Magic Touch Melodies - Howard Northrup


Twenty Years Later: the story behind the song

It was a fairly comfortable Friday evening for a sixth of September in Ft. Lauderdale. The year was 1985 and the crowd at a popular nightspot, Rosebud's, was larger than usual--so large, in fact, that the maximum capacity was exceeded, which landed the manager in jail later that evening. But that capacity crowd didn't stop some regular patrons from a local computer company from their Friday night get-together for dancing and socializing. One twenty-something couple in particular worked in the same building at the company and shared some common friends, but that night, they both realized that there was more than just a friendly attraction.

The entertainment at Rosebud's was a house band named Pride, which was made up of three guys who had quite a few years of music and performing experience, so their music selection was always a hit with the regulars. Not everyone in this group of friends danced, but they all loved the music, which included popular hits like Purple Rain, The Power of Love, and Maniac.

As closing time arrived, so did their appetites, which typically resulted in a trip to a nearby Denny's for breakfast. The group would usually try to ride together in just a few vehicles, but on this night, that special couple rode together in her two-seat sports car.

The late-night staff at Denny's was used to the playfulness and rowdiness of the 2AM customers and this night was no exception. Some ordered coffee and a full breakfast, while others just had soda and a late-night snack. After breakfast, the couple returned to the parking lot at Rosebud's, but instead of exchanging goodbyes, they started to chat.

As minutes turned into hours, they lost track of time in each other's thoughts and stories. So when daybreak snuck up behind them over the beach to the east, they realized it must be time to head home. After a magical night of more than nine hours in each other's company, it was time to say goodbye. They both knew that they'd see each other again, but before that could happen, she had to hop on a flight later that day for a two-week business trip.

He woke up later that Saturday after some long-overdue sleep and thought about her, wondering if that night was just a dream or the beginning of something special. He'd think about her every day and hope that she felt as strongly about him as he did about her. While trying to keep himself occupied until they could pick up where they left off, he would sit at his piano. To his delight, he came up with a new melody that he would put into a song for her.

For the two weeks that she was away that September, he would often sit at his piano, think about her, and work on that song. He had a couple ideas for a song title, but none was a certainty, so he just focused on the music. Being a guitarist, he wasn't anything to write home about on the piano, but that didn't stop him from playing for his own entertainment.

Over the years that followed that special relationship, their lives each took separate paths, but he'd sit at his piano now and then, play that song and think about that special person at that special time in his life. Each time he'd play the song, he'd half-heartedly think about finishing it, but it never happened...until now...Twenty Years Later.