My previous posts have expressed of my long-time aspiration to draft a romantic saga and I’m kind of banking on the pleasure I’d gain during the process. Penning fervent briefer tales (just for the heck of it) seems easier, though, and more fun; maybe it’s a project for me worth undertaking in the future.
Expounding on the technicalities of the carnal acts would be interesting and challenging for sure. How else would I be able to grow paragraphs from lines I came up with such as this:
At first their kisses had been tender, then they turned hard and fierce, but what surprised her was how he trembled when the moment began erasing limits that could prevent them from exploring one another.
Or this one:
…her soft but intense moans have stirred him to violate her further with his punishing tongue; the lust of the dark night later succumbing to their terrifying acts of love.
My favorite tagalog films I can count using my one hand; four of them belonging to the romance genre. The one I liked the most was derived admittedly from “Wuthering Heights” – and with that I contend in complete candor and minus any intention to appear smug this single fact: we make amorous movies better than the westerners. (please calm down….) Why, you demandingly ask? Because the focus of the narrative is constantly on the lovers — we tend to eliminate what’s unnecessary — so the plot gets embellished by the magnitude of the couple’s affection for each other.
Going back to that well-crafted favored flick of mine, watching it preceded my reading the book, which made Emily Bronte’s masterpiece, initially to my opinion, convoluted, dry, undemonstrative and queer. 🙂
My second favorite was inspired by Harold Robbins’ “79 Park Avenue”, a novel I had read and enjoyed immensely in high school; my third unforgettable film titled “Karma” was probably an original that told of an enduring devotion between two souls, spanning different generations through –hold your breath– reincarnation. Either the man or the woman would die due to murder committed by a third party yet both would cross another time to find and love each other again.
Our race has been known for indulging in the shindigs of feelings and emotions (I can say the same for Indians and Koreans if you ever have seen their lovey-dovey productions). It explains why crimes of passion aren’t extraordinary occurrences here. A filipino romantic film grabs you by the neck from across a tempestuous scene or is right through laced of twists and turns. Frankly, we find western movies on love somewhat lacking, not to mention a little flat and laid-back (sorry…). American love stories are “underdone” rather than “overdone”, a former blogpal had put succinctly. I remember my excitement prior to watching the high-grossing “Love Story” and thinking afterwards “That’s it? How boh-ring!” Although I was delighted in recognizing “The Notebook” and “The Thorn Birds” came close to our standards of an ardent flick.
Unfortunately, we go overboard with the hysterics, especially in recent times, and it rationalizes my current apathy for Philippine movies. They aren’t the way they used to be. Too much crying and yelling – I’ve no idea why. All I know is getting a load of such cinematic frenzy even as a form of diversion won’t be good for my essence.
Anyway, if my fiction writing plan ever turns into fruition, plenty of scenarios will inevitably spring from my own experiences. We’ll see.
Once in a while, I rehash some of my selected blog pieces here for diversion, wanting to know, as a bonus, whether there has been an improvement in my, ahem, writing prowess. Music continues to be the major force that has been jazzing up my run-of-the-mill existence for decades. The post about my kind of music to boot remains to be my most favorite of them all [original post – 2012 version] and updating it recently has been a gratifying undertaking for me.
Genuine talent in music, in my opinion, is the best gift the gods of heavens could bestow upon someone. Competence in painting, acting, writing, and all the other arts can be cultivated and refined, through diligence and determination; but being a natural in the field of music? It’s either you have it or you don’t. Beautiful melody blending with the right words; what can beat that?
My taste in music is obviously mainstream. The songs I came to like were the products of an epoch that saw me glued to the radio in the 80s and 90s. Eclectic genres I have enjoyed: ballad, mellow, rock, disco, soul,…except for country and jazz (Haven’t developed a total liking for jazz yet, though I’d love to). I believe the sonic of pop music was in its heights in the 70s and 80s. A few songs from the 60s have been unforgettable, too, such as those from The Beatles ”Ticket To Ride“, “In My Life” and Burt Bacharach ”Do You Know The Way To San Jose“, “I Say A Little Prayer“. But the emergence of synthesizers, harmonizers at the beginning of the 1970s was the turnaround that dramatically heralded the new sound of music and paved the way for the optimization of our listening pleasure.
