PortFolio Weekly

PortFolio Weekly
May 24, 2005

Reflections of My Life

Which songs do you associate with special moments in your life? That's the question posed by the editors of Port Folio Weekly. Here's my response.

Love (Can Make You Happy), Mercy
(Winter/Spring 1969)

Junior year in high school was when I stopped feeling like a dweeb and began to gain some confidence in the corridors of Suffolk High School. Itís also when I discovered younger girls, the prettiest of whom was Angel Ellis, a freshman in my French II class. Her overly protective father limited our dating opportunities, but there were ballgames and dances and teenage dreams of happily ever after.

Crystal Blue Persuasion, Tommy James & the Shondells
(Summer 1969)

My first real summer job, other than cutting grass, was managing the city tennis courts in Suffolk at the age of 17. I made $1.00 an hour and spent it all on record albums at the Band Box.

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Paul & Linda McCartney
(Summer 1971)

The summer after my freshman year in college, I worked in a machine shop making peanut pickers and other farm equipment at Benthall Machinery Company. I had a band called Bathroom Reading Material that rehearsed in the choir room of my fatherís church and played a lot of Jethro Tull and Humble Pie.

Jim Newsom in 1971, age 19

Miss You, The Rolling Stones
(Summer/fall 1978)

I was a starving musician in New York City, working the streetcorners of Greenwich Village and the open mike nights of various clubs. This song was ubiquitous that summer in Manhattan, blasting out of every open window and from every stoop as I wandered the city, guitar in hand.

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, The Beatles

I rediscovered The Beatles when I had children. My kids loved them the most, proving that good music is truly timeless. My 6-year old son, Cole, especially liked this song, and we had a ritual whenever it came on: Heíd lift his right index finger and play on the beat during the chorus. His little sister and I had to join in with him, a polyrhythmic air-drum trio.

--- JIM NEWSOM, 53

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