If you follow me on social media (or you’re fortunate enough to know me in meatspace), you know my tastes in music run the gamut from AC/DC to Alan Jackson, Bach to Bachman Turner Overdrive, Donny to Marie… you get the idea. But just lately I’ve been indulging in an old favorite genre of mine more than I have in a long time: 1970s soft ‘rock.’ More accurately, I’ve rediscovered my affinity for the old stuff and stopped denying to myself that I love it. And I’m old enough now that I’ve been telling people I’m listening to it. Seems my advancing age has allowed me to stop giving even a little bit of a shit what people think about what I listen to.
This newfound (well, newly admitted) love of silly and / or sappy pop music from the 1970s came about because of my fellow Misfit @annealexander70 and her well-known love of that type of older music, which many people find distasteful. At least they claim they do when they’re sober. Anne takes a great deal of flak in our direct message group (and on social media in general) because of her musical tastes, and that is as it should be. My go-to music these days is usually 90s country like George Strait and Garth Brooks, so I get my share of crap as well. Anne has always been proud of her love of ‘that 70s stuff,’ and I admire her for never backing down or denying it.
If I’m honest, and I am nothing if not honest, I was a schlock rock kid back in the 1970s. I’ve always loved all sorts of music. Elton John’s Greatest Hits was the first album I ever owned. I got it for Christmas in 1975 along with one of those old all-in-one receivers with built-in speakers that had a turntable on top of it (this was before cassette tapes were even a commercially available thing). I was 12 then, and I wanted Santa (SPOILER: It was really my mom, which of course I already knew by then) to bring me a .22 rifle. I was disappointed as only a kid can be that I didn’t get the gun, but she actually did me a favor as it turns out. My favorite music was rock, though. Van Halen, ZZ Top, BTO, Boston… I loved all of it. The only fan club I ever joined in my life was the KISS Army.
If you’ll indulge me, an aside:
In 1981 or 1982, I was invited backstage at a Van Halen concert in Mobile, Alabama. The venue was then called Mobile Municipal Auditorium and it was quite spacious. I don’t know how many people it accommodated, but it was a lot. The place was packed (as ever with Van Halen shows back in their heyday). A friend of mine (a gay dude called Bubba for those keeping track of such things) was working the sound board that night at the auditorium and asked me before the show if I’d like to go backstage afterward and meet the band. Guess what I said? That’s right, the same thing you would have said: ‘OMG YES!’ After the show (another outstanding concert from the original four, same as all five times I saw that amazing band) ended, Bubba squared his gig away and we went around back and walked in through the out door. Going backstage was never a huge thing to me. I mean, I was happy to be there, but ‘backstage’ is where I lived. My parents had a popular local event band so amplifiers and all that stuff weren’t unfamiliar to me. Neither were drunk chicks, but that’s a story for a different day. I only saw David Lee Roth, and then only in passing after he had showered (Dave used to get really busy during their shows). Roth didn’t know either of us, naturally. But he walked by, grinned in his exhaustion, and said ‘Welcome to Club Dave!’ Some things a person never forgets. Every dude wanted to be Dave back then. For the record, he was wearing trousers at that moment. No ‘assless’ chaps anywhere in sight. I’m guessing they were in the wash.
Another friend of mine (and also a fellow Misfit), @VerumVulnero1, said the other day that I might need an intervention. This was because I had posted a Carpenters song or some such in our DM. Alex is a lovely but confused young woman, but we all love her anyway. I think of the Misfits as La Cosa Nostra. And I never go against the family. Ever.
Also, I’ve just this second decided I’m going to start calling Alex ‘Muskrat.’ That’s an inside joke. Ask her and maybe she’ll tell you on #AskAlex sometime. Or maybe not, I don’t know. I’m not the boss of her.
If reading bores you, this song pretty much sums up everything I’ve written:
Finally: Hey, Terry Jacks: I never really hated your hit. I always loved it, truth be told. I just didn’t want to seem uncool.
OK kids, that’s all I’ve got to say on this subject at the moment. Thanks for lending me your ear… um, eyes. I’ll talk you the next time I think of something to say.
Yours in hardcore headbanging,
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.