‘Adios, Nirvana’ Music Playlist

If a book can have a soundtrack, this is it. Some tunes that Jonathan would surely have crammed onto his playlist, and a great accompaniment to reading ‘Adios, Nirvana’.

  1. “Here Comes the Sun.” Jonathan sings Telly’s trademark tune when he’s all done in. However, unlike Telly, who plays it brightly, Jonathan plays it raw and bluesy. Coldplay’s version may come closest.
  2. The 1971 Concert for Bangladesh version of “Here Comes the Sun” is less orchestral than the Beatles’ original but acoustically fantastic. Like George Harrison, Telly clamps a capo on the seventh fret to get that “sweet harp sound.”.
  3. I don’t mention George Harrison’s acoustic version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” but Jonathan would’ve loved its shy beauty.
  4. One last Harrison song, the acoustic version of “Beware of Darkness.” Jonathan would have responded to the raw guitar and dark themes.
  5. Eddie Vedder and Telly play “Society,” while Jonathan sits on “the timid couch,” guitarless. Jonathan is particularly impressed with the one bent note in Eddie’s lead, which he calls “the cry of all humans for love.” Here’s Eddie’s orginal, featured on the soundtrack of the movie “Into the Wild”.
  6. Jonathan would have liked the multiple jangling acoustic guitars in Eddie Vedder’s version of the folk-rock ballad “Hard Sun.” This is also featured on the “Into the Wild” soundtrack.
  7. Eddie and Telly play the Bob Dylan classic “Masters of War,” which Jonathan calls “a chug-a-chug-a rant against military madness.” Here’s the Pearl Jam version.
  8. Eric Clapton summons the spirit of blues master Robert Johnson in “I Got Ramblin’ on My Mind.” Jonathan and Frank Conway were trying out this style of blues on the mournful morning they met.
  9. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” is Jonathan-Frank Conway type of song that would’ve elicited a “Shaaaadduuuuppppppppp!” from Mimi.
  10. Jonathan’s inexplicably soaring guitar solo at the Kenny G. auditorium–the one that “bends the walls inward”–is reminiscent of the guitar epiphanies in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.
  11. Jonathan would have loved Patti Smith’s darkly poetic version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.
  12. He also would have liked this eerie version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by a student choir.
  13. Nirvana’s retro version of “In Bloom” blends past and present.
  14. Martha Wainwright brings grit and poetry to “Factory“.
  15. Bruce Springsteen’s rendition of the Irish ballad “Mrs. McGrath” is the gold standard for the ballads Jonathan and Phil sing at The Delphi.
  16. Lukie and Dookie capture the spirit of Jonathan’s jam session in their version of Greenday’s “409 in Your Coffee Maker.
  17. The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bare-chested acoustic version of “Under the Bridge” fits right into Jonathan’s world.
  18. Jonathan and Kyle play “Desecration Smile” in the music room at Taft High. Here’s the original by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  19. Jonathan sometimes relaxes by playing “No Chump Love Sucker” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Noise can be a form of silence,” he says.
  20. Jonathan would’ve loved Malvasio’s cheerfully melancholy version of “So Tired.
  21. Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” is straight from the gut.
  22. Pink Floyd’s classic “Wish You Were Here” blends timeless themes with great guitars.
  23. Crossfade’s “Cold” catches the feel of Jonathan jamming with his Thicks. The line “I’m sorry for the way I am,” gets at Jonathan’s self doubt.
  24. Bonnie Raitt’s version of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” captures the spirit of Old Agnes, who dreamed of being an angel.
  25. Jonathan plays a song like David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” to Agnes at The Delphi, calling it “an ancient rock-poetry number with oracle-like overtones.”

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