Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November Confessions

Damn, that sounds juicy, doesn't it? I could relate a few stories, that's for sure. I guess it's a good thing to be cresting The Hill (or well down the far side, Over It) and have some wild tales. I definitely have my share. You'll have to wait for my novel.

For me November is a crazy, risky month prone to disaster and fortune, inspiration and despair. The wind and dark evenings shake loose memories, emotions, aches and desires.

Last night I watched the DVD of The Traveling Wilburys which came with the CD set I bought myself for my birthday four years ago. George Harrison was always my favorite Beatle, and I fell in love with "Crackerbox Palace" at fifteen. But Jeff Lynne is my favorite Wilbury (Otis) & my daughter laughed last night when I howled "Jeff!!" every time there was a close up.

So tonight I've played YouTube recordings of early ELO, mainly "Ma-ma-ma Belle"  and some long, string-filled pieces from ELO 2. (I have it on vinyl but need to clear off the record-player. Plus, my computer speakers are far superior when it come to blasting my tunes.) 

This is how I fight the darkness.

ELO reminded me of an especially obscure offshoot band called Violinski. The inter-webs are a funny phenomena in that they both insult my penchant for The Search (for discontinued out of print records, books etc , for which I combed Cambridge's Harvard Square's used book & record shops back in the late  1970's when I was supposed to be at high school; the Mass Transit bus ran from Hansom Field Air force Base past my house to school and on to Harvard Square...I meant to get off at the school, those days, I really did...) Now it's both satisfying and offensively simple to Google, oh, for instance, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and come up with  416,000 results (as I did just now to check) when I spent several years in Cambridge building up a limited collection of their records, each a gold mine. But I digress.

Violinski: Summer 1980. I was eighteen, working at a movie theatre in Lexington Massachusetts, riding my two steeds (Brewster and Sleuth) and working on a novel when I was ambushed by a terrible crush and a song. The crush was a 21 year old projectionist at the movie theatre: Steve. He was shy and/or oblivious, and the only candidate in my orbit. I have always been nothing if not practical.

The song was "Save Me" by Violinski, the offshoot of ELO that cut an album or two in the late seventies. I was smitten by both the song and the fellow at the theatre. It was a long hot summer of unrequited love. I moved heaven and earth to work extra nights; I recorded every glance and scrap of conversation in my journal, sometimes by the bare bulb in the hayloft of the barn where I worked on my novel on an ancient typewriter I lugged up the ladder to pound on those summer midnights as bats flew through the barn's tall doorway.

Look and see, before you try to condemn me
I have been left alone too long... me

Daydreams were all I had, then, but they did save me. It's terrible to be eighteen and never have been asked out, not to mention never kissed--even if you have a sneaking suspicion you've set up a force field around yourself to repel all intruders. (This is wildly obvious in my school picture that year.) I hugged my horses' necks, rode them far and wide, completed my manuscript and, after work, buried myself in the bulky headphones of our living room stereo with Violinski cranked up.

At the end of the summer, still undated, unkissed, I went off to England to train for the British Horse Society's exam. At least I knew could ride a horse and write a book. Dammit. I figured the kissing would catch up.

It did, too.

So for old time's sake, and to escape November, here's "Save Me" by Violinski.  Hey, at least I didn't paste the link to my other Violinski favorite, Cow Caped Crusader.

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