Welcome to the Songs of Summer bloghop, hosted by the Armchair Squid, Cygnus and Suze. Let's look at five favorite summer songs and and the memories that go along with them. We're looking to build the perfect soundtrack to accompany us over the next few months. Please follow the links and visit my pals' most excellent blogs!
The hosts asked: What songs bring back the sunscreen and beach-sand to you? What songs defined your one perfect summer, be it decades ago or just getting started with today's solstice?
Thanks for including me, gang! I'm giving my reply a slight tweak - none of my favorite summer and music memories involve sand and sunscreen, believe it or not. I've included the memorable songs plus situations that have burned these musical memories into my lobes.
My brain is a human radio with my own custom playlist every day of the week. Though hard pressed to order my favorite songs by season, here I go, with a video link for the unfamiliar listeners:
|Walter Egan, thinking "this is what rock stars look like."|
1. Magnet and Steel by Walter Egan Click on the Video Link!
Lindsey Buckingham (yes, that Lindsey Buckingham) produced Walter Egan's album Fundamental Roll, and I'm told the song, Magnet and Steel, was inspired by Stevie Nicks.
In the summer of 1977, my main squeeze was a dark haired guy I'll refer to as R; I thought he was the cutest thing walking on two legs (I counted them). He had all the qualities that make a teen aged gal go wild. First and foremost, he liked me. Secondly, he looked like he was 30 - though actually he was younger than me. He could shave at 8 a.m. and have a full beard by 5 o'clock - a sure sign he was a real man. Every girl remembers the first time it occurred to her that she was dating a man versus a boy.
I've got to give him full credit as being a great boyfriend; he opened doors, said kind things to me all the time and smiled when I entered his orbit. He was romantic. Magnet and Steel was our song.
At our very core, we seemed so in sync. How can I explain what we had in common to an outsider? Maybe it was this: we were both looking for a good man. Wish I knew that little gem of info at the time. Gratefully, we didn't actually have to break up and have hard feelings because his father had to take a job out of town and that was that.
I still love this song, but I sometimes call it Magnet and Magnet.
2. Last Dance by Donna Summer Video
Summer of 1978 came along and everyone was in the throws of Disco Fever; okay, I admit I follow the crowd. Satin skirts, polyester and ridiculous mirrored heels have graced this frame. "Feathered" bangs? Check. Gold jewelry? Check. Tango Hustle - check.
The Queen of All Things Disco was the great Donna Summer, who had several big hits, but my favorite was Last Dance. Everyone I knew pretended they were from the club scene of Saturday Night Fever that year, without the Brooklyn accent and bad language.
Hung around with another good looking guy who shared my interests, and who also went off to find his dream guy later.
There's a pattern here and a life lesson. Though we complain about the differences between men and women, take heed to my advice. If you find that perfect guy who loves musicals, theater, singing and dancing - have a discussion about all their preferences, while you're at it.
|"I am Ronnie, hear me roar!"|
3. Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money Video
Summer of 1986 and I was a divorced mom with two small children living in an old duplex that I hated, making barely enough money to get by and working culinary wonders with baloney and oatmeal.
My boys were small and when I picked them up at daycare after a long day at work, even that rundown ancient duplex looked like heaven. I couldn't wait to finish supper tasks and have a moment to just STOP and sit down.
With burning feet propped on my hand-me-down coffee table, we would turn on the radio and when a favorite song came on, I'd tell the boys, "Hey, this is a great song! Everybody dance!"
In my mind's eye, I can still see them dancing around and hear Edward Joseph Mahoney, aka Eddie Money, singing Take Me Home Tonight and the great Ronnie Spector was the other half of this great rock duet.
I also love Ronnie for dumping Phil Spector...his Wall of Sound had a bullet hole in it, we would later learn. If the world is fair, she mentioned his hair in her divorce petition. They allow that in California, I think.
