Here Come the Planes


In 1982 (I know, I know, some of you weren’t even born then; others were simply not paying attention. Spare me) according to our good friends at Wikipedia the Grammy nominations for best song were:

Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) performed by Christopher Cross, (Just Like) Starting Over performed by John Lennon, Endless Love performed by Lionel Richie, Just the Two of Us performed by Bill Withers & Grover Washington, Jr.

Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes won. Maybe not paying attention wasn’t such a bad idea.

However, also in 1982, I went to a show of a performer I’d never heard of and was absolutely dazzled. Laurie Anderson and her United States tour was the smartest, wittiest, most fascinating thing I’d ever seen. Flawless. It more than just the music, which was weird and intriguing, it was the way the sounds and the visuals of the show (I think this was the one where she held a light bulb in her mouth) worked together. Listening to the album now, I can still remember how images on the screen behind her or even just phrases projected there would change the meaning of the song or make it funny or involve the audience in on the joke.

There aren’t many things I look back on as being in the right place at the exactly right time, but that show in New Orleans when I was young and interested in being wowed was one of them.

And long cars in long lines and great big signs and they all say: Hallelujah. Yodellayheehoo. Every man for himself. Ooo coo coo.

About mrpeenee

A former bon vivant and terror of a number of New Orleans bars in the mad, gay 1980s, I'm now quietly retired and widowed in San Francisco. I have a crooked nose due to an unfortunate Frisbee accident.

5 responses »

  1. Oh, I drove across country in January 1990 listening to almost nothing but “Strange Angels.” Yes, we stopped at Graceland, and yes, it was mystical, revelatory, and fabulous.<>And I said: Hello Operator Get me Memphis Tennessee And she said: I know who you’re tryin to call darlin’And he’s not home he’s been away But you can hear him on the airwaves He’s howlin’ at the moon Yeah this is your country station And honey this next one’s for you…<>


  2. Ah, 1982 in NO. Bad year for me.But I think I might have barely heard of Laurie Anderson then. We’d had cable for a year then and I might have seen her on NightFlight.Of course, I wasn’t able to cross the river alone at that age, so there’d be no way I could have ever seen her.


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