There is a Taco Bell commercial on TV that causes me to chuckle every time it plays. The commercial is pretty lame as it advertises a new rolled chicken taco. Lame aside, as many times as it has run, I laugh, because I hear them say, “Road chicken taco.” And thanks to Taco Bell, we all have found out what happened to the chicken who tried to cross the road, and get to the other side.
Of course, this immediately causes me to remember so many of the songs we used to sing along with way back when we only had AM radios in our cars, and in our bedrooms. As loudly as we could, we joined in and sang like the rock stars we knew we were, the undiscovered troubadours of our generation.
Only we sang what we heard. And we did not always hear the lyrics correctly. I have some favorites, and I am going to share what I sang at the top of my voice, with the windows of my car rolled down, crossing the Altamont from my little valley home to where I worked and played in the San Francisco Bay Area. Just drive up beside me, and if you remember the songs, feel free to join in.
We have the Monkees belting out, “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer“, as I was singing, “Then I saw her face, now I’m gonna leave her.”
And Smokey Robinson was singing, “I second that emotion“, while I used my most sultry voice to announce, “I suck at that emotion.”
Tom Jones wiggled and warbled, “She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a winner.” I, on the other hand, never wondered at her attributes being associated with pork; “She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a wiener.”
And the Fifth Dimension ushered us into “The dawning of the Age of Aquarius“, while I was joyfully singing about my favorite vegetable, “This is the dawning of the age of asparagus, the age of asparagus.”
I loved my duets with Crystal Gayle, because her name was the same as mine (not the Crystal part, the Gail part), and we sounded a lot alike. Except I could not understand why, or how, but sang nonetheless, “Doughnuts make my brown eyes blue.”
And finally, CCR. Oh, I loved that group! Creedence Clearwater Revival singing Bad Moon Rising; their lyrics, “There’s a bad moon on the rise”, while I never questioned, “There’s a bathroom on the right.”
These are just the ones that come to mind tonight. If I were to listen to an oldies but goodies station that played classic rock from our American Graffiti days, I know in a matter of moments I would recognize more tunes that I had misheard, but enjoyed just the same. We sang the songs, played them on our guitars, and lived a time that was filled with an excitement over the adventure that was to come. I look back, and so much of it still makes me laugh and even cry; but I have to say at this stage of my life, I am grateful there is that bathroom on the right.