Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hi, I'm "Disco"...

This started off as being a reminiscence about misheard lyrics, but I see something a little deeper in the memory.

When I moved to a new school at the end of grade six, I was in a class with some guys who should have been grade sevens. They seemed huge and immensely old to me, but good-humoured. When they found out I liked disco music and professed not to like rock, that was the nickname they gave me. "Disco". They didn't mean it in a malicious way, and I to be honest, I kind of took to it.

We moved again over the summer, out of the rental place into a new place my parents had bought, which meant I lost the friends I'd made over the spring and summer and was starting over again. The new school was rougher. It wasn't so easy to make friends there. But I made a few, and one of them is still one of my very best friends over 30 years later, Dig.

Back to the disco thing. I've mentioned elsewhere on the blog that my religious training came largely by osmosis, sitting alone in the family room on Sunday mornings, drawing and scribbling stories while absorbing the evangelical stuff beaming up out of New England while waiting for the kids' fare to start. Week after week they railed on the evils of rock music. I came to believe rock music was satanic. I really did fear it. But they never seemed to go after disco music, and it was all over the place in the 70s, and I liked quite a few songs. So I decided disco was my music. I liked it, it was available on 8-track, and no one was telling me it would make you evil listening to it.

Well, flash forward a few years. The new school, with Dig. It was the Christmas party, December of 1980. Kids had brought in their records. One of the kids had brought in a copy of the B-52s' first album, and played Rock Lobster. I'd never heard the song. But something that had been dormant in me lit up, and right there an then I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. I decided that rock music wasn't so bad after all (aside from songs from the devil like Stairway to Heaven, of course!). The thing that makes me laugh now is that it took a piece of dance music to budge me from my self-imposed disco exile. And not a moment too soon. Disco was pretty much dead by then, and what would I have started my record collection with?

Turned out that Dig had the song open-air recorded (including the sound of him bumping the lamp on his night table), and I wheedled the tape out of him and never looked back. :) So much for my career as the first disco evangelist.

P.S. I don't even remember what the "misheard lyrics" anecdote was supposed to be!

P.P.S. Oh, wait, now I remember. The whole thing that started it was that when the song was playing, and the line "somebody went under a dock, and there they saw a rock", my buddy Dig was goofing around and made his finger and thumb into a gun and pointed it at me... so I thought the line was "and there they saw a rod".  Okay, I know you don't care, but if I read this years from now and that wasn't in it, it would just gnaw at me for days. :)

1 comment:

jim said...

There are worse ways to get turned on to rock music than via the B-52s!