The Anne Murray Holiday Story

This is a fanfic of the strife between Anne Murray and Liz Clarke.  Although the title is Anne Murray, she is the cause of the story.  The main character is Liz Clarke, who has this hatred of Anne Murray like no other (except Tracee Hamilton hating on Roy Williams of leaving Kansas for North Carolina and using her witch pipe to get what she wants).  Most of the events are real based on accounts from Liz Clarke and their Wikipedia page.  The situations are fake.  I created this story to understand why Liz Clarke really hates a 2 minute song that is as long as a horse race.  Please, don’t take this seriously, but do give me credit for research (I kid, I kid).  Here’s the Anne Murray Holiday Story:

Fifty years ago in Canada, Anne Murray was a sensation. She was making hit after hit in Canada. She was what Faith Hill and Dolly Parton was in Canada back in the day.  She had a folksy voice that was perfectly fit our neighbors up north.

Liz Clarke was a young, smart child in New York.  She had big dreams. She kept her thoughts to herself and never reveals anything to her family and friends.

Liz felt bored in the United States and wanted new challenges. Liz convinced her family to move to Goose Bay, Newfoundland. When she arrived, she develop her craft as a writer and looked over at her window to see the building, dreaming of been a writer (and a figure skater). For the few months, she enjoyed her stay in Goose Bay: the blueberries, Eskimo city, the landscape, and inspirations that she thought she could live. Then, her family bought a phonograph that changed her life forever.

In one wintry afternoon in 1968, the family bought a phonograph that had two free LP records by purchasing this device. The two records were Gordon Lightfoot and Anne Murray. The whole family loved Gordon Lightfoot and played the record through the night. The next day, the family listens to Anne Murray’s record. The family wasn’t as enthuse, but the album was plausible. Then, the strum of the guitar and the voice reckoned “Snowbird” and Liz’s family jumped around and dance the night. Liz and her family were going to sleep that night humming Snowbird. However, the next day was whole other story.

The next morning, Liz’s father was to play another LP record, but the Anne Murray record was stuck and when they place the needle, it was repeating “Snowbird” over and over again. At first, Liz’s father was trying to fix the phonograph, but the record was stuck to “Snowbird.”   The family couldn’t fix it, but they loved the sound of her voice and kept playing.  It felt like they’re back in New York.  Everyone was dancing and singing along a record that was stuck on one song.  Everyone was happy, except the small, brunette hair sat in the corner name Liz Clarke.  

Liz use to like the song, but hearing it again and again, it created a migraine to her head and with her desire to write, started a diary.  The family moved back in the States because Canada was way too cold for them and Liz was very happy to escape from Anne Murray.  However, she didn’t realize “Snowbird” was a hit in the United States as well.  For two years, she wrote her devious thoughts about Anne.  Here’s an excerpt:

“The slumber party was fun, however the Anne Murray background music was making my friends run out the door.  I don’t hate my family for it, but Anne Murray must die.”

“Anne Murray is ruining my social life.  When I talk to my friends, I keep saying the lyrics to Snowbird.  Now, kids give me the stink-look.”

“Great…my school is doing “Snowbird.”  Please shoot me.”

She was not happy those two years and blamed Anne for ruining her kid years.  Then, one special concert at  New Jersey in 1974 that change Liz’s life.

The Clarkes, despite opposition from Liz, travel to the Meadowlands to see Anne Murray.  It was a sold out concert and everyone was real excited and the buzz went through the roof.  The Clarkes had front row seats and were giddy about seeing Anne.  As you know in concerts, there’s a lead-off act and the lead-off act was a local favorite…Bruce Springsteen.  When Bruce came to the stage, there was a good applause and then, sang his set.  After the first song, there ere loud cheers, but there was one person who went beyond cheering… Liz Clarke.  She never felt so alive and was screaming at every song.  Then, on the second to last song, Liz’s mother felt something on her shoe and felt something was wet and sticky.  She looked around and found out that it was Liz.  She realizes when Bruce sang, Liz just became a woman at that moment.  The whole family had to exit the arena to accompany Liz.  The Clarkes missed the last song from Bruce and the whole set with Anne Murray.  The Clarkes were disappointed to miss out but wanted to take care of their daughter, who founded her inspiration.

