Thursday, February 10, 2011

Going Out Of My Head

“Well, I think I’m going out of my head,” the singer’s words burst out of the car’s radio circling the space. December 1964, I’m 10, in my Uncle George’s 1961 Impala. It still smelled new, Georgie was like that. I’m in the back of the big car by myself; upfront is my gorgeous Aunt Joan. Being alone with them was like being in an Elvis movie.

We pass the Natural History Museum, but I’m sitting on the Central Park side of the car staring into the trees at twilight focused on the song. My window was down, I leaned out and let the cool breeze ride through my crew cut.

This song stunned me, it was so good. Little Anthony passionately sung and the orchestra kept lifting after silent drops, with a sweet girl chorus joining in at the right time. I fell for this song as hard as I ever fell for any girl in my whole life. Fortunately, the crush is already reciprocated and all you have to do to keep loving it, and hope it doesn’t hit Number #1 because if it does, then it will be over played on the radio to the point that you want to shoot the singer.

It was the orchestra that nailed my heart to this record. The thundering instruments working together with the pleading singer turned the song into a movie. The inside of the Impala was the 86th RKO. I was a weird kid; I bought the soundtracks to Doctor Zhivago and Ben Hur. Mom thought I was losing it, but it pleased my father who hated our music. I still listen to those Lps on my turntable.

I was a lucky 10 years old boy in 1964 ~ delighted daily by the explosion of music from England, Detroit, California, Philly, Boston, New York and everywhere else.



hawkhammer said...

My grandmother, Helena Gavin, sold tickets at the RKO 86St. during that time period.
Thanks for the great blog.

Thomas Pryor said...

Thank you!