Today’s song is actually the cats’ theme music. As I’m reduced to staying at home (see: novel coronavirus news), the cats have employed a shadowing technique. Wherever I’m at, here they come. That brought to my mind (and I’m sure it’s already in the cats’ minds), Blondie’s song – “One Way Or Another” (1979) – about stalking.
Planning the day, thinking about doin’ a little drivin’, I thought of Sniff n’ the Tears.
Don’t know much about this band. I could look them up, but I didn’t. I remember listening to the radio somewhere on a Texas Interstate, coming back from Austin (we lived in on Randolph Air Force Base, just outside of San Antonio) and hearing this song, “Drivers’s Seat” on the radio. And the announcer – it was the weekly countdown – said, “That was Sniff n’ the Tears moving up in the countdown.” My friends and I, hearing that band’s name, started laughing, and then we were coming up with other band names.
Anyway, the song mentions being doin’ a little drivin’ on a Saturday, which I’ll be doing. I’m sure many others will be out there. As they used to say on Hill Street Blues, “Let’s be careful out there.”
Yeah, another song that seems like a remnant from the dreamscape that’s slipped through the filters between the worlds and ended up in the stream of my consciousness.
“Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” by Journey has an entertaining hard-rock bluesiness to it, delivered by the beat and that piano playing. The lyrics are based on a true story experienced by Steve Perry, according to memory, which claims it heard that factoid on American Top 40 whilst stationed at Randolph AFB, Texas in 1979. Drove a lovely Pontiac Firebird then, which we’d just purchased new. I was back in the military after a year’s break. Owned a restaurant and attended college during that break, but that’s another story. Big news of that year is that the Shah of Iran, the end of the Iranian Monarchy, and the Iranian hostage crises. Jimmy Carter was POTUS. Remember any of that? Seems like a million years ago.
As for the dream? Ah, that’s another tale. It needs thought about more to be writ about.
Like Steve Perry’s leather pants?
This song, “Goodbye Stranger”, arrived in the stream after watching people at the coffee shop and on the streets, and inadvertently eavesdropping (they speak, I have ears…it happens).
A woman regularly brings her dog into the coffee shop. She usually sits back by the community table, where I like to work when I can. Her dog is often a cause for conversations with others. So I’ve learned that her dog is a rescue from an animal hoarding situation, that she’s had to work with him, that his name is Atlas, that he does much better now, but that other dogs’ barking makes him nervous, that he is her service dog. I’ve learned others had dogs like him, or saved from similar situations. He’s often compared to a Ridgeback but he isn’t one, not a true Ridgeback, she says.
But I’ve never heard her name, or why she needs a service dog, nor why she is bald. She wears dark glasses, but she watches people, back from her space by the wall, with her service dog beside her…
I’ve decided that I don’t want coffee shop friendships. I’m there to work. Cruel of me, innit? So I keep myself to myself, but as I leave each time, I feel her eyes watch me, and imagine I turn my head and say, “Goodbye, stranger.”
But I don’t. It has caused the 1979 Supertramp song to find itself in my stream.
Walking in the cold, cloudy day yesterday, I thought of sunshine. I believed that I’d been promised some sunshine. Had I missed it?
The drizzle had stepped and the fog slipped off its coat, but low clouds still obscured our landscape. It offered its own beauty but it fell short when you’ve been promised sunshine. Tomorrow, I thought.
Meanwhile, my mind walked through sunshine songs. Katrinn and the Waves, Bill Withers, Cream, the Beatles, the Doors, Weezer, Soundgarden, and the Kinks all offered something, along with the Violent Femmes, Fifth Dimension, and Lovin’ Spoonful. Nothing caught the day’s mood.
Today, I came out and opened the blinds to sunshine. Yes, my heart sang. Before the first chorus ended, a mean, snickering cloud slipped over the sun and blotted out its efforts. No fair, my heart cried.
Songs about heart (and by Heart) poured into the stream, but Pat Benatar ruled with “Heartbreaker” (1979) took over.
Two sets of lines dominated from “Heartbreaker”. The first is that angry and defiant, “No, no, no!” Yes, there was today, no accepting. Second is the classic set, “You’re a heartbreaker, dream maker, love taker, don’t you mess around with me.” Plus, there’s all that thundering, driving guitar, crisp drums, and Benatar’s voice.
Yes, it’s the theme for today. As a bonus, Pat and her band have some nascent 1980s big hair on display. Gotta love it.
For some reason, my mind pivoted through several holiday songs this morning. Then one — by the Scorpions, of course — what other group leaps to mind when you think holiday, right? — lodged in the stream.
It wasn’t so much as the holiday as it was the cold friggin’ air, air that felt it belonged up in Alaska, where a friend mentioned that it was twelve degrees. We weren’t nearly that low, hovering at just under 30 F, with clear skies and sunshine, but that sun was all light and no heat, ya know?
That’s where the Scorpions wiggled into the stream.
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
Exchange the cold days for the sun
A good time and fun
So you see how it all worked out – holiday, cold, sun, heat, Scorpions, going away?
I thought you would. Cheers
Today’s music comes straight out of Facebook. A friend mentioned it was Meat Loaf’s 72nd natal day, and linked to some of Meat Loaf’s music. “Bat Out of Hell” (1979) leaped into my mental stream. It’s a sort of bombastic, over-the-top progressive rock song, just the sort that sucks me in and rocks me back, a good theme song for this first November day of 2019. I don’t think it got any chart action in the U.S., but who cares?
You know, some days you get up feeling really good, and then you read the news or hear some crappy info being spewed from somewhere, something that makes you feel like the Earth is opening up and sucking you down. This song is for those moments: “Don’t Bring Me Down” by ELO (1979). Some days, you gotta fight back.
Today’s song is one of my favorite, recurring rocking walking songs.
“Good Times Roll” is a 1979 hit for The Cars. Although it’s a sarcastic comment on being part of the rock scene, I always apply it to my writing efforts and the muses.
If the illusion is real
Let them give you a ride
If they got thunder appeal
Let them be on your side
Let them leave you up in the air
Let them brush your rock and roll hair
Let the good times roll
Won’t you let the good times roll-oll
Let the good times roll
n/t to Genius.com
I walk away from a writing day feeling pretty good, and think, that was a good write. Let the good times roll. Then the song pops into my head. Its chugging, relaxed beat is good for fast striding, oddly enough.
Yeah, let the good times roll.