When my co-worker asked this question yesterday afternoon, I wanted to slap him with the Snapshot CD I keep in the door of my car…for George Duke emergencies. I had already heard the news by then and had already had my personal moment of silence for this musical great, but he was just catching up during his internet browsing session.
Yes, I know George Duke, but no, I didn’t always. I was introduced to his talents when an ex told me that he heard a song on the radio that reminded him of me. This was the nineties (yes, I’m old).
“It was on a jazz station,” he said. “The guy’s name is George Duke. The song was ‘No Rhyme, No Reason.'”
Curiosity, of course, got the best of me and I went to my local CD shop (how I miss having one of those that actually sells authentic CDs and stays open later than six o’clock but I digress). I searched the jazz section until I found it. I tore the disc open as soon as I got in the car and listened to the track.
And there I was, in love at first listen.
It so happened that a few years later I was lucky enough to score tickets to one of his concerts. Rachelle Farell and Al Jareau were there, too. I was two weeks out of a major surgery, but damn it, I threw on heels and a psychedelic summer dress and walked with three of my friends across hilly grass so that we could take our place on the ground with a blanket and it was awesome.
At the end of his set he asked for a request from the crowd. I think I was one of the loudest out there shouting “No Rhyme, No Reason…No Rhyme, No Reason.” And he sang it. And we all sang along.
I have other Duke favorites, and there have been many moments when my younger husband’s friends will be over and I have to school them on real music and I’ll pull out one of his discs and play it.
It happened not more than a week ago, actually. Yes, he was sick, but it does hurt that he’s gone. Any music lover can relate and probably would agree…we really have lost a good one.