Dec. 13th, 2014

mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas tree lights)
I loved Elton John when I was a teenager, and I remember I especially loved this song when it came out, so for 1975, I give you (a '76 live version, actually) of "Someone Saved My Life Tonight". (It's a long song; if you stick with this all the way through, you may notice that Elton appears to be running out of voice by the end of it, in which case let's hope it was the encore of that concert.)

The Wikipedia page for the song says that the length was supposed to be cut down for the radio, and Elton had enough pull at that time that he was able to force them to release it as is. (Before I started this, I didn't realize how many big hit songs had their own Wikipedia pages.) I think I responded to the tone of desperation in this song, as a teenager. I also think I was vaguely confused about what the song meant because I had gotten the general idea by then that Elton John was gay, but really I think the meaning was pretty clear ("altarbound, hypnotized/sweet freedom whispered in my ear") and what I thought it meant was basically correct.

I mentioned before (in the 1970 entry, I believe, if you really want to know) that at some point I was given a little dinky cassette player for Christmas, and at some point (maybe the same year or maybe not) I was also given a cassette of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" - I'm not sure any more about what year was what, but GYBR came out in '73 so that's the earliest that part could have happened, anyway. I know I also got a Jackson 5 album and it's possible that all of that happened in 73, because certainly the Jacksons were still popular by then. (I think "Ben" had come out by then so Michael was already having some solo success as well.) I know I listened to the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album a lot because I still pretty much know every song on it. Later I bought or was given an Elton John songbook with the music to a lot of the early John/Taupin output - I remember picking out "Skyline Pigeon" on the piano and also some things I had never heard before, like "Where To Now St Peter?" - and I remember playing "Your Song" in the choir hall at some point and everybody singing along.

Elton John is not the most uncool artist to admit to having liked, so let me tell you about some of the less cool stuff: I know I loved The Captain and Tennille - everybody did. (Well, probably not everybody, but they were pretty popular in my circle of 14-16 year olds, anyway.) I loved Barry Manilow and especially I loved "Mandy" - I remember being at my best friend Julia's house and trying to call in to the radio station to request it. The Carpenters were still a big thing, and Neil Diamond, and The Eagles were starting to be a big thing. I remember at some point during high school being mad that my mother wouldn't let me go with some kids to an Eagles concert. (Until I had a car for my own use, the second half of my senior year, trips to Houston with other kids were not much allowed unless there was one or more adults along. And even then I couldn't go anywhere out of town without permission.)

In 1975, I of course did not have a drivers' license because I was just turning 15, but I took drivers' ed that summer and I had a learners' permit, and the fact is that my mother was sick of driving us everywhere, especially my endless choir practices and various related activities, and once I got the hang of driving, she let me drive around town without her along quite often - more and more as I got closer to being 16. She claimed later not to remember this.

Also in 1975, I suppose (or if there was a lag in such things getting to small towns it could have been '76), my mother actually allowed us to go see the movie of Tommy. I wonder if she knew about the part where Tommy gets molested as a child, or about the Acid Queen. Anyway, I liked the music - which I think was why we wanted to go see it in the first place, and I know I thought the film was interesting but I don't think I really loved it. (Which, if you've seen it, is pretty reasonable. I haven't rewatched the whole thing since I saw it in the theater, I think, but the three or four sequences I've watched in the last couple of days confirm the impression I already had that it was in fact a pretty bad movie. But in bits and pieces, it's still interesting. Tina Turner! Jack Nicholson - singing! Oliver Reed! Pretty shirtless Roger Daltrey!)

Bonus video: the Pinball Wizard sequence from the movie, with, guess who, Elton John:

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