One of the greatest honors I have ever received was when a dear friend of mine wrote a song that was inspired by me. This friend is Forrest Smith. He has lived in Phoenix, Arizona for the past 30 years or so and continues to play music professionally. I profiled Forrest in one of my early blog posts.
The song "Faraway Friend" was written after I had left my East Tennessee home back in 1975 to join a touring magic show. During one of my visits home Forrest pulled out his guitar to play one of his newer compositions for me. The laid back tune transported me to a magical place of memories with Americana visions of yonder days of playing music, hopping trains, and dreaming the daring dreams of youth.
When he finished singing his song, Forrest told me that he had written it about me. I was simply blown away. It was one of those occasions in my life when I felt the power of friendship and the ties that reach over the expanses of time and distance. Ever since the debut of that song to my ears, it has echoed though my mind in those times when I too remembered friends who were separated by geographical spans, but always near to my heart and soul.
Recently when I mentioned that I was going to do this post Forrest gave me some background on why he wrote "Faraway Friend". He told me that I was a positive force among our friends--a voice of optimism. He said he had missed the way I would lift him and bring him to a stable realistic realm. This is one of the highest compliments that he could have paid me because this is what I have strove to do in my life and this song is a paean to a success achieved. Thank you my dear friend, Forrest.
The 4th Annual Bluesbox Guitar Festival
Saturday, April 9th 2011
7 PM until 10 PM
A Shot of Java.
7003 North 58th, Ave.