My Perfect Song List

Music! Some of us can’t live without it. Have you ever driven without a working radio in your car? It’s torture! Do you need your portable tunes wherever you go? Do you require a High-Fi musical experience? Do you enjoy perusing your album collection on a regular basis? Then consider the challenge I put to myself years ago -examining all of my favorite songs to see if any of them deserved an even higher ranking of…

John Paul Jones back in the day

Perfect Song

In the early 90s I realized that All My Love by Led Zeppelin had been my favorite song for a really long time. What was it about that song that was so important to me? As a teen, I would ritualistically listen to it through headphones on my turntable. It still is a song I have to listen to completely, or at least apologize, out loud to the Led Zeppelin god for cutting it short. Anybody?

For me, All My Love is a Perfect Song because it takes me back to that turntable and Koss headphones, John Paul’s keyboards still give me goosebumps, and because it just feels like an old friend.

After much thought, I created 3 criteria in recognizing a Perfect Song, and they are:

1. Test of Time  Of course a song can’t be lofted to the Perfect Song List in a matter of months. It has been a favorite song of yours for years, and your appreciation for it has not wavered one bit.

2. Technically Perfect  Which means you couldn’t imagine changing the song to make it better. In fact, you are constantly amazed by its flawless perfection.

3. Emotional Connection  We all have songs that bring up old memories and emotions when we hear them. If that song also meets criteria 1 & 2, then you can definitely consider it for a Perfect Song. While criteria 1 & 2 are essential for a Perfect Song, the Emotional Connection you have for a List wannabe, might be minimal. That being said, whether the memories are happy or sad, an emotional trigger can really turbo-charge a song onto The List.

Right now, I have 6 songs on my Perfect Song List which are:  All My Love-Led Zeppelin, Wicked Game-Chris Isaak, Just What I Needed-The Cars, Lips Like Sugar-Echo & The Bunnymen, Ring of Fire-Social Distortion, Eyes of a Stranger-Payola$

Oh yah, I also have a Perfect Song waiting list, with a dozen songs just simmering, waiting to prove themselves worthy.

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Bella Vacanza

 I have to tell you about a beautiful vacation to Italy that my girlfriend and I took this summer! It was way better than we anticipated and involved planes, trains, automobiles, and many boats.
We had a beautiful room on the island across from Venice (Giudecca) for 2 nights. Of course, this is where the boats come in: boat from airport to hotel, frequent shuttle to Venice, and a very nice gondola ride.

View of Venice

We both love the classic Italian preparation of Seabass: the whole fish, de-boned and looking at you, with lemon and herbs. So I ordered it 3 times on the trip! Each time was different, one being so lightly breaded, you could call it “dusted”. Each preparation was a savoury delight.
Then, a high speed train out of Venice to Rome was a great idea. There, we picked up a rental Fiat for our drive to Sorrento, 3 hours South. It was a wonderful drive that took us right around the base of Mt Vesuvius. My driving skills were then to be tested coming into the slopping cliffs of Sorrento on a busy weekend. I didn’t hit one scooter!
I was treated to a perfect Birthday dinner in Sorrento overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the next day we jumped on a large ferry to Capri for a daylong excursion of even thinner roads (with a great taxi driver), molta bella views of the Tyrrhenian, and a dip into the ancient waters.

The Sorrento coast

Back at the Sorrento hotel lounge for a drink, we found ourselves devouring a complimentary plate of olives (one of many bar snacks). Seams they had a perfect blend of fennel seeds, peppers, and olive oil, one we would never re-create on our own. And it gets better! The 30 year veteran bartender Gemmaro, served me the best cocktail of recent years: an Alexander (my first & my girlfriend’s last name).

Gemmaro making an Alexander

On our way out of Sorrento, we thought we would swing over to Positano for lunch. This is the famous Amalfi Coast where the homes and buildings are built on slopping, rocky hills right down to the water. It was a must see. And I recommend doing so from a nice little restaurant overlooking the coast with a plate of Pasta Carbonara in front of you -Scusi, more pepper please!

Positano on the Amalfi Coast

Next stop: Pompeii. Not an easy park to find, but once we did our luck improved greatly. After walking around a bit we asked a worker for advice and he proceeded to give us a quick guided tour of the highlights that we would never have found on our own. We saw a beautiful fresco, an ancient grape crusher, and to my amazement – actual human remains from that fateful day in 79 AD.
Once we got back to Rome we were quite exhausted from the long, hot drive. But our hotel was another pleasant surprise with a wonderful balcony for 2. So we relaxed with some local olives and wine. Now we had to try to give Rome it’s due respect in one day! We set out for the Colosseum early the next day and again we stumbled upon a group tour that worked out for the best. The 2 guides were very informative of the Colosseum and nearby ruins.

The Colosseum in Rome

Even though it was a national holiday, we thought we should go to The Vatican to push our good luck. Now, I’ve seen a lot of big Italian churches from my previous trip, but St Peter’s Basilica is by far the biggest -OMG! Luckily Lorna begged a scarf for her shoulders so that we could witness the magnificence of the Pope’s home turf.
After such a grand display, I needed a drink. So we hoofed it over to Trevi Fountain for a sip of Aqueduct supplied water (almost continuously since 19 BC) and some Italian Pinot Grigio. It was amazing to me how there are remnants of Roman Aqueduct all around the city. These are very old structures, proudly secure amongst buildings of steel and glass, quick moving autos, and time itself.

Trevi Fountain in Rome

So you can see we did a lot in a short amount of time thanks to my girlfriend’s expert planning. We both agreed on the highlight of the trip; the food. It was all so flavourful and fresh, inventive and classic, and yet you knew you were eating healthier than home.
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