Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sing me back home

I have not forgotten about this blog, I assure you, or about my New Year's-ish resolution to post something on some blog of mine somewhere every single day. Got a bit distracted from that mission, though, several months ago when my father died, a simple fact of life that has haunted my summer. In fact, I just got back from a return trip to my hometown to clear out his house--which, in the process, meant clearing out the last traces of myself from it, too. And that meant one final glimpse at the slowly decaying 8 track tapes that accompanied me (and the rest of the St. Louis High debate team) on many a car trip in the mid70s:

The last Ehmke family Oldsmobile with an 8-track deck died a decade and a half ago, but I can still tell you the contents of each and every one of these: America's Holiday album, Volume TWO of Gordon Lightfoot's pre-"Sundown" hits, Volume TWO of Walter/Wendy Carlos's pioneering Switched-On Bach, Don McLean's version of the obligatory contract-fulfilling covers album, the soundtrack album to the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow Great Gatsby, and so on. (All of these except Holiday and the Oldsmobile demonstration tape were purchased from the dollar bin at my local Musicland, which explains the high percentage of sequels and releases by artists rising up from or heading back to obscurity.) I don't see the live Jonathan Richman album here, which is a pity, for it is the one of which I have the fondest memories, since there was a problem with it and it kept playing the same "program" over and over again, making his epic eight-minute "Ice Cream Man" even longer than he intended. This is what the 1970s sounded like to me before Joe Strummer changed the game. I regret none of it.

More musical memories to come, plus several months' worth of postponed observations. I'm just trying to get back in the blogging groove again with an easy one.