continuing the musical week, we missed the anniversary of the day the music died by three days. On February 3rd 1959
On a cold winter's night a small private plane took off from Clear Lake, Iowa bound for Fargo, N.D. It never made its destination
On the same site is the annotated American Pie with observations like this:
And while Lennon read a book on Marx,
Literally, John Lennon reading about Karl Marx; figuratively, the introduction of radical politics into the music of the Beatles. (Of course, he could be referring to Groucho Marx, but that doesn't seem quite consistent with McLean's overall tone. On the other hand, some of the wordplay in Lennon's lyrics and books is reminiscint of Groucho.)
Sometimes it's best to stick with the literally as who knows where the figuratively will end up?
'Cause fire is the devil's only friend
"Sympathy for the Devil", by the Stones -- seems to fit with some of the surrounding material.
It's possible that this is a reference to the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil". But I doubt it.
An alternative interpretation of the last four lines is that they may refer to Jack Kennedy and his quick decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis; the candlesticks/fire refer to ICBMs and nuclear war.
Comments: pie day
"Peggy Sue" (I think the flip side might have been "Raindrops in my Heart") was the first vinyl I ever bought. The actual first record I bought was a 78 (think it was a 78 ... memory hazy ... you know what they say about the Fifties. "If you can remember them, then you probably weren't a cool-cat, hep daddyo") of J.L.L's "Great Balls of Fire.
The first record (definitely a 78) I owned was one given to me by my primary school teacher, Massenet's "Les Patineurs". (I believe a distant French relative of Mr Humphries alter ego.) Strange lot ... teachers back then. Well if you were stuck out in the sticks at a blue stone single room school that consisted of 17 kids ...
I still have it somewhere, and smart bugger that he was, he was right. "You might only like the "A" side now, but when you grow up I think you'll find you'll like the other side too." (The "A" side was the faster, boppy, disco part of "Les Patineurs". "B" side, slower gentler. See, even back then they flogged records as it has ever been.)
That plane crash is also the first of my "can you remember where you were when the news ... ?" experiences. Was at last no longer one of the lowest on the totem pole. Start of Form 2 beckoned. Fame, fortune and blackboard monitoring.
Now wasn't that all terribly rivetting?
Off now. Got to get organised to go to the Valley. Better get my Massenets on ... "A" side-like.
Posted by Sedgwick at February 6, 2004 04:39 PM
first record I ever bought?
uh oh - will give away my age a bit methinks, but it was 'I think I love you' I think.
(I was very very young ;))
My (much older) boomer bro-in-law (when not a certified beatle-freak) brought round a Buddy Holly record once for a party chez boynton. I think I loved it.
Especially Peggy Sue and Everyday. Of ocurse now in my full-on B-ness, I'm leaning towards "Raindrops in My heart' - and can often B heard singing it (aloud and in my heart) on a sunny day.
Posted by boynton at February 6, 2004 04:55 PM