Today, JACK brings you music vids from my “Puberty Collection.”
Not that the videos are sexy, because they are not. Puberty is as much about longing as it is about sex.
While bands like Black Sabbath, Ten Years After and Alice Cooper were also part of that time for me, they were more about trying to channel the aggression brought on by a massive surge of testosterone. In my mind, hard rock from those years is more connected with playing football and learning to fight than it is with girls.
So below are just a few of the songs I remember from those years. A partial musical narrative going through my head at the time, at least as it pertained to girls anyway.
Puberty is a terribly awkward and thrilling time of awakening that we all somehow manage to stumble through. Most of us don’t like to think a whole lot about that time in our lives.
But as I never tire of talking about — I am the father of a 12-year-old son.
I’m watching his heretofore sort of innocent and natural appreciation of female beauty turn into the gaze of a young and hungry male lion watching an antelope, and I remember:
Honey Cone – “Want Ads”: Pop hit,1970
The greatest gift ever given to a young boy from my generation were hot pants. “Want Ads” is a great song. I doubt I even saw this video at the time, but I do remember the song. “Want Ads” always brings back memories of warm summer afternoons playing stickball in the street, and striking out because I was so dizzy from all the women walking by in hot pants.
Elton John – “Your Song”: Pop hit, 1970
It isn’t possible for someone my age to talk about a musical narrative without talking about Elton John. The man sure could sing a love song that tugged at young hearts.
Carpenters – “Superstar,” Pop hit, 1971
There is a certain melancholy inherent in puberty that is rather enjoyable to reflect upon now, but it was terrible back then. The great Karen Carpenter captured it all in “Superstar.”
Raspberries – “Go All the Way,” Pop hit, 1972
Although I’ve always been a sucker for a good, sappy love song, by 1972, my natural male aggression had sparked an appreciation for romantic music that conveyed a more adult message.
Years before Billy Joel sang, “You Catholic girls start much too late,” in “Only the Good Die Young,” we Catholic boys had another anthem, “Go All the Way,” by the Raspberries. It didn’t work that well, but we tried. I think it would be fair to say that most of us earned an “A” for effort.
Note: I checked the years that songs charted with several different sources. Sometimes a song was released in one year, but didn’t chart until the next. Not all online sources agree on when a song charted, so I took the latest year it would have charted. I figure that’s probably when it was in heavy rotation on the radio and I would have heard it.
As a courtesy to a fellow BPR writer, and because Michael Dorstewitz has been churning out some fine words for us, I’m adding Michael’s favorite puberty video to this post. I’m also late posting his last post, and I know he’ll forgive me now.
But mostly because, good memories are good memories, and with all the battling we all do on behalf of the conservative cause, good memories and good times should be shared among us.
Little Darling by the Original Diamonds
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