“Watch out here I come!” (clap clap clap) Remember that spoken line commencing Dead Or Alive’s best-known hit You Spin Me Round? Its lead singer was also a spin-off from Boy George’s flamboyant community, in case you don’t know.
You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby right round round round.
Stay with me and don’t feel dizzy, ok? 🙂
Then there’s the mid-part of Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears I remember chanting with a couple of friends while hanging out in my early 20s:
Something happens that I’m head over heels. I never found out, till I’m head over heels. Oh don’t take my heart, don’t break my heart, don’t…don’t throw it away.
Its MTV proved quixotic for me because it showed Roland Orzabal, leader of TFF, in romantic pursuit of a… (surprise!) librarian who sported wide spectacles while at work inside a library. FYI, to become a librarian was one of my secret dreams in my early teens.
The era had also seen me tripping the light fantastic to several dance beats; everybody in my family loved dancing. One track I loved in particular was The Look of Love by ABC which I initially thought had been belted out by a black artist. Yet ABC was actually a British band who performed in their MTVs and concerts wearing (to my delight) snazzy colorful tuxedos.
When the world is full of strange arrangements
And gravity won’t pull you through
You know you’re missing out on something
Well that something depends on you.
When your girl has left you out on the pavement (Goodbye)
Then your dreams fall apart at the seams
Your reason for living’s your reason for leaving
Don’t ask me, what it means.
Years much earlier in my childhood; my brother, sister and I had become the designated purveyors of entertainment during family gatherings and parties thrown by our relatives. I was, however, an extremely bashful kid. Take as an example: Whenever our Jackson 5 dance number reached the middle portion, my brother would take the lead and start executing The Robot – to be subsequently followed by my elder sis and (supposedly) me. But I…I would freeze for two frightful seconds, as the nearest empty chair would begin activating its magnetic pull on my butt. In the blink of an eye, the audience would find me already sitting down. They’d coax me into rejoining the performance by saying, “C’mon, you can do those moves, too.” But I’d smile and just shake my head from side to side. Didn’t they know not even Darth Vader’s Darkest Force could have lifted me off my seat and made me do The Robot?
Anyway, we always have a good laugh these days whenever the three of us reminisce on our Burn Baby Burn Disco Inferno phase.
Many songs from the 1970s & 80s are still being played here they’ve become hailed as pop classics. I haven’t grown tired yet listening to REO Speedwagon’s Keep on Loving You.
And I meant every word I said
When I said that I love you
I meant that I’ll love you forever…
And there’s this personal anthem of mine: Here I Go Again by Whitesnake. (The MTV featured the lead singer’s sizzling model girlfriend at the time – who also appeared in the band’s steamy video Is This Love.)
Well I don’t know where I’m going
But I sure know where I’ve been
Hanging on the promises in the songs of yesterday
And I’ve made up my mind
I am wasting no more time
And yeah, I guess I should not be ashamed to admit I like many a songs from The Carpenters, Bread, Madonna, and Tom Jones. 🙂
Rupert Holmes was a big name in my country for ages because his melodies and lyrics appealed to our taste, e.g. Terminal. His favourite theme had been infidelity; a subject that’s hardly my cup of tea – although I get tickled pink by his hit Him.
I don’t want to own her
But I can’t let her have it both ways
Three is one too many of us
She lives with me or stays with him…
What’s she gonna do about him
Time for me to make the girl see
It’s me or it’s him
I’ll leave you with the opening verse to one of my all-time favourite songs: A slow love ballad from my most favourite male vocalist – Paul Davis. I won’t reveal its title by reason of its sentimental value to me in my younger years, but the song reportedly crawled and lingered in the Billboard charts for an incredible 40 weeks. Cool.
“There are too many windows in this old hotel, and rooms filled with reckless pride
And the walls have grown sturdy and the halls have worn well
But there is nobody living inside…”
P.S. As promised, this post is dearly dedicated to PTFT, the youngest blog buddy I’ve ever had. He’s been through so much these past few months and I didn’t even know. I had conjectured a guy in his 20s had been simply living his life to the max. Pardon me for my mistaken assumption, my friend. Do hold on.
I love action films. And why not? They usually aren’t boring. Yes they tend to exaggerate scenes and special effects for their entertainment value, but most of us watch movies for pure indulgence and for the escapist fluff anyway. Don’t we wish at times to be able to get as far away from our mundane realities, even for a mere couple of hours? I am one of the gratefuls for the adrenaline rush action films provide. They enthrall me for sure. Albeit thumbs-up signal from me for a slam-bang movie would come easier if there were lesser bloodshed and fewer number of fatalities.
The movie currently making a killing at the box office is “Skyfall”, which also celebrates James Bond’s Golden Anniversary on the Big screen. After reading rave reviews from the critics a month ago, I got excited and headed to the theatres as soon as the film opened here. They were right. The movie wasn’t disappointing. [Neither is Mr. Craig’s, uhrm, Body. That’s right – with a capital B, baby.] Not disappointing at all.
My fellowmen here have always been in awe of this suave British hero. Since childhood, I’ve witnessed long lines in movie theaters whenever a James Bond movie gets shown. The long lines have gotten shorter in recent years, though, as Agent 007 has started to compete for moviegoers’ attention with the likes of Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, Sherlock Holmes, and even Austin Powers.
Back to Daniel Craig’s arresting physique, Oops, I mean, performance. Admittedly, he isn’t my favorite version of the most famous British spy. The man may look tough and square enough, ready to save the world from total upheaval, but I think he comes up short in height. Just like Pierce Brosnan is a little too lean. I like my James Bond tall, well-built, strong and very manly-looking. James Bond after all is supposed to be perfect, isn’t he?
My most favorite portrayal remains to be that of Sean Connery. The perfect aura he undeniably has got. He earned the nod from the creator himself, Ian Fleming; which could only mean the Original one must have been the real embodiment of the character in the author’s mind. Besides, I remember watching an impressive scene or two among Connery’s series displaying his familiar ways in charming the ladies with total ease. I am convinced.
Timothy Dalton might have been too serious, but I think he, too, did justice to the role, and I really liked him as an actor. Pierce Brosnan remains quite handsome up to this day – no doubt about it – although I wish he never got to play James Bond. He could have stayed more potent as TV’s Remington Steele forever. George Lazenby had only a single chance to be the superagent so I thought then perhaps he wasn’t effective. That was before I watched “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” I was surprised to see he was actually good in it – which resulted in the movie becoming one of my all-time favorite Bond films. Roger Moore is fine, of course. Fine as in Nice.
Both the character and the movie have gotten a bit more realistic and lifelike in recent years. Gone are the space mission plots, exploding pens, cars that can turn into mini-submarines, apparatus attached to Bond that could make him fly like Robocop, etc. I kind of miss them all now.
In “Skyfall”, some switches have taken place. It’s the end of the road for Judi Dench as “M”, that led to Ralph Fiennes taking her place as Bond’s new Superior. For that, it makes me more thrilled to look forward to the next installments of the franchise. Let’s face it. Fiennes looks hotter than Dench. The old lady really needed to retire. Another surprising delight is the new “Q” who looks like a nineteen-year-old darling nerd with lean baby-faced features. Also, Eve Moneypenney is now a pretty African American young lady who used to be Bond’s on-the-field sidekick.
Javier Bardem turns out to be one compelling actor. I used to wonder what Penelope Cruz (they got married and now have a baby) saw in the guy. Well, at least in “Skyfall”, I find the talented actor credible as Bond’s gay but powerful nemesis. The silhoutte-like physical fight scene between JB and a bad guy using neon lights of a tall building was also a delight to watch.
Sam Mendes, the director, certainly deserves the accolades.
Just gotta say one more thing. I also deem entertaining in these films the scenes when James Bond (and other action heroes for that matter) finds himself about to take his last breath in a dire circumstance; then voila, he suddenly pulls out of thin air the most brilliant solution to save or rescue himself. Fascinating. So the joke has long come around how James Bond and all those other super human guys got to have more than nine lives.
