8/25/2007

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy...



I usually log onto http://www.pandora.com/ on mornings like this, creating the perfect, motivational radio station to keep me moving and upbeat as I dust and clean.
Today, I'm into Elton John.

In 1975, the first album I ever bought was "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy." I had to ask permission, since I was only 12. My dad took me to the store to get it. Inside it had a magazine-like insert with all of the lyrics, photos, and artwork. I would lie on my bed and look at it over and over. It had things I'd never seen before! I STILL have that insert, and as soon as I find it, I'll photograph it and insert! I think it's inside my piano bench.

I had a stereo...a real one...that my parents bought me at a Zale's Jewelry Store in 1975! It was a Panasonic with 2 huge speakers, My dad would always buy me classical music...but I wanted to "rock," and who could be a better choice for a 6th grader than Elton John! I have every song memorized! I even sat at my piano and figured out almost every single tune! Throughout the 70's, I had a lot of friends who were also pianists...and we bought as many Elton John music books as we could afford and sang, played, and fantasized throughout many a sleepover. We didn't know that he was gay, but I don't think it would have mattered it we did...

He wasn't even gorgeous, BUT he was British. I also loved Freddy Mercury at that time, another gay musician with odd teeth. I would sit in my room with my big Koss headphones on, listening to the music, singing at the top of my lungs, at my piano (yes, it was in my room). My brothers would pound on the door and tell me to be quiet, but I didn't hear them because the volume was too high! When I'd finally finish one side of an album, I'd be really embarassed, realizing how loud my voice was! My middle brother, the mean one, would tease me for days and tell all of his friends. At school on the playground (6th grade was still elementary school then) they'd sing and follow me around. I'd be so embarassed!!!

But, it didn't stop me. When I listened to "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," my mind would take me places I didn't know existed! I thought about weird women, HP demands (what the heck are those?), and princesses. I was raised Southern Baptist, so you can just imagine how guilty all this made me feel...and I was always afraid my parents would find out!



I saw Elton in concert in 1978 in Portland at the Memorial Coliseum. He came onstage wearing a white tuxedo with a tall, white top hat. His piano was centerstage, placed on a rotating circle, meaning he sat at the piano and it slowly spun around 360-degrees throughout the entire concert, so we saw him from ALL angles! Seriously, I was in the 4th row back (when you're a member of a fan club, you get priority-seating!) and screamed the ENTIRE time! At one point, he stood up, walked to the edge of the stage and took off his hat...then he threw it into the audience!!! Oh My God! Girls went wild! I was so lucky to have parents who let me do this stuff. My mom was only 19 when she had me and she, herself, was into some pretty good rock music. She listened to The Rolling Stones, The Police, and David Bowie. I grew up with Bowie and Beatles...as well as Frank Sinatra and others. However, my mom remarried when I was 4 and things changed a lot. Less music, more stress.
Anyway, to this day, I play Elton John daily on my piano. My daughter, too, has picked up on this and plays "Your Song" almost as beautifully as me (wink, wink!), as well as "Border Song," "Tiny Dancer," and many, many more!

7 comments:

Vita said...

Yea, I wonder what HP demands are? I never had the album or the words, Just heard what I could on the radio, which played it a lot. You are so cool!

The Carnivorous Hippy said...

I'm always in awe when I see how you can remeber things. I remember some of my 45s my mom gave me as a birthday present. I was such a geek!!
I wish my memory were better and I wish I had siblings.
As a result, I talk to myself way too much : )

BoggyWoggy said...

Did you say something, CH? I didn't know you were talking to me. I thought you were talking to yourself again.

Skittles said...

I have always been a fan of Elton John! His music is timeless.

You had a piano in your bedroom??? Wow! I took three years of lessons a LONG time ago, and never came close to being able to play anything like he could.

Skittles said...

I've given you an award :)

Skittles said...

Yes, it's me again! LOL! I posted a video For Someone Special. I wonder if you can guess who it was for?

Anonymous said...

Laughing at the comments about Freddy Mercury "he was british" and "another gay musician with odd teeth" LOL hey, I'm british, too and yes, I have crappy teeth LOL (but nothing like Freddy's neanderthal overbite LOL)

Hey, you were wondering what "HP demands" were... I can tell you.

Back in the 60's and 70's, in the UK, ppl would buy things (anything from furniture to consumer electronics) on store credit, but it was known as "H.P." - which stood for "hire purchase" (stupidest phrase I ever heard).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hire_purchase

For example, my grandma bought a tv on HP, meaning she paid X-amount per month to the store and until she paid for it in full, the tv belonged to the store, meaning it was "hired" (rented)from the store until the balance was paid off. At which point, my grandma then owned the tv.


so, in the song, what he means by "paying your H.P. demands forever" is that, had he gone ahead and married this woman, she would have drowned him in credit debt for the rest of his life, buying all kinds of crap that she didn't even need.

Hope that helps :)

BTW.. that is my fave Elton album.. I don't own any other Elton albums other than a 'best of"... that's probably the only one that I can listen to all the way through, over and over.