When my wife and I bought our own first house, we lived next door to a young man with mental health issues. I quickly earned his dislike by calling the police on the first day after we moved in – there were shouts of “put down that knife”, and I think any reasonable person would have done the same thing. But he didn’t enjoy being taken away in a police car, and after that point he was hostile towards me.
Sometimes he did quirky things, like leaving objects in our letterbox or throwing things over the fence. Sometimes when he’d been drinking he’d shout out expletive ridden statements in the middle of the night. And once, possibly worst of all, he played Michael McDonald’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘For Once In My Life’ on repeat for an entire hour. Even through a couple of walls, it was at a louder than comfortable listening volume, and he played it right at the end of the evening, just after we’d turned the lights off for the night.
I’m always a little puzzled by McDonald – his husky blue-eyed soul voice is unique and expressive, and he can write some great jazzy chord changes. But I find a lot of his music too close to adult-contemporary mush for my liking. When I was a teenager I owned a Doobie Brothers’ compilation; there was one superlative Michael McDonald song, ‘What A Fool Believes’, but I found all his other contributions unspeakably dull. It wasn’t until I discovered the Yacht Rock web series (if you haven’t already seen it, I’ve posted episode 1 for your convenience…….)
…that I discovered another Michael McDonald gem; ‘Sweet Freedom’ from the 1985 movie Running Scared. It might be a little dated, but it uses McDonald’s voice well.