dust boatman view thought





returns for us    



Chet woke up alone, unusually alone. 


The television, which did not know sound or off, glowed with whatever the 2 pm game show. 

In command of the room, sitting on a fold up card table,

Chetís TV set played host to the two folding chairs and one bar stool in its immediate circle. 

The bar stool was too high for the table, as were most things in his world. 

Old pizza, old smoke and old dreams were in the air as he scribbled more on his paper.


Love is but a song to sing, fearís the way we die. 

You can make the mountains ring or make the angels cry---

Know the dove is on the wing and ye need not know why 


The thoughts in his head made some sense,

and more sense as he wrote them down. 

He had been working on this for a while. 


Some will come and some will go

we shall surely pass

when the one that left us here

returns for us at last.  


Nothing is new.  Certainly the challenges between love and fear are not new. 

The difficulty is always the same.  You want to say it right,

write it so that the messenger does not smother the message. 


We all need our air to breathe. 

Our bonds are complicated; ideas of playing and having fun vary with each of us. 


Chet had been doing the sound check in his mind all winter. 

He worked on the rhythm, changed it and changed it back. 

The melody section was going to be fielderís choice, decided by the performers. 


He knew exactly how he would sing his words. 

He sang the vocals to himself, within the noise, silently in his sleep,

we are but a momentís sunlight fading in the grass. 

and aloud to friends and band members that made up his social circle. 


They all got along without ever trying to define it. 

Expressing themselves in writing and performing was their thread of brotherhood. 

Everyone else was in the rest of the world. 

Jesse once said, about some studio executives that they were not mean or anything;

everybody is just kind of stupid. 


If you hear the song I sing

you must understand.


You hold the key to love and fear

all in your trembling hand. 


Just one key unlocks them both;

itís there at your commandÖ 


Címon people now

smile on your brother - 

evírybody get together

try to love one another right now.


Many people had known him as Dino for some time. 

Peter heard Dino playing with this song over at the cafť in 1963

and asked his groupís manager, Frank, to take a listen. 

Frank liked it, and had Peter and The Kingston Trio group record Get Together in 1964. 


The We Five had a small hit the next year with the song,

and Grace Slick included it on her first album with the Jefferson Airplane in 1966. 


The defining version by Jesse Colin Young and The Youngbloods flopped in 1967,

but became a huge hit when The National Conference of Christians and Jews

distributed it to radio and TV stations to support Brotherhood Week in 1969. 


Cester William Powers, 1937 Ė 1994, known as the songwriter Jesse Oris Farrow, and as

Dino Valenti of Quicksilver Messenger Company fame, was a friend and influence for many. 

From birth he was affected by an arterovenous malformation, and through life he faced the   

challenges of drug use, incarceration, memory loss and anti-convulsive medications.


He was here, right here with us, living, singing, writing, and he got at least one song perfect.


Címon people now, love is but a song to sing, fearís the way we die. 

We are but a moments sunlight fading in the grass. 

Smile on your brother; love one another right now, right now, right now.





dust boatman view thought