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Sara’s Diary: Day 27 without baseball

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Elliot Smith, Tom Petty and John Prine

John Prine 2009
John Prine performs in 2009
Photo by Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns

I have a confession to make.

I don’t always nail it with these posts. On opening day when I found out that John Prine was in the hospital with COVID-19 I wanted to capture what his music meant to me. After all, Wrigley Field is Paradise, Opening Day is Paradise, my favorite John Prine song is Paradise. I mean, this really should write itself.

It didn’t. Like it was fine but it didn’t do what I wanted it to, and it didn’t convey what I was trying to say that day.

The world lost John Prine to COVID-19 last night and I’m going to try again.

Last night is the third time in my life that I’ve sat up past midnight with a glass of wine (or beer, or whatever) listening to music on repeat after losing one of my favorite artists. The third time in my life that my soul is just aching from the loss of someone I didn’t know who wrote parts of the soundtrack of my life.

The first time I was just out of college when Elliot Smith killed himself. Like a lot of people I first became aware of Smith’s work when the moving Good Will Hunting was released. He was a hauntingly good song writer with a distinct sound. All of his music is worth exploring, but this playlist is a good start if you’re not familiar. It’s been almost 17 years since he died and he’s still among my top five most played musicians:

The second night was two and a half years ago when Tom Petty died. Tom Petty was a prolific American songwriter. While I was lucky enough to see him perform decades ago in Salt Lake City I am still furious at myself for not rearranging heaven and earth to see his 2017 show at Wrigley Field. I made a new rule that night about prioritizing attending my favorite artists’ concerts. The night he died I made a playlist of what I considered the “essential” Tom Petty. It is over four hours long and I listen to it on almost every long run:

Last night the world lost John Prine and I lost a lot of sleep as I listened to his extensive collection of songs. I shared some of my favorites in my previous post, however I think this tribute to him by Kacey Musgraves captures perfectly what John Prine’s music meant to so many:

I’m not good at being carefuI, I just say what’s on my mind. Like my idea of heaven, is to burn one with John Prine.