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2:30 p.m. - 2011-07-02
Golden (?) Oldies

My fave 70's station is playing Van Morrison and as usual I'm reminded of Warren Zevon. Not from the slim similarity between their musical styles but because there's a weird cross-connect from 'An American Werewolf in London'. To make it dopier Warren Zevon's song isn't even in that movie. One of the doofiest oversights ever. Landis never said why he skipped using such an obvious choice. It certainly wasn't from fear of being hokey. Not when three different versions of 'Blue Moon' made it onto the soundtrack.

GAHHH! Now it's Fleetwood Mac! Don't misunderstand, I went through my Stevie Nicks phase as we witchy types are apt to do. It's just in 1977 my sister, Anastasia, got the 'Rumours' album for Christmas from her boyfriend and when they broke up a few months later she played that stupid record at least 28 million times afterward as though by invoking his musical gift he'd come back to her. Like a charmed snake or something. Matt never did come back, but I was stuck with Fleetwood Mac heebie-jeebies for the rest of my life.

The way certain songs have specific memories attached is something which everyone understands but is nearly impossible to pass onto anyone who wasn't there at the time. Occasionally the backstory is amusing like how for me the eponymous 'Carpenters' album is forever tangled up with being lost after dark in a very scary and very seedy neighborhood in downtown Albany during a wretched downpour in the summer of 1974. Actually I don't know how amusing that story really is besides the snaggle-toothed gas station attendant named (no lie) Alpo who got us turned around in the right direction and back onto the Thruway. For real. How often do you meet saviors named after a brand of dog food? Even if you're nowhere near Albany that's gotta be pretty rare.

Or how the first time I heard the Charlie Daniels' song 'Uneasy Rider' I was actually in a redneck bar. It wasn't quite perfect, the joint was named 'Nana's Slice o' Heaven'…the Dew Drop Inn was a couple miles down the road.

Honkytonks, cruddy neighborhood gin mills, beer joints of every stripe. Maybe it was always lousy parenting to bring your offspring to those places, but back in the day it seemed normal enough to me. My mother would go trolling for men and get her drink on dragging me and Gidget with her if she couldn't afford a sitter. Weekend afternoons mostly. Though it was night and a Monday when I saw Hank Aaron hit homerun #715 breaking Babe Ruth's record. Saw it on a color TV bolted to the wall in Sammy Colletti's ratty little bar. It should tell you something about how hardcore the drinkers were at Sammy's. Besides me the only one who noticed Aaron's dinger was the bar back. Luis had stopped to catch a little of the game between running out fresh kegs and racks of still steaming glasses from the dishwasher. On the TV everybody went nuts. At Sammy's Luis just gave me five and then went through the swinging door to fetch another keg of Rheingold. Not big sports fans those rummies at Sammy's bar.

Not that I was either. But breaking the Babe's homerun record seemed important. I was honestly unaware of all the racially tinged foo-rah-rah surrounding this. A good thing? Or was I just too young to be tapped into all the social subtexts? Dunno.

I wasn't thought to be too young when in August of the same year my mother called me inside to watch Nixon's resignation on TV. In fact at 11 I'd already been doing duty as my mother's 'wife' for almost four years already. (Laundry, food shopping, housework, meeting her at the door after work with an icy gin and tonic and a "How was your day, Mom?" Heh. Cinderella meets 'Mad Men'.) By 1974 she'd designated me as the official news watcher too. My job was to know everything that was going on and spoon feed her tidbits about certain current events so she'd appear to be smart and well-informed when man-trolling the more upscale places where the execs and lawyers hung out. Places where a woman might be engaged in a real conversation before she gave the inevitable parking lot blowjob to Mr Esquire or CEO, who then went home to his wife. She never learned, my mother. Always thought the road to fame and riches came through a man. And the way to a rich man with a ring was through his penis.

Poor Mom. Far as I heard she was unmarried, nearly homeless and squatting in my recently deceased grandparents' house when she died. Who knows? Maybe she gave lousy blowjobs and that's why she never snagged the fat cat of her dreams. All I remember is the long string of losers and perverts she dragged home and occasionally married when she found one stupid enough to say, "Yes".

You know, now that I'm thinking on it I've had enough 70's music for a while. ~LA

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