Thursday, September 18, 2014

Singing With The Pet Shop Boys and Bubba.



So I’m walking downtown and there’s this old building that’s being renovated. I’m nosy as hell about old buildings and I can see clear to the back of it. Yes, let’s walk through and look at the work, shall we?  I pull out the camera and the lightning is bad, but there is some old brickwork here… Yes, indeed we shall. Someone, once, long ago, took a great deal of trouble to turn a pile of bricks into something that looked beautiful. There’s no way in hell this kind of work is done today. No one puts that sort of effort into architecture. And it is very sad. The floors are these really long and wide pieces of wood, original or close enough to it, and there’s a sense that right here in this building, someone was proud of what they did for a living.

So off to one side they’re subdividing the building so there can be a small shop or a large room and I hear this song playing.


And then I hear this terrible sound. It’s like someone is trying to squeeze a rat out of toothpaste tube. I know this song. It’s an old one, but... anyway. Okay, if you can, hang with this song until about 3:33 and the guy singing high in the back? Got it? Now, right there in front of me, is this huge ass bubba looking dude, cap turned backwards, tool belt wrapped around a fifty inch waist, and he’s not lip synching, this dude is trying to sing the high part, OUT LOUD  this guy sounds like PeeWee Herman being raped by a pack of balloon animals on meth, he’s got as much rhythm as frozen straw, one hand held up and his belt not keeping time and his face is all scrunched up like he’s two seconds away from death or orgasm, and I have my camera in my hand.

I step back behind the wall and flip the camera to video. Right as I’m about to slip the camera into the doorway and reel off about ten second and run, the guy stops, backs the CD up and plays these lyrics again, and I remember,

We don't have to fall apart, we don't have to fight
We don't need to go to hell and back every night

Then he starts the song over again and starts singing it all the way through. He gets to those lyrics again and suddenly, as terrible as the man sounds, I just can’t.

A very long time ago, I sent those lyrics to a woman.

We don't have to fall apart, we don't have to fight
We don't need to go to hell and back every night.


I remember the day, the very instant that I sent those lyrics to her, and not because I really loved the song, but because she and I were sitting outside a restaurant one day, and that song came on the radio, and she asked me who it was, and because I know even obscure music I told her it was “The Pet Shop Boys” and then I told her I didn’t understand the lyrics. She looked them up later and sent them to me.

We don't have to fall apart, we don't have to fight
We don't need to go to hell and back every night.

I put the camera away and right in the middle of the song, and very quietly left the man to whatever it is that was driving him.

We don't have to fall apart, we don't have to fight
We don't need to go to hell and back every night.

Take Care,
Mike

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