Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Disco Fever?

The only reason I listen to the radio on my drive home these days is to hear the traffic report. By the time I usually hear it, however, I’m already on the specific route that is jammed up because of some accident ahead. But at least it confirms for me the reason we’re inching along at about 5MPH.

Once I hear said traffic report, I generally turn off the radio to enjoy a little peace and quiet before arriving home. Not that once I get home it’ll be strife and mayhem – not in the least. But once in a while, I just like a little quiet.

Except for the other day. As soon as the traffic guy finished his report, the song “Brick House” by the Commodores started playing. And, boy, did that take me back wayyyy more years than I’d like to admit. So I turned the radio up – loud – and started bopping my head along to the beat. I even confess to warbling along with Lionel Ritchie, but since I was completely off-key I’ll deny even knowing the words should anyone ask me for my rendition of the song.

“Brick House?” I’ll say. “Oh, I was barely born when that song came out, so I really couldn’t even pretend to know the words!”

Nah. I doubt anyone would buy that story…

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed my blast from the past moment. And I thought, isn’t it funny how songs do that – remind you of another time in your life? What’s even more interesting to me is that nostalgia tends to color our perspective. Because, if I were to be completely honest, I don’t think I even liked that song back in 1977!

Don’t get me wrong, I (reluctantly) admit to being a true “Disco Queen” and spent many an evening at the Serene Lounge on the south campus at OSU. I could probably also dredge up the names of a couple other discos in the area – like Charlie Bears on the East side, and…? (Oh, thank goodness, I can’t remember the name of the other place we’d drive to on the west side of Columbus to, um, “boogie down.”)

There were a lot of guy friends who wouldn’t be caught dead in any of those discos, but then we also had a great group of guys who loved to dance as much as we did. And, whether we like to admit it now, or not, we had a great time!

Today when folks hear those songs, even if they were “barely born” back then, they tend to bop their heads along to the beat. And I had to laugh when I watched “Mama Mia” and heard all those ABBA songs (another group I didn’t especially care for back in the 70s). Yet I bopped along in a nostalgic haze to “Take a Chance on Me” and “Dancing Queen.”

So while this was sort of an embarrassing walk down memory lane (disco did that to us!), I take comfort in the knowledge that the music kids are listening to today will also, one day, be a little embarrassing.

Yes, time marches on and someday, somewhere, someone will hear a song on the radio – and they will bop their heads along to the beat and may even warble off-key along with the singer, too. And they’ll think about how much fun they had as a teenager back in 2010.

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