The last thing I had on my mind was dating or trying to be anyone's "little baby" just like Ronnie sang. Literally, my mind heard this song and thought "gosh, I'm glad I'm finally home," and that kind of cracks me up now. I sang Take Me Home Tonight to myself (and I did take me home). With some great songs, the original meaning gets lost somewhere between the songwriter and the listener. In 1986, I was just so tired and beaten down. All I wanted to do is raise my boys and get through another day, but we loved to listen to music. It was free, and it took you away, like an instant vacation.
|Okay, I basically liked the eye candy guys. Sue me.|
4. Hands to Heaven by Breathe Video
This song was released in 1987, peaked at 1988, but doesn't enter my "summer favorite" list till much later. This cassette was one of many well worn cassettes in my car; I played it all the time.
By 1990, I had met my dear Future-Hubzam, though I didn't know it at the time. Heck, I didn't even want to get married at that time. I figured that I was the idiot that picked husband number one, so I really couldn't be trusted.
Future-Hub and I had planned to get together one weekend and I decided to get some sort of present for him. I'm nice like that. There was this great new gift basket store in my home town that I loved. You walked in, picked out a basket of your choice and then drifted through rows of bins with really cool little gifts and foods to put in the basket; it reeked of clever. You could virtually create any theme for your basket that you desired. My basket theme was "Aren't I the Best Gal Pal Ever Who Wasn't Pushy or Clingy Like Most Chicks?" Admittedly, it was hard to find a delightful summer sausage that went with that theme, but I nailed it. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Future-Hubzam and I didn't have a couple song at that time, and as I watched the clerk put the finishing touches on my amazing basket of all things wonderful, I thought, "Eureka! I'll get a copy of Hands to Heaven and put in there - it would be the perfect song!" I really AM nice. It was a great idea and I only had to go to forty or so stores, since it was no longer on the charts, its heyday long past.
And so, the day arrived when we were getting together, and armed with my great present, each item carefully chosen specifically for future Hubzam, I proudly gave him the gifts. A look of genuine surprise appeared on his face; absolute pleasure! Score! He dug through the basket, carefully examining each item. When he came to "our song," the wonderful Hands to Heaven that I had searched for all over the greater Youngstown area, he handed it to me and said, "Oh, you can keep this."
My fiery hot laser beam eyes nearly ignited the rest of the basket. He didn't notice.
I quizzed him on his preferences in theater and musicals. I swear by the Ronnie Milsap tape that Georgia boy had in his glove compartment that this guy did not know theater. Score, again!
|George Jones and Tammie Wynette. Not my cup o' tea, but brilliantly irritating to teens.|
5. Golden Ring by George Jones and Tammy Wynette Video
Summer of 1999! Well, this might not fit the bloghop bill exactly without explanation.
Though this was originally released in 1976, I wouldn't be caught dead listening to George and Tammy. Sorry, George, but I swear on your alcoholic lawn mower riding reputation that country music was not my style. Tammie, what were you thinking? That dude wears more hairspray and sequins than you do. Does he like musical theater?
Anyhow, I'm a rock and roll girl.
By 1995, I had married my second and last husband, in spite of his lack of appreciatation for the group Breathe. My two boys were teens or pre-teens, it's all a blur now. In 1997, we were surprised with one more boy to guarantee that fully all of the estrogen would be leeched from my body by all the testosterone that floats around my house.
Around 1999, I felt like superwoman as I juggled potty training, drivers training and homeschooling. There was a fifteen year gap between my oldest and my youngest, and we had some of the trials of raising teens.
One of my fondest memories took place on one of the many long drives to the relatives for a summer vacation romp. Hubzam's family lives six hours southwest from our home; my family lives about eleven hours north of us. Our roadtrips are a bit of a long haul and the kids get antsy; but the boys were always a relatively captive audience. Juggernaut, Magoo and toddler Gonzo always had a front row seat at what I liked to call our rolling concert. Hubzam and I would pick the corniest country song we could think of and sing it loud and proud, just to irritate the stew out of them. It worked so well, and I still chuckle at the thought of little voices pleading, "Stop!"
If the situation were reversed, they'd do crazy things to me - and I have a picture of someone's bare bottom with a smiley face drawn on it to prove it. Juggernaut, I'm pretty sure it was you...quit playing with my camera, and use a moisturizer.
Please be sure to visit others sharing their Songs of Summer.
Feel free to add your name to the list as well.