Lou Reed’s passing got me thinking about the songs that shape us all in one way or another. at my age, there’s thoughts of 45 rpm records, greatest hits albums, crappy K-Tel compilations, am radio jams and that occasional hum and crackle of “oldies” being played on Friday nights. which brings me to The Shangri-las. the all-girl teenage group from new york that had a #1 hit with Leader of the Pack in the mid-60s. every boy my age remembers the goosing of the motorcycle throttle in that song. but there other “big” single was “Remember (walking in the sand).” something about the hauntingly melodramatic, almost weepy doo wopping is one of those songs that sticks with you, in the same way a kick to the groin does. in stark contrast to sunny beach songs about sand, surf and fun, this one is about heartbreak, memory and that feeling of an inability to move on. all of that wrapped up with a nice bow, brought to you with teenage voices from a songwriting factory in NYC. doesn’t sound too punk rock does it? nonetheless, this one is a downbeat classic in my eyes and the vocals from lead Shangri-La, Mary Weiss are soul scorching. hindsight is 20/20, Mary is credited to inspiring the Runaways, the Go-Gos, Blondie (Debbie Harry has always tried to ape the vocal style), Hole, L7, the Donnas to more modern acts like The Vivian Girls and the Dum Dum Girls. of course the Shangri-Las have been covered by everyone from the Beach Boys to Aerosmith to the Chipmunks to the Carpenters. here’s to Mary and the Shangri-Las. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy8_38U3xLU
i think i once heard this line attributed to Lou Reed, it went something like, “my bullshit is worth more than other people’s diamonds.” without wasting a bunch of time googling the phrase, i will guess it was during one of his contentious back and forths with Lester Bangs. this sort of sums up the Lou Reed I love. self-important, self-effacing and selfish in his music. selfish in the sense that it is overindulgent, off-putting, and at times pure noise. wonderful, nasty, pure noise. that noise that splattered the paint that formed picture that his words described. to some weird kid from Kentucky, his work exemplified everything i ever attributed to New York City. before the Ramones, before Patti Smith, Blondie, Television, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground had me longingly wondering about the filth of the city, it’s alleyways of junkies, cocksuckers, cookers, lovers, artists and mainliners. that city sounded like the most frighteningly fantastic place on the earth. i knew it was hard being a man, living in a garbage pail. Lou told me that, but if some girl would just show up, Shelly, Candy, Stephanie, Jane, Jackie or Sister Ray, hell, it’d be alright.
the city, at some point, mainly due to pukes like Rudy Giuliani deciding that it needed scrubbing and sanitizing and turned into Disney world, changed shape from the wild decades of the 60s, 70s, 80s and lost some of that sleaze that the V.U. seemed to not-so-subtly hint at. but that being said when i step foot on the sidewalk there, in my head, it’s always contrasty black and white, i’m wearing wrap-around black shades, my collar is turned up and i searching for something, anything somewhere between white light and white heat. Lou Reed is New York City, his words, doo wop riffs and feedback are the haze that hangs over the island. everyone should have an Elvis and i’ve had more than one, including Elvis, i guess, Lou Reed you are one. now, i’m gonna do something that i do at least once every week, i am going to put on Foggy Notion and when I hear Lou chuckle, i am going to smile, ‘cept this time i will swallow the lump in my throat as i do it.
as October wanes and the temperatures get more full of bite, there’s still a rash of good soccer to play. the weekend means The Adidas Blue Chip Invitational, then we there’s a couple of league games left to assure that we win the MRL and we wind up in Raleigh in November at the CASL Boy’s Shootout to finish up the most hectic soccer season that boy has ever been a privy to. here’s to finishing out with a ton of effort, some balls in the net and and a trophy or two. #lfc #8 #bringthenoise
boy memories should always include, drizzle, buckeyes, roller coasters, faux eiffel towers, wet feet, white knuckles, your dad’s jacket and laughing at yourself and others equally.
soccer, er, football has something called “a friendly” which is somewhat foreign to American sport fans who do not follow the game. imagine playing a game that doesn’t count for anything other than warm-up or practice, maybe as an exhibition or tryout even for some players. those are “friendlies.” problem is, most you compete in, watch or follow are rarely that friendly because when you keep score of anything, there’s a winner and loser and losing doesn’t make one feel very friendly.
oh, as it relates to having a camera, snapping the shutter and all that, it stands to reason (and don’t think about this too hard because you will go mad) that kabillions of great images are missed daily because we didn’t bother getting the camera from the car for whatever reason. when i think of some of history’s greatest moments I am always thankful in many instances someone was there with a camera and decided to “click.”
anyway, that is a windy opening for me saying that the boy scored his first Varsity goal as a Freshman and I didn’t get a picture of it. call it lazy, call it me having too many dark, blurry 10 p.m. shots from too far away to have much confidence in shooting these night time matches, either way, i didn’t get it. but i will always have it in my mind as will he. it wasn’t anything particularly breathtaking as a soccer play. the keep had a deflected ball coming at him from on high, really high about 15 yards straight up and the boy went at the keeper and he bobbled it and the boy put his head over it and pounded it down at the floor of the net. but it wouldn’t have been any better if it was any different. it was his first and so for today, it was his best. and in the end, who needs a picture of that? it’s living inside. us, both. i know how hard he has worked to try and make a difference on his team.
Fußball-Club Bayern München e.V yes, the hip fandom has jumped on the Dortmund bandwagon for a bit but the German champions will always be my favorite…23 titles in the motherland…yes, 23, 1931–32, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2012–13 so yeah, pick a winner and stay with it.
it cannot be possible that it has been 20 years since you arrived. where has it gone? where? i want so much of it to do again, just to get it just perfect this time. you were that “thing” that taught me what it was to really, truly love something. something that my juvenile, male mind just couldn’t comprehend pre-wilder. but i won’t hijack this with melancholy and misty eyes, i will just say that i miss you every single day on some level and you are becoming quite the man and that fills my heart with pride beyond belief. keep it up and here’s to about 5 more 20th year celebrations. live every set of them to their fullest, my son.
somewhere a toddler awakes on a brisk morning from dreams of a ball and his foot.
a quick snap, captured outside of Franklin, Tennessee as a little boy wondered up to watch casual warm-ups. @LexingtonFC1 00 Boys white finished the weekend 1-1-1 in the top division of the Battleground Tournament of Champions. i will hold comment on the “home cooking” aspect of scheduling that favored the eventual winner, the home team.