How good was Memorial Day weekend on the East Coast this year? It was fabulous! You never know with Memorial Day in these parts. Last year was rainy and cold, and it felt like a rip-off. We all know that summer doesn't officially start with the 3 day weekend in May, but for those of us who don't study the stars, it sure feels like summer begins with that holiday.
I was totally psyched for the long weekend. The Man doesn't recognize any official holidays between New Year's Day and Memorial Day. That's a long pull - for those counting at home, we're talking 5 solid months. I was ready for a paid day off, and decided to lengthen the weekend by blowing off Tuesday, too. It was cool. In fact, so cool that I woke up on Saturday morning with this song on my mind:
I love that song. It reminds me of being a kid on a summer morning. There isn't much better than being a kid in the summer. I still remember playing baseball, going to MLB games, collecting and trading baseball cards, and enjoying the most American of all sports. Do you remember the first time you went to a major league stadium and came out from the dark portal to see the bright sun, impossibly green manicured field, and your major league idols getting ready for the game? I sure do. I knew I would never be much of a player once I saw my first curveball, but I always loved the game. Go Phillies!
One of the great things about baseball is that if you didn't grow up in the U.S. or some other baseball crazy country, you'll never get the sport. Europeans don't understand our national obsession. That's cool because there are certain things that Europeans love that most Americans will never get either. Like ABBA. Note that this cheesy video got 347 MILLION views, and 2 of them were in the U.S.
Yes, I'm sorry, that song is an earworm and now you'll have nightmares about being in Sweden and being forced to go to see ABBA live. Let's shake it off by listening to what women who were born in the U.S. came up with - and it rocks!
Oh, you nasty girls! What a fun song that is, right? Joan Jett, Lita Ford and the rest of the Runaways were bad to the bone, and wanted to rock it out. They didn't learn that stuff in school.
Speaking of school, unless you were not a strong student, there was no school in summer. No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks! I still remember a nun sneaking up behind me in first grade - yes, first grade - and picking me up by my ears because I was talking. Does that hurt? You're damn right it does. If you don't believe me, ask someone to do it to you, or better yet, do it to someone yourself. Like Christmas presents, it's a lot better to give than receive in this case. Regardless of Catholic school corporal punishment techniques, I sure liked it when summer came around and school was out.
Summer meant a lot of different things to people. How about ripping off Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London riff, referencing Skynyrd's classic Sweet Home Alabama while stealing its signature guitar line, and making it all work? Kid Rock, the American Bad Ass, did it with All Summer Long:
Summer has some bummers, like sunburn. Ouch, remember having to get Solarcaine and spraying that cold stuff on your red and raw skin for some relief? Parents didn't know any better in those days - or maybe they did and just wanted to torture the kids. I still remember teenage girls putting baby oil on and then laying out in the sun. Hahaha, how did that work out? Blisters in the sun? Yep.
Superchunk captured summers past in a great song, This Summer. Not only does this song rock, it also brings back memories of past summers while getting psyched for this upcoming one. Love it!
Summer means dancing outside during the warm nights. I love doing that. Led Zeppelin, of all bands, caught the vibe great with Dancing Days which starts with the line "Dancing days are here again as the summer evenings grow." You're darn tootin' that's the truth. And when a song starts with a guitar riff like this one, you know that you gotta get up and shake it. But as my assistant used to say to one of my co-workers, don't shake what your momma didn't give you.
Are you in the mood now? Isn't that summer itch just needing some scratching? I'll bet you want to hit the beach now, right? If so, let's go to Rockaway Beach with the Ramones. Gabba gabba hey!
God, I miss those guys. I miss this band, too: NRBQ. They did a number of songs that reference summer, but you can only go to the drive-in during the summer, right? I'm not sure that I ever went to a drive-in when it was raining, but this sure sounds like fun.
Do you have time for one more? Great, because that's all I've got … for now. How about Tom Petty's Running Down A Dream, a great song about breaking out on a gorgeous sunny day after three days of rain. Yeah, man, we know that feeling here in Philly. RIP, Mr. Petty. But why such an odd video? Cool, yeah, but ….
Alright, I'm ready to go have some summer fun. Wherever you go, bring along BRP for plenty of great entertainment to keep you chugging along all summer long. For now, I gotta fly.
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My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.