Saturday, August 29, 2009

Purpose Driven 8-track

I don't listen to the radio anymore. Not for music anyway. Listening to music on the radio has almost become a thing of the past. It's all talk now. Back in the days it was all we had--radio and eight track tapes. The eight track tape system was about a POS, wadinit?. But it gave us our favorite tunes easily dispensed through the newest technology of---hell, I don't even think Sony had come out with anything yet. I had a case the size of a large toolbox filled with the bulky plastic things. I had a Craig tape player, with Jenson Triaxials mounted in boxes with a bunch of power boosting Foghat, Bad Company and REO Speedwagon out the windows of...whatever car that was equipped at the time.

It was 1978 or 1979 and things were not all that pretty. What I remember the most is what we were wearing. John Travolta saved his image with Pulp Fiction after two violent wrong doings in the style arena. Saturday Night Fever anyone? WTF? How many of you had plaid bell bottom pants with cuffs and polyester shirts unbuttoned below your chest? (insert Grandmaster Geezer here)

Men were getting permanents for chrisake! I should have framed my platform shoes in a shadowbox to remind myself to jump off a cliff if they ever come back in style. A buddy of mine said he saw a pair of shoes like the ones I had in a not-so-acceptable video at a swap meet the other day. I used to wear them to church. That is just wrong.

Travolta revolted us in Urban Cowboy directly following up the Bee Gee era; his ability to change popular culture. Again, who would have ever thought we would all ride a mechanical bull at least once in our lives? I rode those things weekly and life was not complete until I had a collection of cowboy hats. One for summer, a shitkicken straw hat with a big feather thing on the front, (this was for the Lynard Skynard hooping and hollarin style), lots of denim, these were fighting times. I got punched in the face a couple times wearing that hat. I had a 10X Beaver hat too, pretty as a new suit, for the winter and the girls. It cost about a hundred bucks in 70's money. I had a spray for it too, for the rain. I didn't want to tell anyone how much I spent on it. I also had a pin made that had my name on it. Hat pins for beaver cowboy hats were the shi-at back then.

I also blame Bert Reynolds for some of this. Smoky and The Bandit (1) provided me with reason to purchase a Pontiac Trans AM. Friend and fast car enthusiast John Manning one-uped me constantly with his nice car savvy, so when Bandit came out, I jumped at the chance to buy one of those turbo models. I paraded that car all over California, Texas and everywhere else I went while trying to make my way. After moving back to St. Louis in 1986 my baby got stolen by one of my dishwashers from a parking lot at Union Station Houlihans, where I worked. It was the end of an era. Little did I know that, 25 years later, the landing spot for my pristine memento of the late seventies would end up being where my daughter would attend college. What was formerly the Mid-Town housing projects of the 70's and 80's is now home to what St. Louis University has annexed. After a brief chase with the police, my car, in an eerie attempt to predict the future, shut one door and opened another. "Slow Ride" anyone?


Paul said...

They were not plaid, doofus!I bet you didn't have any 8 tracks Bob Kuban.

Ralph Pfremmer said...

I was still in diapers when the cheater made the charts.