Night Music: Marshall Crenshaw, “The Usual Thing”

I have this vague memory. My girlfriend, later to be my wife, worked at Rolling Stone. In the copy department.

Which got us invited to the Rolling Stone Christmas Party, which was a big deal then. Maybe it still is, but we’re no longer invited. I don’t know the year. There were a few.

In the year I’m thinking of the party was in a space in the Financial District that was part penthouse and part terrace, and we had a fabulous time eating all the giant shrimp cocktail and whatever else they had going then. It was December but there was outdoor space, all the better for keeping the vodka bottles encased in ice from melting. And smoking. Back then we all smoked.

There was also the night’s band, who (or which) was Marshall Crenshaw. And his band.

This was the 80s, when all of us were avoiding hair metal and everything that Moyer disliked. That was easy. Crenshaw was not a power pop artist, exactly, but he was a songmeister. A guy who relied on his catchy melodies and clever lyrics to catch flies.

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