Two Words Together: Travelin’ Blues

Got up at 4 and left at 7 this morning, taking two days in West Virginia to try to help my confused high school senior Harmony figure out what she wants to do. We saw Fairmont State today, tomorrow WVU and Pierpont (a community college).

Picked all Beatles and Stones (and Graveyard Hisingen Blues, lest you think I’ve gone Salfino) for the 10+ hours I’ll be driving by the end of the day Sunday.

Had some real personal experiences with the listening on the way down.

First up was Rolling Stones Some Girls. Let me preface with this:

Tom Conroy graduated with me in 1982 from Moravian College. He lived on my floor my two years in the dorms and remained a guy I’d say hi to when he spent his final two years in a frat and I lived off campus.

Tom was a boisterous alpha male. He’s the guy who looked at the Sex Pistols poster I put up upon arrival and cracked, “You don’t really like them, do you?” and coined my college nickname “Punker.”

And it was in his room where we’d play hours of pinochle, always to his 8-track tapes. The ones I remember most are ELO’s Greatest Hits and Some Girls. I’m not certain the reason I picked Some Girls this morning had something to do with thinking a lot about Tom lately, but I’ll bet it is. It definitely hit me on the ride down.

I last saw Tom at a random Vet Stadium Phillies game years ago. His news story last week shocked the hell out of me. With all the similar news stories one reads these days, I thank God frequently that my sexual tastes run as common as can be – pretty faces, big tits and shapely asses on grown-up women. What a blessing.

Life is strange.

The song I remember Tom singing obnoxiously and often:

Next up, the Beatles For Sale.

Hadn’t listened to this for many years. I always gravitate toward the very early stuff or Rubber Soul/Revolver.

What struck me today (live version with Nicke Andersson singing):

I do believe this was the first rock ‘n’ roll song to light my fire. I was kindergarten age at most and I remember a considerably older next door neighbor boy (he later became a cop and eventually committed suicide if that makes the story more interesting) played this on his mom’s console stereo. Gun to my head (sorry), I can’t remember if it was Beatles or the Chuck Berry original.

But I do remember thinking, “Whatever-five-year-olds-think-instead-of-shit! This kicks the stuffing out of nursery rhymes and Sunday School songs!” Made me wanna do the boogie-woogie for the first time.

Finally, I ended the music portion of my drive with the Stones’ Exile.

For some odd reason, I hadn’t listened to this in many years as well. When I was most into it was the time in my life that I lived closest to a rock star. I was in a top local cover band, my girlfriend and I had broken up temporarily and I was dating a brunette hottie with a blond hottie friend who I think liked me as well. Meanwhile, my ex-girlfriend was constantly calling me trying to get back together and doing things like baking cookies and slipping them in my mailbox for me to find when I got home from work.

I keenly remember eating breakfast at a late-night diner with the two hotties and feeling completely on top of the world.

The soundtrack to one of the sweetest periods of my life:

3 thoughts on “Two Words Together: Travelin’ Blues

  1. I hope you weren’t typing while driving, Steve!

    Doesn’t seem like Thomas Conroy is going to get hanged, but it’s close enough. I bet he’s shattered.

  2. First, I feared this was going to include Blues Traveler, who are not a bad band, but ugh, John Popper is up there with Ted Nugent in stupid land. Thanks for sparing me (Popper plays a mean harp, but everything he plays does sound the same).

    Maybe if Conroy had been more drawn to Gary Puckett and the Union Gap instead of the Stones, you would have had a clue?

    Good narrative, though, and love the rock star part of your life.

    Your description of hearing “Rock’n’Roll Music” at five totally parallels my hearing “Peggy Sue” at five and having the same reaction. I spect that is why we are usually totally in sync, or at total odds with one another in this ilk?

    Good stuff, though.

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