For the past five years my wife and I along with a group of family and friends climb 90 flights of stairs at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton in honor of fallen first responders from the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Climbing is tiring but it is ultimately a fun and extremely moving event. Every year there is a guest speaker who was at ground zero that fateful day, a piece of metal beam from the World Trade Center and a chance to honor and REMEMBER the heroes who did not survive the attacks.
Having no personal connection to anyone who was there that day I simply picked a fireman with the same first name as mine, Michael additionally his last name’s proximity to a musical term(Aria). Over the past five years Michael D’Auria has become ‘somewhat’ of a personal connection to 911, although, of course in no way as intense as losing someone as Michael’s family has endured.
This time last year I was just beginning recording/writing my CD, “Dude.” During this period at the 2017 Stair Climb I had the idea to honor Michael and his memory with one of the songs. The song which would become D’Auria is based in part on Brahms’s 4th Symphony. The stately nature of the music was perfect for the dedication. Special thanks again to fellow guitarist Fred Benedetti for lending his musical expertise on the track.
Michael is remembered as a son, brother and inspirational member of his extended family especially with his positive influence on younger relatives. The 25 year old was also known as a great chef among his fellow fireman gaining their deep culinary gratitude!
I think about Michael a lot even though I never met him…wish I did though! I also think about his mother Nancy whom I contacted to make sure she was ok with the idea of a song and his photo being used on the CD. A concern of hers is that Michael be remembered! I will continue to climb in his honor every year and promote his story. I even got a chance to present Michael to the climbers in my start group.
Rest in Peace Michael and Thank You for your selfless sacrifice!
Here is one of the lamest arguments in rock in roll.
Geddy Lee is often criticized as a singer because he doesn’t write his own lyrics. Critics ask, ‘How can he put his heart and soul into words that he didn’t write? Umm…Classical musicians/opera, jazz standards, great cover tunes in all genres…and of course actors too. How can anyone expect an actor to put emotion into his script if he/she didn’t write it?
Another sign of music critics who take themselves a bit too seriously.
Are you still scrambling to get your 2014 Oscar picks in and win that pot of gold or at least bragging rights among your friends?
I am here to offer some help…at least in the music department.
Following is my breakdown of the nominees for Best Song…
Happy-Pharrell Williams, Despicable Me 2
Pharrell Williams is as hot as it gets since the Grammys. Could strike Oscar Gold while the fire is hot. “Happy,” is a cool funky groove song.
Let it Go-Demi Lovato, Frozen
Lovato may sell to the younger female crowd which would hurt her chances for an Oscar. Although “Frozen,” was created for the same demographic and this song drives the mega popular film home with said audience. A good song and worthy of Oscar buzz.
Ordinary Love-U2, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
A match made in heaven. An aging supergroup with world-wide mass audience appeal. A movie with a cause and one that U2 has held dear since the 80’s. Won the Golden Globe.
The Moon Song-Karen O., Her
The movie is a bit campy and so is the song. In my opinion the least deserving of the four nominees.
You could make a good case for “Happy,” and “Let it Go,” but I don’t see them beating the mighty U2 and Mandela.
My pick; Ordinary Love-U2, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom