mellicious: pink manicure (Austin)
[personal profile] mellicious
I posted a Lennon song for 1981 - it was released posthumously - but I wanted to say before I forget about it again that I know exactly where I was when I heard that John Lennon was dead: in an elevator. It was in the dorm (Dobie has 26 floors, unless you lived down low you spent a lot of time in elevators, or waiting for elevators) and I think they had come on during Monday Night Football and announced it. (I am correct on that one.) The funny thing is, I had never especially been a Beatles fan and I had been "discovering" or rather rediscovering the Beatles, more like, just before that happened - I say rediscovering because you couldn't live through that era and not already know a lot of their songs. But I was too little the first time around, and by the time I got to the age where I was interested in music they had broken up. I spent the 70s being unimpressed by the Beatles, really - you know how kids are, it was just old stuff - but around the time Lennon released Double Fantasy in 1980 I had gotten interested, so it was more of a punch in the gut for me than it would have been if it had happened earlier, oddly. And of course, it was such a huge story because of the way it happened.

(I wrote this first with a reference to Jodie Foster - I was thinking that it was Mark David Chapman who was obsessed with Jodie Foster, when in fact it was John Hinckley, a few months later. It took me a while to un-confuse myself there, and I feel really silly about that now! But heck, this whole thing where I've been writing these year-a-day entries is one big test of my memory, and it's not the first time I've discovered that I was conflating events.)

I was kind of a mess in 1980, really - around the time that happened was when I practically collapsed, at the end of that semester. I was taking 18 or 19 hours, part of which was student teaching, and that was a bad semester, generally. I got good grades in the end, as I recall, but I barely got through it. I sort of liked student teaching - I liked the kids, anyway - but I knew I wasn't cut out to be a teacher, and that wasn't helping. (That was what spurred the sort of last-minute panicked decision that next spring to go to library school, because I didn't know what the heck else to do.)

I was trying to think about concerts we went to - I never went to a lot as an undergrad because I was always chronically short of cash, but I'm pretty sure I went to see Jackson Browne in the fall of '80. That was a good concert. (That sounds like I'm saying I'm not sure I went, but it's actually just when that I keep having problems with - except in this case I remember enough about the surrounding events that I know when it had to have been.)  If I went to anything else big that year I don't remember it - as far as concerts, I mean. I do remember going to a big Halloween party at the Texas Union with at least one iconic Austin band playing there - and I can't remember who I'm thinking of right now, if I remember I'll edit it in later. (Not Stevie Ray or The Thunderbirds, although I'll have a little bit to say about them later. This was not anybody who ever got really famous.) (added, a year later, because I just now re-read this and something clicked in my brain: Joe King Carrasco is who I was talking about above, as an iconic Austin band. But that was when Austin was a much smaller town, too.)

This also seems like a good time to mention that the concert that I always wanted to go to and never could get tickets to was Springsteen, because he was the really legendary live act at the time. At that time, remember, it was before he was truly a major artist - he was doing arena shows, but he was not really mainstream until later on. (I did win a copy of Springsteen's album "The River" from radio station KLBJ - I believe that was in 1980 - and I bet I still have that somewhere. I sold a lot of my vinyl albums, but I might've hung onto that one.)

(Another thing that I did not do much of, then or later, partly because I was always chronically short of money and partly because I just never had friends who were into it that much, was go and hang out at the famous Austin venues like Antone's and the Armadillo. I did see a good many of the acts who came out of that music scene at one time or another and I'll tell you about what I remember about that as I go along. Most of my concert-going years were still to come, in 1980.)

My 1980 song is an early example of the Police, because I was afraid if I didn't get them in now they'd get eclipsed by all the more new-wave-y stuff later on - I guess they count as New Wave but I don't really lump them in with Duran Duran etc in my mind! I did see them on tour along about 82, I think - it was the Ghost in the Machine tour, I believe. (I can remember some of the concerts by the t-shirts they were selling, and figure out what tour it was from that.) I was not really a big Police fan until later on - after all, at the time their most famous lyric was "Da da da da" (well, that and "Roxanne") and it took me a while to figure out they were a bit deeper than the average band.

(And I just realized that I used the lyrics to the wrong song for the title of this entry, but oh well. It just means I have to think of something else for the next entry!)

As I said on Twitter, I really thought for a while that this song was called "Canary in a Coma" - Sting's enunciation is not as famously mushy as, say, Michael Stipe's, but I don't think it was very clear on that particular song!


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