This is the story of my bad influence and haphazard memory leading to multiple purchases of the same record.
I love stumbling upon freebies from local bands while in record stores. During a recent stop at Rudy’s II in Missoula, Montana, I picked up this split single from Magpies and VTO.
My first thought when playing this 1968 single is that the A-side and the B-side almost sound like two different bands. The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” is a well-known, somewhat moody song, and the flip, “Friends of Mine,” could be mistaken for a twee modern band.
Though I am no great Peanuts fan, I find this single in my collection somewhat adorable because it would have been something my dad purchased as an eleven-year-old. It’s bubblegum in the same way The Monkees were around the same time period, with the band capitalizing on the Beatles’ success by picking a British-themed name.
It’s that scene in Armageddon that helped this song persist, isn’t it? Between Ben Affleck and his stomach-traversing animal crackers, and the fact that people tend to only remember the title of the song (and reference it every flippin’ time they get on an airplane), this John Denver-penned song continues to float about the public consciousness since its release in 1967.
Not every record in my collection has ties to either my father or my own personal history. This week, my story from Familial Musical Past involves my mother. Let us talk about that marching band staple, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam.
One of my earliest musical memories was when I discovered that songs could be about more than the writer’s direct experience. Music could exist as part of a greater artistic picture, with each portion enhancing the other to make an amazing whole. I learned how songs could inspire artists who were not musicians, and how that would later impact what I wanted to do with my life.
If I believed in guilty pleasures as an excuse, I would concede that this song would rank among many a person’s list. “Sweet Caroline” is a big, triumphant song that begs for group singalongs, and I have discovered the original 45 rpm single in my inherited collection.