Someone once said that he writes to figure out what he actually thinks about certain subjects. My friend Randal tagged me with a meme that asked what the most significant albums were in my life. So going through the dark cluttered rooms in my mind I actually had to think about what artists and their works that influenced how I look at things. This meme was very fun but if asked again to do this my list might be very different. Especially after this past weekend which contained massive amounts of suckage.
Several funny things happened on the way to writing this meme which I thought I would have done Saturday night. First, I had to deal with a real batshit crazy coworker all day Friday whose self aggrandizing and egotistical delusions are only surpassed by his talent to implant knives in the backs of others. Second, I picked up Miss Wiggles at daycare who promptly notified me that she had a note from the principle saying I should speak with her about hitting little boys over the head with heavy books. Third, Battlestar Galactica has only four new episodes left and I didn’t want to take any chance I might miss a scene in which Tricia Helfer might get naked. Sadly she didn't shed any clothes and because I had to work early the next morning I called it quits for the night.
Saturday night I had to deal with the five teenagers that my son invited over for a “sleep over”. This more accurately was an all night X-box party complete with a pizza dude ringing the door bell at 12:30am. Making matters worse after coughing up both the money for the pizza and the tip for the driver the little shits had the pizza upstairs and gone before I got a slice. Retreating to the kitchen to write on the laptop was out since my wife wanted to do something really strange and talk. Now if she had wanted to talk about page 151 in “Kinky Sexual Positions for Dummy’s” as we got all sweaty that would have been okay, but I have no interest whatsoever in Oscar fashions. Enough with the whining here are the fifteen most significant albums in my life. The significance of these works might be hard to discern at times so use hefty amounts of nuance.
· Blue Hawaii by Elvis Presley- Way, way, way back in the dark past of my elementary schools days I had a teacher named Mrs. Spears who was the first older woman I had the hots for. She was my second grade science teacher and she and her husband were the first people I knew of that took a trip to Hawaii that didn’t involve Uncle Sam. She was gone for about two weeks and when she returned she brought back tons of souvenirs, pictures, and stories of the people she had met. She set up the mood by playing the Blue Hawaii album and to this day when I hear those songs I think of her.
· Sentimentally Yours by Patsy Cline- Around that same time back before many of us were dominated by 500 channel satellite television with 200 channels showing reruns. In addition to video games whose only purpose is to let middleclass white boys spray virtual bullets in some urban hood they would never enter, people enjoyed simpler things. I remember my grandparents sitting underneath their open air garage during a thunderstorm listening to this album. The sound of the rain, thunder, and Patsy Cline somehow meshed naturally and along with drinking a glass of my grandmother’s ice tea while all the sounds of nature played everything seemed right with the world.
· John Denver’s Greatest Hits by John Denver- I’ve never been impressed with flashy performers. John’s simple down home style and, for me, his love of what he did made all of his songs a great comfort.
· Moondance by Van Morrison- After a summer numerous army field training exercises and being unable to get leave to come home because of the possibility of being ”volunteered’ for another I was surprisingly offered leave late one September. Since I had told my family I didn’t think I would make it home that summer they all went ahead and made other plans. Like a dummy after getting a great deal on airfare I flew home without calling anyone and promptly realized everyone was on vacation and long gone. Through sheer luck I did get a hold of one of my uncles, who was less than an hour away from leaving for a cruise, who let me stay at his beach house but I was alone. While walking a very deserted beach I met a college girl staying at a nearby beach house herself who I found out was taking a semester break from classes to “clear her head.” A few days later after getting to know each other she and I made love to the music from that album. Enough said on this one.
· Seven Wishes by Night Ranger- As much as my high school comrades were listening to the likes of Kiss, Twisted Sister, and the Beastie Boys I never got any deeper into the long hair stuff than Night Ranger. I’ve always been a little to philosophical for my own good and listening to those songs while looking at the stars would always get me wondering about the nature of the universe and the lint coming from my belly button.
· Greatest Hits by Don Williams- Okay I admit it, I like country music but most of the crap produced these days under the heading of country music is anything but. Much of country music is just pop music seeking refuge from the grunge, hip hop, and other elements that are too wild for my taste. Yes, I’m a hopeless dinosaur who even now is turning more and more to easy listening stations when I can’t find NPR. Don’s easy style and strong ballads will always be some of my favorites. His songs told stories of real people and how they went through life.
· My Girl by The Temptations- This album symbolizes the beach and the old freedoms that are now long forgotten. One time kids could build a fire on the beach and gather around it listening to good music, cook over the flames, and sleep under the stars. This was before the massive invasion of yuppies and the hysteria of property owners who get uptight seeing the local riff raff hang around spoiling what they see as their expensive seaside view. In all fairness it was also before kids got too crazy leaving mounds of trash on the beach the next morning and making too much noise during the night.
· Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude by Jimmy Buffett- Did you really think that with a blog like “Carolina Parrothead” Buffett wouldn’t be in here somewhere? Moreover, why is this significant? Well, when all sorts of crap is being flung in my direction this album has the power to transport me to some far off tropical island away from the insanity.
· Beach House on the Moon by Jimmy Buffett- This is an excellent album but one song: “Permanent Reminder of a Temporary Feeling” will have me rolling on the floor laughing for reasons I just don’t feel like explaining right now. In addition, the song “I Don't Know and I Don't Care” allows me to say screw it for a few minutes.
· Banana Wind by Jimmy Buffett- The great appeal of Jimmy’s music to me, beside its ability to soothe my mental health, is how it largely tells the rest of the world to go screw itself and all its rat race self indulgence.
· Barometer Soup by Jimmy Buffett- Just because I really really like it.
· Lawyers in Love by Jackson Browne-As if my stories, the more factual ones, can’t get any stranger this one might be jumping the shark. It was about noon on a Saturday in the parking lot of Horry-Georgetown Technical College and a girl I only slightly knew did something I will never understand. Everyone, including myself, had just finished a Saturday class and this girl was walking with several of her friends. She was laughing and joking with her little group when out of the blue she started singing “Lawyers in Love”, stripped off her shirt and bra and did two laps around the parking lot. Her friends looked surprised to the point that I have some doubts whether they knew what the hell was going on with her. After she finished she put her shirt back on, got in her car, and drove away with the same song blasting out the speakers.
· Hotel California by the Eagles-Come on, any American that doesn’t list one of the Eagles’ albums in something like is this is obviously a commie bastard and needs to be shot like the dog they are.
· Desperado by the Eagles-It goes double for this one. Moreover, I’m running out of albums I give a damn about.
· Stars Wars Soundtrack by John Williams-Yes, before all the episode crap and long before that abomination Jar-Jar Binks I also dreamed of having a lightsabre. Moreover, I dreamed about bumping uglies with Princess Leia.