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Entry date: 1-5-2024 – Freaky Friday (was a movie) – Letters to My Friends


Dear Friends,

 

Happy Friday. ‘Twas my last day to kind of be lazy in the morning, so apologies to those of you who like to read the blog at 6AM when I usually try to have it run. I’m ready to get back to work.

 

Having little or nothing to do does not jive with my soul. Well, at least the parts of my soul that like to feel good about what I do in a day. The other parts that like to lay around and play games or read or watch mindless TV, they are pretty cool with nothing to do. It’s the parts that talk to me when I am trying to go to sleep at night that don’t sit well with doing a whole lot of nothing.

 

Those parts tell me all the things I could have done with my time.

 

Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like I kind of squandered it. I spent a lot of time laying in bed playing a new time waster. I did get up and pick up the kids, eventually, and visited Granny for a bit. She was in a fun mood and was giving me a hard time for being late and also for the kids not eating lunch. It felt good to get my chops busted by her and she was clearly having fun with it.

 

I also managed to watch the latest episode of Fargo. I love that show so much. Noah Hawley (the main dude with Fargo) is a genius. The dude makes good TV. If you haven’t watched this season, or any of them, do yourself a favor.

 

Doug is back in the hospital. It bums me out considerably. I would do anything I could if it meant that he could just catch a break and feel good for an extended period. I am very worried about him and appreciate everyone sending good vibes his way.

 

Lately, I have heard a lot of people talking about feeling helpless when it comes to helping people in their lives that are suffering in some way. It is such a tough thing to wrap the brain around. In my experience, most people hate feeling helpless. It’s kind of like what I was talking about earlier with feeling like you’ve wasted a day. They are both just terrible feelings.

 

Sometimes, though, there really is nothing you can do to help someone except be there for them. Maybe that’s just good thoughts or checking in on them with a text or call. Maybe it is listening to others who are also feeling a bit lost or helpless. Commiseration can be freeing.

 

Some days just need to be wasted, too. Our bodies have to rest sometimes. I’m forgetful, at times, of the fact there are a few miles on my body. I need to let it rest. There is a reason most nights I am in bed by 8PM these days.

 

***** 

 

As a kid, I loved the original version of Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. It came out in 1976 and I was just old enough to grasp how interesting the situation could really be. I think a lot of us could benefit greatly from spending a little time in someone else’s shoes. I know they have made many variations of this story over the years, but the original still is the best in my opinion.

 

*****

 

Today’s record is the self-titled debut by the Ramones from 1976.

 

I didn’t appreciate this record until I lived at the Polka Dot Pad in 1988. I had heard the Ramones, of course, over the years and liked them a little bit. The thing was, though, I was a Sex Pistols fan and that meant that I had allegiance to only one of the big three OG first wave punks. I don’t include The Damned in that because The Damned grew to be a transcendent band for me.

 

It was the Polka Dot Pad, though, where I learned how fun this particular record is.

 

It’s their first and, in my opinion, their best record, too. This music still sounds new even though I have heard it a thousand times. It oozes, “Hey, look what we can do!”

 

Perhaps it was the copious amount of cheap beer we were drinking, and it was kind of a time in my life where, if we would have been living on the streets of Brooklyn or the seedier parts of Manhattan, we would have fit right in. We were kinda scruffy in those days.

 

This is a fun, gritty record. I’m glad I got over my Sex Pistols bias and accepted the Ramones into my heart. There are some songs on their other records that I like, but if I could only play one of their records for the rest of my days, it would be this one.

 

It’s just so simple and pure. They created their mold on this one and even though they switched things up a bit over the years, the formula held true. If time travel were a thing, I would love to go back to 1976 and see them at CBGBs playing these songs live.

 

As I think about the record itself, this is the Ramones I need. They are at their most defiant here, as well as when they’re most interesting. I never really bought into their whole persona and such. Maybe I missed out, but I just didn’t get it. Even the cover is just kinda cool. I remember seeing it when I was first learning about what punk rockers were and thinking they looked like a gang that Barney Miller might have busted.

 

When they did the Escape From New York tour around 1990, I was not super impressed with them. I was way more into Tom Tom Club that night than the Ramones or Blondie. I did get to interview Marky Ramone in person about ten years ago. That was pretty cool. He didn’t play on this record, but he was playing with Voidoids at the time so that was close enough.

 

While I still love “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “Beat On The Brat,” over the years, I’ve gravitated more to “53rd and 3rd” as my favorite track on this one. There is something about Dee Dee’s riff that showed they could do something a little more intricate than just blasting through the “1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4” songs.

 

Listen to it here.

 

*****

 

See you tomorrow.



Tree.

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