Twelfth of Never

Sean writes:

I don’t know if I’m the only one like this, but there are a select few days in every calendar year when I have to listen to a particular song or songs. Today, the fourteenth of February, I require myself to listen to both “Valentine’s Day” by Springsteen and “Feb. 14” by the Drive-By Truckers. On April 4, I listen to “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, preferably early in the morning. Three months after that, on the Fourth of July, I listen to Nirvana’s “Lake of Fire”, and this year, Neil Young’s “Powderfinger”, since I will have just turned 22. The cycle repeats itself yearly with U2’s “New Year’s Day.”

Steve replies:

Funny you should ask: Every year on my birthday I think of Earth Wind & Fire’s “September,” and its lyric “Do you remember/The 21st night of September?” I was born the next night, on the 22nd, and always resented Maurice White’s obstinate refusal to modify the lyric when performing live in concerts attended by me.

Beyond that, I only celebrate two anniversaries with my iPod. Every December 32, I listen to the Babyshambles song “32nd of December”. Eight months later — every seven years — I listen to Funkadelic’s “Friday Night, August 14”.

I should also say — to appease our resident music Trekkie, Michael Atchison, who is at the moment breathing into a brown lunch sack — that Bono of course got it all wrong when he wrote that lyric about early morning April 4. Martin Luther King was murdered in the early evening, at 6:01 P.M. And as great as Nirvana’s version of “Lake of Fire” was on “Unplugged,” it is still a Meat Puppets song. (And I believe the Meat Puppets even played on “Unplugged.”) There. I’m officially the guy who works in the record shop in “High Fidelity.”

Lastly, Sean, I hope your 22nd birthday doesn’t resemble anything else from “Powderfinger.” I’m not sure what’s going on in that song, but it doesn’t sound good.

3 thoughts on “Twelfth of Never

  1. So there I am, minding my own business, reading Sean’s letter, when my inner Cliff Clavin says “it’s a well-known fact that the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated not in the morning as indicated by the song by the Irish rock and roll band U2, but rather in the early evening of April 4, 1968.” And then, out of nowhere, this fancy pants novelist reads my mind and reveals my shame to the world. Brutal.

    But I’ll have you know, Mr. Rushin, I was not breathing into a brown lunch sack. It was a red and white Target bag.

    For our young friend, two things: 1) Red means run, Sean, numbers add up to nothin’; and 2) Everyone knows you listen to X on the Fourth of July.

    Keep on Trekkin’.

  2. Some critic, English department, or other literary official may have already pointed out that pub fiction sounds like the name of an S. L. Jackson flick. I would like to add that Murphy’s Irish Stout was S. Beckett’s drink of choice, and that his first novel — Murphy — had the most splendid opening line in all literature: “The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.”

  3. I routinely wake in the middle of the night at 3:35 — sometimes 3:34 — to listen to Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4.” The old version, not the drum-crazy 80s remake.

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