I love movie soundtracks. I can’t count the number in my collection going as far back as (re-released) Busby Berkley numbers. Who can forget the shower of strings from Psycho? Though as soundtracks became more popular & the use of music in movies often so omnipresent one either stops listening or becomes distracted & longs for silence as opposed to a song that tells us what to feel because the script has failed to do so.
Often the only good thing about a movie is the soundtrack. 54 is one of those soundtracks. I have both volumes as stand alones – bought 2nd hand. The film is about the halcyon days of Studio 54 – the premiere legendary disco back in the day. I remember seeing photos of the celebs there, photos of the sweaty barely dressed waiters & go-go boys, photos of the dance floor crammed with gay men shirtless, some doing fan dances. I sure wanted to be there though I knew I’d never be let in – I didn’t have the abs or the money to fit in.
The film flopped despite a great performance by Mike Meyers. Like Studio 54 the script lacked emotional connections & relied on music & glitter & pretty people to make it work. The music is sensational. Some of it is also the soundtrack to my early years in Toronto. Songs that would keep me sweating not he dance floor – spinning around in my own world. Check out Oogie Inferno – a piece about those days.
I didn’t know many people who get washed over by a wave of almost tearful nostalgia when they hear songs like Dance Dance Dance by Chic, Don’t leave Me This Way by Thelma Huston or Grace Jones’s I Need A Man. I such such clear memories of dancing to these. Time for me to Fly, Robin, Fly.
‘Ah slow down boy. Yer ain’t no preacher, Preacher Boy.’
John glared at the scruffy man who had addressed him. The Bible in John’s hand gave him more strength than he felt.
‘Don’t take no preacher to know what the good book says.’
‘Yeah. Look boy,’ the man pushed his grimy face closer to John’s. ‘No book gonna keep me from ripping your guts out if ya don’t keep yer mouth closed. You unnersan that.’
The man grabbed the Bible from John and tossed it to the ground. ‘We got one God out here and that’s the sky above us. It rains we get wet, it suns and we get dry. Pretty simple. Unless you got a book that’ll tell us when it’ll rain or sun?’
John was at a loss for words. As he stooped to pick up his book he felt a twinge in his left hip where he had been mauled by some animal. These men had found him. Men he thought were a God send but now he wasn’t sure if there weren’t of the Devil himself.
‘Good thing we had that rain when we did or there’d be none to drink.’
John looked around at the four men. Pete was dark, maybe Mexican, and was sometimes called Pedro Pete. Small but stronger than the others. Missing teeth made his crooked smile a joke to the other men.
‘Give us yer fence posts Pete maybe they’ll hold some cattle for us.’ Clyde would say.
Clyde was the one who didn’t brook no book learning. He didn’t want no one telling him anything especially some Preacher Boy. He gave that name to John when he found the Bible in John’s belongings.
Frank was the oldest of them John figured but didn’t have much to say. Just watched and kept them moving along the trail. They hoped to find gold somewhere but didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to do anything.
Grint was the last of them. A plotter. When they had thought John was dead that first time they stumbled across him John had heard Grint going through his belongs, dividing them up between the four of them. It was Frank that had checked to see if the body was still warm. The body – his body – was warm.
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