Sept. 11, 2001
We got into New York via private jet at 2 o’clock this morning, coming into New York from Toronto, Canada. I have been listening to Shawn Colvin’s song, Another Plane Went Down, from her new album, A Whole New You, all the way here while trying to compose a letter to Gladys Knight about Aaliyah, her niece; about my dream. Airports, planes everywhere, music, music, tears in my eyes, Sulamith (my yorkie) was upset all the way from Canada, psychic, dreamlike, flying, flying, flying.
And now, it has happened. Two planes dove into the World Trade Center Towers ~
Everyone is pretty sure it was Osama Bin Laden, the evil high tech murderer hiding in Afghanistan…
People are walking across the Brooklyn Bridge trying to get home. I am here at the world famous Waldorf=Astoria, the hotel where the presidents stay ~
I will write as the day unfolds~
I am pretty sure Radio City will cancel; I think their offices were in the Towers…I am so sad for them…
Aircraft warships are on their way to us here in New York and to Washington… I don’t really know what we are going to do now – the airports are completely shut down-
8:42 a.m. First Tower
Sept. 12, 2001
We are a devastated city
The fire chief of New York is dead
M.H. called from Toronto. He is there with the Backstreet Boys. One of their carpenters went home because his wife was having a baby. He was on one of those planes.
We are a grieving city
I have seen grown men cry today. They seem to be having the most trouble with this. They are the protectors –
It seems that, as Don Henley so brilliantly said ~
I sit here at 5:15 in the morning – in shock. The tears just don’t stop. As a writer, I am driven to write what it has been like to be 20 minutes away from the Twin Towers ~
To be here at the world famous, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, home of foreign diplomats and gathering place of politicians, in a suite where I am quite sure Heads of State have met, and discussed the problems of the world. The living room is all dark wood, ceiling to floor, and you can just imagine John Kennedy sitting at the desk. It is stunning. This hotel is where the presidents have always stayed, and this grand old hotel is in full lockdown. All but two entrances are closed, the driveway through the hotel – shut, all the cars - moved out.
I feel strangely safe here in New York now – and the city still looks awesome from my windows, still sparkly, still beautiful, almost like – from this room-
The television news people are extraordinary – all of them. They are tired; you can see it in their changing faces, as the day has gone by. Of course, I feel like I know them all, like they are really dear friends, choking up and recovering, just like me, hour after hour…
It was a beautiful sunrise. It has turned the white curtains pink, the room pink- I swear.
My question – “How could this happen?”
I am overwhelmed with how extraordinary the firemen and the policemen are. They just don’t give up. They “don’t stop.” They are awesome…and so is Mayor Guiliani. I would ALWAYS want them on my team. They are my heroes.
Well, I think I have to sleep now. In an interview from the street, a man says in tears , “You do not want to see the things I’ve seen today…I am traumatized.” “I am traumatized for life…”
We are all traumatized.
God Bless everyone that lost someone ~
Last Thought…September 14, 2001
Please everyone, do not blame people for this just because they are Muslim – or come from some other ethnic group. If you do, you let Osama Bin Laden win – as surely as if you helped him put those planes through those towers. You - become him. He wins.
September 13, 2001
Thursday Night – Late
Atlantic City, NJ
I just spent the last several hours copying my last journal pages for my website. I have never done this before; I guess it’s time…I decided this morning that we should go to Atlantic City now. My lungs were starting to feel some burning from the fiery air ~ and if I wanted to sing Saturday night, staying one more night might put that in jeopardy. So we packed up in an hour and a half and left New York. Since then, they have shut down the New York airports again. Also, they have found 2 more sets of terrorists. They think there were going to be two more planes taken down. They have the people in custody. They have picture identified 18 terrorists so far. Obviously the highest form of detective work is going on as we speak. My friend Liza Jane was right; this is just the beginning. This is World War 3.
It just seems to get worse every day. Oh, by the way, we are right on the ocean and it’s raining~
September 18th, 2001
We just came in from Columbus, OH. Today was a very bad day for me. It’s almost too much for me to bear out here… I called my Mom, and I called my friend, Don Henley for a pep talk. Don says, the Eagles are recording but it is very hard now. At first he said, “Just come home, honey”, but after a minute, he said, “Are people coming to the shows?” I said, “Yes.” The he said, “Well, Stevie, if you can gut it out, and make people happy for a minute, then try and stay out there.” I heard him….
Written on the plane flying to Washington, D.C. from Columbus, Ohio and to Atlanta from Washington, D.C.
So with great courage
Back to Washington, D.C.
With full hearts
In deep reflection
September 20th, 2001
Well, obviously we did not go back to New York for the ‘Today Show’. They cancelled because they are going to do a town meeting. I understand…They wanted me to still come to read some of this journal on VH-1 ~ and do a telethon Friday night~ but we couldn’t have gotten the band and equipment to Atlanta (the next day) and as my mom said, the shows must go on, so we just came here from Washington, D.C.
September 21st, 2001
As I said last night, we didn’t go back to New York. I was very disappointed. I wanted to sing “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You?”, and “Landslide” for New York.