During her high school years, Liz was a terrific student not because she studied hard; she founded confidence in The Boss.  She went to local music stores and bought Bruce’s albums.  She carried Bruce’s rhythms and carried it to class.  To be frank, she was not an expert on math or science, but when she was humming along Bruce, her face lit up and came out of high school in the top 5% of her class.  The happiness continued when she got her allowance, got a paid job as a waitress in Vermont for the summer, and won a $500 writing contest.  She used most of the money on going to the Springsteen and the E Street Band tour and had a time of her life.  At Barnard College, she excelled at her classes and became one of the better writers at Barnard during her time.  However, after her junior year in college, something changed.

After her junior year, she interned at a local newspaper in New York.  Right then and there, she wanted to be a writer…a music critic to be exact.  She loved Springsteen so much; she inspired to listen to music that even would compare to Springsteen.  She took that during her senior year and wanted to be the music writer for her college newspaper.  The editor-in-chief enjoyed Liz’s writings and would have no problem to have a position for the college newspaper.  Then, when the editor-in-chief turned on the radio, the EIC heard a sound and quickly turn back and it was Liz.  Apparently, when a Springsteen song comes on air or on the record, Liz has a tendency to swoon when Springsteen comes on.  The EIC realizes it and told it straight to Liz that she cannot be a music writer with her “tendencies.”  The EIC put Liz as a sports reporter for Barnard.  She accepted her role, but by her face, she was disappointed of her new role.  Then to make matters worse, during the winter time in Vermont, Canadians came down to enjoy the maple syrup Vermont is well known for.  It made great business for the restaurant Liz was working, but individually, it was bad since Canadians don’t tip.  Each waking hour, Liz looks at the Canadian customers with disdain and wanted to throw plates to those Canadians for not tipping.  Then, a special customer came by.

Liz was so tired that day; she was looking into the paper and did the regular greeting.  The customer wanted blueberry pancakes with the classic Vermont maple syrup.  Liz took the order and head back.  Fifteen minutes later, the blueberry pancakes with Vermont maple syrup came to the customer.   For thirty minutes, the customer chewed on those pancakes and the guest was swept by their feet.  When the plate was done, the guest said, “Those were the best pancakes I ever had.”  Liz handed the customer a check and expected to see a tip.  Instead of money, the customer gave Liz a record inside the cover was a note.  Liz opened the letter.  It says,

Dear Liz,

The blueberry pancakes were wonderful and I love the maple syrup.  Seems appropriate this time of year.  Anyway, I heard about you disdain of me because what happen to you as a child.  I do admit my music is not everyone’s cup of tea (or syrup), but I feel so sorry of what happened and I want to make it up.  Here’s a new album from me.  I hope you enjoy it and congratulations on graduating next year.

Sincerely,

Anne

The letter did get Liz’s attention and she ran to the window to see Anne.  What Liz only saw was the silver tips of her hair.  At that moment, Liz thought of going home and play Anne Murray’s new album.  Then, someone came to the jukebox and selected B25, “Snowbird” by Anne Murray.  By then, Liz’s hatred of Anne Murray still burns and threw the new record in to the trash.

