Here is an amusing classic rock tale from the musical archives of my memory bank. Warning: the beginning may sound a bit uppity, but that was our mind set at the time.
The setting is September, 1973 and I had just begun my freshman year at the massive campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
Those of you who read the first, second and third installments of this series might wonder how I ventured from Needham, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, to Ohio State. That journey was through a series of divinely-inspired events related more to the hymn, “Rock of Ages” than classic rock.
But since I came from Boston, Ohio State was like a foreign land. As a result, I became instant friends with Marian, (not her real name) one of my 10 “suite-mates,” who had just returned from living in Europe after being raised in a suburb of Philadelphia.
Marian and I took comfort in our mutual “hip-ness” compared to all those “small town Ohio girls” who had just stepped off the farm and into our dorm suite.
A week into our freshman year, while in the dining hall, Marion met an “interesting guy” named Marty (not his real name) who, she said, was “like us” (i.e., not an Ohio alien) so she invited him up to our suite.
Marty hailed from Scarsdale, New York, a tony suburb of New York City and displayed the proper amount of 1970s sophistication necessary to remain in our presence. Trying to impress, Marty bought along an album he said would “blow our minds.”
Oh yes, Marty did impress and my mind was blown as I listened to Pink Floyd’s, Dark Side of the Moon.
While writing this piece, I realized Dark Side of the Moon is the only album that triggers a memory image of precisely where I was and who I was with, upon hearing it the first time. Can anyone else relate to this?
And it is no wonder, because Dark Side of the Moon was then and still is today, music from another dimension.
Songs like Speak to Me, Time, Us and Them, Eclipse, and Brain Damage sound as innovative as they did hearing them for the first time in Marian’s dorm room.
Researching this piece, I stumbled upon some astounding trivia that will warm the hearts of aging classic rock fans. In 2012, Dark Side of the Moon peaked at #1 on both The Billboard 200 and The Pop Catalog. Furthermore, this year on the Top Digital Albums chart it has reached as high as #10.
Considering Dark Side of the Moon was released in March of 1973, I was thrilled to discover that new generations of young ears are appreciating this inspired masterpiece of musical genius.
So now we have arrived at the part of this series when I whine about how “I can not believe it has been 39 years since I first heard,” in this case, Dark Side of the Moon and “Whoa is me, I am so old.”
No, no, not this week!
Instead, I will celebrate the 39th anniversary of meeting Marian and Marty who today are like a sister and brother — by popping the cork off Chandon Brut Classic, a California sparkling wine.
Chandon, I just read on the label, was founded ironically in California in 1973 by Moet & Chandon — those ancient uppity French folks who deliver magnums of Dom Perignon to the VIP suites of Hollywood moguls.
Priced at around $12.00 a bottle, Chandon is the poor American version — but at one-tenth the price of its prestigious French sister, Chandon handles any celebratory occasion quite well.
And speaking of Hollywood moguls, that “interesting guy” Marty, actually became one! After college he “went Hollywood” and now boasts a long list of well-known movie production credits.
In fact, very soon Marty and I will visit because he is scheduled to be “on location” in my city, producing the third installment of a major blockbuster movie everyone is familiar with.
Then there is Marian, who, ironically, ended up living happily ever after in “small town Ohio” after marrying a very successful Ohio lawyer. Marian just retired after a long accomplished career as a civilian executive with the Air Force and we plan to see them over the holidays. Of course, I will make a point to bring along some Chandon and Pink Floyd.
Marty, Marian and I all have fading memories of our college years but that Dark Side of the Moon gathering and the album itself, will always shine bright in our heart, mind and soul.
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