Speaking of which, when are they going to come up with a female James Bond? It’s about time. If Hollywood is on the lookout, somebody can inform the Broccoli clan I am very much available. Ehem.
I simply hope they won’t find out I’m a little short in height.
Two weeks ago while I was casually browsing on the internet, I chanced upon an interesting exchange of perspectives among certified writers taking place on FB as they touched on the subject of passion in prose. Initially, the conversation was set in motion by a lady writer who had just finished watching “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” based on the period novel by John Fowles that tells of a story of passionate love verging on fragile intensity and more than negligible risk. Sarah, the main character is a “fallen” woman who’s unfit for love, yet this French lieutenant guy blindly falls for her. So the questions that pervaded principally in the discussion were: Are dysfunction and hindrances elemental in generating powerful feelings in romantic fiction? Must the strength of passion be tested through the battle against the barrier? And is there really such a thrill in the forbidden-ness of consummated sex? When we live in a world devoid of forbidden stuff like we do now, we try to find what’s missing in our lives through literature and similar other forms of escapism. It could be true then that a substantial impediment is crucial for passion to last or even exist, and the struggle to overcome that barrier is elemental to the success of a love story told through the pages. Hearts must be ready to bleed. That much can be true for the majority of hopeless romantics of this world.
Well, the FB sort-of debate flowed and took some twists and turns until it touched on a colossal issue of the modern writer’s dilemma. Each writer then began sharing his/her valuable insight in what they deliberated to be the contrast between romantic literature of the past and romantic literature of the present. There’s this growing but discomforting recognition that readers of today swoon for passion represented by the likes of “Twilight,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” and “The Notebook” despite their obvious flaws. Ruffled by the fact that it just might go on to become the wave of the future, prospects for quality serious prose look dismal considering present literature continues to be awash with vampire love triangles, ridiculous plotlines, absurd settings and sundry other pieces of cheesy romantic narrative. Romance fiction in the tradition of “Wuthering Heights” and “Pride & Prejudice” doesn’t seem to carry weight as it used to. Today’s genre of prose has dishearteningly upended the traditional classics in the book market. A concern these writers share is that they may also have to kowtow to the demands of the market trend somehow and do away with their desire for original creativity in their written art.
Is “bad fiction” really here to stay? As the same flamboyance in cinema-making surges ahead, we may be resigned to the reality of the bastion of banality which ultimately blights on the integrity of “high literature” and so-called certified writers. The FB conversation went on to belabor on the writers’ objection to this moneymaking scheme practiced by fad writers to recycle the same plotlines, characters, settings, etc., expressing in unison their dissent for both the authors and the readers who indulge in said genre. People crave for passion in literature. True. Yet these days, people want to get it from nonsensical fantasy settings that also provide hindrances strong enough to make love challenging or forbidden (which bring us back to the point above). This emergence and success of vampire books, movies and TV shows inundated with tales of supposed ardor and true love, have they practically been ghosts of the real thing we found in Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet, Jane Eyre, etc.?
One writer tried to neutralize the feeling of disdain by saying these fiction authors who cater to the current market might have been highly successful because they were able to explore passion that is meaningful and relevant in present contexts. It’s as though genuine passion cannot thrive anymore in this modern society because of numerous distractions around, that results to us readers being slightly desperate for out-of- this world passion to fall for just about anything.
Ok, so what’s my personal take on all this? In all the most important regards, I hope writers of any genre would continually be able to come up with literary books worthy of occupying places of honor on our shelves.
And frankly, I haven’t considered things much on their side of the equation because I’m not even a professional writer and I’ve no intention yet of dipping my toes on the pond of fiction writing. But speaking of passion, well..
The goal of love is rapture. There’s undeniably rapture in passion, and love without passion is like eating chocolate without sugar. That’s how it is for me because I’m simply a sucker for all things sweet.
No doubt even the most cerebral of women crawl on their knees in the name of love and passion. Do I go on to confirm that our species truly thrive on obstacles engineered by love and its variety of forbidden constitution?
It’s not something I’d like to answer right this moment so I may have to get back on this topic in another post.
But this I’ve got to ask for now. How did we women end up being vulnerable to such literary crap anyway? Female readers have always been the never-ending target market of what has been established as “Chick Lit” (that presently includes the genre fiction we’re submerged in). Literature of this kind definitely gives an erroneous touchstone for our romantic longings. I wish we have been trained to be more of inveterate thinkers like men which would make all these fabricated stuff about silly romantic fantasies and passion-defeats-all illusion unnecessary. We’d therefore find no urge at all to pine for a 600-year-old vampire, even if he’s as handsome as Robert Pattinson. Neither will we find perfect chemistry between Borat and Jessica Alba (creepy huh?), nor reason out that it’s ok for a woman to suffer for love as long as the man is a superhero like the ever-busy Superman, Spiderman on the go, or the elusive Batman.
Women have a choice. Books that encourage women to be stronger, more discerning and selective in matters of the heart are rare yet essentially precious. They are a must read for us delusional romantics who believe dysfunctional love just might be the real thing, in accordance to what’s been fed to us since we were young girls. I believe we do badly need such empowering books both for the benefit of young minds and for the reversal of all the crap that has accumulated in our not so young minds.
But then, I bet books of this ilk would unfortunately sell only 8 copies.
“I just gotta see this one, kid. So go home while I proceed to the cinema.” That was what I told my son after our afternoon stroll inside the mall last Sunday when I was itching to see the newly-released film “Rock of Ages.” I hope he didn’t mind that I decided not to take him with me as I was aware the movie might not be his cup of tea. We watch mostly action, sci-fi, even comedy movies side by side. But musical? The only time I dragged him to one was Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” – which he actually got to enjoy. Anyway the former secret mild rocker hidden beneath my temperate, quiet veneer opted to relish on watching this Tom Cruise starrer rock musical alone for some schmaltzy reasons.
Aah, the 1980s. I was this teenager who had dreamed of becoming a mellow rockstar one day (Yup, you read that right, no typo error there). But don’t we all fantasize of becoming one anyway?.. So I had no problem lipsynching or belting out Foreigner’s “Urgent” or Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield” in the privacy of my bedroom (which I actually shared with my sistah). These are among the songs I “digged” for the most part of my teenage years. Plus “Rock The Casbah” by The Clash, “One Thing Leads To Another” by The Fixx, and yeah of course, Guns & Roses’ or rather Axel Rose’s “Sweet Child of Mine.” And I thought I was cool.. It’s been a while since I heard the song “Sister Christian” and upon hearing it in the said movie, I was like transported back to the days when I was still wearing my highschool Catholic uniform singing:
Sister Christian there’s so much in life
Don’t you give it up
Before your time is due
-Sister Christian, Night Ranger, 1984
The superlative presence of the seasoned actors here are the ones worth viewing. It’s a thrill to watch Tom Cruise emoting as a wayward, over-sexed rocker who waxes incoherent under the heavy spirits of alcohol. Though I’ve watched this man through the years do his thing from one moneymaking movie to the next I never could consider myself his fan. That is, until this film. Perhaps because I’ve got misgivings about his infamous lifestyle and have had ongoing speculation about his true gender (I read too many celebrity tabloids I guess). After this movie though, I could only sing praises for this guy who undoubtedly deserves a special place in history as one of the finest artists we’ve had in motion picture industry. The passion he infuses into his art as an actor is evident in every film he has done. He can be anything he wants to be onscreen. Convincingly. Looking the part is always another plus for him. He must be in seventh heaven now reading critics’ reverence for his well-chiseled body that can definitely put 20 year olds to shame.
The huge glitch in this movie was the choice of the young lead stars who failed to register well on me. I felt out of sorts with Barbie and Ken (well, that’s what they look like to me).., chagrined even of their weak personas and mediocre performance (particularly the girl’s singing voice). Rusell Brand’s brand of humor couldn’t do it for me too.
Catherine Zeta Jones whose talent matches her exquisite beauty is amazing as the mayor’s take-charge and unrelenting wife determined to close down Alec Baldwin’s (He was outstanding in the film too) reportedly notorious gig joint. One of my favorite scenes was her rendition of Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With your Best Shot” inside a chapel with a group of women dancers in their 30s and 40s. That brings me furthermore to commend on the excellent choreography of all the dance scenes in this film.
A momentary blast from the past and another feel good movie no doubt. “Rock of Ages” was certainly worth my time and the price of its ticket. For nostalgic reasons..
And definitely for my refreshing reappraisal of Tom Cruise.
Two weeks ago, I went for a stroll at Araneta Center and much to my delight, there was a parade being held for the contestants of the beauty pageant whose winner will vie for the Miss Universe crown. A huge crowd had gathered on the sides, eyeing every pretty girl, in full make-up and fancy get-up, that passed by who waved and smiled to everyone. Man, they were thin. I mean, really really slender.
I don’t watch beauty pageants anymore on TV, in contrast to my much earlier years when I looked forward to all kinds of international and domestic ones. So far, we’ve had two representatives from our country who were able to bag the title of The Most Beautiful Woman in the Whole Universe. Other than that, most of the delegates we sent got lucky only as to become runner-ups. We have always been fascinated by beauty contests in this side of our globe. I remember when we hosted the Miss Universe extravaganza here around 25 years ago, the President and his First Lady unbelievably took the time to attend and be part of the audience during the coronation night.
What’s generally beautiful to the eyes of most people here in this part of my globe is a woman with mixed blood, preferably Spanish or American or European which we call “mestiza.” Ladies here with dark brown skin, a bit of a flat nose and pure Asian physical characteristics aren’t that popular because we carry this prejudice that people who look like that must have come from the farthest provinces of our land. Not fair, I know, but that’s reality here. In the past, judges of local beauty contests chose winners who looked like Audrey Hepburn or Demi Moore. The problem is these kinds of beauties don’t get us the grand prize in international competitions. But contestants who look more like Rihanna or Jada Pinkett-Smith seem to give us better chances to take home the coveted crown. Foreign judges prefer that kind of lovelies from our land. They don’t like to see gals who look exactly like their kind. I understand that.
Still, my idea of beautiful are Nicole Kidman, Carmen Electra and Salma Hayek. Beautiful women who don’t look exactly like our kind.
In gradeschool, my classmates and I would simulate a beauty contest, complete with a host and a panel of judges, lining up the best looking girls from three class sections. Please don’t be shocked but yes, I got to be one of the contestants. And to my surprise, -drumroll please..- I always won. No kidding. Of course those were elementary years when my features still looked promising considering the fact that I’ve got ahem, Spanish origins. Reality started to set in when highschool rolled around and I didn’t grow tall and my physical features obviously didn’t turn out to be beauty queen material.
And so, I shifted my dream from becoming Miss Princess Titlist to becoming a, hold your breath, rock star. Yeah, I knew that would get you. Sorry. But you know, everybody is entitled to “out of body fantasies” and I did want to become a musician in rock style fashion a long long time ago. Didn’t we all fantasize about being one?
But this particular crazy childhood dream should merit another post. Perhaps.
As its never-ending enthusiast, I believe music is the ultimate art that moves the world. A talent for making beautiful music could only be the works of blended cosmic events above. A wonder that somehow exists beyond my reach, artists of this kind are the most gifted and the luckiest beings to have graced our planet.
I’d venture that what I am today has a lot to do with my love for this highest form of expression. A genuine BFF of mine during solitude, it has played a huge role in my life and mental felicity. It can also mirror the depth of my sentiments, a reflection of emotional sincerity and verisimilitude that flows from inside of me. Hearing a favorite song from my past can hurl me back to my younger years with nostalgic wistfulness that never fails to provide pure rapture.
The 70s and 80s were the golden era of music. Not that crazy about country and jazz though, my musical taste varied in different genres.
As a young girl in the latter part of the 70s, I’d hole myself up with either a hi-fi stereo cassette player or the radio listening to my favorite sounds of music, while my popular sister whom I shared the bedroom with hugged the telephone lines in our living room. Paul McCartney would croon me with his ballad “My Love”, or I’d listen to Keith Carradine strum the guitar and render his unforgettable “I’m Easy”..
It’s not my way to love you just when no one is looking
It’s not my way to take your hand when I’m not sure
I can’t put bars on my insides
My love is something I can’t hide
It still hurts when I recall the times I’ve tried..
– “I’m Easy” by Keith Carradine, 1976
One of the best mellow rock love song I’ve ever listened to begins with “ Love em and leave em / Give them the air/ Hurt and deceive them/ Say you don’t care.” As a young girl who couldn’t easily assimilate the vocalizations of most English songs, I had scrambled to all the magazine stands searching for the songbook that contained its whole lyrics. Penned and sang by a band from Vancouver, the song didn’t get as big as it should have been in the US because it was released during the disco era. Stonebolt’s “I Will Still Love You” which manifests of inexplicable pure, unconditional romantic love also professes of undying devotion beyond logic and reasons from here to eternity. Beautiful.
Funny how reality often can’t match the splendor of love portrayed in some songs.
And there was this time when I tuned in to 99.5 RT, the only station here then that played American and British pop songs, the whole day for several weeks waiting for the DJ to play Benny Mardones’ cult hit “Into The Night”. It graced the Billboards in the early 80s only to come back to the charts a decade later to the delight of its fans once more (including myself of course).
In the 60s, my taste could only go as far as The Beatles and a few memorable classics. I believe the inclusion of synthesizers, harmonizers and other groundbreaking electronic sound enhancers at the start of the 1970s made a whole lot of difference to the sound of pop music.
My father introduced me to some musical great artists when one night he brought home long playing albums of The Carpenters, Santana, and Dionne Warwick, who originally sang most of the compositions of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David tandem. From that time on, I got hooked. “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?”,“ I Say A Little Prayer”, and “April Fools” were just some of my all-time faves that got me singing and humming before going to my class every morning in highschool.
By the way, I don’t sing very well. That’s a given. But I had my share of entertaining in another form in my younger years. Together with my siblings, I, in all my painful shyness, and sometimes in near tears yet armed with unspeakable bravado, provided entertainment per my mother’s nudge at every clan parties and gatherings by performing dance numbers. Preceded by numerous practice, my brother, sister and I would synchronize our moves to the grooving beat of Kool and The Gang’s “Get Down On It”, “Back In Love Again” by TLD, Billy Ocean’s “Caribbean Queen” and many others.
These days all three of us would laugh whenever we reminisce on what we call our Burn Baby Burn (Disco Inferno) era.
In hindsight, those times gave me a wonderful appreciation for disco music and the art of dancing, which I still carry up to these days. Growing up, my son has gotten used to seeing his mom dance whenever she hears a favorite dance tune.
As Casey Kasem’s baby during the late 1970s up to the late 1980s, Sunday afternoons had me glued to the radio anticipating the position of my favorite songs within the Top 40. Musical greats I had delighted in during those eras included The Eagles, David Gates & Bread, Elton John, Hall & Oates, Wham with George Michael, Ray Parker & Radio, etc. and yes, I was a fan of Madonna earlier in her career. Blondie with Deborah Harry, aside from their trip to the light fantastic rock tunes, had me desiring to copy her foxy fashion sense as well.
My favorites had also included one hit wonders like My Sharona by The Knack, Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Baby Come Back by Players, Keep On Lovin You by REO Speedwagon, etc. All deliriously worth listening to.
I felt kind of smug and cool for being up-to-date at that time when my country wasn’t as exposed to American and British music as it is now.
Surrounded by a profusion of these delightful rhythms and haunting melodies, I continue to bask on this no-fail panacea that certainly transcends time spans. Wasn’t it only yesterday when Andy Gibb slowly rocked his way into my heart singing “I Just Want To Be Your Everything? ”
Enrapturing my heart and soul combined, some songs I had imagined were written and meant just for me. To serenade me with their endearing melodies and the timeless beauty of their words. Indeed the finest luxury for my sentient spirit.
Music and me, no doubt, will stay together, till infinity do us part..