The Real Deal

The Engineer acquainted me with this. I don’t know how I missed it. Not only am I a closet space geek, but the original David Bowie song is among the .01 per cent of “popular” music that actually fetches me and even makes me pipe my eye.

Fun fact: I used to have a shuttle astronaut for a client. She made the Dear knows how many circumnavigations of the globe (“you never forget chasing the sunrise around the planet”) and then fell down on the cobbles in Florence and came home with a sacro-iliac sprain and a library of bruises that I shelved with oil of Arnica. She was last heard from running a children’s science museum in flyover country. Better her than me.

I have to figure she knew this guy, if only to wave to.

(PS. It’s clear he had a lot more to say for himself, but not least, the motherfucker can actually sing. Jeepers.)


10 thoughts on “The Real Deal

  1. Yep. I like it too–the original and this version. Thank you.

    There is a whole lot of “popular” music, so even .01 percent means a whole bunch of songs. What else? What else do you find fetching? Can you come up with ten?

    • It may be only .001 per cent, really, given the vast volume of crap that’s pumped out per year, as you note.

      “American Pie” gets into my head. I was mulling over, in the gym yesterday, the way the melody keeps repeating in a hypnotically cyclic way and comparing it to the Rossini Tarantella from the Magical Toy Shop.

      I suppose it’s corny to like “Piano Man,” but I do.

      I used John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good” for my one and only stage bodybuilding competition (after which I was so badly lamed from posing out my calves that I decided just lifting was more fun). I don’t know if Simon and Garfunkel count, but “The Boxer” always tears me up. I have a regressive taste for Jimmy Buffett, but only in the car. And I once had my sort-of godson dub a CD (I am sure he pirated every track) with about nine pop songs, of which I can remember The Eagles’ “Winslow, Arizona,” the Doors’ “When You’re Strange” and the Stray Cat Strut.

  2. Sled, this is exactly the kind of answer I was hoping for. You made my morning. I also like every one of these songs. I’m amused and delighted that you have a place for “Hurts So Good.” I do too, but, you know, I can be very cheap. I wonder if you would consider Springsteen’s “Glory Days”? It always makes me laugh. Also making me laugh: In “Dancing in the Dark,” the line “Sick of sitting ’round here, trying to write this book.” Wait, what, Bruce? What? (Before you get any ideas, I’m not a big Springsteen fan. “Born in the USA” is tedious.)

    No bad-ass women rockers? Come on. Linda Ronstadt singing “Blue Bayou”? Chrissie Hynde?

    • I don’t object when “Glory Days” comes on the radio at the gym but it doesn’t catch me in quite the same way as the few I posted up. And, sadly, I can’t think of any song recorded by a woman that does either. Back in the days when I played coffeehouse guitar people were always telling me I “sounded like Carly Simon” or some other weepy woman with long hair and a guitar. I think it just drove me further into butchness. (Though by the way, I do like just the title line of “You’re So Vain (You Probably Think This Song Is About You)” — well who couldn’t love that? Just the words.) Even in opera, I’d rather hear the tenor or baritone sing.

      Probably the most heroic restraint I can remember displaying in the last decade was in the passenger seat of my late friend Dorothy’s car. She had a tape loop in the deck that she never changed, including tracks by Jim Nabors, and then the Statler brothers, and for the grand finale, 101 Strings playing the score of “Fiddler On The Roof.” But she grew up in Rappahannock County, VA, and that was what you were going to get.

      Though speaking of the Statlers and, again, Buffett, this is a special favorite:

        • Appalling sentimental schlock that I wrote myself. I was idealistic when I was young.

          Actually the last thing I wrote for guitar and voice was at least funny. Sometime around thirty years back when I was still in my last straight job at a Catholic women’s college, yike, working as the AA in the education department where they trained vapid young women to be grade school teachers. You wonder why I hate kids so much? There was a preschool downstairs. I would go speedwalking to get away at lunchtime and beguile the hour by composing verses to “The Night The Lights Went Out In College Hall,” which was sort of like “The Ball of Ballynoor,” only with Marymount professors and staff.

          It was one for all and all for one
          And sometimes two for three,
          In every combination
          You could ever wish to see —
          The college infirmary filled by turns
          With sprains and strains and friction burns
          Sustained upon that night in College Hall.

          But I never got the chance to perform it. Well, by the time I got out of there it went on for three pages typed.

          • I have been thinking a lot lately (with affection) our younger idealistic selves who tended to write “sentimental schlock.” How much of that person is still you? How much that isn’t do you miss?

          • I miss the fervor with which she wrote just about anything. It was so important and exciting to get it across. But I want to bitch slap her for thinking that it WAS important — all that stuff about love directed to people who weren’t worth waiting for while they used the bathroom, all those absurd ideas that something good was going to happen to us all — or that anyone would care whether it got said. I hate waste and stupidity.

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