September Playlist…..School Music


Now that everybody is back in school (no smoking in the boys room….get back to class buddy!!!), I thought I would put together a different kind of playlist for this month. I was thinking about all of the movies I could remember off the top of my head that were either about school, took plays near a high school or college setting and the kinds of songs featured in those films. I reflected on my own personal memories of school and thought that September was a great month to do this in. At this point you basically are settled in to your classes, lockers, sports, college dorms, after school activities and have established the bands that you’re currently digging (listening to).

These movies are all great, IMHO. In a nutshell, they’re all related to school, for one thing. But it goes beyond that. Teen pregnancies, big parties, being popular, smoking dope, working at a record store, the nerds, the princesses, the jocks, the basket cases, the rebels, the inspirational teachers, the drunks, the dropouts, cruising around in sport cars, hanging out at the diners, running for student council, school dances, dating, rock n roll, vacation plans, jogging in track, getting into trouble and simply living life as we know it. The soundtrack to our lives as teenagers and early adulthood.

I came up with a list of 17 films (She’s Only Seventeen) to represent this theme. Now I suppose I could dissect every film here and talk about all of my favorite scenes. My focus here is a MUSIC playlist. So I chose a song from each film. I will list the songs here, in no particular order with the title, the artist, the film and the scene its played. I will try to make you all proud. Here it goes:

1. “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne: Fast Times At Ridgemont High (Mike and Stacy “making out” in the dugout. Plus its essentially Stacy’s theme song)

2. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds: The Breakfast Club Main theme at the beginning of the film and at the end. before and after detention)

3. “Pretty In Pink” by The Psychedelic Furs: Pretty In Pink
(Main Theme)

4. “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen: Animal House (frat boys are drunk doing a sort of kick line sloppy dance)

5. “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio: Dangerous Minds (Closing credits)

6. “Stand and Deliver” by Mr. Mister: Stand and Deliver (The teacher proudly walks away when all of his students pass the Calculus Exam)

7. “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent: Dazed and Confused (played during a scene where kids are smoking pot in a friend’s room)

8. “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley & The Comets: American Graffiti (The entire soundtrack is full of hits, but this one opens up the film and sets the tone really nicely)

9. “Jennifer Juniper” by Donovan: Election (Tammy meets Jennifer at the “all girls” academy)

10. “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (The parade scene where Ferris sings on the float with the ladies—“flash mob” style)

11. “A Quick One, While He’s Away” by The Who: Rushmore (Bill’s smile when he realizes… “Game on!)

12. “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai: Napolean Dynamite (Dance Scene For School Talent Show)

13. “If You Were Here” by The Thompson Twins: Sixteen Candles (Jake Ryan and Samantha kissing over her birthday cake by the window)

14.”It’s A Long Way To The Top” by School of Rock: School of Rock (The band jams on stage during the closing credits)

15. “Paradise City” by Guns N Roses: Can’t Hardly Wait (Nerd singing karaoke at the big party)

16. “All I Want Is You” by Barry Louis Polisar: Juno (Opening sequence with Ellen Paige walking around with Sunny Delight bottle)

17. “Under The Milky Way” by The Church: Donnie Darko (“Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) under the great southern sky in a room at a party, in a tangent universe in a small town, the scene is set for what donnie might be experiencing, not only rabbit but slinky the fm radio station!
::: to the backgroung music of the band the ‘church’ fronted by steve kilbey.”—Unknown


Fond “Musical” Memories of My First Car

This is the first posting for this new mini-series…

In 1993, towards the end of my Junior year in High School, I bought my very first car. I was only 16 years old. I worked at an A&W Restaurant flipping burgers and mowed the lawns at the Fire Department. I saved my money and purchased this mighty used car you see here, down below. The car was a red Dodge Omni and had an old “toolbox”, kind of rusty and moldy smell to it. The windshield was cracked already (eventually my dad replaced it), the vinyl seats were hot in the summer and cold in the winter. My car had a tape deck in it. I was starting to collect more cd’s around that time so I had to buy some blank tapes and then record my cd’s onto them so I could listen to the music in the car.

I had to be entertained whenever I took a ride in this “Bloody Gremlin” looking vehicle! I never really drove far. I drove to school and back home. I went to the gas station or the local White Hen Pantry. It was all about looking cool. One time I drove it out of town to show my Grandma and Grandpa. My Grandma said we could go for a ride around the block. I had a tape of Stone Temple Pilots (Alternative Rock Band from the 90’s) playing somewhat loudly. I turned to grandma, as she was buckling her seatbelt. I said, “Oh let me turn that down.” She said, PLEASE!!!,” with somewhat of disgust. But it was still a nice experience with Grandma. Unlike how my own mother and father shrieked in blood curdling terror whenever I drove! AHHHHHH!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!! JUST PULL THE CAR OVER!!!! White knuckles and all! LOL

I listened to bands like R.E.M., Lenny Kravitz and Smashing Pumpkins. One day, I had just about had enough of my tape deck because it was slowly starting to eat my tapes, they would get jammed in the machine or just simply start to distort their sound. Everything would sound all warped and in slow motion. As I was cruising through my hometown listening to the Pumpkins, the tape deck was trying to vomit out my tape and I had decided enough was enough. I ejected the tape and threw it out of the window, over the bridge I was driving across and into the Fox River. Never to be heard again! It was a quick relief! It was easier than trying to rip the tape deck out altogether.

That summer of 1993, I worked at the high school I went to as a painter and a janitor helper. There were about a dozen of us working in various buildings scrubbing floors, cleaning windows, etc. I was excited to listen to some Tool and Manowar in my car as I was leaving for the day to head home and embark on a mini vacation with my sister and parents the next day. But as I pulled out of my spot and began to “peel away!” I backed into a lady’s van and just kept on going! Perhaps the heavy metal blaring through my crappy speakers distracted me and I was oblivious!

After I got home, I was jumping on the trampoline with my sister and just hanging out in the backyard. The phone rings. My mom answers. She is not happy. “WHAT?”….she says “MY SON?”….she asks. I got into verbal trouble but nothing serious. Luckily it was a mere fender bender. Maybe I should mention here that I had obvious and memorable vanity plates that said “NOE 94” on them!!! LOL

These are the musical memories I think of when I talk about the Red Dodge Omni. Please share some of yours in the comments section below. Later!