After graduating from Barnard College, Liz traveled a lot as a young sportswriter.  She was writing places in Dallas, and in D.C.  She was writing stories about various sports topics in the city she covered.  In each of those places, Liz kept a scrapbook at her desk she made in college.  It was a bunch of pictures of Bruce and the band and a cutout of Liz in many different outfits.  In one of the pictures, it had Liz in a wedding dress with Bruce.  The money paid well, so she can travel to any Bruce Springsteen concert she had time to attend.   She wasted nearly half of her yearly salary on Springsteen tickets.   Yet, she had the time of her life and brought in more pictures of Bruce and more cutoffs of herself.  Then, in 1988, Liz was assigned to cover the Winter Olympics in Calgary.  While there, she did reports and interviews of stars people have not heard of in the States.  Coming out of Olympic Village, she spotted someone familiar… it was Anne Murray.  Liz never spoke to Anne and went the opposite direction.  By that time, The Boss was married, divorced, and remarried; Anne was out of the spotlight; and Liz was a rising star in the sports journalism scene, but it wasn’t the direction she expected.

In 1990, Liz moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to be the beat writer for the Charlotte Observer.  Charlotte was a rising city that had a NASCAR track and two expansion teams coming in.  Liz’s supervisor selected her to do NASCAR coverage.  Liz did not have a clue about NASCAR, except “Cadillac Ranch” from Springsteen about Junior Johnson.  She uses that to develop her NASCAR expertise and it was a rough start.  Her first day at a NASCAR track, she wore a dress out of many people in dirty outfits.  She was clueless in a rising sport, but had help from an unexpected source.  He was called the Intimidator, the Guy in Black, and a Champion.  Dale Earnhardt rarely had relationships with anyone, but when he saw a young reporter lost, he took Liz by her side and shows her the ropes.  The relationship not only help Liz understand NASCAR, she mastered it.  In 1996, she became Motorsports Journalist of the Year at the time when open wheel racing was splitting up and NASCAR was rising ( She won another one in 2003).  At that time, Liz moved to Washington D.C. to be the beat writer for the Washington Post.  It was also at the time The Boss was becoming a legend and Anne had her personal problems.  Then came the 2000s.

In 2001, Dale Earnhardt died in a multi-car crash at the Daytona 500.  The death of Dale not only hurt NASCAR, but it lost Liz as well.  At the same time, Anne had to conquer divorce, cancer, and personal problems.  For the next five years, all of their careers became stagnant, which lead us to 2007.

In 2007, Liz finally admits her hatred of Anne Murray on the Tony Kornheiser Show in May of 2007.  She discussed why she hated Canada and the main reason was “Snowbird” by Anne Murray.  She also discuss Celine Dion and tipping, but her hatred of Anne Murray runs like a thousand suns.  She told Mr. Tony that if Anne Murray ever share the same room, she would walk off.   Mr. Tony and Jeanne McManus were taken aback by Liz’s hatred of Anne. 

At the same time, Anne Murray was back at the recording studio making her comeback album with “Duets” from famous Canadian artists.  Not only it was a number one album in Canada, but had moderate success in the U.S.  She felt so good about her comeback album; she decided to start her comeback tour.  Most of them would be in Canada and the south, where country reigns supreme.  However, one of her assistants forward her the podcast to the Tony Kornheiser Show with Liz Clarke’s comments.   Anne still remembers meeting Liz at the restaurant and remembers her face.  She also remembers she has not respond back to their meeting 20 years ago.  So, Anne mention to the tour people to add events in the Mid-Atlantic and one of them be in the DC Metro Area.  The event planners found one on March 18, 2008 in North Bethesda, Maryland.

In early 2008, Liz Clarke was promoting her first book, One Helluva Ride.  The book had moderate success and was a local hit in Washington DC.   Anne Murray was in the middle of her North American Tour and was heading to the States and could not wait to go to Maryland to see Liz.  Anne actually got Liz’s email through Google and send her complementary VIP seats to her show in Bethesda.   Liz got the email, but never responded back.  One day before her concert in Bethesda, she realizes that Liz is not coming.  However, there was a Plan B…”Neil.”

