As they say, what a long, strange trip it’s been.
I had a fabled pop culture career in the 1970s – three of my albums went Triple Platinum. Every baby boomer listened to my music, even if they don’t recall much about me today. There’s a reason.
When I came close to death with tuberculosis in 1969, I embarked on a spiritual quest. Lots of baby boomers went down this road. Mine took a different fork, one that eventually led to Islam. In 1977, I changed my name to Yusuf Islam and abruptly stopped performing or writing music. I felt there was no way to have a commercial career and be faithful to the Koran. I married, had 5 children, and devoted my time to religious education and charity.
There are misconceptions about my relationship with radical Islam. I never condoned the death fatwa against writer Salman Rushdie. I openly deplored the 9/11 attack. Still, my name ended up on a watch list denying entry to the U.S. for alleged association with terrorists. It has since been lifted. Reports that I refuse to speak to unveiled women is false. A lawsuit against the magazine making that claim was successful. I do, however, request that lady presenters refrain from embracing me at public events.
Gradually, I began to play music again and give live performances. In 2006 and 2009, I released albums of new pop songs. I just finished a European tour.
› Cat Stevens was a hit machine. Here’s one: CAT
› After converting to Islam, he auctioned off all his guitars for charity.
› He makes about $1.5 million a year in royalties and other revenue from his earlier works.
› For a brief time, Cat Stevens and singer Carly Simon were “an item.” Her hit Anticipation is about him.
Baby Boomer Trivia Questions
♫ Who was the first woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone?
♫ Which album does Rolling Stone pick as the “Greatest of All Time?”
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: Beatles
Blonde on Blonde: Bob Dylan
Exile on Main Street: The Rolling Stones
Pet Sounds: Beach Boys
Which ranks #2?
♫ Boomers in Common: What do all they share?
Answers at end of post
Imagine taking off your makeup and nobody knows who you are. ~Steven Tyler, Aerosmith.
We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. ~John Lennon
Rock ‘n Roll: The most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear. ~Frank Sinatra
Guitar groups are on the way out. ~Decca Records executive, turning down a contract for the Beatles in 1962.
Watch another Cat Stevens hit: CAT
Answers to Baby Boomer Trivia Questions
♫ Rolling Stone’s “Greatest Album of All Time” is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
♫ Boomers in Common: None of these music superstars has a #1 song.
Can’t get enough of Cat? Here’s one more: CAT
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