Today’s theme music popped straight into the stream from memories and dreams. Here’s Rufus and Chaka Khan with a song that Stevie Wonder wrote, “Tell Me Something Good”, from the year I graduated high school, 1974.
Reading the news yesterday and today, I was shaking my head, partially laughing while crying. You know, it was the same old story.
That led to me streaming Aerosmith.
It’s the same old story
Same old song and dance, my friend
It’s the same old story
Same old story
Same old song and dance
It was an easy song to identify with when I was a teenager and the song was released. When you asked questions, you often heard, “That’s just how it is. That’s how it goes.” It was always the same old song and dance, no matter what you were asked.
It’s a song and dance I’m getting tired of now with politics. It’s always one thing or another. Back in the military world, you tired of hearing you must do more with less — same old song and dance. Hurry up and wait — same old song and dance. In the corporate world, it became doing more with less, and then cut expenses and increase profits, or we can’t give you a bonus or pay raise, little boy, while they spread some B.S. about us being a family, or a team, and how much they care. Same old song and dance.
“Same Old Song and Dance”. Only the voices change.
Two songs are competing in my stream today. I can’t remember one of them. I remember two lines and a few guitar chords and licks. I hear the vocals, know the voice, but can’t remember the vocalist, song, or group. Using the few clues I have, I’ve hunted for its identification, and I’ve failed to find satisfaction. So, screw you, song.
The other is another Aerosmith song. Reflecting on that, a room mate was forced on me during part of my assignment in the Philippines (1976-1977). Forced is the correct expression because regulations forbid people in my specialty, which involved controlling nuclear launches, from having a room mate. Yet, most of my assignments found me with a room mate for part of the time, as the local commanders would sign a waiver to the reg. Of course, the waiver was usually rescinded after the command got wind of it, and the room mate was found another place to live.
This guy, Eric, was a large Aerosmith fan. He had a huge stereo, big speakers, amp, turntable, tuner, equalizer, tape player, but only four albums. Two of them were Rocks and Toys in the Attic, so I heard them a lot. I realize, that’s why I know those albums so thoroughly.
Anyway, today I’m streaming “Same Old Song and Dance” (1974). Sure, it’s December, a brand spanking new month, the last month of 2018. 2019 and January will soon be on us. But you know, it feels like the same old story, the same old song and dance, my friends.
It’s some ol’ school rock.
Today’s song streamed into my head after I thought of another song.
The other song was “Sara Smile”, by Hall and Oates, which I thought of after meeting a friend’s daughter named Sarah. After thinking about it while walking, I remembered “She’s Gone” by the same duo.
“She’s Gone” (1974) came out during a period of struggle in my relationship with my girlfriend. I’d graduated high school and she was traveling Europe with a nun. I felt lost, and ended up enlisting in the military, upsetting just about everyone I knew. That’s life, right? “She’s Gone” appealed to my sense of loss, frustration, searching, and self-pity. I particularly enjoyed the lyrics, “Think I’ll spend eternity in the city. Let the carbon and monoxide choke my thoughts away, yeah.”
What a time. Hormones, you know? Etc.
This one comes via another blog’s memory prompt. Jill Dennison posted “Photographs and Memories” the other day. It brought back a sharp memory of hearing that song. I was driving in my forest green 1965 Mercury Comet sedan. I’d graduated earlier that year, 1974, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and was waiting to leave for basic training. But that day, I was driving my girl friend home on a sunny fall day. Two years later, when I was stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB, I married her. We remained married forty-three years later.
Funny what a song can bring to mind.
“For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays was released in 1974, the year I escaped high school by way of a bar of soap carved to look like a diploma. Like a zillion other people, I immediately took to the song’s funky sounds, hip lyrics, and the message that money corrupts. I started singing it then, and I still sing it now.
For the love of money, people will steal from their mother
For the love of money, people will rob their own brother
For the love of money, people can’t even walk the street
Because they never know who in the world they’re gonna meet
For that mean, oh mean, mean green
Almighty dollar, cash money
h/t to genius.com
It seems like this song is more relevant today than it was over a quarter of a century ago. If you don’t have money, you have to get it, and if you have it, you hold onto it. If you have a lot of it, it becomes a disease to hold onto what you have and get more. Money inspires corruption, power, selfishness, and greed. It’s a simplistic take in a complicated world.
Someone shared this vocals & guitars only video of Queen on FB. I enjoyed it and thought, let’s share it as today’s theme music.
Hope you enjoy this recording of Freddie Mercury and Queen performing “Killer Queen” as much as I do.
I’ve always enjoyed War. Their music speaks to me. Today’s song, “Why Can’t We Be Friends”, is an excellent accompaniment to walking about town. As part of the writing practice, I walk and think about where I’m at with my writing and editing projects. Once freed of that, I drift into other things. This song, though, was heard coming from a Toyota pickup truck as it trundled by. Picking up on it, I sang it and some other War songs, like “Smile Happy”, “Low Rider”, “The World Is A Ghetto”, and “Spill the Wine”. Such classics.
Thinking about music from 1974, the year that I celebrated my eighteenth birthday, I recalled “Smokin’ In the Boys’ Room”.
I like the song’s rocking simplicity of being in school, breakin’ rules, and our permanent records. Brownsville Station did it in 1974; Mötley Crüe covered it almost a dozen years later. Not bucking the normal status quo, the younger folks often prefer the Mötley Crüe version. That’s how it is, right? Newer equals better, or preferred. I, tsk, tsk, prefer the original. Not surprising, either; I’ve heard that from older people about things that my generation later re-interpreted.
(I like that cycle. Didn’t use to, but I’ve come to enjoy, admire, and respect it.)
But 1974 was the year I heard the song, my formative era, if you will, and all that I associate with it. That’s the year I graduated high school, became an adult, moved away from home, and joined the military, so I’m loyal to Brownsville Station’s version.