Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Monday Music: Keep your business in your pocket cuz that's where it belongs

Memory is like a stenographer with delusions of creativity. It records what happens, but somewhere between the actual recording and the version that gets logged into your mental library, the stenographer starts editing things to make it more bearable, less hurtful, more flattering, less forgettable. Or just more fun. And to hell with what really happened.

Case in point: I have a very clear picture in my head of a bunch of women singing along to Rickie Lee Jones back in the days when my friend Tom lived on Norwood Ave in Newton. I can’t pin the memory down to a particular party, or an actual date. But it’s there nevertheless. I can clearly see Debbie and Sue and Donna and Tom bending over at the waist and swaying their shoulders to Rickie singing “Chicken in the pot, chicken in the pot, chicken in the pot.” And right there with them is Sue’s sister Debbie, and Liz, and Rita, and--here’s where it gets crazy--Cheryl (who never went to one of those parties), and Jewel (who I didn’t meet till I got to New York) and Jan and Tracy and Stacy and Susan, and at various times over the last couple of decades, pretty much every woman I call my friend and every waitress and bartender from every local I’ve ever downed a pint at. Plus Tom's two daughters.

Which is insane. Those daughters weren't born and I didn’t meet half those other women till long after Tom moved out of Newton. None of them were there in real life. But I can see them in the living room.  It's about one in the morning.  Half the people there are smoking Newport 100's.  "Danny's All-Star Joint" comes on the mix tape (mix tapes!) and when the first notes play, everybody starts bopping.  The ones who were there and remember. The ones who weren't there that I remember, that I can see as clearly as if they were, because it's that kind of moment, at that kind of party. 

And you’re there too.

Danny's All-Star Joint

Under the Boardwalk

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