I’ve heard that dreams are the brain’s way of figuring out conflicts, questions or random unresolved thoughts. Well, early this morning I was lucky enough to have a dream figure something out that has recently been dancing around in my cerebellum…. Or is it cerebrum? Doesn’t matter.
Anyway, in my dream I’m at a Billy Joel concert in the front row. Billy’s one of my favorite artists, so that’s not weird at all. It’s the end of the show, and he’s cleaning up the stage which is definitely weird. What’s even weirder is that it’s not Billy Joel. It’s Robin Williams (the late comedian/actor), but my dream self is recognizing him as Billy Joel. The crowd has thinned out, and it’s quiet enough that I’m having a conversation with him, asking for one more song. He asks which one. I have one in mind, but I can’t remember the title exactly. I speed sing it trying to remember. I get to the chorus, and I go “Oh! Everybody Loves You Now!” At that Robin/Billy nods, walks away, and I wake up.
Such a quick interaction, but so significant to me. While I’ve always been a huge Billy Joel fan, I’ve only just mildly appreciated Robin Williams’s talent. It’s only after his death that it’s been brought to my attention how amazing he really was. So, I think what my dream was trying to do was show me Robin Williams in the same esteemed place that I see Billy Joel in. And also, the song “Everybody Loves You Now ” kind of sums up one of the strange things that can happen to famous people. And, for me in the dream, the song also represented how peoples’ attitudes towards you are always kinder after you die. That’s the real sad part. How Robin Williams was depressed to the point of suicide, and did he have any inkling how much he was loved and revered? Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe it wasn’t enough.
I also think the significance of the song has to do with the similar talent and realness of both men. The album that I know “Everybody Loves You Now” from is called “Songs in the Attic”. It’s a live album with some of Billy Joel’s most personal and well crafted songs expertly performed with the idea of serving only the song and it’s art. Similarly, at his best Robin Williams was also serving only his art and craft. His characters in Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and Good Will Hunting are the embodiment of this. So, I think the dream’s purpose was to help me recognize how amazing he was because somehow I had forgotten. Pretty cool, but pretty sad as well.
I hope you liked the you tube clip. I think it’s the exact performance from the album. Sorry about the ad at the beginning, but I couldn’t find one without it. Also, it doesn’t have the other songs it lists at the beginning, but if you like the first one, just get the album. It’s really great music, and obviously has had a lasting impression on me. As much as I love music, not much of it really gets to me emotionally like “Songs n the Attic”.