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A Day Late And A Song Short

January 3, 2021

We all think that tomorrow is always to be found in the plural, only to learn later in life that it just ain’t so.

In 1974, I lived in an apartment complex in Woodland Hills, California. There were several other musicians living there and gradually I became good friends with one, Ray Allopenna. Ray and I played a lot of guitar together, wrote a couple of songs and over time we became the entertainment at the local bar around the corner named The Loading Zone. Life was simpler then and even then we knew it. We were even a little bored.

My time in Woodland Hills finally came to an end and I moved to nearby Granada Hills. When I last saw Ray, he said he was going to Hawaii to open a charter fishing business. I wished him luck and said I was going to get my life back together. We both promised that we would get back together someday and play some more music together.

Time’s currents are often swift and take us to places we had not imagined. Ray and I never did play anymore music together. He went to Northern California and I later went to Oregon and then on to Italy to live. However, in between each page of the calendars, I thought of Ray and hoped that someday we could fulfill our promise. After my Odyssey around the world, I finally settled in North Carolina and once again embraced my guitar like an old friend. As I played, as I wrote, Ray was always there in my mind.

On April 22, 2011 I decided to track Ray down in an honest effort to honor that promise we had made decades before. After several marathon sessions on the computer, I thought I had located him. I quickly dashed off a letter. After no reply, I searched a little closer and found his obituary posted online. It seemed that I was a day late and a song short after all the years. There is no one word in the English language to describe how I felt and lacking at least a modest adjective, I did what all song writers do; I sat down over lunch and wrote a song titled, One For Ray. In all modesty, it’s a great song and a great tribute to an old friend but it will never see a publisher’s desk. Some things need to be kept as private treasures from the past.

Here is a song that Ray and I played the hell out of back in our early clubbing days in 1974 along with the back scene I wrote for my book, Three A.M. – The Complete 1970s Song Lyrics:

Carry On
© 1974 Allen E. Rizzi

V1 Sittin’ around in Woodland Hills,
Drinkin’ too much beer, paying too many bills.
Some people say it’s fun alright,
But I haven’t seen a girl all night:
Carry on….


V2 I don’t know about this old town;
The people are crazy, the air is brown.
What the hell, I’ve got heated pools
And I stick close to Uncle Boots’ rules:
Carry on….


V3 Guess it’s time I did the vacate scene;
‘Cause my money’s gone, the times are lean.
Hope to God there’s some light up ahead
‘Cause I need my lovin’ and I miss my bed:
Carry on….

Coda Carry on…. And on…. And on…. And on.

Back Scene 2011:

Carry On was written at the Penfield Apartments in Woodland Hills during the time that I played with Ray Allopenna at a club around the corner called The Loading Zone. It was the most requested song on our playlist that included mostly Jim Croce, America, etc.

It was originally penned as a joke of sorts because we were bored with our little lives in our little apartment building. The line “and I stick close to Uncle Boots rules” refers to the apartment superintendent who always wore Nazi Storm Trooper style boots. (I think he may have actually been a Nazi camp guard.) The song is also notable for its use of bar chords (this was my first attempt). Credit should also go to Ray Allopenna (deceased 2007) as I am sure he contributed in some way to the music, if not the lyrics. This one really brings back some good old days from a very long time ago!

AER 7-11-2011

Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at

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  1. What a wonderful post about your good old days! I just reconnected with my old roommates in my early days in NY and we have a blast reminiscing our youth, four young girls in a studio apartment having parties every weekends in late 60s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry you missed making that last connection with Ray. I’m sure the song you wrote for him was lovely, Allen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said. Carry on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very touching story; I enjoyed picturing those scenes in Woodland Hills.

    Liked by 1 person

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