Several years ago, Bev Sykes gave me a videotape of her son Paul performing a monologue that he had written called "Sedona Arizona." At the time I didn't know her that well. I knew Paul had died under mysterious circumstances, a presumed suicide, although she maintained that while it could have been a suicide there could also be an another explanation for his death. What no one disagreed with, though, was that Paul was deeply troubled and that his death created a great deal of pain and anger and heartbreak throughout her family and group of friends.
So, I said, "Sure, I'll watch the tape." It was just one of those casual, "Go away, kid, ya bother me. I'm a creative arteeest here and I'm sure your kid was talented bla bla bla kind of things." Finally, after putting it off and putting it off, I took a Sunday morning and thought, "Okay, I'll throw this thing on and get it out of the way so she'll stop bugging me and start paying attention to ME ME ME like she's supposed to."
Well, funny the world.
I threw this tape into the machine and sat riveted for a solid hour as this monologue ripped through me, tearing me to pieces. I could NOT believe what I was seeing and hearing. To put it simply, it's a work of genius. Painful, soul-baring, hilarious, heartrending, unpretentious, remarkable genius. At the end, awash in tears and unable to move at. all. I finally picked up the phone and told her so.
Bev has finally posted the entire thing online in 8 segments. I'm going to link to them one day at a time. Sedona Arizona is a spiritual quest, but it's also so much more. I'd try to describe it, but I can't. Just see for yourself. BTW, the video starts with several seconds of black, so if it feels like it's not going to start, wait a second. It will.
BRIEF BLOG INTRO:
Hello. You caught me at a rather exciting time in the bonus round. For my 60th birthday year, I made an album. I'm doing some concerts around New York City and I even composed a concert Mass which will debut on June 7. I update a few times a month these days, and I don't spam. So it's easier to keep up with me by following by Email. When this blog began, it was to track my death. I'm told it was the first AIDS blog. You can start at the gruesome beginning if you want. Or just jump in and maybe we can learn some life lessons together. Welcome to the Bonus Round. I'm Steve, The Songwriter.