laffin at our own pain and our hurts and troubles..... I'm still on your side, Mick..... Here's to the Piper, boyo, The bastards been paid....

Hank Beukema

-----------------------------------Visit Camp Buckman

 Oh, Whatever by Hank Beukema at 3/12/2006 1:26:19 PM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by Texas Granny at 3/12/2006 2:23:54 PM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by Ron L.  at 3/12/2006 3:47:35 PM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by Joey L.  at 3/12/2006 3:06:50 PM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by KarenB at 3/13/2006 12:04:34 AM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by Roy  at 3/13/2006 5:54:17 AM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by david at 3/13/2006 11:51:19 AM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by Judy C  at 3/13/2006 12:33:48 PM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by andrew p at 3/13/2006 4:31:18 PM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by Duke at 3/13/2006 9:16:56 PM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by Bill Smith  at 3/14/2006 9:09:12 PM
 Re: Oh, Whatever by Larry & Gale Book  at 3/16/2006 12:03:23 PM