Monday, February 22, 2010

The biggest kick we ever got

I remember when rock was young.

Wait, somebody already took that line. As if you didn't know, it's from the song that ruled the Billboard chart on this date in 1973. I remember it playing on the jukebox in the old Walgert Hotel Tap Room.

You know how songs can bring you back to a certain place? This one takes me back to the Tap Room, a beer haven on the corner of Main and Scranton in my old hometown. It's an empty lot now, and every time I drive by I think: We ought to build another Tap Room right on that same corner and make it just like it used to be.

Crazy thought.

It's easy to slip back into yesterday, especially when today holds so little promise and tomorrow is too frightening to imagine. It's not all bad, romanticizing our past, as long as we don't get stuck there. And there's the rub.

I never knew me a better time
And I guess I never will

The Beatles had come and gone long before "Crocodile Rock" became Elton John's first No. 1 hit in America. He'd have another one 14 months later with "Bennie and the Jets," followed by the Lennon-McCartney penned "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" in early 1975. Now these may not have been drinking songs, but we sang them all and butchered every one of them, especially "Bennie, Bennie, Bennie..." From sober to drunk, from baritone to falsetto, in six beers flat.

For the record, here was the Billboard Top 5 this week in 1973:

1. Crocodile Rock, Elton John
2. You're So Vain, Carly Simon
3. Superstition, Stevie Wonder
4. Why Can't We Live Together, Timmy Thomas
5. Your Momma Don't Dance, Loggins & Messina

The biggest kick we ever got was singin' a song called the "Crocodile Rock." Let's make sure it's on the jukebox in the new Tap Room.

1 comment:

  1. Elton John definitely had drinkin' tunes -- a college staple!
    And your todays are full of promise -- after all, you're Strumbum.