Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Here's an idea for a wonderful evening: Sit around the house, with the television, computer, everything electronic turned off. Pull from the shelf a book you've been wanting to read for years - something old, coax your wife, girlfriend, husband or boyfriend over to your side and position yourselves like the reading and silent Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal in "Love Story," where O'Neal comments, "I can't believe I'm actually studying," or something like that paraphrasing, getting shushed for breaking the spell. Have a decent - doesn't have to be special, just full - bottle of wine lamp-side and then put on The Shivers' "Beauty." It's an older song of Brooklyn-based songwriter Keith Zarriello, but it's one that he'll tend to be remembered for - for it's enchanting way of finding a newness to love and attraction, to being overcome with the sort of pained love that doesn't allow you to sleep or eat. It's a song about the one-track-mindedness of love that never loses its heat or its ability to inspire song. Zarriello is a man of conviction, of undying passion and "Beauty," in particular is a stunning display of the power of the head in all matters of love, of the mind being unable to be calm about what's going on down there in the heart. He sounds gutted and smitten, on edge and jittery, as well as stifled. It's a song that makes you feel as if you're in the company of a suffering man - though he'd want it no other way. He sings, "I give my love and all my love to you my love/I feast on love/A beast for love/Release my love/You're scared and unprepared for love/Don't care my love/Cause you're the only woman I've been dreaming of/I swear to God I'm loving you for life/I swear to God I'm making you my wife." It's an onslaught of staggering emotion that could make a run at being the greatest love note he could ever give to a woman. He likely did give it as a love note, written and played for the woman he was hurting for, in hopes that she wouldn't go out that door or do something that she'd regret forever. In this state of mind, everything is epic. He reminds the girl that, "I'll love you til you're lonely," and he follows the sentiment with a rousing crescendo that melts us, just melts us down to a pool, as if - even in the darkness there might be an all-powerful light, a consolation. He sings, "Beauty, beauty, beauty/There's nobody near me/There never was." We put the empty wine glasses in the sink, the bottled drained, close our books and turn off the lamp.