Friday’s Theme Music

After I’d finished writing, I headed into the wilds of Ashland’s streets and sidewalks. Using the East Main crosswalk by Sherman, I saw a young woman driving an SUV toward me. She seemed to be steering with her elbows, as her left hand was holding a phone to her head as her right hand worked on applying lip gloss. Like, holy crap, just what you want to see coming toward you as you’re crossing the street.

The day had warmed to an almost balmy 56 F. Sunshine was blooming but rain was lurking on the mountains. The clouds seemed shifty, like they were planning a move. I decided I wouldn’t mind a little rain, so pressed on, heading down Fourth Street.

Down on the corner of Fourth and B was a pile of popped corn. Look, hey, what the heck is this doing here?

Must it be said that the sight stirred a 1972 song into my stream? ‘Course not. The song is a synth-pop ditty name “Popcorn” by Hot Butter. Seriously. And it was an international hit. Seriously.

I don’t know what’s up with that, but here it is in all its glory. Listen to it, please. Let me know if you’re familiar with it. Just curious, ya know?

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Don’t know why – perhaps because I’ve been battling with a cold and flu the last few days, and have finally seemed to be winning – but an old Stones’ standard has flooded the stream. Maybe a sense derived of snuggling in bed under heavy blankets during the day, when I’m supposed to be out adulting, contributes to a mood of being a little kid again, eating buttered toast and drinking warm fluids to soothe my throat and head.

Here’s “19th Nervous Breakdown” from 1966.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

The dreams were too cra-cra to even begin to parse more than snippets of scenes. They were all about some kind of business some people where people wanted me involved, and stars. Shooting stars, nebulae, and galaxies seemed like a heavy theme. Sometimes it seemed like I was in a spaceship looking out at stars, galaxies, and nebulae somewhere, except there wasn’t a spaceship. Just me and the stars. Those scenes stayed interspersed with the business scenes and other scenes that are mere flickers — on rocks by water, a flower, the sun.

Okay, from it, memories introduce Deep Purple playing “Highway Star” (1972) from the album Machine Head. It’s a fast-tempo song. It’s Deep Purple, so there is a large infusion of keyboards, but it’s Deep Purple, so it’s hard-rocking with guitars and drums, a perfect song to have cranked up on a cold night when you’re cruising in a car with your friends.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Today’s song is by a Canadian group, “The Guess Who”.

“Hang On to Your Life” was released in 1971. It came to me today out of one of the lines, natch; it’s a common occurrence when I’m walking around town, speaking to the cats, or visiting with my dreams. This one came out in conjunction with mutterings about writing (wrutterings, I suppose), and the quest for a better novel. I figured, “Maybe I can sell my soul.”

Burton Cummings answered in “Hang On to Your Life”, “but don’t you sell it too cheap.” Then I just meandered down some memory lanes about age, life, and choices. Yes, all while sober and not smoking anything. Listening to it, it seems like a perfect 1970 radio rock song, featuring raging lyrics in a taut voice backed by electric guitars and heavy drumming.

Gotta love it.

Monday’s Theme Music

You’d think that today’s song, with a cat in the title, was inspired by an interaction with a cat. Nope; didn’t happen that way.

“Honky Cat” by Elton John (1972) came to me because of the line, “Change is gonna do me good.” I was asked to help another. Helping them would force a change to my comfortable, protected routines. But I wanted to help, hence, I told myself, “Change is gonna do me good.”

Turned out, my help wasn’t needed, etc. By then, though, “Honky Cat” was roaring in the stream. Not that I mind that. Its jaunty sound fit my mood.

Now I’m gonna go look for gold in a silver mine, then drink a little whiskey from a bottle of wine. Always enjoyed those lines.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Six thirty in the AM. Post winter solstice and not too cloudy so there’s a little daylight, but still, overhead lights are required for this important task, feeding the cat.

I used to regularly be up at this hour, often at work by now. Since retiring from the USAF and leaving IBM, I’ve chosen not to be up at this hour. I’d rather be sleeping.

But the cat – Pepper, the neighbor’s old cat – has come in through the pet door and is begging for a meal, so I get up to indulge her. Won’t be but a minute. Another cat, Boo, comes in asking for some food as well, so I set him up.

Boo alternatively stares at me and the bowl of food like, “What’s this? What’s going on?”

“It’s your food, Boo. You were just asking for it.”

“Food? Food? What is food?”

