Good Bye Yellowbrick Road

Never let it be said about me that I can’t appreciate a good old-fashioned wave of nostalgia because I rode one for the better part of an hour this morning after hearing Elton John’s Benny and The Jets on Sirius XM’s classic vinyl.

It took a tenth of a second but then I was suddenly transported back to the rust colored shag carpet and dark paneled walls of my aunts living room where I heard the opening notes of that song for the first time.

I remember looking at my same aged cousin and having a pint sized epiphany.

Electric boots?

A mohair suit?

What the fuck kind of spectacularly dressed lunatic was this Benny? And better yet where could we get an outfit just like it.

This was the era of the LP on the turntable and hulking cars ridden with the convertible tops down. And while my older cousins were starting to build their album collections us little kids were still getting over the awesome cover photo on Kiss’s Dressed To Kill record.

Black suits, white clogs, face paint. What is not to love here?

To be fair and to give my Dad his due I was actually getting a good dose of musical education at home. We had The Beatles and Bob Dylan on heavy rotation and super cool Johnny Cash seemed to sneak in there at least once a day but here’s where I admit that Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay used to sound an AWFUL lot like LADY ELAINE to my small untrained ears. Anyone who knows me understands exactly how much I hate that trolley to the Land of Make Believe riding puppet madwoman so you can sort of sympathize with the tears and sobbing every time that one came on.

Man? Woman? Drunk? Puppet overlord? What the fuck am I?

Eventually my father lost the music war and my cousins collections swelled to include what appeared to be every album ever recorded but to this day I am ashamed to tell you that I am unable to stop singing any song from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors until it’s run its course and I can quote any line off of the Eagles first release as if a higher power is compelling me to do so.

If you are ever at a party with me make sure to include Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song on the playlist so you can see my Nordic battle cry tear the place to shreds and then I can follow up with  a heartwarming rendition of Gold Dust Woman. It’s a vision to behold.

It’s the ’70s  man. They get their teeth in you and just keep shaking.



Filed under benny and the jets, I'd like electric boots AND a mohair suit, kiss dressed to kill, lady elaine fairchilde, my record collection beats yours, rock on gold dust idiot, small children giant cars, the 70s

22 responses to “Good Bye Yellowbrick Road

  1. dufmanno

    yeah, I think the title should be Yellow Brick as in *it’s a brick road that is yellow* I’m far too lazy to go fix that so let’s just agree that this is okay.

  2. Tom G.


    Good God woman! Don’t post pictures of that demonic puppet so early in the morning. I just wet myself.

    • dufmanno

      the only way to make sure she never comes back to inflict the same kind of distress is to NEVER FORGET TOM!
      Keep her in your peripheral vision.

  3. my dad taught me about car wailing to hey jude. Na Na Na Nananana Hey Jude!!!!!!

    also, there is nothing to be ashamed about by knowing every song from rumors. those songs are so ingrained into me that i changed my DNA with that album. also i channeled stevie nicks like nobody’s bizness.

  4. dufmanno

    One day, you and I will sit in the back of a car and belt out the Na na na na’s. I have forseen this.
    Also, do you own a gauzy frock?

  5. Michael Freeman

    “The Rust colored shag carpet and dark paneled wall”…I nearly cried when reading this…haha…the only thing missing was” the faint smell of George’s colostomy bag wafting over the porcelin counter and through the shutters….YEAH I guess in retrospect the 70s really were a godamn mess(and i mean that in a great way)…a simple trip to Annies or a makeshift softball game at “the field” on Bedford,could out punch any current recreational behavior that our children take part in…I dont care how whistfully obvious that sounds….Was there anything better than walking into that ONE room in your house that had an AC window unit halfassedly attached to the window..blowing God only knows how many BTUs…it felt to me probably as it will, should I ever enter the Pearly Gates…The seventies may have been an ugly decade…but it had its moments….I cant think of a better decade for Great Motion Pictures or for that matter great performances(Shit..just look at some of the Pictures and actors/actresses who didnt win some of the nominations)…Music?…well I guess we had a tough decade to live up to…but oddly as time moves on I seem more likely to reach for some of my gulity pleasures from the 70s…than my Holy Trinity from the 60s….(maybe because when Dylan went electric I was negative 2……)…….Yeah think ill go find my Hugo Puppett,put on some Cheap Trick….and begin perusing the web for a Rust Colored Shag Carpet…

  6. Dufmanno

    The 70s were the decade that saw us at our most vibrant. We were completely and unapologetically insane and willing to ride that madness in order to get whatever we wanted. Hundreds of untamed kids frolicking in the Heights road pool while Mar made iced tea in the silver pitcher while following the tennis match on the TV? No problem! Running in a perpetual circle around two blocks of streets that both our parents owned in some sort of capacity, swinging from unstable vines in the woods and chasing down a Jurassic sized German Shepard wolf hybrid to give him a bath with the hose and a bottle of Prell shampoo? Just a typical afternoon.
    God I hope you find rust shag carpeting!!

    • Michael Freeman

      The funny thing is Mar has pretty much lost all proof of our existence as it pertains to photos/school work/medical records…etc….however the silver pitcher reamains,like an ancient artifact..or Harry Morgan….the important thing was and is that the Ice Tea is still excellent….

  7. LOUD NOISES!!!!!

    oh sorry, the mention of a rust colored shag carpet and dark paneled walls made me think of Anchorman, and the seventies, and awful bell bottoms, and those hideous platform shoes, and oh god…*slaps self*
    Okay, feel better now, it’s 2011, it’s 2011, it’s 2011 *rocks in a corner with thumb in mouth* (pssssttt bring back the 80’s, except for the mullets)

  8. oh and WHAT THE FUCK is that puppet thing? I’ve seen it before, it’s awful….eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!

  9. When was “Makin’ my way back to you babe..” because I have serious nostalgia attached to that song. riding in the way back of my parents orange Dodge colt, sans seat belt… Also, Lady Elaine always made me think of Carol Burnett — so I imagined Harvey Korman as the puppet master. How F’d up is that.

  10. Lady Elaine is scary as fuck. But I also hated Meow Meow Daniel Meow Meow. Quit whimpering, Kitten, and bring out your claws. Let’s see some action in the land of make believe.

  11. I used to think Lady Elaine looked like my Mom. I never told her that.

  12. Thank you. Lady Elaine was just hideous and frightening. But what about Mr. Mcfeely? I bet he did some real life Mcfeelin on those poor kids in Mr. Rodgers neighborhood. Come to think of it, Mr. Rodgers was pretty creeptastic too.

    Ugh. Now I remember how much I loathed that damn show but back in the good old days we only had two channels, so it was that or Mannix.

  13. dbs

    Fleetwood Mac invented music.

    • Tom G.

      Riding in the car last night with the kids when a Fleetwood Mac song came on the radio. My daughter says “Dad, why does she sound like she has laryngitis?”

      Then we all proceeded to sing along in imitation Steve Nicks voices.

      Does this qualify as child abuse?

  14. The greatest part of the music from then is the ridiculous volume of songs I can’t name, but the second they begin to play, I know them by heart and can sing along gleefully! OMG I am O.L.D.

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