Day Eight of Forty

So, for 40 days and 40 nights—one or the other—I intend to post here in word counts in increments or multiples of 40, so from 40 words to 1,600, but probably somewhere in between most days. My intention is to “write through the Divide”—we all know…the one that we Americans apparently are split between. But I call bull on that, because we are not so divided as we think we are. I’ll keep this paragraph of my intro for each post, so if you’re seeing this for what feels like the bazillionth time, sorry, but someone else may be seeing it for the first time.

In the Words of…Del Shannon

As a kid, I was blessed with a record player and my parents’ and siblings’ 45s. One of those was Del Shannon’s “Runaway.” I loved that song and still sing it.


Carpet salesman Shannon (Charles Westover) started playing in his native Michigan. “Runaway” hit number one in April 1961 and he no longer needed to sell carpets. Other hits Shannon is known for include “Hats Off to Larry” and “I Go to Pieces,” which he reportedly gave to British duo Peter and Gordon after touring with them.

Had he not killed himself in 1990 and continued to live, he’d be 82 today.

Nobody thinks mystery writers go around killing people, but they always seem to assume singers are singing about themselves, especially if you write melancholy songs like me.

There were times in my career when I would try to write songs like Bob Dylan… Artists get hooked up in that. To be a follower, you lose.

I usually write when I’m in a great place. When I’m depressed, I don’t usually write. So I take all of when I’m depressed and throw it into when I’m feeling good. Weird, I guess.

No, Mr. Shannon, not weird at all. RIP.

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