When I was about 5-6 years old, growing up in the Bronx, I'd spend lots of time
in the basement workshop where my father did his artwork. He painted and worked
in mosaic tile and other media. I would play with the tubes of oil paint and
read the names of all the colors. I particularly remembered Alizarin Crimson,
and the fact that my father used lots of it. When I was 14, my dad, then in his
early 60's was showing symptoms of what was then a little known condition -- we
all now know it as Alzheimer's.
The first thing to go was his
creativity. The painting and artwork stopped, as did his heart just a few years
later. I kept all of his art supplies, and still have the original tube of
Alizarin Crimson, as well as the palette he used, with the paint still dried on
it. I knew someday I would write a song to celebrate the legacy of a fine and
decent man whose creativity was taken from him at its prime, before I ever
really had a chance to know the richness of the person behind the role of "Dad"
It took almost four decades, but "Alizarin Crimson"
was written and
released in 2007 on the "Dare to Dream CD, along with its companion
song "Flickers", about the spiritual and human dimensions of slowly losing
one's consciousness, cognizance, and creativity in the incurable darkness of a
fading mind. It is an acknowledgement of the dual legacy my father
left me -- one of the spiritual richness of creativity, and of the
knowledge that I may someday follow him down the dark and dusty corridors of
flickering, failing lights.
(See the Gallery of Paintings)
You can get the song on
from the CD
"Dare to Dream"