Not What You're Looking For

Ha-ha Todd, not what you wanted.  See, I had a little run in with a cop the other day but escaped unscathed and Todd suggested I mention it here...

Not gonna happen. (At least not right now)  See, as I rode home with my one headlight burning not at all from my mom's school (where I was doing computer fixer-upper work) I was listening to a Neil Young mix tape I made for Megan a couple of years ago (she was going into the Peace Corps in Zambia and asked me for one) and I got to thinking about favorite songs.  So I decided to try and remember all my favorite songs...

... oh, but first.  I highly recommend Mark Ellis' column "How Good Can You Get?"

And now, hoping Mark doesn't mind being one sentence away from Air Supply, we bring you...

I not sure when it all started, but as the mists of time and memory open up to reveal AM radio oozing through a '60's VW station wagon I remember some song which I'm positive I'd recognize but now can't even give you a single word or descriptive flash of memory.  It's just some mystery song.  But I loved it.  As the days went by and my brother and I discovered FM radio and the Top 40 countdown (I remember trying to hurry through Sunday brunch with my grandparents so I could get back to the car and find out who was #1) my staggeringly poor tastes settled on Air Supply's Even the Nights Are Better (1982 -- can't believe I looked it up, can you?).  I'm pretty sure the album is still in my parents vinyl collection (I bought the record, it was just their bad luck to inherit it from me when I moved) somewhere.  Dad's records are actually sort of interesting, a loosely alphabetically sorted collection of The Two Thousand Year Old Man and Bill Cosby records along with a smattering of folk and folk-like music.  But I'm pretty sure I didn't get my musical taste from dad, 'cause if I did I'd like to think I would've started off on a more promising note than Air Supply.

But my heart was wandering, seemingly, and it found its way to that classic Charlene song, I've Never Been to Me (also 1982).  It took five minutes of searching on the net to find out who sang the song, but I can't say it wasn't worth it.  That's one small piece of my life's history that's been filled in.  Ahh, Charlene...

... at least until REO Speedwagon crashed into my consciousness with I Can't Fight This Feeling in 1984, which I wandered around singing for what seemed like months.  It's a wonder nobody clobbered me.  As I was checking http://www.allmusic.com the phrase "syrupy ballad" popped up a couple of times.  Go figure.

I was on REO Speedwagon and decided to try to get from there to Duran Duran by following only links in the Similar Categories thing, I went from REO --> Peter Frampton --> Steve Miller (where I was stunned to find myself distressingly close to actual musicians, I figured I could find my way back to '80s schlock with enough thinking, though) --> Santana --> Bad English --> Foreigner (I was right! Well, not about the '80s part maybe, but certainly about the schlock... now if I can only find Duran Duran) --> Journey --> Boston (which I aborted mid-click and went to) --> Robert Palmer --> and the mother lode! Duran Duran.  I wonder what the shortest path would've been.

So newly arrived at Duran Duran and New Moon on Monday (which, strangely enough, was released in 1983... but sometimes pop music does strange things to the space-time continuum) I stop to enjoy my amazing and, seemingly undeveloping, taste in music.  I shiver.  And am a bit surprised to note that allmusic.com seems to think more of Duran Duran than I do, at least based on the Similar Artists.  Which isn't to say they're linking to the Rolling Stones or anybody, but I figured Boston, Journey, and Kansas...

... and I'm relieved to say that I've never had a favorite song by Boston, Journey, or Kansas.  Thank god.

But Culture Club, well, I didn't escape them.  And they, too, somehow, were before REO Speedwagon up there.  Karma Chameleon was out in 1983, same time as Genesis, no, that's not who I'm trying to think of.  There was some song that my brother really liked at the same time I really liked KC but for the life of me I can't remember who it was.  Agh.

So then, in the face of all odds, my taste managed to get even sappier.  Dan Hill's Sometimes When We Touch (which was released in 1977 but didn't find its way to me until sometime around middle school) clunked its way through my mind for all too long.  In fact, it was probably there for so long that I'll never be able to get it all the way out.  

So then we had a very muddled favorite song period, I know Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA was in there somewhere, as was Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All (hey, at least I stand up and admit it like a man, eh?  Hell, I own a Tiffany album and refuse to get rid of it.  Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it... and I don't think I could stand to go through that again).  But I escaped the early high school years and came into the classic rock age.  

Which meant the Eagles.  Last Resort (1976) took the top spot and held it for a long time.  I used to turn off the lights and lie on the floor in my living room, listening to this one.  And it hasn't fallen nearly so far out of favor as most of the unfortunates above.    It's tough to say what came after Last Resort, but it was probably Neil Young's Old Laughing Lady (the one off of Unplugged, so probably 1992 I guess).  For a long time that was also my favorite song to play on the guitar, mainly because it didn't take much to play it and I liked the little hammer on the E note on the D string a lot. Still do.

[What, me run out of energy?  Bah.]

So it was around this time that my music tastes changed into the monster they are today, lots of folk and blues.  Dar Williams' After All is probably my favorite song right now, if I have to have one. And for the sake of ending this thing I think I'll just name it my favorite song for ever and ever.  Which means now I can go walk the dog.  

Oh yeah, my dog. That's Lady, I mean, the one who got me out of my speeding ticket the other day.  Helluva story, isn't it?

 

Doug's thoughts on nothing in particular