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Posts Tagged ‘Fred Neil’

GC Myers-Dropping Clues 2021



There is always a pleasure in unravelling a mystery, in catching at the gossamer clue which will guide to certainty.

― Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton, 1848



We all have questions and we all want answers, don’t we? For many of us, it’s just the nature of who and what we are, this need to figure out the mystery of all things. As a result, we sometimes see clues in the mundane and the innocuous.

The color of the sky. The patterns of the stars. The way the light shifts and filters through the trees. The moon’s path and its effect on things here. The way a path winds.

Answers seldom, if ever, come.

Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we need this mystery hanging in front of us like a carrot tempting a mule. We might be even more dangerous to ourselves, if that’s possible, if we definitively knew our origins, our true limits and possibilities. I sometimes think we all have a bit of nihilism tucked away in our genetic codes, one that wants us to burn down the whole shooting match once truth is revealed and there’s no longer any way of wrapping reality in mystery and supposition.

Who knows?

Not me, surely. I am just here for the mystery. Plus, I heard there’d be cake.

Anyway, those are some thoughts inspired by the new painting shown at the top, Dropping Clues, part of my solo show now hanging at the Principle Gallery. I thought this was also match up with an old song from a late singer/songwriter that many of you probably don’t know, Fred Neil. Neil was a highly regarded folk singer in the 1960’s, one of the bigger stars of NYC’s Village folk scene. He is best know for his song, Everybody’s Talkin’, made popular in the film Midnight Cowboy as sung by Harry Nilsson. Most people, myself included, assumed Nilsson wrote the song but it was Fred Neil.

His other popular song is the one I am sharing today, Dolphins. It’s a moody musing on our existence that, in part, reflected Neil’s own fascination with dolphins. He became interested with dolphins in the 60’s and in 1970 was one of the founders of the Dolphin Research Project. From that point on, his life was more or less devoted to watching dolphins. He performed his music only occasionally through the last thirty years of his life, until his death in 2001 at age 65.

This song has been covered by a host of notable performers and has been used in many soundtracks for movies and television. It’s a good song to have on when you’re trying to figure out the mystery.



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