Paint The Moon For You


more about “Colbert Nation | The Colbert Report |…“, posted with vodpod

I just had to share this video of Stephen Colbert’s interview with Alan Bean. Good stuff. Bean is just a cool, neat guy, and it really comes across in this video.

A handful of thoughts watching it:

He talks in the video about how he cuts up his patches to put some moon dust in each of his paintings, possibly the only way normal citizens can acquire even that tiny amount of lunar material today. I’ve seen those patches, framed on the wall of his studio area of his house, and it’s bizarre. These are history, selections from a very limited number of artifacts from one of the greatest achievements of human history, and they’re gradually being taken apart until they’re gone. It would be like if someone had an original copy of the Constitution hanging on his wall that he was slowly cutting up. I’m sympathetic and possibly supportive of what Bean’s doing and why; I’m not saying he’s wrong to do it. I’m just saying, to actually see it, it’s viscerally bizarre.

Bean talks about the fact that the original Apollo astronauts won’t be around much longer, and it just drives home how incredibly fortunate I am to have met him and some of the others, and the responsibility that comes with that; the day will come when it won’t be possible to meet the moonwalkers first hand, the closest you’ll be able to come is talking to people who did, and reading their preserved histories. I’m incredibly honored and blessed to have been a part of both, and hope to be worthy of that legacy.

Alan Bean is cool. Have I mentioned that? He’s just a neat guy.

In introducing Bean, Colbert refers to him as the fourth man to walk on the moon, and even though the phrasing was different, something about the cadence reminded me of Hefner’s song Alan Bean, and how the interview belies the opening lines: “Everyone will forget soon / the fourth man on the moon.”

The song isn’t making that argument, it’s imagining what Bean would have been thinking. It’s a beautiful song, and one that I connect with several parts of:

Ever felt like giving up?
I’ve felt like giving up.
But not since 1969.

I found a greater truth,
At a godly altitude,
Won’t waste another day of my life.

As we tumbled down to earth,
We felt the capsule turn,
We saw the blue skies burn.

As we splashed down in the sea,
You were praying on your knees,
It bought a change in me.

Everyone will forget soon,
The fourth man on the moon,
But I’ve got it in my mind.

I’d like to paint your eyes,
But I’ve got to paint the sky.
Going to be a painter all my life.
As we tumbled down to earth,
We felt the capsule turn,
We saw the blue skies burn.

As we splashed down in the sea,
You were praying on your knees,
It bought a change in me.

And what you didn’t see,
I’ll let you see through me.
I’m going to paint the moon for you.

Ever felt like giving up?
‘We’ve felt like giving up’
Ever felt like giving up?
‘All the time.’

(When did “Stories …” become a music blog? That’s all I’m writing about now, apparently. This post doesn’t even have anything to do with music, but half of it’s lyrics. Hrm.)

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