Saturday Musical Introspective: Songs From Long-Ago Memory

September 4, 2021

In a non-contextual free-form this Saturday morning, and amongst savage news stories, I’m slipping back some 47 years, back to 1974 — I graduated from the University of Florida that June and spent the summer (when not working the loading dock at the Sears-Roebuck store in Gainesville — my job during the last two years of college) getting stoned and listening to music.

Grouped in with a shitload of arts/forms — the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, and so forth, and yes, Barry White, too — I was consumed with three albums, and after acquiring a set of earphones (I thought they should be considered drug paraphernalia), listened to them repeatedly, especially certain songs off the albums.

Today we take a stroll back to a way-way-more pleasant time. First out of the dock is Billy Joel’s second album, “Piano Man,” which I loved like I never did the rest of his stuff.
Two songs I absolutely adored — first the title track:

Images musically of sad, empty lives:

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he’s talkin’ with Davy who’s still in the navy
And probably will be for life
And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it’s better than drinkin’ alone
Sing us the song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feelin’ alright

And I loved this one for the crazy:

Memories of hours:

Captain Jack will get you high tonight
And take you to your special island
Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Just a little push, and you’ll be smilin’

Joel has written/performed a shitload of good music, but nothing hung with me like that.

Meanwhile, I went shit crazy for Mott the Hoople’s  “All the Young Dudes,” and a couple of songs off that one — also first, the title track:

A contrast/arrest from the fading-away 1960s and something all brand-new — also endeared to David Bowie’s early antics (Todd Rundgren later on), and the dude was a one-off-kind of guy:

Now, Lucy looks sweet ’cause he dresses like a queen
But he can kick like a mule, it’s a real mean team
But we can love, oh, yes, we can love
And my brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones
We never got it off on that revolution stuff
What a drag, too many snags

And the second Hoople tune off that album — which I probably liked-better/played-more than ‘Dudes,‘ just due to the roll-rock of the whole song:

This song rolled with a grunge effort of still being a not-a-normal dude:

Standing on the corner
Suitcase in my hand
Jack is in his corset and Jane is in her vest
And me I’m in a rock and roll band

Riding in a Stutz Bearcat Jim
Those were different times
And the poets studied rules of verse
And all the ladies rolled their eyes

And finally, the self-titled, “Emerson, Lake & Palmer,” with some stoned-trippy shit — top track is incredible, ‘Lucky Man,’ which Moog Synthesizered my brain:

Cosmic for long ago, even more than four-and-a-half decades

A bullet had found him
His blood ran as he cried
No money could save him
So he laid down and he died

There was one other song off that album I played a lot, but I can’t remember which one — this morning I listened to parts of the rest of the album, though, nothing sounded familiar. Maybe just chalk it up as too long ago and way-far away.

Music aside, once again here we are…

(Illustration out front: M.C Escher’s ‘Three Spheres II,’ found here).

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