Thank You Friends: An Open Letter To Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro
This might be a tough letter for me to write; I really don’t want to leave anything out. As I’m writing this, I’m listening to the wonderful 100th Loft Session that you both performed on XM Radio with the incredible Phil Parlapiano. The three of you really know how to gel as a tight unit; you sort of re-define simpatico.
Last weekend, the two of you performed your final shows as a duo. I was not fortunate enough to have witnessed what I’m sure were beautiful, wonderful historic shows. But I have been fortunate, living in Chicago, to have caught you guys in concert twice. I’ve heard you on Steve Dahl’s show, cracking him up, playing music, and really sharing some wonderful stories with us. It’s through his show that I first really heard you guys. From that May 2006 radio show, I was skewered; I had to hear more. I’ve since gotten all of your CDs except the most recent one, and that omission will be rectified soon, rest assured.
Your music means so much to not only me, but to my wife and kids as well. When I played her the Steve Dahl show as well, she also ended up loving your music as well. My wife and I were blessed enough to catch you in January 2007; not long after that wonderful show, we found out she was pregnant with our daughter. We also saw you guys at the Taste Of Randolph fest; in that sense, my daughter has been to two LowNav concerts before she was even born in September. It’s been my tradition when each of my two kids were born to compile a lullaby CD for each of them. On my daughter’s CD, I included “Cold Outside” (the Steve Dahl show version, from May 2006), “Maybe Later”, “I Don’t Believe In Yesterday” (which, incidentally, makes a wonderful song to segue into coming off of John Lennon’s “Imagine”), and “Broken Moon”. My 5-year old son almost subconsciously sings along with “Cold Outside” whenever it comes up on that CD. Trust me when I tell you your music means a LOT to us!!
Not only have you blessed us with your wonderful music through the years, you’ve shown us humor, incredible strength, and grace when life deals you a crummy hand. Eric, the public face that you’ve chosen to show us in the face of your diagnosis with ALS has been so inspiring. For all of us fans, it’s been heart-wrenching watching the inevitable elements of this disorder play themselves out. But you’ve only chosen to share with us the fact that somehow, despite the horrors that ALS deals out to you and 5600 others annually, it is possible to continue to function, to continue to create, to continue to inspire, to continue to cause laughter, to continue to touch hearts, to continue to want to find a cure for ALS, but most of all, to continue to entertain. In that respect, you’ve never flagged. And Dan, you’ve been an inspiration yourself not only by being an active voice and advocate for ALS (you’re still an advisory trustee in the Greater Los Angeles ALS Association), but an unfailingly loyal friend to Eric. As cliché as it sounds, both of you will always be inspirations to me.
So now, as you’ve reached El Fin Del Camino, I’m choosing to see this as a beautiful, happy celebration. Eric, as far as I am concerned, you are retiring from performing life with full honors; you and Dan have given us a legacy of infinite music and laughter, genuine emotion and true beauty. I’m looking forward to reading your blogged thoughts on your website. You and your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Dan, I know that you are continuing on; I can’t wait to see you the next time you come through town. You will no doubt continue to bless all of us with your music, and I hope that you also continue to play with Phil Parlapiano. But as the performing duo of Lowen and Navarro heads off into the sunset, please don’t ever doubt the rich legacy of musical wonders that you’ve blessed the world with. You’ve certainly touched my life forever, and I know that you will continue to touch souls everywhere.