Welcome to a mp3 collection of dance bliss starting with Musique’s 1978 lp – Keep on Jumpin’ is the music of my first summer in Toronto. The lp itself is a disco masterpiece – a suite of songs that flow effortless into each other with amazing production values. Push Push with its cheeky engineering with ‘suck me fuck me’ almost buried in the mix. The radio release edited the naughty bits out. I have the re-release which includes the radio edit version plus other versions of the tracks. This was one original lp that didn’t have filler.
Another killer lps of the era is the soundtrack from Thank God It’s Friday – a double lps (then) that stands up to the other killer soundtrack of the era Saturday Night Fever. The movie is essentially American Graffiti set in a disco. The soundtrack & the movie features Donna Summer, Cameo, The Commodores etc. It features the classic ‘Last Dance’ which won, of all things, the Oscar for best song. Like Fever this a movie set in a disco with zero gay presence on the dance floor.
Another inescapable dance floor hit at that time was Toni Basil’s Mickey: Word of Mouth. Toni is a living legend in the dance world with a career than continues today. She recorded two lps in her brief foray into pop music. Energetic & nicely produced but she was more focused on her career as a choreographer. I was happy to see her turn up both as a judge & a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance.
Austrian pop star Falco had a string of dance floor hits through the 80’s & 90’s starting with Rock Me Amadeus. Here I have his Greatest Hits. Wiki says he remains be best selling Austrian pop star of ‘all-time’ – though I think Mozart outsold him 🙂 Another career ended too early thanks to booze & drugs.
Finally rounding out this mp3 cd compilation is something more contemporary – LMFAO: Party Rock whose dance moves owe everything to Toni Basil, whose cheeky lyrics – I am not a whore – weren’t censored. Like Falco a smart mix of disco & rap – the Commodores funky, danceable with wild costumes. A band that merged old school with an edgy modern sensibility. Great fun.
Everybody ready for that summer love?
I know, too, that I was ashamed to be such a cry-baby. My Dad encouraged me to stand my ground with them. I chose to avoid them as much as possible. I would spend hours in my room with the radio on to hear my favorite songs by the Dave Clarke Five, The Monkees. Listening to them while I read myself into another world where brothers fought spies.
The fateful day of the hex was near the end of summer, a few weeks before school started. It was one of those golden days you saw in commercials. Hazy with sun. I was in my bedroom after lunch & I wanted to go outside to do something in our yard when Donald & a couple of his gang raced across form his place & fell wrestling onto our lawn. I watched them from my window.
They where laughing & throwing each over. Horsing around in that rough & tumble way I never could seem to get used to. One them pulled out a pocket knife & they began to play the Knife Game. You & your opponent stood toe to toe, took turns tossing the knife into the ground to either side. One foot had to reach where the knife stuck. The first to fall lost.
Playing with knives, smoking, low-life no-goods, hoodlums. That’s what they were. They did things I might have liked to do but out of fear didn’t do. Fear makes many of us virtuous.
I tried to read my Tom Swift Jr. book but they made so much noise I couldn’t see the words on the page. By then I had learned just what a ‘fruit’ was but didn’t comprehend what it meant for me to be one. I began to cry. Why not? I was a cry-baby. I wanted to get through that hazy barrier of sun & be one of those rough boys.
When my dad came home I told on them.
“Donald & his gang were in our yard today.” I tattled edging my words with incriminations.
“What did you do?” He asked.
“They were playing with knives.” I went on. “They had smokes too. I saw them in their pockets.”
“And what did you do all day?” He asked. “Besides spy on them & sit around on your ass all day.”
“I …” At that instant I saw he would have preferred Donald to be his son, “At least I don’t smoke.” I had to deflect him, get him as angry with Donald as I was.
He looked at me expressionless & then went to change out of his work clothes.
That night I cast the spell. I had seen some Saturday afternoon movie in which the Three Stooges cast a spell by sticking pins into photos of each other. So I got this photo of Donald. Now I remember, it was one of a bunch my mother had taken of the kids in the neighbourhood. I got long pins from her sewing basket. I pushed them through his ears & eyes while muttering something like ‘Feel the black venom of my poisonous revenge you asshole.’
I hid the picture in the tin box I used to keep my one Boy Scout badge – for Efficiency. I hid the box between the mattresses on my bed.
Over the next week I watched Donald to see what would happen. Nothing ever happened. Because I cursed him I didn’t feel as afraid of him. He & his gang got tired of hounding me. I think they discovered girls were more fun.
So I’m looking at this pinned up photo & realize that my anger toward him then had gone within weeks. I survived my teens. I guess the secret of voodoo is that we survive.