December 2010


I love doing Senior Center shows, and going way, way back in my repertoire, jogging memories and listening to the surprised audience members happily singing along!

My most recent performance was at Flemington and it was so much fun!

I have plenty of 60s & 70s music which elicits similar reactions from somewhat younger crowds, and who knows, perhaps one groups needs that freedom of expression as much as the other.

It’s all good, and it’s no fun unless it’s fun!

Although Unity and Unitarian are spiritually based, we must realize that very little unification will take place by focusing on any specific spiritual views when interacting with the general population.  Actually, it’s a surefire way to ensure further separation, as it alienates those of myriad different persuasions.

Somewhat to my surprise, I’ve discovereed the joy of connecting, joining, and sharing just plain old songs, that have no messages, with everyone.  It surprises me because I never experienced this joy when I used to do those same old songs all the time.  Maybe it’s because they are old songs now — golden oldies, that it seems just about everyone is eager to hear and sing along with.  And, everyone really gets into the fun challenge of the ‘Name That Tune’  (or artist, or songwriter) game which I’ve incorporated into the concerts, with my CDs or books awarded as prizes for most correct song IDs.

Yesterday – everything just seemed so dark and gray
Now my troubles all have flown away
And I’m released from Yesterday
Suddenly – the veil was lifted, and I now can see
I am not the one I thought was me
Now Yesterday has set me free
Why we have to go through that stage, I couldn’t say
Ask a butterfly does she sigh for Yesterday
Yesterday – life was filled with childish games we play
And idols all with crumbling feet of clay
Now I’m released from Yesterday

This is not a “righted” song. My version, above, I see as a sequel, and I want to express my gratitude to Sir Paul McCartney for, not only one of the most beautiful songs ever written, but also for the honesty and spiritual insight in his classic song, Yesterday.

I had the opportunity to present at Dublin Unitarian Church in January.  It was a great experience. My wife, Lainie, did a reading of The Parable of the Stars. A podcast of the session is available here. We thank Rev. Bill Darlison for affording us this opportunity.

The late, truly great Rev. James Dillet Freeman, Unity Poet Laureate, gave priceless gifts to the world (and also the moon, as his “Prayer for Protection” poem was taken and left there by one of the astronauts in 1969).  To me, he gave his loving Christmas poem, The Angel Song.

I am now freely re-gifting Rev. Freeman’s gift to me, in song form often described as “hauntingly beautiful.”

Please feel free to download song # 12 at CD Baby.

In ACIM, gentle laughter is the ultimate and final healing, and this album, God Is the Light in Which I See (How to Laugh at the Tiny, Mad Idea) provides ample opportunity for same – It’s no fun unless it’s fun!

My thanks go to my main man mentor (like any good one, sometimes perhaps a TORmentor), Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D., for not only imparting great clarity on the all-important fundamental question, “What’s it all about?”, but also for so many of his weirdly brilliant, comical thoughts that found their way into my songs. I paraphrase him with my song title: A WORLD WHERE NOTHING LIVES UNLESS SOMETHING ELSE DIES, which gives, simultaneously, both the “blissninny” type, and the PROPER use of denial about the world. It’s the rock song on this multi-dimensional album.

One favorite track, MY BODY IS ONLY A NOTION, features Bob Keller, who toured with such biggies as Buddy Rich, on tenor sax.

ONLY THE LOVE is a song I wrote as a message of comfort when a musician friend’s wife made her transition, and have performed many times since in similar difficult, hard-to-understand situations.

A song Dr. Wapnick especially liked is one I call PUPPET LOVE. It has some of his mind-blowing comments in the lyrics., such as, after using the metaphor of the body as a puppet, and the mind, the puppeteer, someone asked him “What about animals?’ Ken replied, “Dogs are four-legged puppets.”

I had such fun writing and singing this song; the second bridge goes “Dogs that WERE can RECUR, in reincarnation DOGMA—But a HOT dog I’m NOT, just a LOT of BOLOGNA”

Hope you will enjoy it too!

The following news item appeared in the Flemington edition of InJersey on November 9th.

Senior Center to Host Concert Featuring Local Author/Musician

The following story appeared in the Feb 3rd 2010 edition of the Hunterdon Review.

By DOMINIC SERRAO, Contributing Writer
LEBANON TWP. – Seventy-year-old musician and author John Beavin says he never grew up. His motto is, “It’s no fun unless it’s fun!”

The Lebanon Township resident, who lives on Green Oaks Road, is a retired heavy equipment operator. He began “writing” song parodies long before he learned to write.

At the age of 5, he would sing songs that he would hear his two sisters singing. They were already in the high school Glee Club then.

“I heard one line as ‘chasing all our dog hairs away,’ so that’s how I sang it. They laughed hysterically,” he recalled.

When his mother told him that the line was actually ‘Chasing all our dull cares away,’ for a few moments, his ego felt ridiculed and crushed.

“Almost right away though, I decided they weren’t going to laugh at me, and joined them laughing and singing. We sang that parody for years after, always laughing.”

Beavin, who has written hundreds of original songs, has been playing his music at the Unity Spiritual Center in Asbury since 1989.

He recently launched his latest music CD, “God is the Light in which I See: How to Laugh at the Tiny, Mad Idea.”

The artwork on the CD’s jacket is by established Hunterdon artist, Rhoda Yanow.

“She heard just one song from the CD, and became very excited; her one unfulfilled dream had been to do a CD cover!” The CD was produced locally and recorded at Tom Sciro’s Boulderwood Studio in Clinton.

“When I recently read Cervantes’ “Don Quixote,” I remembered first hearing it as ‘Donkey Hodie,’ which is the title of an original song on my new CD,” said Beavin with a smile.

He recently added author to his list of accomplishments as well. Beavin’s book, “The Parable of the Stars” explains the constant struggle between individualism and collectivism. As we separate and grow into distinct people, he said, we feel guilty that we have destroyed the whole to gain our individuality.

“We feel a sense of separation, which fosters fierce competition, pitting us all against each other in an endless struggle to be the best. These constant rivalries only leave us exhausted, hopeless, and unable to see our own brilliance as a whole,” he said.

According to Beavin, the book is a story of rediscovery as little stars come to remember their true beauty and power within their oneness as the single beautiful light. Published by Strategic Publishing Group as a children’s book, “It’s a book for all ages.” It is accompanied by an audio CD narrated by his wife, Lainie, a retired school teacher and master gardener. The cover is illustrated by artist Jennifer Bennett. While reading the manuscript of the book, Bennett found the book so helpful that she was reading it every day. “She told me she was seeing all these mental pictures while reading it. Bingo! I had found my illustrator,” he said.

According to Beavin, “The Parable of the Stars” transcends all religious, spiritual and atheistic boundaries. “Each time I hear Lainie’s narration on the CD, and at the same point in the story, the same indescribable emotions well up in me. Happens every time, and surprises me every time!”

The book and audio CD are available on Amazon or by contacting the author via email at beavin@embarqmail.com.

Author John Beavin uses The Parable of the Stars to explain the way people struggle between individualism and collectivism.  As we separate and grow into distinct people, we feel guilty that we have destroyed the whole to gain our individaulity. We feel a sense of separation, which fosters fierce competition, pitting us all against each other in an endless struggle.  These constant rivalries only leave us exhausted, hopeless, and unable to see our own brilliance as a whole.

The Parable of the Stars is a story of rediscovery as the stars come to remember their true beauty and power within their oneness as the single beautiful Light.  This shift in perception has already chaged the lives of many people and is sure to affect many more in the same way.  The Parable of the Stars is available at Amazon.com and other bookstores.