I don’t know what game he’s playing and I want to return to bed. Maybe he’s thinking, “This isn’t what I ordered.” Don’t know. So I tell him, “If you want it, here it is, come and get it.” But I know Pepper. She’s gobbling her food down and will head to this bowl afterward. She’s already giving it a side glance as she’s eating. “You better hurry cause it may not last.”

Which was all that my brain required to introduce the 1969 Badfinger song  “Come and Get It” from my childhood memories to my conscious stream.

Lyrics:

If you want it, here it is come and get it
Mmmm, make your mind up fast
If you want it, anytime I can give it
But you better hurry cause it may not last

h/t to Genius.com cuz’ cut and paste is easier.

It’s weird to think of this as a Badfinger song. I think of them as rock poppers. Yeah, I know its history about Paul McCartney, The Magic Christian, etc. And that’s it, I guess, it has the Beatles sound (or the McCartney sound), but not the Badfinger sound.

The food was eaten when I got up an hour later, and also regurgitated on the foyer rug, highlighted in its own little patch of sunshine.

Saturday’s Theme Music

I watched Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Tarentino always makes it interesting and watching it for memories of that era was a delight for us Boomers.

Circling around an actor and his stunt double and friend (Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt) and Charlie Manson’s family, the movie offered some fond side trips down pop culture lane. Our American television diet was prominent, because this film’s story was about TV and movie stars.

But pop music was in there, too. And in the background of one scene was an old Vanilla Fudge favorite from 1967, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”. Loved the song by the Supremes, but the VF’s more psychedelic version spoke to this eleven-year-old lad. My older sister had an older guy interested in her. To win her over, he tried winning me over by loaning me his Vanilla Fudge album, so I played it enough that the notes and I were familiars.

The movie entertained me with its what-if premise. I always enjoy what-if, but the attention to details really impressed. Even period piece can openers were used.

Our favorite character? Brandy.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Well, time was up.

Past ‘up’.

I was supposed to have departed the fix about fifteen minutes before, so I was now behind my schedule. Couldn’t help it. Couldn’t stop writing. Coffee was gone, butt was uncomfortable, and my sciatic nerve was causing pain issue from being perched on the coffee shop’s new hard chairs. All the signs were aligned, time to go, mo-fo.

But —

Yes. Closing up with a stern order, go now, I packed it all up, strapped on the backpack, and headed into the sunshine. It was doing little good against the wintry air, but it was in the low 40s, a better place to be than, say, single digits that some in Alaska are enduring, and it’s better than Australia’s fires and blazing heat. So, couldn’t complain.

Walking up the hill, the distinctive piano playing of the Moody Blues cover of “Go Now” (1964) arrived in my stream. It’s a wondrous juxtaposition when the thing you’ve been doing, memories of places and events, and what you’re now doing come together in a perfectly mellow mood. I usually need a beer, a glass of wine, cup of coffee, or the toke of a joint to arrive in such a state.

But here I was, just me and the small town, with myself and music in my head, cold in the air, and sunshine on the other side of the valley.

 

 

Monday’s Theme Music

It seems like my mind is determined to turn back time in my dreams. It’s also making all these song connections. (Like, boom, Cher has begun singing, “If I could turn back time.”)

The dreams were crazy chaos, leaving images like flashes of sunlight off of windshields. The dreams’ theme was ‘anything goes’. That theme conjured up the show tune from the musical with the same name, “Anything Goes”, which, let’s see…came out twenty-two years before my birth, but the movie did come out the year I was born.

Out of this throwback, go-go sense came the song that’s haunting the morning’s stream (now I have this image of a musical urine stream…oh, boy. (“I heard the news today, oh boy.” Yeah, the Beatles.) It’s from a 1964 movie, so I was eight.

The song is “The Monkey’s Uncle”. Although the Beach Boys perform it with Annette Funicello singing it, it’s written by the Sherman Brothers. Yeah, I looked it up. I knew the first two pieces but not the third. The Sherman Brothers were prolific songwriters. You should check out their list. I can tell you that one of their other songs, “It’s A Small World”, has entered my stream.

Meanwhile, the monkey’s uncle idiom amuses me. In one of those flashes in the dream, someone else says it in what feels like a sitcom moment. I’m looking at the guy when he does. Canned laughter kicks in, and then the song begins.

I don’t hear people say, “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” that often any longer. I think it was dying out as a popular saying even when I was young, sputtering along in movies and television where caricatures of old folks say it.

That frenetic dream activity left me felt energized, like it was a storm blowing out my mind’s systems. Anyway, the long and short of it (had to throw that in, it was in dream), is “The Monkey’s Uncle” is today’s theme music.

Feel free to sing along, or if you’re like me, laugh along, with the video.

 

 

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