Anyway, the shows have been good, and I do think I take the people away for a moment, I see them smile, I see them dance, I touch their hands, I look into their eyes, they are suffering, but for just a moment, we are free ~
Thank you for reading these words. It seems to help me. I hope that it will help you.
Again, Thank you for reading my words~
September 23, 2001
We got here at midnight~ flying in from Atlanta, our old haunt. Lori is here…When she walked into the suite in Atlanta, we both burst into tears, standing in the entry way and just held each other for about 5 minutes…I don’t think we have EVER done that in the 22 years that we have known each other. Life and friends are just so precious now - She helps me so much…Our flight was under an hour tonight, back here to the rooms where the chorus to “Fall From Grace” was written. They have re-done the rooms~
The show was hard for me tonight. The sadness does have a price. It takes away your energy, you feel weaker, it would be very easy to start to cry on stage…I didn’t, but I almost did.
September 27, 2001
Back on the west coast…The part of me that became a New Yorker on Sept. 11th, is having quite a difficult time becoming a California girl again – When there are not enough people to go to the firemen’s funeral’s. I see this on television, and I am haunted by the sound of the bagpipes ~ and I forget I’m not there- Now, when they find someone they just have a little service there, AT ground zero – and get back to work. No time to stop and mourn their loss- or celebrate their life- they just have to keep digging.
September 28, 2001
I am watching a show on KQUED called ‘I am America’, about how frightening it is now, because the adrenaline part is calming down and we are learning every day – new insidious things that the bombing has caused. The incredible “special effects” of it all is turning into something much more ominous. I heard at dinner tonight that a friend of mine was asked to leave a plane after being seated and asked to show I.D. and other identification because he ‘looked foreign’…? This is someone who was in New York with me – and cried…many times. Of course, his feelings were really hurt – but he understood~ how sad is that~ a month ago, this could never have happened-
I am looking out at Koit tower, the lighthouse in San Francisco bay, the Golden Gate Bridge…This beautiful, romantic city in the middle of the night-
Thank you God ~
So tomorrow is Shoreline, my old stomping ground – I had dinner with a friend tonight and we talked about how disheartening it is to now live in a society that is in fear. We went round and round about it. About how to get over it; about how to move forward- about how not to cry everyday (my eyes can’t take it…)
We are a society of broken hearts. My friends said the only time they can forget about it is during the show – and doesn’t that say something for he healing power of music~ for that to be the one thing that almost brings you back to ‘normal’ ~ at least for two hours.
And so we go on. Anti-war demonstrations are starting to happen. As Bob Dylan said – “There was music in the cafes – There was revolution in the air.” I’m sure we will hear from Bob soon ~ He is the rock poet journalist of our time ~ And I bet he has a lot to say~
And the days go by ~ like a strand in the wind~
In the web that is my own~
I begin again~
The new Aladdin Theatre is beautiful – The show was good; I am still hoarse~ but I’ll make it. I think a little of my strength is coming back. Mom & Dad are here, my cousin John is here~ my brother, Lori, my whole family – so I am safe…
I just copied over some more of my journal entries for my website- It has become important to me now that we are together on this.
The tour is almost over. Las Vegas is sparkling in all it’s purple and reds and greens and gold~ magnificent in it’s own ‘Vegas’ way. I know now that I am going to have done what I said I would do~ keep dancing, make up all the shows that I cancelled because of pneumonia – and come home with my reputation intact-
It is the 4th weekend of the clean up process in New York. It is STILL smoldering…I need to go to ground zero when I return to New York~ For some reason, I feel I have to do that~
Oct. 8th, 2001
Well, I am hoarse after the two shows in Vegas, but hey, after pneumonia- what’s a little hoarseness- I f I can just stay quiet for the next 2 days, I should be fine at the Universal Amphitheatre~
We are bombing Afghanistan as we speak~ The Taliban are furious. Also there was a chilling film clip of Bin Laden saying that the ‘sword’ had fallen on New York – and that as long as there are ANY AMERICANS in that part of their world, that we here will never be safe – and they will make sure we live in constant fear…What a wild man he is – destructive to the end. They cancelled the Emmys – AGAIN. Los Angeles is really on full alert – waiting for some kind of retaliation. Maybe that just won’t happen. Here in the valley ~everything is quiet– The view from my hotel is the valley at it’s best. So right now I am just a ‘valley girl’ waiting to do her last two shows –which I hope, will be great. In my nervousness, I just have to keep telling myself- “If you can’t have fun in L.A.- with all your dearest friends here- you really are in bad shape-
Thank you God for
Tomorrow is the first show at the Universal Amphitheatre – I suppose you could call them the most important shows of the tour, except for New York, of course. The industry will be there, that is always scary…but after what I have been through on this tour- it should be a piece of cake. I am excited to finally play here, for my friends. It is the culmination of a tour I thought I might not be able to finish. So I am proud – we are going to have a party after the second show~
Dear God, let me be great tomorrow- let me forget about terrorism and sing your songs from my heart – let me feel good and be happy~ let me give that to these people-that is my prayer-
