Friday, June 7, 2013

Favorite Song Friday: Papa Was a Rollin' Stone

The scene: a basement in northwestern Connecticut in the early-to-mid-1980s. A kid puts on a record his big brother's brought home from college.

Boomp boomp. 


Boomp boomp boomp boomp. 



Miles Davis? That's it? It sounds like him...

"It was third of the September...that day I'll always remember—yes, I will."

Sweet Jesu, what is this? This is Motown? This isn't Motown. The kid likes Motown, everyone likes Motown, who doesn't like Motown, Motown's great, but this...this, this doesn't sound like "Stop! In the Name of Love"!

The kid sits, transfixed, until the song's over. The spell's broken when the next track begins, at which point the kid gets up and lifts the needle as fast as he can. He puts the first track on again. And again. And again. He's later surprised to realize the entire afternoon has gone by while he's doing this.

The kid doesn't really know what it was about this that spoke so immediately—I mean, from the first damn seconds—to his lily-white suburban 13-year-old soul more accustomed at the time to Led Zeppelin and the Who, but it did. Twelve minutes, one chord, one breath held the entire damn time.

Boomp boomp. 

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