Saturday, March 22, 2014
That Song ... What WAS It?
Who can tell why such things happen? A week or so ago, sitting in Bruegger's Bagels in the morning, I felt some wisps of a song lyric drift across my mind--a lyric from years gone by. Whence came the wisps? And why? I don't know. All I do know is this--that for the next few days (that's right: days) I tried to convince my brain to assemble the wisps into a cloud that would rain the name of the song on me.
But no go.
The more I thought, the less I remembered. And so I figured I'd try another technique: forgetting about it altogether and hoping the rain would simply commence one day.
It didn't. The drought continued.
I could sort of remember a bouncy tune. A word or two: umbrella, mine.
And then came more words: by August she was mine. Well! That was all that I (okay, Google) needed. A quick search, and I found the song. "Bus Stop" by The Hollies, 1966. By late that fall (the fall that I began teaching at Aurora Middle School), it had reached #5 on the charts. I must have heard it all the time because that year I was living in Twinsburg, driving back and forth to Aurora every day (five miles each way) while listening to KYW radio in Cleveland, a pop station that played Top 40 hits all day. So I probably heard "Bus Stop" several times a week that fall. And it found a more or less permanent home in my auditory memory. Before it began to go wispy on me.
I didn't remember much about the Hollies until I consulted my friend Google. I knew that they were from England--and I thought they were riding the wave of popularity in the Beatles' impressive wake. If you check them out on Old Reliable Wikipedia, you'll see a surprise (unless you're really into popular music): One of the Hollies' members was Graham Nash, who left the group in 1968 to perform with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. (One of the highlights of my life: seeing Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young perform at Public Hall in Cleveland on July 3, 1970, just two months after the KSU shootings; we heard "Four Dead in Ohio" and "Find the Cost of Freedom" for the first time.)
The other members of the Hollies (perhaps named in tribute to the late Buddy Holly) were Allan Clarke, Vic Steele, Eric Haydock, and Don Rathbone--names than mean nothing to me now--and probably not then, either. (The Hollies still have an official website, by the way: Link to website.) They cranked out nine albums in the 1960s, nine more in the 70s, and then the wave, its energy spent, arrived tamely at the shore.
And the years rolled on. And I totally forgot about it all. Until one day my brain wheezed a wisp of a cloud. And a mini-adventure commenced ...
Link to lyrics
Link to YouTube audio/video of the original 45 rpm recording.