On March 18, 2008, Plan B was to have “Neil,” who is a lawyer in Rockville, help setup an “impromptu” book session with Liz Clarke.  “Neil” gave the call to Liz saying that a lot of people would come to her book signing.  Liz did not answer the phone, so “Neil” went to his backup plan…Liz’s agent.  Liz’s agent agreed to this “impromptu” book signing because “Neil” had booked the place from 7-8PM that night.  So, “Neil” text message his friends to come by Columbia Books to have the book signing.  “Neil” drove all the way to DC to pick up Liz from her workplace.  “Neil” and Liz had a nice conversation and “Neil” told what’s going on.  “Neil” and Liz arrived at Columbia Books and Liz did her regular session follow by the book signing.  After 8 PM, “Neil” told Liz that you’re going to a party similar to what Sally Jenkins setup Liz a few weeks ago in DC.  Liz had that same excitement like she’s hearing another Springsteen record.  So, it was back to the road and heading to the party.

“Neil” and Liz were traveling north and “Neil” mention the party would be at the Strathmore.  Liz jumped around and even gave “Neil” a kiss on the cheek.   Liz attended a backstage party with friends and “Neil’s” friends.  They all chatted about her book.  Then, “Neil” took her to the balcony of the Music Center and Liz was very impressed, until the guitar strings strung that sounded familiar.   Yes, the backstage party was the Anne Murray crew and yes, she attended an Anne Murray concert.  Liz was livid at “Neil” and pounded her purse to his face.  “Neil” had to explain to Liz that Anne sent him there because she received Liz’s book from fellow Canadian and NASCAR driver, Ron Fellows.  “Neil” was Anne’s spokesperson at the time to explain that Anne read Liz’s book and enjoyed it.  Liz was stunned by the response, yet still threw the purse at “Neil’s” face.  Liz left the Strathmore during the middle of Anne’s set and took the Metro home.  “Neil” was still numb after the numerous hits from Liz’s purse.  The backstage crew saw the damage on “Neil” and told him to go home and rest up for tomorrow for his regular daytime job.  At 11PM, Anne’s concert was finished and was jolted from the loud applause.  She properly bowed to the audience and thank everyone of attending and told the audience that she is having fun singing again.  Backstage, Anne was hugging the band and crew members for the tremendous work that night.  Anne headed to her dressing room and saw the book One Helluva Ride on her desk.  She opened it up and there was an autograph from Liz Clarke and a letter she wrote.  It says:

Dear Anne,

I still hate “Snowbird” and hate it to the end of time.  However, I have been receiving emails from Canadians who are passionate about your music and their home country and I have to say I’m progressing to like Canada a little.  Plus, I discovered last year that a Canadian invented insulin, for which I am thankful since I am diabetic.  I also know you receive a copy of One Helluva Ride from Ron, which is very nice of him.

As time passes by, I know I have to settle a score at some point and I can’t get all angry at you, but you did somewhat ruin my childhood.  However, I want to move on and I’m writing this because I do not want to be hated that much (trust me) and hope we’ll meet…in 2010 in Vancouver.  I never been there before and hope you can be my tour guide.

2009 will be a busy year for me as I will settle the score in Tampa with Bruce and her wife and take advantage of the environment, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, good luck and hope to see you in 2010.

Thanks,

Liz

Anne read the letter, giggles a little, shook her head and spoke to herself, “I understand Liz, see you in 2010 in Vancouver!”

THE END

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

 

5 Comments

  • […] The Anne Murray Holiday Story (December 25, 2008) – This was the first story I did for Christmas, and the best. The story is based on true events (seriously) Liz Clarke’s weird obsession of hating Anne Murray’s “Snowbird” while going “orgasmic” on anything Springsteen. There are many reasons I love this post: 1) it is easily the best story I ever wrote 2) I would get a lot of Tony Kornheiser fans who know this story, plus people already read my review of Liz Clarke’s One Helluva Ride, which got a lot of views. Just wish for one day, Mr. Tony or Nigel play “Snowbird” when Liz is in studio and Anne and Liz would meet. […]

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