I was at a Supertramp concert at The Saint Louis Arena. The "Breakfast In America" tour. Big Supertramp fan. Knew all the lyrics, who wrote what, loved what they'd done and- as this was the sixth album- saw that they had done all they would as a band and was mourning their demise at the top of their game. Usually it's three albums but for the sake of this piece I'll include"Supertramp" and "Indelibly Stamped" (the first two albums i have never heard). "Breakfast" was the fourth commercial success and had at least three radio hits. Anyway...
Roger Hodgson had composed the song "Babaji" on the prior album about the latest incarnation of the eternal manifestation of God in human form. Spiritual longing, questioning of "place" in life and giving ones self purpose, this song was always a favorite of mine. So they're playing this song and I'm all into it and like crying at the beauty and shit and there's this this guy next to me singing it word for word perfect- almost. I looked over at this guy and he was like all into it and crying at the beauty and shit and our eyes met and we acknowledged each other and then he sings "Barbara Jean"... WHAM! Totally crushed my groove. "It's Babaji!" "What?" "Babaji- it's about the most recent manifestation of Krishna- it's a spiritual song." "I thought it was a love song!" I waved him off as an idiot, absolutely ruining his evening, I'm sure.
Dude- you were right- it IS a love song. It's also a blues song, and a reggae song (if you adhere to Bob Marley's definition that any song about Jah is reggae) and, where ever you are- I want to apologize. My burden from this event has been that every time I hear this great song I'm reminded of your face when I so carelessly fucked over your reality. Who am I to "correct" you for your interpretation of a piece of art? I've grown a little since that night and do try on occasion not to be an asshole.
SUPERTRAMP - Live - Babaji - Queen Mary College 1977