Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sometimes I Hate to be Right

Behind the Scenes at Clicks and Pops

I was in a drug store in the middle of the night, looking for baking soda and electrical tape.

And a song came on the store's sound system. A song I recognized, knew, loved.

A long time ago, a girl loved that song and hearing it again reminded me of the girl.

And there's a story that goes with the girl (and by extension, with the song).

So I came home, sat down at the computer, and started writing that story to post on this blog. The girl part was still fresh in my mind (even many years later). I knew the basics about the song and the band, but I wanted to get the details right, so I did some quick online research.

What I remembered was true -- first album a college radio hit with a new wave sound and a trippy title. Band member who later joined a much more famous band. Second album much more power poppy -- and it must have come out in 1981 because one of the songs had a reference to John Lennon and the circus surrounding his death. And then nothing. No third album, no indication of what had happened.

That's okay, that's enough for a blog post with the story of the girl and another band that should've been superstars in an alternate universe where good music is more appreciated. So I went on YouTube to see if I could find any of their videos. And, sure enough, there were their two minor hits.

I'd never seen these videos before. My only visual image of the band came from the photos on their two album covers. But watching them on YouTube, I suddenly realized something and my heart sank.

The lead singer had a mustache. More than that -- a porn mustache. But even more than that -- a Freddy Mercury porn mustache. And I knew then and there what had happened to the band.

Five more minutes of internet research confirmed what I somehow knew in my gut -- the lead singer died of AIDS about ten years after the band's heyday.

Sometimes I hate to be right.

And I thought about posting the blog entry anyway. The songs are still great, the story about the girl is still interesting (in the way that all stories about girls and songs are interesting). But I didn't want people to take away from this that the singer died of AIDS.

So... instead I'll put that post away for another time. And no, I won't say who the band was. Instead, I'll pull out my vinyl copies of their two albums and play them all the way through.

And I'll say a silent prayer of thanks to the band for the music. And let the singer know that he is remembered -- not for how he died, but for how he lived and the music he made.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Dude. Remind me not to get in an I.Q. contest with you -- you'd kick my ass. This is smart writing, real smart and real effective.

Kindly writing, too.

Hang in there, kid; with this writing jones you have, i mean. It will pay off.

Oh and not to worry; i have no idea who the band is, so I hope you'll drop those 2 videos on us at some point so we can dig the songs with no reference to this fine post.

Drew said...

In a drug store in the middle of the night looking for baking soda and electrical tape? You are living the dream, my friend!