One of my favorite Billy Joel songs for years has been “Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)” because of its science-fictiony flavor. I’ve wondered at times if it was part of John Carpenter’s inspiration for “Escape from New York“, particularly since he says he wrote the first draft of the screenplay in the same year (1976) that “Miami 2017” was released.
Anyway, the song came up on rotation on my iPhone while I was reviewing documents this morning, so I popped over to YouTube to see if there was a music video for it (original or fan-made). What I found was footage from a concert that Billy Joel gave (out in Brooklyn, I assume) post-9/11, intermixed with 9/11 footage. It hit me pretty hard, both because of the re-interpretation of the song and the footage itself. Sandra and I lived in DC from 1999 to 2005; on 9/11/01, we had just moved into a house about 5 miles due north of the Pentagon. We dealt not just with one (and almost a second) terrorist attack on DC, we dealt with the aftermath within DC for months and years. I have a son who has served in Iraq and a nephew who has served in Afghanistan. I understand the reasons why they were there, and why one or both may end up going back. I’m afraid a lot of folks don’t or have forgotten. ..bruce w..