“My music still stands as something gentle and meaningful and significant.” Yusuf Salam (Cat Stevens) London Times 1999
Happy Birthday to Yusuf Islam, born today in 1948. I first saw Cat Stevens in about 1970 or 1971 at the Gaslight Café in Greenwich Village. The Gaslight closed some time in ’71. What a venue…you had to walk downstairs and it was small. I saw War there and many other artists. From the start, I loved his music, his voice and his looks. At the time, I was dating someone who looked similar to Cat Stevens.
After converting to Islam, Cat Stevens changed his name to Yusuf Islam and left the music business for years. Then he returned and still sounded great. “Ultimately, the reason for Yusuf’s return to music and performing is simple, he explains. The language of song is simply the best way to communicate the powerful winds of change which brought me to where I am today, and the love for peace still passing through my heart. I feel gifted to have that ability still within me. I never wanted to get involved in politics because that essentially separates people; whereas music has the power to unify, and is so much easier for me than to give a lecture. At this he smiles knowingly. “You can argue with a philosopher, but you can’t argue with a good song. And I think I’ve got a few good songs.”–Yusuf Islam Site
This is my all time favorite Yusuf Salam song: Father and Son.