Day 119: Your favorite song by a band/artist whose name begins with “D”.

“Calypso” – John Denver

CalypsoIf it weren’t for my friend Jenny, today’s post would probably not be John Denver.

Back in the day (and we’re starting to get to the point where it’s way back in the day), we were an item. Insofar as you can be an item in the second grade. I guess in reality, we were close friends. As a result, our moms became good friends, too.

Jen’s mom liked John Denver, and as sometimes happens, she turned my mom on to his music, at least a little bit. Not that John Denver, with his country-boy charm and folksy image was really that far out of my mother’s usual taste range. But, to my knowledge, before Jenny’s mom, my mother showed no interest in John Denver.

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You faithful readers will know that a bunch of my mother’s tastes from my early childhood rubbed off on me. And John Denver is no exception, although to a lesser extent than some others.

Fast forward to 2013. My collection has very little John Denver. Maybe “Annie’s Song,” but not much else. The reasons for this are varied and complex. (I never went looking.)

And then one night we were watching “Mike & Molly.” (Bear with me, that’s not as much of a non-sequitur as it might seem.) For reasons that I don’t quite remember now, Mike and his pals end up on the roof. And suddenly they’re singing “Calypso.” Don’t believe me? Look here.

Laura was unfamiliar with the song. I knew it, but realized I didn’t have it. This clip was a catalyst, as it made me remember how much I liked it and forced me to seek it out. As any sane (or in my case, insane) music fan would do.

“Calypso,” for those who don’t know, was Denver’s celebration of Jacques Cousteau and his research ship the Calypso. I can remember watching the old National Geographic specials featuring Cousteau, talking about his voyages, and the things they would be searching for. I was always kind of fascinated, but not fascinated enough to ever consider it as a career. Or even a hobby.

I also remember my friend Scott’s impression of Cousteau: “Day 27… on ze Calypso…” Ah, well, I guess you had to be there for that one.

And so, I now own “Calypso” (and some more of John Denver’s catalog) thanks to a winding road that goes from Danville, Pennsylvania to one of the four oceans, to Chicago (setting of “Mike & Molly”) to my living room to iTunes. That’s enough to make anyone motion sick.

Except Jacques Cousteau. That guy was a rock.

The Catalyst…