I run through the grass, I run over the stones, down to the sea~ Show me the way back~
Alright- the show is almost here~ a few hours away~ Los Angeles California~
There is of course, that emotional part of me that says- “It can’t really be over- the band is so-o-o good now~” But it is – I made it…I overcame the odds…
It is done
I said ‘goodbye’ tonight-
But then the sword fell
It’s not too much for you
And to their words, I listened
I like the coastal cities
And I am alone with my thoughts
I will not take you for granted
The ocean is dramatic – when you live on a mountain by the sea, the ocean is so loud that it seems like it’s own person – like a spirit. It is very different from living on the sand –
And last but not least, what I want to tell you is that sharing my ‘rock journal’ with you has been my therapy and my healing grace~ I thank you all so much for all your responses- Now that we’ve started this relationship, I will keep in touch~ my next adventure is out there on the horizon waiting, so it should be, at least, journal worthy~ And, thank you for coming to the shows. I do feel that there were great moments, even on the saddest nights~ and we had “great spirit.” From the very first show in Atlantic City, where I was just frozen- you made it possible for me to perform- with all your good feelings and energy- I will never forget you for that~ With all the trouble in Shangri-La~ I made it through~ with your help~
It is very late in the evening on September 10th, 2002
I will write something the night of September 11th ~
February 29th, 2002
Tomorrow I fly to New York~
We finally ~
March 11th, 2002
Isn’t it odd that I am here today~ I was supposed to have left on Saturday, but Friday I decided I didn’t want to make 3 more cross country flights. Coming here last week was the first time I have traveled on a commercial airline since Sept. 11th. I came here to do the Revlon Breast Cancer Benefit with Sheryl Crow. When I realized that I was going to have to come back the next weekend to see my best friend Tom Petty be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame~ I just decided to stay ~ So here I am on March 11th, the 6 month anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Center.
I am watching the Oprah show about Lauren, the lady chased through the lobby by a fire ball that blew out of the elevator and burned almost her whole body ~ About her husband, who never left her side~ And about her little boy, who did not run away from her when he saw her.
I’m sure tonight many more stories will be told~ People need to share their stories~ It opens my eyes even more to the ongoing aftershocks of that saddest of days~ But also, to the incredible resilience of the people of New York. What impresses me most is that everyone except the people here have been able to move away from the tragedy a little bit~ But the people here~ by virtue of just living here~ can’t really move away at all~ Everyday, new information, new stories~ Everyday that I have been here I have been touched by something about 9-11~ My morning at the Waldorf=Astoria, the morning that everyone’s ‘childlike innocence’ was threatened…But 6 months later~ here in New York~ People did not lose hope forever~ So I am glad and proud to be here now. Once again, it pretty much makes my problems fade to gray. I will write more as the week progresses~ I’m sure there will be much to say.
Tonight they light the two great blue light beams in tribute to those who died~ And for those who are left.
New York City
Slowly, a newswoman walks us through ground zero~ slowly touring the hallways hand prints on a wall, bottles in the Bar-Café, still waiting to be opened, not broken, not a person in sight~ dead or alive.
Don’t take me to the tower
The four firemen working at the site~ Until they find their children. And John returned~ who lost two sons, well, if I had the power~ you can bet I would have turned back time~ waved a magic wand~ and given these men back their children. How inspired I am by them. I will write about them forever~
And so, in the words of an anonymous newsman~
I guess that about says it all…
May 30th , 2002
And once again, as destiny would have it, I am again here for the 3rd symbolic day of the tragedy. I came here to do a benefit show for the Robin Hood Foundation, a foundation that supports underprivileged children in New York ~ not realizing that ~ today, an empty stretcher is to be loaded into a waiting ambulance~ signifying the people who were never found.
The last steel girder, covered by a flag, put on a big truck~
This is so hard for those who have worked so hard to find everybody. No one wanted to give up. I think they are so awesome.
So today, here in New York, the cleaning up is done, like that great fireman who said “We will stay until it is broom clean”~ and today was the official day where it was declared~ broom clean.
September 10, 2002
I’m alone now…with my thoughts~ of how we could make it…of how we could get out. Of all of the trauma and of what we have been through…the smell of Nag Champra; shadows of the strangers…What I saw on this journey, I saw history go down; I cannot pretend that the heartache goes away. It’s just like a river; it’s never ending. I cannot pretend that the heartache falls away~
A year ago today ~ at this very time I was in the air~ flying from Toronto Canada to New York City. We landed at about three o’clock. I had been listening to a Shawn Colvin song over and over for weeks~ just this one song. It was about plane crashes.
I will not take you for granted
I feel lucky that I was able to come off the road into the dreamlike setting of recording a studio album with Fleetwood Mac. It was a good place to be after what I had been through, I was very emotional~ the band felt very healing to me. I also felt so blessed to be alive and also be in a big time rock and roll band making new music~a great tragedy followed by a gift. Making this record has been a gift.
So for tonight, that is my message~
Love is a gift
And the days go by