I’m trying to remember where I heard “’65 Love Affair”. I mean it was a pop song, I never listened to AM radio. Then I remembered, back in the early eighties, when MTV broke out, there was a new phenomenon, Top Forty on FM radio. It’s a brilliant shot actually, because the AOR stations are old, the way they are set up, and people are ready for something different, ergo KROQ, ROQ from the 80’s, I’m trying to remember the call letters, and I can’t , but I’m pretty sure the number is 100.3. In the old days, you used to drive and press buttons looking for music, something you wanted to stay, something you didn’t want to push away immediately. Sure, I have tapes in my glove box, but the radio is instant, back then we were all on the same page, you felt plugged in, and now you listen to podcasts and don’t worry about anyone else.
“You sing do wop diddy wop diddy wop doo”
There used to be bullshit lyrics, especially in the early sixties, but even “Boxer” had “lie”, I always thought I just couldn’t understand the lyrics, the single was on the track on the album “Bridge Over Troubled Water” .
Then came the Beach Boys records and…
Before we all turned to FM and album rock, the AM music of the sixties was full of sunshine. Sure, there are some unintentional tracks, but there are also some meaningful ones.
“If I could go back
well i know i’ll never let you go
back with some of my friends
to the wonderful
In fact, those days were not so beautiful. I don’t want to go back, whether it’s with Eddie Money or anyone else. But when I hear a song like “’65 Love Affair,” there are some flashes, some memorable moments. I did have a 65-year relationship with Jill at Camp Laurelwood. I looked her up online decades ago. She recognized it instantly, and she still looked the same. Not that I will connect. That was long before facebook, when everyone came out of the woodwork and became usable, in the late nineties and early 2000s, the internet was still new and not everyone could find it, but I still looking for them all. But never had contact with any of them.
“If I could go back
Well, I know somehow you’re still mine”
In fact, I doubt it. I stole her from Jimmy and she came back to him shortly after the camp closed. But she is part of my history.
Anyway, you know how the record goes, some will infect you, some won’t, we’re always looking for the ones that will, it’s not about expectations, it’s not about what people say, we just know what the Supreme Court justice said , when we hear it, it’s like porn, it’s like that old, and he’s old.
But Paul Davis…isn’t he a smooth guy? Would I really like a Paul Davis record? But then I saw this album in the promotion box, which is one of the advantages of living in LA, I bought it, I would play this song, it always makes me feel good.
“It’s going to be a cool night”
You know, the kind of nights they play tennis in “Goodbye Columbus,” in the summer, maybe late spring, when you might need a light jacket, and if that’s the case, the night is full of possibilities.
So we drove back from Thanksgiving and listened to Yacht Rock Radio on Monica’s SiriusXM. Felice leans towards soft rock, but I like it too. I take issue with some of the choices, I think the term should be pejorative, Steely Dan yacht rock? I do not think so.
However, if you did hear Christopher Cross’ “Sailing,” you’d be surprised how good it sounds today.
Felice is driving and if she doesn’t like something she changes the channel, I see the next song on the readout is “Cool Night” and I immediately say I love this song, both excited and subliminal message don’t change channel.
I realized they don’t cut music like this anymore, and we’ve lost not only the classic rock sound, but also soft rock, and a lot of soft rock is really good, despite a lot of belittling. I know Steve Lukather has a thin skin so a lot of people hate Toto, but I actually turn up the same station every time I hear “99,” and more than that.
Yacht rock was never ghetto, obligatory ballads on hard rock records, legendary examples being Extreme and “More Than This”, these are soft rock artists, this is their work.
Now one thing about soft rock, it never cuts the budget. Making sound smooth takes money and expertise, it’s not a one-and-done business, labor is involved. So soft rock doesn’t have the edge of Nirvana, let alone sixties acts, but it’s a product, a progression from what came before. These bands grew up with the beatles and they know you have to write your own songs so people will believe what you’re singing and you should be able to play too, if it’s a studio mix we’re not interested in, there’s still Some, but don’t confuse that with a soft rock sound, it has a place in the sky and even has its own station in Los Angeles, KNX, 93.1.
Tonight, those words resonated like never before. Nobody came over, certainly not unannounced. And I’m no longer in my twenties or early thirties, those loves that you think might be more important, urged or being urged to come over. That first love feeling, that’s a cool night, that’s soft rock.
“Now summer has come and gone
Those nights seemed so long”
This is a late fall/winter song. The light dims, the mood dims, and you start reminiscing about the past.
“Oh, I won’t talk about the past
Love should last forever”
Wait, it’s a setting.
“And you don’t have to take a stand
make any plans
This is the loot calling song! That’s not how I hear it all the time. Like I wrote above, I always thought it was about the possibility, about the future, but really it’s about the last bout before you part forever, or do it again sometime in the indeterminate future.
So what we’ve got here is desire.
Really, that’s what the song feels like.
It doesn’t matter whether that wish comes true or not, it all depends on how the record affects you. When I listened to “Cool Night” tonight, it set me free, and the layers of frustration, that feeling of oppression by the world, were gone. This is obvious. I started singing along. This brings me to the possibility mentioned earlier, which is the kind of optimism that is hard for people my age to accept, they are going downhill, their lives are stuck in the same place, they are just waiting to die.
Paul Davis died of a heart attack, well before his time. But “Cool Night” is still vibrant, still soothing and inspiring. When it does, it makes you happy and regardless of how other people feel, you are in your own mental bubble and your world can’t go wrong.
“It’s going to be a cool night
let me hug you by the firelight
If it doesn’t feel right, you can go.”
Yes, I am in a good mood. I don’t want you to interfere with my trip. But if you want to join in, make connections, and have fun, you’re welcome. Put aside all your prejudices, your judgments, no one is watching, you may wear leather and studs on the outside, but inside, especially with your darling, by firelight, this music just makes you feel good.
“It’s going to be a cool night…”
PS I checked, it is KIQQ, 100.3.