Thursday, December 04, 2003

December 4, 2003
You know how every once in a while a song catches you right between the ears and you can’t shake it? Last weekend I was channel surfing and landed on Farm Aid, the Willie Nelson-Neil Young annual concert to raise funds for the family farm. I’ve never watched one before, but for some reason I stayed and caught Dave Mathews, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, but the one set that really nailed me was this skinny chick in a t-shirt (Steelers), who had this rock band. She came out and did this funky tune with a soaring chorus and she just knocked me out. I had heard the song, or part of it anyway, on the radio, but I couldn’t place it. Nor could I decipher what she was saying on the chorus so I could go buy the CD.

This bugged me all weekend. I came into work on Monday and mentioned that I really dug this song by Sheryl Crow but I don’t know the name of it, nor could I sing it, but I told everyone I would recognize it if I heard it. Mike Melrose is a big Crow fan, so he brought in three CDs this morning and I went thru them all, “Nope, nope, nope. It’s crunchy, with this soaring chorus and then ‘Ooo—Ooos like in a Steve Miller song.” No clue and no dice.

Allen Fossenkemper came by for lunch and Carole, Bob Brink and I joined him at El Encanto. Allen had good advice for us on tweaking and streamlining our sales team. I think Bob Brink was slightly suspicious of his motives and asked him point blank, “What’s in this for you?” And Allen said, “Absolutely nothing. I don’t want a job, I just want to help Bob Bell.” With friends like that, it’s hard to complain ($52 plus $10 tip, biz account).

After I came back from lunch Abby said in her shy voice, “Is this the song?” and turned up her CD player next to her desk. Yes it was:

“We got rock stars in the whitehouse
All our pop stars look like porn
All my heroes hit the highway
They don’t hang out here no more
You can call me on my cellphone
You can page me all night long
But you won’t catch this freebird
I’ll already be long gone

“Like Steve McQueen
All I need’s a fast machine
I’m gonna make it alright
Like Steve McQueen
underneath your radar screen
you’ll never catch me tonight”

Robert Ray burned me a CD and I can’t stop playing it. Just really turns my crank.

Other tunes that have grabbed me like this:
• “Flying Purple People Eater”
• “Little Bitty, Teeny Weeny Yellow Polkadot Bikini”
• “Surfin’ U.S.A.”
• “She Loves You”
• “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
• “Long Time Gone”
• “Day Tripper”
• “Hot Legs”
• “Seven Bridges Road”
• “Man of Constant Sorrow”
• “Hurt” (both versions)

”There’s a time when what you’re creating and the environment you’re creating it in come together.”
—Grace Hartigan

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