I first heard of Harry Chapin when my sister and her husband went on holiday to the states to visit his sister. They brought back Verities and Balderdash, which someone had recommended.
The first time we listened to it I thought the 2ND word of the title was an apt description. Then I listened, and listened again, and again and again. I was hooked. Agnes and Willie saw him in Glasgow, but I couldn’t make it. Boy was I mad.
Harry Chapin was becoming very popular here and a lot of radio stations featured his music. In particular Noel Edmonds on Radio 1 and Iain Anderson on my local station, Radio Clyde, spread the word.
Eventually I got to see Harry live in Edinburgh in February 1981.What a performance!! On stage at 7.30, he took a break at 9.45, went to the foyer to take as much money as he could from us (all in a good cause, of course). He came back on stage at 10.30 and weaved his magic again. Circle was the last song, the only song, at 12.30a.m., and, as we left the hall he was still in the foyer laughing, joking, signing books etc.
We drove home in awe at what we had just experienced.
It was perfection.
Little did we realize that it was the last time we would see him.
On that terrible day in July when the news came, it was so hard to take. We had lost someone who cared, not just about his music and himself, but about everything.
It wasn’t headline news in Scotland, but Radio Clyde broadcast a 2 hour tribute, which I taped and still listen to.
A newspaper over here said he was a bigger loss to the music business than John Lennon. That may or may not be true, but what I do know is that the world lost one of the people who cared, and in the end, he made a difference to all our lives.
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