Tomorrow marks 5 years since the horrific events we now refer to as simply "9-11" for the ironic date it happened. For many of us, music was where we turned for strength.
One little song rose as an anthem of sorts for the firefighters and other first responders in New York. It was "Superman" by John Ondrasik or, as he is more widely known, Five For Fighting.
John is a dear friend of mine. I happened upon a copy of his first album, "Message for Albert" while I was writing for the now-defunct music trade magazine, Album Network. I pissed off the powers that be at his then-label, EMI, for writing about this unknown and non-priority record instead of the Queensryche tripe they were pushing. It turned out not to matter either way, as the label folded before any other than a small few had heard "...Albert". But in championing the record, I made a new friend.
Fast forward a few years, and John had put together a demo of a few songs, and was signed by the small, but burgeoning, Aware Records. After I received an advance copy of what would eventually be released as "America Town," I remember leaving a message on John's answering machine that said something to the effect of "Superman is one of the best songs ever written."
Luckily for me, when the album was released, I was Music Director of Channel 103.1 in Los Angeles, and was the first, anywhere, to play "Superman" on the radio. It went on to become a hit... but, as I said before, took on new meaning after the events of 9-11-01, when the firefighters took some strength and comfort from it.
So, as we approach the 5th anniversary of that day, I thought it fitting to call my old friend, John Ondrasik, and look back.
I will not play the song "Superman" in this podcast, as I just can't afford the licensing fees (although John would have no problem, but that's another story), so I'll invite you to find it on iTunes or your local record store and listen again!