On a Dark Desert Highway

I guess I am attracted to loooong songs. My favorite song from 1977 is “Hotel California” by The Eagles. It is six minutes and 30 seconds long.
This was the first song that I learned all of the words to. This was not an easy task back in the day. We did not have the internet to look up the lyrics. I had to use my Panasonic tape recorder to record it off of the radio. I had to listen, stop, and rewind over and over, and still got some of them wrong.



One of the lyrics that I had messed up was “smell of colitas”. According to songfacts.com many people have wondered about those lyrics. I looked this up a long time ago and found it is a desert plant. Some believe it is a reference to marijuana.
Many wonder what the meaning of the song is. There are a lot of ideas from various people as to what the song is referring. They include: Satan worship, death, prison, marriage, cancer, addiction, and a mental hospital. I found an interpretation that interested me. It was a comparison to Proverbs 7:6-27 –At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.
8 He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:
14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”
21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life.
24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death..
Don Henley put it this way: “We were all middle-class kids from the Midwest. Hotel California was our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles.” Glenn Frey: “That record explores the under belly of success, the darker side of Paradise, which was sort of what we were experiencing in Los Angeles at that time. So that just sort of became a metaphor for the whole world and for everything you know. And we just decided to make it Hotel California.” I found
This song won the 1977 Grammy for Record Of The Year. The band did not show up to accept the award, as Don Henley did not believe in contests. Timothy B. Schmit had just joined the band, and he says they watched the ceremony on TV while they were rehearsing.

The hotel on the album cover is the Beverly Hills Hotel, known as the Pink Palace. It is often frequented by Hollywood stars.


Besides the length some other things that make “Hotel California” unique are: The introduction is a minute long, you can’t really dance to it, It stops in the middle when the drums stop: “mirrors on the ceiling,” section, and it has a two minute guitar solo at the end.
Picture credits:


Here I go Again

From: Popculturemadness.com

Paul Simon (Grammy for Album of the Year)

Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain and Tennille (Grammy for Record of the Year)

New Artists in the Pop Charts Included:
Boston, Kansas, Bay City Rollers, Nazareth, Eddie Rabbitt, Ted Nugent, Heart, John Travolta, George Benson, Peter Frampton and Thin Lizzie.

There were two surprises I found out about music in 1976. Terry Bradshaw had a song out: “I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry.” (A remake, of course) And, The Heyettes had a song called “The Fonz Song.”
1976-Our country’s bicentennial! I remember decorating my purple flower basket, banana seat Schwinn bicycle with red, white and blue streamers for a parade.
My favorite song from this year is Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”


My first memory of the song comes from a record that I had. It was called Minipops. It came out in 1982, so I was twelve. It was a lot of great pop songs sung by kids. There was an Abba medley which included “Dancing Queen.” I learned a lot of songs from this album. My next-door neighbor (who was like my sister) and I learned all the songs by memory. We each had our part. One was the lead singer, and one was the backup singer. Being three years older, I think I generally took on the lead singer roll. However, Rhonda and I were quite competitive when it came to singing.


I found a website called Minipopkids.com. There were many versions that followed this original one. And, they are still available to buy.
My next major memory of this song comes from 2011. It was March 12 (my youngest daughter’s 7th birthday). We went to see the musical Mamma Mia! It was in Springfield, IL and we went with my BFF, Jane. Jane had seen this musical at least two times before and had drug me to see the film version that came out in 2008. I can’t remember how Joely got interested in this movie, but I know it was on her Christmas list one year, and she got it from her grandma. There is no way to count how many times she has viewed the movie. But, she has all the songs and dialogue memorized.


Party On!


1975: Alice Cooper falls off the stage during a concert in Vancouver, breaking six ribs.
Cher and Gregg Allman are married in a Las Vegas hotel suite.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono become parents of Sean Ono Lennon
Others born that year: Will.i.am, Fergie, Enrique Iglesias
Great bands include: Aerosmith and Wings
Great songs include: “That’s the Way I Like it”, “Slow Ride”, “Do You Know Where You’re Going
And, my favorite song for the year: Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” goes to number one, where it remains for 5 weeks of 1975 and 4 weeks of 1976.


Ironically, the song that knocked this off the #1 chart position in the UK was “Mama Mia” by Abba. The words “Mama mia” are repeated in this in the line “Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go.”
According to songfacts.com: You can make the case that the song title is actually a parody, and a clever one at that. There is a rhapsody by the composer Franz Liszt called “Hungarian Rhapsody,” and “Bohemia” is a kingdom that is near Hungary and was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Furthermore, “Bohemian” is an adjective for something unusual or against convention, and the song is just that.
Of course everyone remembers the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene from Wayne’s World (1992): Inside the Mirth Mobile (Wayne and Garth’s 1976 sky-blue pacer) Wayne and Garth along with friends Alan, intoxicated Phil(“If you’re gonna spew, spew into this.”), and Terry (“I love you, man.”) cruise the streets of Chicago. Wayne pops in the cassette. They lip sync and head bang to the song.


That same year (1992) was my first year of teaching. I was doing a home visit and from one of the houses I heard “Bohemian Rhapsody” being played perfectly on the piano. It was my 11 year old student, Cassie. She was awesome. I always wanted to get a cassette tape of her playing that.
I have been teaching my youngest daughter about classic rock. In the summer of 2011 we were boating on the Lake of the Ozarks. It was starting to get dark and we were on our way back to our resort. We started to see lightning. Joely is not a fan of storms. My way to calm her was singing: “Thunderbolt and lightning very, very frightening.” She now sings along every time it’s on the radio.


Photo credits: http://www.australiannetworkentertainment.com eclectikrelaxation.com