This week, Pegman brings us to Bulgaria. What Pegman Saw (here) is a weekly fiction prompt utilizing Google Maps. The fiction is to be 150 words or less and each writer selects their own photo from Pegman’s location.
I chose this roundabout photo and my main character is the guitarist from the rock band Yes.
In a Roundabout (Fiction word count: 150)
“This is the place. Come on Steve, tell her.”
“My sister’s correct. This is where the song Roundabout emerged. Our first concert in Bulgaria. We had just finished playing at the beach. The same beach Nazis used to vacation at during WWII. Such a heavy vibe. Emotions were spiraling. While waiting to cross the street – right about, um, here – cars were circling the roundabout and this guitar instrumental suite circled my thoughts. I shared it with the band and we developed the song as we traveled to Glasgow. We passed numerous roundabouts and our hotel had this perfectly round lake with mountains that seemed to come out of the sky. A few years ago, Peter claimed to write the main riff to Roundabout. It wasn’t a malicious claim – sometimes while creating songs original authorship lines become blurred. We actually all wrote the song – in a roundabout kinda way.”
To read more entries for this week’s location – go HERE
Background to this short fiction. (If you are just here for the short fiction – please skip this part.)
When Son2 was in middle school, he was assigned Bulgaria for a geography assignment. When I saw that Pegman was in Bulgaria this week, I recalled that my son discovered Nazi officials used to vacation on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.
We were disgusted to imagine them soaking up such coastal beauty while they were committing such a horrific crime against humanity. So at first I thought I would write about someone spying on the Nazis while in Bulgaria. Maybe insert the info on an old WWII postcard. However, as ideas take roundabouts (I know… had to use that) I ended up with a photo of a roundabout (from Pegman’s Google Map location) and that Roundabout song from Yes kept coming to my to mind. With a little digging I found out that Yes guitarist, Steve Howe, our speaking character in today’s fiction piece, wrote most of the melody for that song. And at one point his replacement in the band, Peter Banks, claimed he wrote the song’s main riff. So that is how my little fiction piece unfolded.
FYI about the band Yes:
Yes was NOT one of my favorite bands growing up – actually they are way before my time – but their songs were always playing. Many of us grew up with Yes’ wonderful music – like Rush – and many songs are integrated into the fabric of our lives.
Roundabout might be the most popular song from Yes. I do not have a favorite Yes song, but if I had to pick one – maybe Starship Trooper. Maybe. On my B list for Yes songs I would include Long Distance, I’ve Seen All Good People, and Owner of a Lonely Heart. Just the popular radio-played songs. And Leave It is a memory song for me – only because it played so much in ’84 and ’85…. I was young – and remember it well.
Yes was inducted to the Hall of Fame in April of this year- and they sang Roundabout HERE – “The ceremony was at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 7, 2017, broadcast on HBO. The band’s co-founding frontman Jon Anderson reunited for a performance of Roundabout from 1971 (Fragile album) with Rush bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, guitarist Trevor Rabin, and drummer Alan White. Along with Yes, Pearl Jam, Journey, Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra and Tupac Shakur were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The 2017 ceremony also includes Nile Rodgers of Chic receiving the Award For Musical Excellence.”
Also, for those Christian readers out there, you might enjoy this beautiful song- The Only Thing I Need (here) – because Anderson, cofounder of Yes, sang on the song with the band 4 Him back in 1999. I used to love this song so much (in 1999) because it had such good lyrics and it “partly” felt like a new Yes song. I was still living in Colorado at the time and I can remember how much I enjoyed this song. Ahhh – and so a personal highlight of my Pegman post this week has been this stroll down memory lane.
FYI Street Roundabouts
Did you know that street roundabouts have been proven to be one of the best options for an intersection: “Roundabouts are often safer, more efficient, less costly and more aesthetically appealing than conventional intersection designs.” – more here
……..Well that is all for this post – thanks for reading and wishing you a nice day….