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Addicted to Dariush
He sings about what he believes in

August 11, 2004

This past July 24th was another Dariush concert in LA. The only one I have missed for the past five years.

I must have been 11 or 12 when with Bahram, my cousin, used to stand in line for Dariush's newest album. Those days they were coming out in cassettes.

Like any teenager who hungers sad songs and thinks the whole world is against them, I became addicted to his voice. It was a different need to listen to his songs than coming across Googoosh's music or Satar -- or even Ebi. Dariush started sounding about issues I really cared about: my country.

We would sit and discuss the so called "meaning" of a particular song and why he would use the analogies he did. Well, he sang the poetry by some of the day's most prominent poets, like Shamloo. To a young mind like mine these poets were opening my eyes to what was going on in Iran and Dariush helped inject it into my brain permanently.

Then I came to US with a single suitcase filled with my '70's clothes, a few gold coins, chains and "Allah" medallions, and 3 Dariush cassettes. No one else.

I listened to him during my darkest moments when I badly missed my family and my country. A young man of 17, I cried to his songs in my small room at the Catholic High School in Kansas.

Years later when I moved to California I started going to his concerts and only his concerts. I am not much of a "celebrity" follower and can actually care less what they do and what happens to them. But Dariush remains the one I am dedicated to.

Most Iranians -- including my wife and her cousin -- don't really understand his music or the man. The man could sing about love and relationships. He could put out a music video with horrible dancing girls and the worst type of lip-synching known to man kind, but he sings about what he believes in.

It took me a long time to get my wife to sit down and really listen to what he sings about. For the past few years I have managed to drag her with me to the concerts without her "ghor ghor"!

This last July I missed his concert. It was my birthday and I had moved to Las Vegas and my friends were coming to spend some time with me. So, I got some of my friends in the Bay Area, (San Francisco), to go see Dariush on August 21st.

Faranak, my friend's wife, is taking a young Iranian lady to this concert. This young lady, Soheyla, has been dealing with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) for over 10 years. Soheyla had been following Dariush for decades. She used to be a groupie and went to all of his concerts all over the U.S. East Coast, I was told.

She hasn't been feeling well lately and Faranak finally got her excited about going to Dariush's concert. According to Faranak, Soheyla's eyes lit up when she heard about the concert. We were all thinking how nice it would be for him to see her either before, during, or after the concert. What a boost it would be to this young woman going through a sour deal in life.

I mentioned to Faranak that it has been a dream of mine to meet the man and simply thank him for the music. She suggested that if we manage to get back stage I should take Soheyla to meet Dariush.

All of a sudden years of wanting to meet him and say a few words didn't matter much to me any more. I saw a much more important goal being served here. I told Faranak that I wouldn't want to crowd Soheyla's moment and it really wouldn't matter that much to me to see him back stage. I think the purpose would be served better for her to get some energy from him, if we manage to get the two together.

So, I hope she gets to see him and tell him what he meant in her life. I can wait a few more years.

For those of you, including my wife's cousin, who thinks Dariush goes on a "manbar" (soap box), yes he does. If you really listen to what he has to say on that box, maybe you can understand his songs and the depth in which they are presented.

At the concert, my wife is going to be next to me again so will her cousin. My wife won't look at me and wonder what's wrong when I cry like thousands in that room. She'll kindly wipe my tears, hold my hand and shed a tear herself. She understands. [See followup: "Mission accomplished"]

.................... Peef Paff spam!

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By Hamid Bakhsheshi


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Book of the day

The Art of Persian Music
Lessons from Master Dariush Safvat
(Book and CD)
By Christopher Kremmer

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