On Saturday night, I was at a small party hosted by a friend of a friend, in an apartment north of the Panhandle. A framed book cover, hanging on one of the kitchen walls, caught my attention, and I went over to investigate it.
The cover was plain but elegant: light blue, with a cream-colored rectangle containing the book's title, written in a fine italic script: The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco.
All at once, I started freaking out. The good kind of freaking out, that is. Because, last spring, I fell head-over-heels for a song called "The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco," by the Lucksmiths, a band from Melbourne. For a long time last year, they were my new favorite band and "The Chapter In Your Life" was my new favorite song. I couldn't believe I'd never heard it before. I wanted to tell everyone I knew (particularly all of my San Francisco friends) to drop everything and listen to it ASAP. In short, I am probably one of the few people in the United States who is an evangelist for this song, so it felt like some kind of gorgeous serendipity to stumble upon that framed book cover in that apartment kitchen.
The owners of the apartment had no idea that there was a song called "The Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco," so I made them find it and watch it on YouTube as I sang the excellent lyrics under my breath. "Are you ever coming clean? / Or will I never know the meaning of the lines you scribbled out / So that I couldn't read between?" Brilliant stuff.
They also took down the picture frame and opened it up, to show me the Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Francisco book. It's a slim guide to the city and its sights, dating from the late 1940s. You can get a copy on Amazon. I didn't get to look at it for very long, but it's probably fascinating — I love vintage travel guides! The woman who lives in the apartment told me that some New York friends had given the book to her when she moved to San Francisco.
Knowing that the Lucksmiths stole the title of their song from an old book doesn't diminish my appreciation of their music. In fact, I enjoy learning where artists get their ideas. And because you really can't ever have too much Lucksmiths, here's the video again: