Wherever music takes me, I always have my guitar
There’s an acoustic guitar in the backseat of my car right now.
I keep planning to take it out, play some old songs and learn new ones, but day after day, it remains.
Part of it is a safeguard.
If I ever get a flat tire or my vehicle flatout breaks down, I’m pretty much incapable of helping myself.
Call for roadside assistance, and wait.
And then, my six string will be there to keep me company.
Yes, I know that’s a little weird.
But then, music causes me to do lots of weird things.
Recently, I decided to go through my entire iTunes playlist alphabetically by artist while exercising at the gym.
That way, I could counter my ever-present desire to avoid physical activity with a little melodic temptation.
“I don’t feel like working out, but I am looking forward to hearing some Billy Joe Shaver today!”
So far, it’s worked.
But there’s a problem.
I tend to get into some of the songs.
Really into them.
And it’s not even the songs one would think.
I listened to ACDC, Bob Dylan and Bob Seger and rocked along.
But then, out of nowhere, came a song I’d forgot I had.
It was “Waiting for a Star to Fall” by Boy Meets Girl.
The song, released in 1988, was a staple on light rock radio, which my parents enjoyed at the time.
I enjoyed it, too, but these days chalk that up to being in second grade. Back then, the cartoon “Duck Tales” felt like hard hitting drama.
Most of my downloads are classic rock. But every once in a while, I’m reminded that my appreciation for 80s pop and general nostalgia are not mutually exclusive.
Boy Meets Girl was a duo, consisting of George Merrill and Shannon Rubicom. Before finding their hit in 1988, the then-married couple was known as prolific songwriters. They penned two big hits for the late Whitney Houston: “How Will I Know?” and “I Want to Dance With Somebody.”
Huge hits. They also sang backup on Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear it for the Boy.”
“Waiting for a Star to Fall” is a nice pop song. It also was successful, reaching No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts in ’88. There’s even a demo out there done by Belinda Carlisle (In preparation for this column, I found it on YouTube. If there’s a a definition for “disinterested vocal,” the former Go Go nailed it).
But even though it’s a catchy track, I didn’t expect to react the way I did when it came on my headphones.
When I get into a song at the gym, I lip sync — sometimes even whisper — the lyric.
Maybe it was that I was in the mood for pop after two weeks of classic rock.
Maybe the track just hit me at the right time.
Or, maybe, I like the song more than I care to admit.
All I know is that, suddenly, I started whispering the lyrics.
Maybe more than whispering.
The gentleman on the treadmill next to me stopped and shot me a confused look.
I was practically cardio-performing.
Had to take it down a notch.
The point? Music can sometimes catch you, move you, and make you feel it.
Even when you aren’t expecting it.
Now I’m gonna take the guitar out and learn the chords for “Waiting for a Star to Fall.”
Gotta be ready for the next car mishap.