There are some songs that if heard in the right situation might push you to the brink of something horrid. Some of these situations are real, some are fiction.
“Rain” by Blind Melon, through the ceiling of a Married Student Housing apartment while you’re bidding for ’70s cereal boxes on eBay against a guy named Ratbrain.
“Mandy” Barry Manilow. Going over the Rip Van Winkle Bridge after pilates.
“Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton when you’re five years old in bed watching Buck Rogers in the 25th Century realizing you’re getting your first boner thanks to Erin Gray in that tight-white body suit.
The Home Depot Trifecta:
“Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Richie, “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again” by Peabo Bryson and “Caribbean Queen” by Billy Ocean heard from roughly 2:20 a.m. to about 2:34 Sunday morning while waiting for my new gas grill to get put together.
1) “Every Rose Has it’s Thorn” (Poison), sung by Green Bay Packers’ old QB Don Majkowski (early ’90s) on national TV before a game against the Chicago Bears. I cried like a fucking baby when I saw that. Missed the rest of the season.
2) “The Rose” by Bette Midler. Heard while getting your 400th perm in the last 10 years at a Des Moines hair salon.
3) “Desperado (live)” re-released by the Eagles. When you are the only guy left in a Wisconsin bar at 2:00am on a Tuesday in late January.
1) “Goin’ Mobile” at The Who laser show. (Boston science museum)
2) “Wayward Son” by Kansas on the last day of tennis camp. (Gustavus Adolphus College 1987)
1) “Ring of Fire” (social distortion’s version?) 5 times in one night at any given East Village dive bar.
2) “Hey, Mickey” by Toni Basil when you have a hangover.
1) “Who is Johnny (from the movie ‘Short Circuit’)” by El deBarge/Muzak version at a thrift store in Austin, TX
2) “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel on a rainy afternoon in a yarn store in Portland, Ore.
3) “Dreamweaver” by Gary Wright, in a truck stop outside El Paso, TX
As you hover above your body at your own wake, your best friend announces that this song really defined you, and cues up “Mississippi Squirrel Revival” by Ray Stevens. Everyone nods in agreement. They will all pay. It’s hauntin’ time.
1) “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears at Shoney’s, any weekday morning. Or their song “Shout,” while waiting to talk to your junior high guidance counselor about someone picking on you too much.
2) “If” by Bread, at the dentist’s office waiting room.
3) “Theme Song from Taxi” at Pizza Hut.
4) “By the Time This Night is Over,” by Peabo Bryson and Kenny G. I heard this in a tent at a craft fair in Fond du Lac in 1993. It poisoned me.
5) Seeing my high school psychology teacher try to get some tail at the town jock bar while singing “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” by Jimmy Buffet at bar close. He was singing like Buffet’s lyrics had opened up a whole new realm for him.
1) ” Send in the Clowns ” by Judy Collins or Muzak, in the gift shop of a NM Indian Reservation.
2) “Ventura Highway” by America, at the Food Lion
3) ELO’s “Strange Magic” while in line to buy caulk at Lowe’s in order to patch the hole you punched in the wall.
Billy Joel’s “Vienna” piped into an examination room while a doctor you found on an HMO list and called randomly gently kneads your balls because you’ve convinced yourself you have testicular cancer but the doctor says, “I’m sorry, I don’t feel anything.”
1) U2’s “Pride- in the name of love” in a TV profile of an olympic athlete.
2) Opening organ notes of Smashmouth’s “walking on the sun” in same.
3) A Hootie and the Blowfish song that my stepbrother played for me in 1995 when I told him I’d never heard a Hootie song before. He really lost his mind when I told him that. He just didn’t believe me but it was true.
4) “Love and Marriage” by Frank Sinatra in the opening credits of “married with children” reruns.
1) “Words Get in the Way” by Gloria Estefan at Key Food on Avenue A.
2) “Waterfall” by the Stone Roses at the Boiler Room at 3am.
4) “Thanks for Christmas” by XTC at the Toys R Us in Buffalo.
4) “These Dreams” by Heart. I got stoned (for the second time in my life) and watched two friends break-up.
“Lady in Red” -by Chris deBurgh, regardless of the circumstances.
Tony Mogelson :
1) “Radar Love” by Golden Earring while getting spanked. By either lover or parent.
2) “Africa” by Toto overheard from someone’s headphones while taking a timed math test.
3) “Nights In White Satin” by Moody Blues at Circus Pizza.
4) “Long December” by Counting Crows while taking a shower at 1:00 am on a Tuesday night, mid-January, 1997.
5) “Bennie & The Jets” by Elton John while ordering popcorn shrimp at TGI Fridays, with co-workers and boss.
6) “Leather & Lace” by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley while drinking Diet Dr. Pepper in a parked car on a weekday.
7) “Scarborough Fair” by Simon & Garfunkel or Muzak, in a food court.
Tiffany St. Vincent:
“Don’t forget me when I’m gone,” by Glass Tiger, while waiting in a 30 minute line at the bank.
“Unlce Albert” by Wings when, having just hitched a ride to Brattleborough, you slam the door shut and realize the woman who picked you up is in fact a man and not wearing pants.
“Where it’s at” by Beck. Hearing it in a coffee shop or a mall food court fills me with despair.
1) “Nights in White Satin,” by the Moody Blues. When I found out the title was not actually “Knights in White Satin.” Different meaning entirely.
(This is news to me and very disturbing. -Ed)
2) “Break of Day” by Will Oldham.
3) “Whiter Shade of Pale,” by Procol Harum, seeing a wedding party dance to it.
1) “One Toke Over the Line” by Brewer & Shipley while driving home from the night shift at Poppin’ Fresh Pies
2) “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band while sitting in the Squirrel Cage, a Lisle, Illinois, bar on Route 53, at one in the morning
3) “Wildfire” by Michael Martin Murphy, while sitting in rush hour traffic
4) “Jack and Diane” by John Cougar Mellencamp while coming off of an E train at 1 a.m. at Ray’s Pizza on 11th Street New York City, when every other fuckhead in the place is singing along.
1) “Broken Wings” by Mister Mister while buying a roll-y suitcase at Kohl’s Discount Department Store, Eagan, MN
2) Charlie’s Angels Theme Song [Independent Women, Part 1] by Destiny’s Child at Old Country Buffet, Bangor, ME
3)”Borderline” by Madonna-Muzak version, while on hold with Apple’s customer service.
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