Some Thoughts On John Denver

It was sometime in the mid-70's, I had been assigned, as part of my page duties at ABC-TV, to answer the "program information" lines on a Saturday morning. A co-worker, Craig, and I were settling in for a day of watching some Saturday sports, in between answering the public's question and complaint calls. In a rehearsal hall next door, John Denver was preparing for one of his many ABC specials. One of the producers, noticing we were watching the UCLA basketball game, stopped in and asked if "John" could join us to watch the remainder of the game. Sure - why not?

What I didn't know at the time was that my co-worker, Craig, didn't know who John Denver was. Soon the producer escorted John into the office. As we sat watching the game, small talking sports, Craig asked the question that made me want to shrink under the desk.

"So, what is it that you do, John?"

Without missing a beat, Denver said, "I'm a singer and a songwriter." There was no indication from Denver that Craig SHOULD have known who he was. It was precisely at that moment that I became a John Denver fan.

I gained additional respect for Denver in 1985 when he joined Frank Zappa and Dee Snider at the "infamous" PMRC hearings where he condemned the idea of record stickering - the irony being, that it was highly unlikely that a sticker would ever grace the cover of a John Denver record.

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