Monday, January 7, 2008


As someone who grew up in the 50s and 60s, and thus heard all that great music the first time around, it warms the cockles of my heart every time I discover that some new movie, especially one aimed at the 20-something crowd, has included a song from "my" era. It happens pretty frequently, possibly because a lot of the folks making the movies are older as well. Sometimes a song will be covered and "updated" by a new group, but just as often you can hear the original version being recycled into a new soundtrack. It gives me a good feeling to know that this music is still capable of reaching out to a while new set of ears. But there is one inherent danger for baby boomers in this. Here's what I mean: there are hundred of songs that remind me of my teenage years, and among them, there are a handful of songs that remind me of very specific events or even exact moments in those years. It doesn't matter that decades have gone by since I made the association; just hearing a certain song can take me right back there. But these days, I can be watching a movie or a TV show, and one of the old songs happens to show up in the "wrong place" so to speak, and bingo! - I have a whole new, unwanted association that kind of shoulders its way into my head, rudely pushes the old memory aside, and immediately makes itself at home. So far, I've been fortunate in that every time this has happened to me, it's been with songs that weren't paired up with really important or treasured memories. Take, for example, that scene in Lost when we meet Desmond in the hatch. He's playing Cass Elliott's "Make Your Own Kind of Music." I listened a lot to the Mamas and Papas back in my student days, so hearing any song by them always reminds me of that time in my life, but now, from here on in, whenever I hear "Make Your Own Kind of Music" I will see in my mind's eye Desmond inoculating himself with that awful contraption and making those gross blender shakes. Fortunately for me, I had no special emotional attachment to that particular song, so I can't say I mind all that much. If it had been "Monday Monday" or "Twelve Thirty" I would be in big trouble. Of course, TV commercials that incorporate oldies are a whole other travesty unto themselves. Whether they use the original versions or re-write the lyrics to "fit" the product, they can wreck a nice memory almost before you can react. I'm telling you, when that kind of commercial comes on, I can't dive for the remote and press "mute" fast enough! If you've had the misfortune to catch the Viagra commercial that is a parody of Elvis singing "Viva Las Vegas" then you know what I'm talking about. There oughta be a law! Okay, I think I'm done with my mini-rant. In conclusion, I wish you a day full of your favorite oldies that leave your best old memories unharmed.
"Twelve Thirty" The Mamas and Papas
As of this posting, all 3 vids of this song on YouTube either come in a bit late or cut off too soon at the end. This one cuts off too soon at the end, but is the least hurt by it, in my opinion. It's also a little short on visual imagery as well, but let's you concentrate on the images in the lyrics. Enjoy!

January 10th update. Since the above video has been withdrawn, here's a substitute for ya. It cuts off short at the end, and is missing the very first line, "I used to live in New York City" but everything else is there...including John's signature fur hat.

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