My dearest friend – whom I’ve never met – Conor Oberst,

How are you, old friend? Been a long time since I’ve heard your voice—the distinctive voice that makes me question the true meaning of the word “beautiful.” It’s almost like we need to create a new word to describe your delightfully wonderful and fantastic voice. It’s so shaky, frightened and remarkably unusual that you can’t call it beautiful, yet it truly is. 

Let me remind you, in case you forgot, that the first time I heard your music was back in the Bright Eyes days. On the album Fevers & Mirrors, I believe that “Something Vague” and “The Calendar Hung Itself” captured my attention. “I kissed a girl with a broken jaw that her father gave to her. She had eyes bright enough to burn me, they reminded me of yours. In a story told she was a little girl in a red-rouge, sun-bruised field and there were rows of ripe tomatoes where a secret was concealed…” 

You are one of the most brilliant songwriters I have ever heard. One of the things that amazes me most in this world is how artists can be so goddamn creative. I guess I just can’t comprehend because I’m not very artistic, but seriously, how do you come up with your lyrics? Sometimes I have to stop the track and listen to them again and again. I envy you and think you are extremely intelligent. 

I want to touch on another Bright Eyes album, I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning. When you released it and its companion, Digital Ash In A Digital Urn, you drew comparisons to Bob Dylan. What a compliment that must’ve been. Dylan is one of the best songwriters of our time. Each time I listen to I’m Wide Awake…, I pick out pieces that I never noticed before. Your albums might get older but to me they will never age. 

Lastly, recording as Conor Oberst, I appreciate all the music you create and get excited every time you contribute to another artist’s album. I have seen you perform live twice, plus once as Bright Eyes. How extraordinary it all was. As long as you continue to tour, I assume I will see you another handful of times. Even though we have never met, after listening to you for so long, I feel like we are good friends. I have a tremendous amount of respect for your work and hope to continue to connect with you many, many years from now. 

Gregory

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