Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Crowd Called Out For More

Top Of The Pops, in black and white no less.

This song predates my interest in it. It's from 1967. But it was still immensely popular in 1975, when we were dancing in the gym to it. The girls wore dusters and had turd curl hairdos and smoked cigarettes. The guys wore farmer pants and had Vinnie Barbarino hair and bummed cigarettes off the girls. And they'd play "A Whiter Shade of Pale," without fail, and mercifully allow us to dance with the girls close and slow for a moment.

I'm not a nostalgia freak. I talk about old things a lot, but that's not the same thing. I'm not generally wistful for things of my youth. I've always been an oceangoing shark. You must always swim forward or you perish. My salad days are tomorrow. Always.

I am occasionally asked in an exasperated tone right here on my blog: " How old are you?" when I wax poetic about Miles Davis in the fifties or Louis Prima in the forties or lumber yards in the thirties or some other anachronistic thing that caught my eye. The whole world is my high school yearbook, the way I see it.

But I'm only human. I was rooting around on YouTube, and I listened to this little trifle, and I found myself transported back a little in time, and I didn't mind. It won't last. Nothing ever does. And I don't want to purchase it, or carry it around and jam it in my head through waxy earbuds. I don't want to go to a Procol Harum reunion concert. I certainly don't want to write a thousand word essay on how meaningful and important it is. It's a trifle. That's the point.

If it came on the radio, I wouldn't change the channel. My highest praise, that.


Editor Theorist said...

Enjoyed this.

Although I share similar memories of 'smooching' to this song at school discos, I found that these real memories had been partially displaced by the movie 'Withnail and I', which uses it as an 'end of the sixties' lament.

If you haven't seen this movie, it may be worth a look - at any rate, there are two or three moments which I find among the funniest on celluloid.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

"Waxy earbuds": Just ick.

Jill said...

I love the phrase " the whole world is my high school yearbook, the way I see it." I feel the same way.

How awful to be confined to just your own time, how much better to slip through the bonds of time.

SippicanCottage said...

editor t- I've never heard of that movie. I'll have to look for it, as your opinion trumps all others. A fellow that grew up not far from where I live made a movie called "Outside Providence" a few years ago. He is more or less my age, as well. It's exactly like what it was like being a teen in the seventies around here. Alec Baldwin is in it, and he's absolutely dreadful. His Providence accent is profoundly, all encompassingly bad. But the atmospherics and the general ennui is spot on. It's got the most accurate soundtrack of any period movie I've seen.

ruth anne- I apologize. I cannot contemplate the idea of deriving any pleasure out of sticking things in my ears. After listening to machines all day, often wearing earmuffs, the last thing I'd do is listen to music in that fashion.

Jill-Sometimes the flip side of that coin is never really belonging anywhere in particular. Not unfriendly, just not a full participant. I've always had a kind of profound respect for persons that wholeheartedly belong to things, as I often feel mildly disconnected from any particular stripe of life, but associated with many. Zelig.