Caught by the River

Jeb’s Jukebox

Jeb Loy Nichols | 10th January 2019

Me And My Gemini
First Class
All Platinum

We’re like most people in the world, doing our best to get by, we work hard everyday, take a little of our pay, and out it aside…

This is the way a new year starts.  I take a short walk up the hill watching tiny birds fly into and out of the hedgerow.  I pause at the top and listen to the wind that comes through the bare trees.  I try not to think about the past year; I try not to think about the year ahead.  I squeeze myself into the tiny space between the two and watch the mist lift.  I walk back down the hill, light a fire in my studio and put on a record.

‘Me And My Gemini’, by First Class, is a record I bought 35 years ago, in New York.  I bought it for 25 cents in a Harlem record shop without listening to it.  It was already, only three years after its release, a relic.  The world had shifted, rap had arrived, and no one wanted old soul records.

Just the other day, our rent was due and we were broke…

I was newly arrived in New York that summer and I played ‘Me And My Gemini’ everyday.  It reminded me of the country music I’d left behind.  Honest music for grown-ups.  Music that mattered.  Two people fighting for a decent life in a world that didn’t care if they made it or not.  A straightforward story about crooked doings.

End of another day…are you crying?  Don’t do that…

I loved that record.  I still do.  A lot has changed in my life during the past 35 years, but three things remain certain: it’s still damn hard work trying to make a decent life, ‘Me And My Gemini’ is still a great record, and a new year arrives, without fail, every January.   I watch the fog drift in, settle, then drift away again.  There are squirrels and pheasants beneath the bird feeders, a single robin on the window sill.  A tractor, on the ridge, grinds away.  A dog follows it, barking.  There are things that change and things that don’t; things that get better and things that fall apart, things best left untouched and things with too many finger prints on them; the world is full of stuff.  I try not to think about it; I put another log on the fire, play the record again and wait for evening.


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