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The Summer That Didn't Suck After All by J.J. Janicki


Lugnutz

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Ahh, the 70's. They say if you remember it, you weren't there.

JJ puts us in the head space of a boy in the 70's and all the fun you had, or not. Can't give anything away but it does involve a boy coming to terms with things and eventually it works out.

Read it here. http://www.awesomedude.com/jjjanicki/summer_that_didn%27t_suck_after_all.htm

A story that came from a picture?

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I'm not quite sure how I managed to survive the 70s, but overall, I still miss it.

I hated going through the 1970s, but looking back, I had some great times, plus there was some great music there. 1972 was a pretty tumultuous year for me -- that was my last year of high school and when I started college. And I'm glad I survived it.

I'm a huge Carpenters fan, so I know this song backwards and forwards. Funny story about it: Richard was in London for a concert, couldn't sleep, and turned on a old 1940 Bing Crosby movie on TV in the middle of the night. Crosby played a songwriter who was famous for writing a song called "Goodbye to Love," only they never played the actual song in the movie. Carpenter was struck by the title, and within a week had come up with the melody and then the words with lyricist John Bettis, and it became a huge hit in the summer of '72. I can remember fans were stunned by the searing Tony Peluso guitar solo in the middle of the song, which was jarring in light of the "soft rock" ballads the Carpenters had previously been known for, but I think it works perfectly. One can make a good argument that this was one of the very first "power rock ballads" of the decade.

Trust me: anybody who's ever been in love can identify with the lyrics of that song. Karen Carpenter's favorite song was a follow-up that had similar sentiments, titled "I Need to Be in Love," which is also a really, really fine song.

And kudos to J.J. for setting this story in Tampa, my old home town! (The Dude also spent some time there as a DJ in the 1960s.) Tampa was a strange place, also the setting for my novel Groovy Kind of Love, which took place in 1968-1969. I do remember a lot of kids kind of coming and going from school, because of their parents being in the military at McDill Air Force Base. Nice touch for the story.

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What I like about "Goodbye to Love" is that I can understand the words, oh, and there is that great guitar work too.

For me, the song is a lament over a breakup, something that always seemed to be happening from the age of 18-23. If only someone had told us it was quite common...

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I'm still in the process of getting the hang of forums and the like - and I'm also being interrupted by thunder storms, some with a lot more potential to do very bad things to my computer than others - but my remark just above was in reference to breakups being commonplace between the ages of 18 and 23. It took me quite awhile to grasp that. A lot longer than it should have been, I guess.

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I have to think the studio version of the audio was added after the fact. The snyc is too poor for them to have been "lip syncing" during the performance.

I think this is a live performance -- it's definitely not the hit -- but not from the karaoke video underneath it. The Carpenters never lip-synced a live concert for a paying audience, but they did lip-sync their TV specials because of the multiple takes involved. The only "cheating" they did was to have harmony vocals on tape or a group of backup singers, but Karen's lead vocal was always real. Her singing was uncannily perfect, even during the times when she was very ill.

BTW, J.J.'s story reminded me of a horrendous bike wreck I had when I was about 13-14 (in Tampa), coming home from school. I think that was a head-over-heels thing, into a curb, skin ripped off my knee, smashing my nuts on the middle bar, badly bruised arm, the whole deal... I think even the bike was bent all too hell. Doh, haven't thought of that in 40 years...

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It might be better to ask a question like this in the Green Room, but since it involves TSTDSAA....

Well, okay. A reader had a very good question in regard to the hospital room experience, and in thinking about it, I had to admit that I'd once again fallen prey to a slight case of tunnel vision. As in ack as opposed to ACK!! ... because the reader was kind of enough to say that he'd enjoyed the story in spite of that.

But anyway.... and for what it's worth, after asking Mike about it, the slightly improved version will be reposted in the near future. I'm guessing tonight or tomorrow. `Cause if you see a way of improving the story, then you should, right? (Figured since I mentioned a question at the start, I should ask one.)

J.J.

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