I’ve always heard the question “where were you?” in regards to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and I’ve asked both of my Parents this question. I always had wondered if there would come a time where I would be able to answer the same quesion with such sadness behind the answer. That time finally came on September 11, 2001. Ironically, my Parents were the same age in 1963 as I was in 2001.
My story involves the entire weekend instead of just that day, because I feel like it all makes sense together. On September 8th, I was with my Parents at our cabin in Yosemite and I began writing a new song. To this day, I don’t know where the inspiration came from, but historically, that’s how it goes. The lyrics tell the story of someone (probably me) in deep dispair and how it takes more than just that one person to lift him/her back up to where they once were.
The next day, my Mother and I drove back home to Los Angeles and we were greeted by a moderate earthquake not five minutes after our arrival. I guess it was the city’s way of saying, “Welcome back! We missed you.” Needless to say, I slept in my recording studio for the next two nights.
On the evening of September 10th, I remember feeling a bit calmer and that I was just happy to be home. Before I went to bed, I watched the “Draft Dodger” episode of “All in the Family”. At the end of the episode, after all was resolved, the last shot before the fade-out showed Archie looking out of his front door. As he closed it behind him, viewers saw a Christmas wreath with a powerful message to end a powerful episode: “Peace”. I haven’t seen the episode since that night. I turned off the TV, then the light and then I went to sleep.
About five hours later, I was rudely awakened by my Mother, who was visibly upset. I asked what was wrong, but she just went in the kitchen, so I followed. I saw the TV. Smoke and fire was billowing out of one of the towers of the WTC. “Was someone having engine trouble?”, I ased. Just as I said that, the second airplane could be seen coming into the left side of the screen. When it exploded inside of the second tower, I remember brushing back, as though it had happened in the open air right in front of me.
The two of us didn’t move for a good ten minutes. We didn’t speak for a bit longer than that and I’m not sure if we really were breathing right. It makes sense because I felt dead inside.
On September 16th, my Mother’s birthday, I began recording the song I wrote eight days earlier, soon realizing just how important these lyrics truly were to what had happened, although they happened before the tradgey. Was it a premonition? Usually, song titles will change throughout time, but this one stuck: “I’m Speaking the Truth.”