Last night I had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream and see Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens play live here in Los Angeles, the final date of his tour. He hasn’t toured in 36 years, so it was a rare treat. And who knows if he’ll do it again? Although at age 66, his voice is still strong and melodious. Then again, it’s not like he’s been using it enough to wear it out.
Growing up, my parents weren’t what you could consider musical people. We had one of those big box stereos, but when it was on, it would mostly be tuned to the radio, and usually older country like Hank Williams Sr. and Patsy Cline. But one pop singer my mother loved was Cat. I remember being eight and watching her dance to his music in the kitchen while making dinner. I also remember how we used to take long vacations in our motorhome across the country and listen to him on 8-track. For those of you that don’t know what an 8-Track is, think cassette tapes only much bigger. What’s a cassette tape you ask? Think…no. I can’t do it. One note about technology, however. Cat did say last night that one of his songs was the very first mp3. Then again, Al Gore did create the internet, right?
Anywhoo. The show was three hours long and he sang almost all his favorites along with some Beatles, Sam Cooke, and even a bluesy version of You Are My Sunshine. Although Peace Train, Moonshadow and Wild World were probably the biggest hits of the night for the crowd, my personal favorite remains Father and Son, which I’ve loved since I was a kid and enjoy even more now that I have two sons of my own. I made a small (probably illegal) video of it, but no one’s going to see it but you, so enjoy.