Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I was driving back across the Williamette today and Bachmann-Turner Overdrive came on the radio.

Has there ever been a better name for a band?

No. Period.

Anyway tonight I am looking them up on YouTube, and it reminds me of the week my cousin Krys and I spent in the farmhouse on my grandpap's (remote) farm, just the two us, teenagers, cooking for ourselves for the first time, sleeping on the dilapidated mattresses of this dusty, falling-apart building that we half-thought was haunted, gathering eggs from the chicken-coop in the morning, putting up with our grandpap coming up and looking in on us twice a day.

We would put a blanket out in the yard, uncut and weedy, and turn the radio -- this was slightly before decent portable stereos -- up loud and think we were cool. Mostly it played Radar Love (a song I sometimes think should be the USA national anthem, and someday I am going to prove a 1-to-1 relationship with Francis Scott Key's version), and, of course, BTO:

This was rock that, dammit, got things done. None of this Dandy Warhols shit, or the fucking Decemberists, or even Green Day, wherever the hell they are tonight.

Yes, their rainbow is stupid, their hair is stupid, and their drummer wears glasses. They're Canadian -- did you know that? Today, they look like a bunch of linebackers ready to take your damn head off, at least to the degree a bunch of Canadians outside hockey gear can look:

But I haven't heard many songs since that are this good.

A few, sure. But not a lot.

I don't think my grandpap really trusted my cousin and I up in his farmhouse.


A few weeks after Simon and Garfunkel had their first major hit -- "Hey Schoolgirl" -- they were spending a summer's Saturday night in one of their's car parked along some leaf-covered street in Queens, I think, listening to the radio, talking, hanging out, and their hit song came on.

One of them looked to the other and said, "I bet those guys are having the time of their life right now."


Anonymous said...

IIRC that episode relates (even more poignantly) to when "Sounds of Silence" had just hit #1.

MT said...

There's a kernel of truth to what you say, I'll grant you that. Of course, the Guess Who were already kicking butt fairly squarely before them.