I needed to unpack things. I needed to clean things up. And Gladys pitched in. It was strange that someone who could generate such chaos in any space she occupied could somehow help bring order to mine. But she did.
Posts Tagged ‘1965’
All over my dorm I was hearing new things, or hearing old things in a new way. One of the most dramatic discoveries for me was courtesy of a guy a dorm block or two over who played the flute really, really well. I’m guessing I heard the sound of his instrument coming from his window, then traced it to the dorm room it came from, and, if memory serves, invited myself into his room.
Whatever I was thinking, and I swear I don’t know, the result was that my little musical contribution to the theatrical end product was to strip out any musical context for a racial argument largely couched in musical terms.
This Casanova stuff was terribly exciting, but in the psychotherapeutic language we all use today, I needed to process it. And that’s when I had my California Girls moment.
And yet, cursing my ineptitude, I could not get up the courage to put myself next to her and talk, let alone ask her to dance with me. But oh, I wanted to! Then the not very good band started to play once more. This moved fate into my corner, because the band had left a ukelele on the stage. Picking it up and plucking at it, I found I could more or less fake my way through a melody. Kate’s friend broke the ice, and asked me if I played.
When Mick sang “I can’t get no girl reaction,” I’ll bet half the listeners heard what I heard: “I can’t get no girlie action” – which is a little bit more risqué. And on the other hand, I’ll bet lots of people heard “I’m trying to meet some girl” rather than the blunter “I’m trying to make some girl,” which was what Mick actually sang.
Damn! This was stereo! I just kept playing it. I’d keep coming back to those two speakers and the fact that I could close my eyes and lose myself in an imaginary space. I was so taken with the sound that the music almost didn’t matter to me for a while. Eventually I stopped listening to the sound and started paying attention to the record. I’m not sure I found the music overwhelming. I think the effect was subtle, like the very sound of the bossa nova itself. Still that rich Nelson Riddle orchestral palette elucidated part of the truth about bossa nova, which is that, while it may be quiet and subtle, it’s often about passion and excitement. It’s not just in the breathless frustrated eroticism of The Girl From Ipanema On this very album you can hear Surfboard, which somehow captures the thrill of waiting for and then riding a wave.And then there’s Samba Do Avião, which is about riding a plane coming in for a landing at Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão Airport, and looking down at the town as one goes.