Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tuesday Miscellany

Apparently, the Naked Brothers Band, is big news among the under 5-foot set. BillyBlog visits spiked yesterday to over 120 hits. Still small in blogosphere standards, but I still remember the days when I averaged 25. Still no calls for the girls from agents yet.

Since commencing in the Fall of 2005, The New York Times Magazine has run several serialized novels in their weekly issues. They started with Elmore Leonard, then Patricia Cornwell, then Scott Turow, then Michael Connelly. Anyway, last week the Connelly ended and the series resumed this week with Michael Chabon, one of my favorite writers. If you don't get the Times, you can read each chapter online every week here.

The power of BillyBlog is the bane of BillyBlog. The next chapter in the Great Chime Mystery may get murkier. If you google the phrase "new york wind chimes neighbor," this is the result. I guess the cat would be out of the bag and I may have some explaining to do. I've been objective though, and have not libeled or slandered anyone's good name. Calls to the FBI regarding wind chime abduction statistics have gone unanswered.

The BilliPod was acting up yesterday, freezing and seizing, heating up to an uncomfortable level for about thirty minutes, then "releasing" as if nothing had happened. It has made for some quiet train rides. Apple Customer Support recommended I "restore" the original settings to remedy this issue which, they warned me, would erase the iPod, and I would just have to re-sync with iTunes to get my music back. Of course, over 13,000+ songs took a bit of time to reload. Time will tell, but my service contract runs out in March and if BilliPod is going to go kaput, I'd rather it do so before then.

Most interesting song on the commute this morning: the cover of Kansas' "Carry on Wayward Son" by the Oak Ridge Boys. Quite a surprise. How did the Oak Ridge Boys get on BilliPod?

Granted, the Kansas tune holds a special place in my heart. On December 31, 1979, it was quite possibly my favorite song. Back then, I didn't have many records or tapes, so I had to rely on radio for most of my music.

I was living at 739 Hausten Street in Honolulu, and the radio station KIKI (pronounced kay-eye-kay-eye, not kee-kee) was doing a New Year's weekend top thousand songs of the Seventies, programmed to play #1 around midnight. I listened attentively, knowing that it would rank very high. The top 50 started, and I still had not heard it. I was a naive 12-year old whose record collection included Chic's "Le Freak" and Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" on 45s.

As the midnight hour approached, and the new decade was about to dawn, we entered the top 10. I worked myself into a fevered pitch. Still, no Kansas. Finally, they played #2 and were about to go into the new decade playing the #1 song of the Seventies. I was so excited. I had waited patiently all night for this moment.

The DJ came on and announced that this was the moment we had been waiting for. He said this was a perfect song that exemplified the decade and would carry us into the 1980's. I had my head close to the boombox as I waited to savor those first notes.....when the DJ announced, "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night.

I howled, yes literally howled, with disbelief.

"Jeremiah was a bullfrog..."

The 1980's began with me cursing a radio station and learning that life was just not fair, that radio stations were idiots, and that songs about bullfrogs had no business being on radio. It took me years, and I literally mean, years, before I understood how that song could have been number one and "Carry on Wayward Son," a song that only peaked at #11 on the Billboard pp singles chart in 1977, wasn't even considered among the best songs of the 70's.

How's that for a digression?

1 comment:

Benjie516 said...

I remember that whole period vividly, and that New Year's Eve even moreso.

Ten years later, when I learned that WLIR picked London Calling as a decade-best #1, I was incredulous, thinking that if they were going to pick a punk album, there were "way more punk" choices to select from. Only a few years before Joe Strummer passed away did I come to appreciate his band's enormous contribution to the musical landscape.

What we remember and what we learn over time. We're going to be 40 this year.