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Four Years!

Saturday 9: On and On

On and On (1977) by Stephen Bishop

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This song describes the plight of "poor ol' Jimmy," who caught his girlfriend kissing someone else. Have you ever spied on a romantic partner?

Nope - I never had a reason to, thankfully.

2) In this song, Stephen Bishop sings that he "smiles when he feels like dying." When did you recently put on a happy face, even though you really weren't all that happy?

After my chemo treatments - sort of a "fake it 'til you make it" deal.

3) Stephen Bishop always wanted to be a musician, and as a child he began playing the clarinet. Did you take lessons -- dance, art, music -- as a child? If yes, did you take them because you enjoyed them, or because your parents made you take them?

I took tap and ballet in... third grade? Second grade? I really loved tap and wish I'd kept it up. I'm not sure why I stopped - maybe the dance studio (Sellars' School of Dance) closed up shop. I started piano lessons in fourth grade; I loved piano. Unfortunately, I learned a lot of bad playing habits. When I switched teachers in ninth grade because of my new school, the new teacher put me back into basically a beginner's piano book to break me of the bad habits. That was really depressing for me, so I quit.

4) When he was 12, inspired by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, he switched to the guitar and began writing songs. Tell us about someone or something that influenced your career path.

There were three people who had major influences; this post tells the story!

5) Stephen Bishop attended Will C. Crawford High School in San Diego. This school requires students complete 20 hours of community service every year. Tell us about an organization, cause or campaign you volunteered for, either as a student or an adult.

In 2006, I went to New Orleans to help clean up after Katrina. My company sponsored these trips. It was a transformative experience! Read about it here, here, here, and here.

6) In 1977, when this song was popular, Seattle Slew won racing's Triple Crown. Sam's mother has always been afraid of horses. Is there an animal you're uncomfortable with?

Pretty much the ones that can kill me, regardless of size or species.

7) Also in 1977, moviegoers waited in line for hours to see Star Wars. What's the longest line you waited in recently?

We had to wait in a rather long line to get into The Black Panther. Luckily, it was a line to get into the theater; we'd already bought our tickets and selected our seats.

8) The mini-series Roots first aired in 1977. Today Americans are spending more time and money than ever to research ancestry. How far back can you trace your family tree?

My ancestors on both my mother's and father's side came to American before the American Revolution. I've got several lines traced back that far, but no earlier. I do know that one of my ancestors, Richard Wise, emigrated from England in 1692. And, on my mother's side, I have my great-grandfather's application to become a Son of the American Revolution. Pretty cool!

9) Random question: It's often said that nobody's perfect. How about you? What quality keeps you from being perfect?

Too many to count!