This week, both of us, almost got caught in the wind, the wind of the Rocky theme trumpets that is. In our own fashions we both however, manages to board up our shelters and pick something slightly less predictable.
I am not a fanatic Elvis Presley fan, but growing up in the 80’s when the legend grew – it’s hard to not have some sort of relationship to him and especially his music. I love the character, the myth, and the clothes. I guess Andy Kaufman’s version of The King is what I think about when I think about Elvis. It’s probably Kaufman and The Blues Brothers that are my main influences to why a horn riff is stuck in my mind as the ultimate self-confidence boost riff. This riff – it’s like having your private jingle – Costanza style! As I said I probably came in contact with it thru The Blues Brothers version of Everybody Needs Somebody To Love where they certainly play it like a homage. Anyway, it’s that version, or more like that tempo of the figure, and the vision of Andy as Elvis that I picture in my head when I whistle the riff – accompanied with the voice of Elvis saying “thank you, thank you very much”. It’s excellent and it makes me feel really good, but then something strange happens. I hear myself continue whistling another tune; Gonna Fly Now – yes the Rocky soundtrack tune! I guess it’s the same riff in minor that features in the Rocky tune and that’s why my mind drifts over to that one. Doesn’t bother me though, I really like the first Rocky movie and I do love the theme!
So the horn bursts that seem to be featured in so many places is what’s playing in my head after I’ve got really good news and I am taking it, for this challenge, from the tune See See Rider from the amazing Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite album. I believe that Elvis heard the band play See See Rider and realized what a great entrance song it would be, that’s why many of his live shows begin with exactly this tune. Oh, I mean, begins after Also Sprach Zarathustra, (the theme from 2001: a Space Odyssey,) that is – guess the hubris had gotten to him or Colonel Tom. So Elvis does his entrance to this song and the horns are pumping those classic notes. Everything is excellent, but wait… someone else is stealing the show!
Imagine that you just sucked down a couple of jugs of slush, ate two dozen spoonfuls of instant coffee powder and finished off with a big pile of cotton candy. You’d be pretty speeded – right? That is, true story, exactly what the drummer Ron Tutt did just before entering the stage – and you can certainly hear it. With the amount of energy and frenzy he slams those drums – it’s magic! I can listen to that intro over and over and the whole song for that matter. I’m not sure it’s the horns any more the pendulum might have swung towards Ron Tutt at this time. It’s hard to whistle the drums though, so for now, with the tiniest margin, it is still the horns morphing into Gonna Fly Now that holds the spot as the winner of this challenge (same tune anyway), but what a drummer Ron is! That’s it – thank you…thank you very much!
Great minds think alike and I too nearly had to pick Gonna Fly Now, the Rocky theme. I get around it on a technicality. See upon receiving the great news in question, that is almost certainly what is playing in my mind. No other track save possibly Händels Hallelujah Chorus from the oratorio Messiah is so overly saturated with sudden ecstatic joy in tonal form than the opening bursts from Gonna Fly Now. However, the challenge is to find the song playing AFTER I got the news. That would be the part where I’m skipping down the street, light as a feather and heart full of joy and possibly a tear welling up in the corner of my eye (my tear ducts might have been wired wrong since I well up way more easily from happiness than sadness).
Now the soundtrack for such occasions could have a lot more variety. I have been struggling all week in trying to choose from any number of really good choices. There are brilliant contenders from Jane’s Addiction, Dinosaur Jr, Pavement and The Cure. Some Swedish classics like Lisa Ekdahl’s Benen I Kors and of course Jakob Hellman’s Vara Vänner are incredibly good choices for this challenge. Yeah all of those and then let’s not forget Femmes’ Blister in the Sun.
Now I picked the Femmes for a challenge late last year and in the end almost all of the tracks I listed have a slight melancholic twist to either their lyrics or the music.
I’m writing this right before deadline and this morning I have finally managed to single out one tune as the winner. The last track standing seams to me as the one contender where there is all feather-light hearts and a skip stepping strut down the street.
I want you all to plug in Revolver’s Get around Town next time you need something to dis-ambiguously mirror your entire being having just let go of all worrying and stress if only for a brief moment. This tune is as sincere as the happiness of a 7 year old on Christmas day morning. I take it that the tune is about how they love watching detective series on the telly and how the criminals in a perhaps slightly Christian metaphor are sent to jail “for us”. I might not share in their enthusiasm for criminal drama but I too love the catharsis that even fiction on the sillier side can bring.
…and for our next task, we will find a tune that…
…has a given place on the playlist for this summer.
Summer is just about here and its time again to scratch that mixtape-itch in order to properly prepare for the lazy days ahead.
see you in 14 days!