Thursday, March 08, 2007

Give me weed, whites, and wine, and I'll be willin'

A good friend who lives in Laramie wrote to a group of us recently to announce the imminent demise of her beloved Jeep, which, like Johnny Cash, had been everywhere, man:

So long ol’ pal! No more White Rim, Going to the Sun, Coastal Hwy 1, Rabbit Ears Pass, Togotee Pass, Skyline Drive or Powhite Parkway. No more dodging tumbleweed somewhere in Arizona, open range cattle areas in Montana, or driving on the beach at Oregon Inlet, North Carolina . . . No more crazy road trips from Montana to Mexico packed to the rim with stuff and bikes and skis. For fifteen years you’ve taken me places: VA, WV, NC, SC, MD, KY, MO, OH, IN, IL, IA, SD, MT, ID, WA, OR, CA, AZ, NM, TX, OK, CO, UT, WY, Canada, and Mexico!
I wrote back with a few memories of my own from some of the many trips we took in that Jeep, particularly the one on the White Rim Road, which was so rough that we never left first gear and all but one of our beers popped open. While we were in that Jeep, we listened to a lot of different music, but a few appropriate favorites would always come up, so I wrote back to her:
Strange how synchronicity works . . . I've been listening to Willin' by Little Feat, which reminds me of you and your Jeep, a lot recently.

Here's hoping 3B's first words aren't "weed, whites, and wine."
Her husband, who's a rock star, a philosopher, and also good friends with Mama and myself, wrote back:
Had the strangest dream last night. Our families were hanging out at some cabin together when 3B spoke his first words--actually he sung them over and over again. This in itself is perhaps not that odd--it was WHAT he was singing that took me aback: something that sounded a lot like "Wee White Zin Wine." Strange first words indeed: was he asking for a little wine, or did he just have to pee? Either way, I must say I was immediately concerned, because my dreams are quite often prescient: I fear that before long he may be singing about "Pink Champagne on Ice," or something else indicative of California fru fru culture, and we all know how bad that can get ... Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up to be on the lookout for additional developments.
It appears that either her husband is more of a raging smart ass than I am, or that synchronicity is a two-way street. Or maybe it's a traffic circle, with many streets converging in one place, because everyone seems to be talking about music these days. First, there was MetroDad getting his groove on to the Wonder Pets theme song, then there was DaddyTypes sharing how to listen to NWA with a child in the car, and most recently there was Black Belt Mama cruising in the minivan and tearing up the dance floor with the Humpty Dance.

I love hearing what other people are listening to, because music has always been an integral part of my life. Dad played the piano recreationally, and could play a large catalog from memory. And if he didn't know the song that you wanted to hear, you could hum it for him and he would play it back for you. My Mom never played an instrument that I'm aware of, but she played the stereo constantly, as did Dad--to the point that Mom laughed once that if she was talking too loud in the car, Dad would turn up the radio so he could hear the music.

Although they loved the big band music that they grew up with, both had eclectic taste and deep knowledge of many genres. When Mom died, she had better collections of many of my favorite artists than I probably ever will, plus collections of music that I've been interested in but never got around to buying. In fact, her music buying habit was so strong that after she died, Tower Records went bankrupt, due to declining sales.

So we were always listening to music--in the car, at home, working in the yard--and I'm most comfortable now with some tunes on in the background. Although I don't listen to as much big band music as Mom and Dad did, I always have something playing, if not out loud, it's playing in my head--just loud enough to drown out the voices in there.

It's no surprise, then, that I hope that 3B enjoys music as much as my parents did and as much as Mama and I do. Music was one of the first bonds that Mama and I formed; the first words that I ever spoke to her when The King introduced us were, "What's your favorite Dylan song?" Both of us love to hear new music, and want to introduce 3B to the wonder and happiness that music and the discovery of new music brings. So it's appropriate that The King, in response to the latest video of 3B, had a proposal:
I say we start a soundtrack to 3B's life. What song shall Papa use for his first walk? I say Papa chooses it, but let's give ideas.

From my own catalog:
  • Walk, Don't Run
  • Walk Like an Egyptian
  • Walk This Way
  • Walk the Line
  • Walking the Dog
  • Walk on By
  • Walkin After Midnight
  • Etc...
I love this idea, and it's perfect because 3B's not quite walking yet, which gives us some time. But he is starting to cruise along the edges of things that are at his standing height, so we don't have a lot of time.

So tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell strangers on the street, to come on by and cast their vote for what song should be the soundtrack for the first video of 3B walking. It can be one of those that The King suggested, or another song. When 3B starts walking, I'll count up all the votes and make a video using the song that's gotten the most votes by then and post it here.

Just like in real elections, bribes and undue influence are allowed and will, of course, have absolutely no influence on the final tally. But please keep your weed and your whites for yourself--I will take your wine, which will make me more willin'. If I ever have to see Folsom Prison, I'd like to do it as The Man in Black did it--by visiting, not by taking up residence there for postal contraband.

And with that, let the voting begin--as they say in Texas, vote early and vote often.

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  1. Anonymous10:25 AM

    I'm going with Walk this Way, although Destiny's Child was featured on Sesame Street singing, "I've got a new way to walk, walk, walk" and that would be way cute too!

    Thanks for the mention. Cruising in my mini-van. . . you're funny.

  2. Anonymous11:13 PM

    WOW was the the H girls jeep? That freakin thing has been all over. Her ol mans a rock star? The King loves rock stars, we party the best. I have 4 versions of willin on my itunes 3 by the Feats, and 1 live version from the Byrds.

    I vote for Bad Man Walking by Govt Mule.

    TCB on Jam bands for me.

  3. Anonymous6:32 AM

    Hm...because i cannot decide, i'll share all my suggestions:

    First there's the uplifting/triumphant/soundtracky "Walk On" by U2. Because being an adorable baby with loving parents can really get you down.

    On the other hand you could go for the ridiculous "what the..." direction with The Velvet Underground's "Walk on the Wild Side" or even "Walk Through the Fire" from the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Keeping with silly, you could use the Violent Femme's "Jesus Walking on the Water". You could even dub over The Savior's name with 3B's also biblical moniker.

    Or, obviously appropriate are The Ventures' "Walk Don't Run" (being solely instrument could be usefully in looping of the event is extraordinarily long), Dire Straits' lighthearted "Walk of Life", Lynard Skynard's commanding "Gimme Three Steps" and Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On".

    I think my personal favorite though is "Walk Away" by Franz Ferdinand. I love the idea that Franz's "I love the sound of you walking away" taking on an happily encouraging meaning rather than the nasty one they intended.

  4. Anonymous7:22 PM

    It really does depend on 3B's personality, in my book. That should dictate the choice. But I'll be democratic about it and say, kick out the jams with some "Walk This Way".