Stories

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For a Girl Named Sue

All of my songs are about relationships. God, family, and friends. In a way, this song is about all three. Susan is a gift from God. She is also my wife, and my best friend. When I do a live show, this is the song people want to hear the most. In fact, I usually end up playing it a second time by request. We've been together more than forty years now, and our love is going strong.


When people ask what our secret is, my answer is always the same. By the grace of God. We had been together less than ten years when Susan told me it was over. I wasn't the man she fell in love with any more. To put it in simple terms, I drove that car off the road and into a ditch. 


I was about to lose the best thing that ever happened to me, and there was no changing her mind. She gave me thirty days to move out and suggested I see a therapist to help me deal with the divorce. The next morning, I got down on my knees and begged God for a second chance. Susan was already seeing a therapist who passed along a referral and I started therapy sessions.


Several weeks later, I received the miracle I was desperately praying for. Susan’s therapist suggested she give our marriage another chance. She wasn’t thrilled about it, but she agreed. We both continued seeing our therapists and eventually began joint sessions. It took some time, but our marriage was restored. We are in love more than ever, and I can’t thank God enough for this wonderful miracle.

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Show Me the Way

The title song for my latest CD was inspired by my childhood friend, Bob Licata. In 2014 Bob was diagnosed with cancer, and began the fight of his life. He was a man of faith and courage, with a beautiful family and many friends. Recently I traveled from California to my home town of Syracuse, NY to attend a celebration in his honor. There were several emotion filled speeches that day. Bob talked about priorities in this life. "God, Health, Family and Friends." 


I waited in line with hundreds of friends and family for my turn to speak with Bob. I kept thinking "What will I say?" When my turn came, Bob started the conversation. He wanted to thank me for something I did when we were teenagers. He reminded me of the time I was on my way to a Rascals concert in 1968. I ran into Bob and invited him to come along. I had a 35 mm camera around my neck, and talked our way into the press area in front of the stage. This is a photo I took of Dino Dinelli at the concert. When the show was over, Dino threw his drumsticks into the audience and Bob managed to catch one. Fast forward to forty five years later.


In 2013, Bob and his wife Nancy attended a Rascals reunion concert at the Landmark theater in Syracuse. Bob brought the drumstick along and talked his way into meeting Dino Dinelli back stage. Always putting others first, Bob wanted to make our brief conversation about something I did. He said "You see Alex, because you invited me to that concert, Nancy and I got backstage to meet Dino Dinelli and the Rascals!" 


It was an emotional experience to say the least. As I traveled back to California, a song began to play in my head. I thought about how much faith and courage it took for Bob and his family to get through each day. I finished the song shortly after that trip to Syracuse. A few weeks later, the Lord took Bob home. I look forward to the day we meet again in heaven. Bob and his family made a lasting impression on me that day, and I want to thank him.