My father was a man of duwop and soul, but my mother was a sunkist Californian prone to pop and folk music of the 1960s and the 1970s. From her I inherited my love of Elton John: a love that compelled me to steal all her old albums, on each of which her maiden name is signed in adolescently perky penmanship. This is a theft she’s never let me live down, but I persist in keeping my stolen goods because the man has meant that much to me throughout the years. In middle school, high school, college, and beyond, I’ve always been able to pull an album from its dusty jacket and find exactly what I need. I’ve even had the good fortune to see him live on the Peachtree Road Tour, and let me tell you…the man has more energy than a pack of 22-year-old frat boys let loose at a brew pub. Proof that life can get better with age; hallelujah.