Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Disco Fever

The boogie-down diva in St. Louis bought an old record playing/8 track tape console so I'm on the look out for some Nina Simone records but really, the essential music of the LP era is Disco. Nothing says "1976" like polyester and that funky hustle beat that makes you wanna jump on your girl's rainbow striped tank top and do the freaky deaky until the Colombia gold cocaine runs out. My friend likes to dance and Disco can make anyone a dance hero. And about half the $1 records in any thrift store will be Disco related.

Here, I took a chance on a two volume set of original artists (autographed by Sonny) and a set of Disco covers by Canadian Bands of rock songs from 1977. Those will probably be a mistake. And I threw in a songbook of "Far-Out Flute Solos" because it had some Bacharach songs in easy arrangements. Hidden under there is a piano arrangement of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita because I'm super gay.

Amazingly, while sorting through the old $1 records, I stumbled upon the final piece of my Eighties nostalgia puzzle with a mint condition Xanadu album. (Unplayed, I wonder why?) As you may not know, Xanadu and the thematic concept of a paradise both imaginable yet unreachable, is the underlying force of my novel Memorabilia. Xanadu is featured in a poem by Sam Coleridge.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

Is it just because I'm lonely or does everyone get turned on by the line "But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!"

There's only one thing I think of when I read "deep romantic chasm" or "Pleasure dome"

I would go to right now and satisfy myself but I'm in the library in North Sydney, Nova Scotia. Sigh.

Anyway, my apologies to Coleridge. His intentions were probably never so prurient. So, Xanadu is the brass ring that Oggy tries to reach for in his quest to go back in time to change the outcome of the 1986 World Series. The whole Kubla Khan and magical setting are recreated metaphorically in the Bone Harbour I create with the park by the river when gay men get handjobs and the old stone church where Oggy and Kurt steal money earmarked for an Indian charity and the white fields of winter that cover the green baseball park. Basically, it's an updated version of the poem. I can hear you say, "Oggy, why did you write such a thing? Why did you spend 15 years pondering this puzzle out and inventing a metaphor that no one will ever decipher?" Well, when you are young and full of life you do crazy things... such as write a 700,000 word novel to capture the 1980s decade in the crazed obsessions of one Oggy Bleacher. Needless to say, the book was ahead of its time but can be read here in its unabridged glory.

My point is that Xanadu, the 1980 movie with Olivia Newton John and Gene Kelly's unfortunate last appearance has some pretty catchy tunes and those songs become a kind of unreachable bygone Eden for young Oggy and serve as an inside joke to the whole story. All he wants to do is hear "Xanadu" because that represents his lost youth, the innocence he had before Game 6 of the 1986 World Series taught him the true meaning of heartbreak. And today I stumbled on what has to be one of the few remaining LP records of the soundtrack to that movie in Canada. It's like the wave of 1980 broke and the record washed to the very tip of Nova Scotia but the Cabot Strait was too wide for it to cross and so this is as far as it got. Maybe that's the subject of another novel.

Here is some proper disco songs to make you resent the trashy beats of today. Sometimes good music needs good drugs and early deaths and not skinny chicks like Ke$ha who are packaged like they are druggies but are actually macrobiotic yoga fanatics. Where else but here can you get exposed to Coleridge and Tavares?

P.S. I'm sure the line "When you came, my cup runneth over." refers to wine or something like that.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you met this guy too:

Oggy Bleacher said...

These hacktivists are all young guns. The people I knew were from the protest marches/hunger strikes and banner school of activism. But there were budding cyber terrorists in the woods of Santa Cruz along with the lunatics and junkies.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the "die-in" crowd. Brilliant use of time.

Oggy Bleacher said...

...says the American Idol junkie.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.