Friday, September 7, 2012

My Liza and Me, in a field in the middle of the night.


Back in 1992, one night I was walking home, or trying to walk home, staggering and making my way back from a bar that was technically walking distance, but being that I was a bit tippsered and new to drinking in bars and had drank way too much, and this was Virginia (...yea VIRGINIA, long story), the sidewalks sometimes turn into dirt paths. Well that was just a hop skip and a jump to turning into a wide open field, i mean if I could hop skip or jump, I could not do any, but the sidewalk did still turn into a field as big as the eyes could see, my eyes, anyway. My drunk and blurry eyes. Sure as fuck, though, I stood in a field with the wind blowing, sky full of stars and no bar or home in site.  I was a grown man lost in the middle of the nowhere in the middle of the night and listening to this JAM cassette tape.It was great. I should of taken a seat and enjoyed it longer. I eventually made it home alright, though.
    What had happened is I had pulled my headphones out of my favorite jacket pocket (that I carried at all times like many young people, to keep me company), and had been listening to my new copy of The Jam Extras and somehow kept rewinding and rewinding the perfect for-anything-tunes  especially if anything involves being drunk and melancholic (and again most people I knew, back then were): NO ONE IN THE WORLD, and LIZA RADLEY. I don't know who Liza is and I believe the magic that song holds for me may be lost if I solved the mystery. I haven't made the time to find out who this Liza is and that is just fine. But the song with it's familiar quiet background is a joy to listen to even now that I do not have the need to feel melancholic or drunk. The whole album was a revelation as it was different takes of some earlier stuff and it sounded so new. 13 full songs on each side. It was a big album. Covers, ballads, previously unreleased material, upbeat bone-shakers, no wonder, they are so loved. Loyal, is a word that comes plenty to mind where fans are concerned about them. Insular is another. Can you blame us? would you like to share your favorite shirt? A large gift from a different time, from a band that had been broken up for a while. It was a gift from the past yet it was so current and timeless. It sounded big and encompassed so many sounds and styles. It was The Jam and myself in the middle of nothing and nowhere, and all was better for it.
    Sometimes I'll just geek out on some bands that I just learned to love that make life just a little sweeter. I'll put them on in LP, CD, cassette tape, or mix it up. I'll do this specific music playing, while I'm doing something or other and realize that while I do love spending time with my friends and family (and time is never enough), or with some puppies or some internet kitties or even some bears it's good to just geek out on a band by yourself like a fourteen year old. Just to remember where you've been and how you got to where you are and yes (oh yes) some stuff is embarrassing, but what are you gonna do ? THAT'S THE WAY LOVE GOES...

it starts out easy enough one song,

and then it turns into something altogether alive on its own.

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