Monday, August 20, 2012

R.I.P., Scott McKenzie. Thanks For The Music.

Scott McKenzie - Photo: Ingo Wagner/DPA
August 20, 2012 - Singer Scott McKenzie died on August 18 in Los Angeles. He had been hospitalized for an illness for two weeks before passing away at home. McKenzie is best known for his huge worldwide hit tune, "San Francisco," in 1967.

"San Francisco" (videos and lyrics below) is one of the most beautiful ballads ever. Well, that's my opinion. Yes, it's a "hippy song," and I'm a conservative, but who can really object to wearing flowers in one's hair and celebrating love? Not me.

A statement on a website maintained by friends of McKenzie said this today: "In retirement Scott lived in LA and became a big fan of Facebook where he had many friends in his "Asylum". Scott was in and out of hospital since 2010 after falling ill with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease affecting the nervous system. It is thought he may have had a heart attack in early August, 2012. Staff did not want him to leave the hospital, but he wanted to be at home and passed away on 18th August 2012."

It was the innocence of the moment, in that "Summer of Love" in 1967, that I still hold dear. "San Francisco" captured it perfectly.

For those who come to San Francisco 
Summertime will be a love-in there 
In the streets of San Francisco 
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

Sure, the hippy peace movement metastasized into something unpleasant, but at that moment, in 1967, when I was 12 years old, it was still bright and shiny and warm. It seemed to hold such promise. Today, I shed a few tears for Scott and his beautiful spirit. May God take Scott McKenzie into Heaven.
If you're going to San Francisco 
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair 
If you're going to San Francisco 
You're gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco 

Summertime will be a love-in there 
In the streets of San Francisco 
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration 

People in motion 
There's a whole generation with a new explanation 
People in motion, people in motion

For those who come to San Francisco 

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair 
If you come to San Francisco 
Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco 

Summertime will be a love-in there

.