Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jim Glaser - The Lights of Albuquerque

Santa Fe is more than a little twee - a mix of overly precious upscale tourist traps combined with goofy crystal and patchouli tourist traps.  Plus, it's full of politicians.  Albuquerque, on the other hand, is an honest town - unashamed in its southwestern heritage but with better things to do than talk about chakras.  I'll take Old Town Albuquerque over Old Town Santa Fe any day, and the city is filled with unexpected gems: The National Atomic Museum, the Bio Park, the Rio Grande Nature Center, and the Volcanoes.  And of course, the hot air Balloon Fiesta which is entirely sui generis.

It's worth a visit, even if you don't have family here.  Of course, it's always even better if you do.

This song is bitter sweet for me.  I went a long time not speaking with Mom and Dad for stupid reasons - foolish pride, really.  I was fortunate to have parents bigger than I.  Now I'm here visiting her.  I'll probably go up to Dad's grave tomorrow, after we go to the Bio Park.  Like I said, bitter sweet.

Jim Glaser had a career mostly as a backup singer (mostly with Marty Robbins), but had a few hits on his own in the 1980s, including a number 1 in 1984 (You're Getting To Me Again) and this one in 1986.  His voice was good enough that he won the ACM Best New Male Vocalist in 1983.  Perhaps not enough to make it on his own, but more than enough to get steady paying work in a tough business.

In a way, he's kind of like Albuquerque.  Maybe you don't think of it first, looking instead at "headliners" like Santa Fe and Rascall Flatts, but he's a solid, working man's singer just like Albuquerque is a solid, workingman's town.  Worth a listen, and worth a visit.




The Lights Of Albuquerque (Songwriters: Buck Jones, Bob McDill, Dickie Lee)
Desert moon, lights the freeway up tonight,
Chevy van, how I wish that you could fly.
Gotta get to her and tell her I was wrong,
But I'm still such a long, long way from home,
And the road goes on, on and on, on and on.

But the Lights Of Albuquerque, will soon be shining bright,
Like a diamond in the desert, like a beacon in the night.
And I wonder if she'll take me back, will she understand?
Will the Lights Of Albuquerque, shine for me again?

Thinking back, to the foolish things I said,
Looking out, at the white lines up ahead.
Gonna tell her I can't make it on my own,
Oh, this empty feeling won't leave me alone,
It goes on and on, on and on, on and on.

But the Lights Of Albuquerque, will soon be shining bright,
Like a diamond in the desert, like a beacon in the night.
And I wonder if she'll take me back, will she understand?
Will the Lights Of Albuquerque, shine for me again?

Oh, the Lights of Albuqquerque, will soon be shing bright.
Like a diamond in the desert, like a beacong in the night.
And I wonder if she'll take me back, will she understand?
Will the Lights Of Albuquerque, shine for me again?

Oh, the Lights Of Albuquerque, will soon be shining bright.
Like a diamond in the desert, like a beacon in the night.

5 comments:

Robert Fowler said...

One of my favorites, along with "If I could only dance with you". That's one that has special meaning to me.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Albuquerque, we moved to Texas in 1980. Many years later I met the girl I married. After the wedding and Honeymoon in Albuquerque, we talked and I found out that we lived about 1/2 mile from each other in Albuquerque. Small world and the family trips to the Sandia mountains' are some of my favorite memories

Michael Garfias said...

My problem with Albuquerque is that its pretty much a "bring your own money" sort of town (of course NM is a bring-your-own-money sort of state). Salaries for people like me were about 1/2 of what they were on the outside - way too much competition for too few jobs.

I've been watching breaking bad of late, and getting very very homesick when looking beyond whatever is in the camera's focus.

Elsweyr said...

Me too! (Not from ABQ but military work has had me pass through there a fair amount - I always liked the town)

My wife and I have been on a Breaking Bad marathon lately, and I do the same thing - checking out the background a lot rather than paying attention to whatever horrible decision Walt is making.

instinct said...

Yep, I came back here after about 20 years of bouncing around the country and the world.

No place like home :)