January 31, 2013

Steve Goodman : City Of New Orleans (Live 1972)

Steve Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984): He wrote it and he knew best how to sing it.

"In the early spring of 1967 Goodman went to New York, staying for a month in a Greenwich Village brownstone across the street from the Cafe Wha? where Goodman performed regularly during his brief stay there. Returning to Chicago he intended to restart his education but he dropped out again to pursue his musical dream full-time after discovering the cause of his continuous fatigue was actually leukemia, the disease that would be present during the entirety of his recording career, until his death in 1984. Though he experienced periods of remission, Goodman never felt that he was living on anything other than borrowed time, and some critics, listeners and friends have said that his music reflects this sentiment. His wife Nancy, writing in the liner notes to the posthumous collection No Big Surprise, characterized him this way:

Basically, Steve was exactly who he appeared to be: an ambitious, well-adjusted man from a loving, middle-class Jewish home in the Chicago suburbs, whose life and talent were directed by the physical pain and time constraints of a fatal disease which he kept at bay, at times, seemingly by willpower alone . . . Steve wanted to live as normal a life as possible, only he had to live it as fast as he could . . . He extracted meaning from the mundane.
--- Steve Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984)

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 31, 2013 12:01 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I saw Goodman open for John Prine sometime in the late 70's. Goodman was amazing in the live performance. It remains one of my favorite concerts of all time. After the opening of Goodman, John Prine was a let down. Too high to perform well.

Posted by: Mike at January 31, 2013 5:08 AM

Oh, my heart, my heart. Steve Goodman was a brilliant meteor streaking from horizon to horizon and gone from sight too soon, but burned into the retina forever.

Posted by: DHH at January 31, 2013 5:58 AM

Never saw Goodman live, Prine only once, and he was drunk/high then, too. But he was having a good time on stage, and the rest of us concertgoers seemed to as well. Agree that Goodman did CONO better than anyone else. Two of my other favorites of his: Lincoln Park Pirates, and Election Year Rag.

Posted by: waltj at January 31, 2013 10:38 AM

Thank you for this post....it was great to see! I was not familiar with Steve Goodman.

Posted by: KMM (CT) at January 31, 2013 7:30 PM

I've been to concerts like that too waltj.

I was young then.

Posted by: Mike at January 31, 2013 8:09 PM

@Mike: To clarify, Prine was drunk/high. So were plenty in the crowd. I was neither. Still had a good time, though. And yes, I was young then, too.

Posted by: waltj at January 31, 2013 8:40 PM

Great to see your page that invokes the earliest available video footage of Steve Goodman, from Britain's "The Old Grey Whistle Test," and how great it is that he is performing "City of New Orleans." Goodman often doesn't get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis and effects of "City of New Orleans," and Arlo Guthrie is a key source among my 1,100 interviewees and even contributed the foreword. You can find out more at my Internet site (below). The book's first and second printing sold out, and a third printing is now available. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography, and it is available at libraries across the country. If you're not already familiar with the book, I hope you find it of interest. 'Nuff said.

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515 home
(206) 484-8008 cell

Posted by: Clay Eals at February 3, 2013 5:25 PM