AM radio and the lingering smell of perm

She walks across the linoleum-tiled kitchen floor with her plastic curlers clamped tightly into her head. The smell of perm is, well, it permeates the house; billowing over the scent of any food she may be cooking at the time (if she was in the kitchen, she was cooking, and she was ALWAYS in the kitchen. About once a week or so, wearing those damned post-perm curlers to boot.)

It was the 70’s, and I was a musical leech. Not quite yet old enough to own my own record player, as my ardent Beatles-fan older brother did, I was enslaved to the AM radio station of my mother’s choice (my mother’s choice by the way, toggled between WGRZ for newer tunes, and WJYE – “Joy. All Music, all the time.” – for the older stuff.) I didn’t know what was to come, musically-speaking (even though it was being birthed at that very moment), but to my young mind I couldn’t wait until it did. Especially considering…

I mean, to a five(ish) year old boy, what was that supposed to mean? Painted ponies by the riverside? What was this strange language? Turns out, it was just exactly what you’d think it was. But to the (somewhat overactive) imagination of a five(ish) year old, it went a lot further than all that. Into weird and strange places best left unvisited.

Easier to understand, but even more lyrically intense – to my young brain at least – were the boys of Three Dog Night (who, for the record, could not be mentioned, without at least one local chiming in with “did you know that one of them is from here???” I think it was the one with the mustache. Pretty sure it was him), who wooed my freshly born social conscious with their plea for racial harmony, in a world still on the brink…

Sadly, to my young existence, these two are about the “spaciest” tunes of the decade to wiggle their way into my ear, eventually nestling themselves deep down within my psyche.

The remainder of the 70’s were spent pretty much here…

And sometimes here…

Though being raised a suburban Polish kid (proud owner of my very own “mini” beer stein!), who was prone to celebrate things such as “Dingus Day,” Mr White and I didn’t really share what you would call a “common language,” outside of the above track.

A bit of a shame, as I really dug his smooth and silky voice otherwise.

Alas, it was here that I would eventually find my musical soul mate for the decade, though I knew not why at the time…

Maybe it was because it had just the right amount of mope, or despair, or longing, or self-pity. I mean, hell! When you read the lyrics, you almost wonder how it was, that Gilbert didn’t have a flock of black-clad moody youth envelop him in a slow motion riot, immediately upon the song’s release. But I suppose that’s a story for another decade altogether. One I didn’t know about then, but desperately hoped was coming soon.

Right after I purchased my own record player, of course.

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This is my first foray into Jen’s Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday – I’m hopeful that I didn’t crash the party with my mix. Or at least, not so badly as to not be allowed into the clubhouse next week…!