“I’ve been crying lately
Thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating?
Why can’t we live in bliss?”
Peace Train – Cat Stevens
On this, the 63rd anniversary of the birth of Cat Stevens, we look back on a life of music and inspiration.
Born Steven Georgiou in Marylebone, London, England, Cat would extend his love for music with influences that included Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, John Lennon, Biff Rose (who played on his first album), Leo Kottke and Paul Simon. He also wanted to emulate great composers including Ira Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. Beginning in coffee shops and pubs, Stevens would play and shine as local on lookers absorbed his sound
In 1969, Stevens contracted tuberculosis where he became close to death. Later on after several months of recovery, Stevens was quoted as saying “to go from the show business environment and find you are in hospital, getting injections day in and day out, and people around you are dying, it certainly changes your perspective. I got down to thinking about myself. It seemed almost as if I had my eyes shut.” After this episode his took up meditation, yoga and metaphysics and began a personal transformation.
In 1976, Stevens nearly drowned off the coast of Malibu, CA. During this incident, he found himself shouting “Oh God! If you save me I will work for you.” He claims that moments after saying that a wave appeared and carried him back to shore. It was this second affair with death that he began to really seek spiritual truth.
He formally converted to the Islamic religion on December 23, 1977.
He would go on to marry and start a family and leave the music recording industry for 28 years. He has returned and through all the trials and tribulations of his life, he has allowed us to come along his journey through his music.
To Cat Stevens, we say Happy Birthday, Thank you and to continue to seek peace within yourself and around the world.
Enjoy this mix of great Cat Stevens Music: