March 6, 2012 or 1, 3, 6, 12
To many people, numbers are just that. Digits circling a clock, geometric shapes drawn on a page, buttons associated with letters on a phone, additional directions on a sign, or lights glowing on a screen. Counting down the years, seconds, days, minutes, etc. in anticipation (or dread, depending upon what the final moment leads to) is something we’ve all learned to do from an early age. Children want to grow up faster, eagerly declaring their precise age (5 1/2 or 5 3/4, for example) to anyone who asks. On the other hand, some adults shave off entire years with each new birthday, instead of fully celebrating how the most recent “365 days, 8,760 hours, and 525,600 minutes” turned them into the people they are today. Don’t worry, I’m not going to break out into song lamenting the life of struggling artists trying to survive poverty and HIV/AIDS in New York (that, I will save for another post).
As I get older, I find that these are the sorts of the things I reflect upon daily – when I’m in the shower, driving to work, or preparing for bed. Numbers matter – and this is coming from a word person – they quantify AND qualify every aspect of our life. And you just don’t have to take them for face value. Given that, let’s expand further upon this concept. I firmly believe everything in this universe is connected in some way. For instance, look at today’s date: March 6, 2012, a.k.a 3/6/12.
Here’s where my mind – or “stream of consciousness” – traveled given those three numbers (I included one for the time period being one day).
One. “[It’s] the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” Really, it is. More so than zero – Harry Nilsson said so. In fact, he forever immortalized it on vinyl with the 1968 release of “Aerial Ballet.” That would be album number…
Three. His third, that is. It didn’t famously catch on until THREE Dog Night covered it ONE year later in 1969. THREE times as many recording artists covered the song in the following years (Al Kooper, Johnny Farnham, Chainsaw Kittens, Aimee Mann, Filter, Dokken, The Beta Band, Mastadon, and ANBB). Less than ONE year ago, The Telegraph reviewed BBC One’s “Imagine…Harry Nilsson: The Missing Beatle” and noted that while the connection was “awkward,” he might have just been “the closest thing to an American version of the Beatles.” Beatle No. 5, huh? Did you know that before reaching unprecedented fame, The Beatles actually DID have FIVE members. Pete Best anyone? Three Dog Night’s version reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. That’s one spot below number….
Six. They weren’t the only band capitalizing off another writer’s lyrical genius. Nilsson covered Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’,” and ONE year later it was featured in the movie “Midnight Cowboy.” That tune (just under THREE minutes long), earned him his FIRST Grammy Award and landed him at No. 6 on the Billboard charts. What is six turned upside down? The number 9 – the number on Curzon Street in the West End district of London, where Nilsson owned a flat in the 1970s. The specific flat’s number was….
Twelve. Located near Apple Records (where the Beatles recorded many of their albums). Did you know that not ONE, but TWO widely known and celebrated musicians died in said flat? Former Mama & The Papa’s singer Cass Elliot died of heart failure at age 32 in July 1974 while staying there after performing one of her solo tour gigs. A little over four years later, Keith Moon – legendary drummer for The Who – is said to have died in the same exact room at the same age of 32, from a drug overdose. This prompted Nilsson to eventually sell the property to mutual friend and lead singer of The Who, Pete Townshend. Can you say creepy?
1, 3, 6, 12.
Four numbers. So many connections.
Just something to consider and be mindful of as you go throughout your day.
I absolutely LOVED Harry Nillson and I’d sing his songs, on the top of my lungs, as I was driving to work. I had heard they were making a doc. about him, but never heard anymore till YOU. And I thank you so much, now all I have to do is find it somewhere.
I still sing his songs on the top of my lungs. Thankyou T for sharing all this cool info from my day. You made my day 🙂
I LOVED this! I love all of the random places the brain goes during the day, and how it makes such seemingly odd connections that actually end up being really cool. I do so much with words that I can forget how much numbers actually *do* matter, too. Thanks!