Last night the family went out for post-dinner ice cream at the local Culver’s. We sat outside, since in the shade it was quite pleasant. However, we could still hear the background music, probably more clearly than the lucky folks packed inside. And so, ladies and gentlemen, I give you, in order, the music from Hell’s Waiting Room*:
Ever Changing Times by Michael McDonald & Aretha Franklin
You Light Up My Life by Debbie Boone**
Morning Train by Sheena Easton
When You Love Someone by Bryan Adams
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins
I felt the most sympathy for the young man in the Motorhead t-shirt; he might actually need therapy. True metalheads can only survive a few seconds of exposure to The Gambler. Luckily it’s July, and ice cream melts quickly, so I think he left before the song reached toxic levels. I hope we did, too.
* As designated by my brilliant wife, the Mater Familias.
** Unless you lived through it, you can’t imagine how ubiquitous and omnipresent this song was. In 1977 it dominated the radio. Your parents loved it, your Sunday School teacher approved of it, Ms. Boone (daughter of white-bread born-again rocker Pat) performed it on each of the many TV variety shows, and it was just plain inescapable. Not even Meco’s discofied version of the Star Wars theme could overpower it. It spent ten weeks at number one on the Billboard chart. Fortunately Ms. Boone also won the Best New Artist Grammy Award, often the kiss of career death (i.e., Starland Vocal Band, Christopher Cross, A Taste of Honey, Jody Watley, Mark Cohn, Paula Cole, and most recently, Amy Winehouse), and thus disappeared from the national scene.