Tuesday, July 28, 2015
I'm always fascinated to learn popular songs by bands were actually reworked numbers from previous outfits -- "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" were from Grace Slick's previous group, the Great Society -- and especially when they are markedly different. Case in point, "Vacation," which would go on to be the second biggest single for the Go-Go's.
In an interview Jane Wiedlin gave to Songfacts, where the journalist keeps (accidentally?) asking her about songs she didn't write(!), she had this to say about it:
"Vacation" was Kathy's song, and Kathy was the last Go-Go to join. She joined at the beginning of '81 and she brought that song with her from her band, The Textones. We really loved the song, but it didn't really have a chorus. So Charlotte and I ended up working with Kathy a little bit more on the song, and sort of Go-Go-fying it, basically adding the chorus. But that storyline was one about having a summer romance, thinking that it was all just for fun and games, and then later realizing that you actually love. So that's what that one's about.Although she's right that they fleshed it out a bit, the more stripped down sound of the original almost reminds me of "Goodbye to You" by Scandal. From what I remember on Kathy's priceless Twitter memoir, the line Jane added that significantly moved the rewrite along was changing "A week without you / I should forget / Two weeks without you / And I'm still thinking about the things that you said" into "And I still haven't gotten over you yet," a great line, indeed.
Looking at the lyrics today, however, they're even more substantially different than I initially recall from first hearing the Textones version years ago. Jane's right that they gave the song a more traditional chorus, although the verses -- early version and later -- definitely remain its best part.
Written by Kathy Valentine
I thought a lot of things about you
I stayed awake just thinking 'bout you
But now I'm away
You had to stay
Tomorrow's a day of mine that you won't be in
I tried to say I was just having fun
But I really knew that you were the one
And now that I'm gone
I see I was wrong
I should have known all along that time would tell
A week without you
I should forget
Two weeks without you
And I'm still thinking about the things that you said.
Just another holiday
I hope you love me
Would you think of me?
I think I'll leave without saying goodbye
I think that you know the reason why
What if I was to stay?
Would things turn out some other way?
I'll never know anyway
Riding high on the success of "Beauty and the Beat," the Go-Go's released a live video called "Totally Go-Go's," which was recorded Dec. 4, 1981, at Palos Verdes High School near Los Angeles. Because they only had one album out, the gals were already performing other material at their live shows, and Kathy's "Vacation" was clearly already in the band's repertoire. What I find interesting looking back is that the song isn't quite the Textones version, nor is it the finished product that would be the title track from their sophomore album, but sort of a hybrid of the two. Have a listen:
In the end, though, the finished product was probably the best, even if I questioned whether or not the heroine was missing someone she'd met on a vacation or if she went on vacation to forget someone at home. (Kathy straightened me out -- it's the former!). And I'm not the only one who has been tripped up by this song, remember?
And it goes something like this:
Monday, July 27, 2015
Wishing to keep my "I've never seen a single episode of 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'" title in place, I reluctantly watched the premiere of "I Am Cait," figuring it was a touchstone moment I'd regret missing. My friend Greg kinda took the words out of my mouth (above) -- we're both mom fetishists -- but I did want to add a couple additional thoughts:
--Loved that Caitlyn stole Cybill Shepherd's Vaseline lens for the confessional close-ups.
--Loved Cait's sister who was on it a lot (Pam)
--Loved that Kim Kardashian showed up and immediately said the most shallow thing possible, commenting on her former stepfather's weight.
--Think it's cruelly ironic that 85 percent of gay men already have voices Cait would KILL for!
--Like Greg, thought the mom stuff was the best part of the show, but did not believe her for a minute when she said she was even more proud of Bruce for his bravery coming out as transgender than she was when he won the gold. (I'm sorry, but her eyes did not match the words coming out of her mouth, which sounded every bit as crafted as 75 percent of what Cailyn said about the plight of transgender people everywhere.) That's perfectly understandable, but it was a stark reminder that no matter how "real" you want to think reality shows are -- many think this might be the first "real" one ever -- they're not. I have firsthand knowledge about the making of this program and it's just as staged and fabricated as all the rest of them -- it is, remember, on the E! Entertainment network, which means it needs to entertain you. That said, the impact it will have on the lives of transgender people cannot be underestimated, and for that reason alone I'm a fan.
This just in.
I wrote about my obsession with "Jaws" HERE -- but it's only on the 40th anniversary of the movie's release that I realize how lucky I was to have a cool step-aunt who took me to see it in the theater (I was only 8!). Now I'm reading the iconic image that was used on the cover of the Peter Benchley novel and movie poster has gone missing.
The woman in the picture was a 24-year-old Wilhelmina model Allison Maher. The shoot was one of her first jobs. “I knew it was a book cover and that was it,” says the now-model, now named Allison Stern, who married real-estate developer Leonard Stern and is now a prominent philanthropist, with an area named for her at the Central Park Zoo. She lay across two stools to simulate a swimming motion, and was paid $35. Stern says she didn’t get recognized despite the poster’s ubiquity — including being on a giant billboard in Times Square. “If you know me, you can tell it’s me,” says Stern, who has a copy of the poster signed by Spielberg. “But I think everyone assumed the girl swimming was the girl from the movie.”Read more HERE.
Have been slowly rewatching all of my favorite Woody Allen movies in recent weeks and while I still give the slight edge to "Manhattan" as my all-time favorite, there's no scene where Diane Keaton is more luminescent than this one from last night's rerun, the groundbreaking and still-heartwarming "Annie Hall."