The Rushmore Series- Crazy Little Thing Called Love

A person’s taste in music is very much like their fingerprint, no two are the same.

So when me and Dale (Check out her femme finale here) decided to carve out a musical Rushmore, we knew such an undertaking would be met with plenty of Yeah, but what about? . . . But rather than deter, it made us that much more determined to deliver up our vision of what Rushmore would look like if it was set to music. The truth is, I would have had an easier time with just about any other Rushmore related exercise- from sports to art to superheroes.

Music is different, and so I had myriad decisions to make if I was going to whittle down to four. I took faces off and I put faces on and then I did it all over again. Until the finished product was left with Jackson, Bowie and Prince. Of those choices, the only slam dunk was the last choice. Until today, that is. Because this final installment had his face on it from the first conversation about a musical Rushmore.

It was late May of 1980 when me and a bunch of friends screamed our lungs out to a song that would pin itself to the rafters at Nassau Coliseum for years to come. The New York Islanders had just defeated the Flyers to clinch the Stanley Cup, ushering in a dynasty. It would be half a decade before a kid from Edmonton would begin re-writing history. But the song, it still brings me back to that time.

I had this idea that I was Romeo until a girl named Alisson showed me that love is never that easy to figure out. And damn if Main Ingredient hadn’t warned me that everybody plays the fool sometimes, even if I’d never planned on listening to that sage advice until it was too late. So thank God for Freddie, playing wingman as I ventured back in to that most dubious of romantic entanglements. The rebound.

Me and Shereen drove to Moon Lake with a couple of friends. A case of beer, a boombox and the idea that I was moving to Florida to be with her. Until I wasn’t. And it was just another song that played itself across the moon that night, or so I thought. But to this day, that song unspools itself into a photograph that collapses in a waterfall across my brain every time I hear it.

I’m possessed by love, but isn’t everybody?- Freddie Mercury

I was living with that girl who wore the raspberry beret. Her Venus was liberal and artistic and my Mars was not. My younger days felt as if they had happened inside another universe as I found myself far from the madding crowd of screamers and boomboxes playing “Thriller” and Queens logic.

November of ’91 was an unforgiving one for headlines. First came Magic Johnson’s announcement that he had HIV, and then a few weeks later with the news that Freddie Mercury had died. The first had proven damn near impossible to process while Freddie, well . . he’d always lived his life as if rocking chairs were a waste of time.

I made dinner for me and my girl on that last weekend of November, and we broke open a bottle of wine and had at it. We debated politics and then settled on music.

“Greatest band ever . .” I asked her.

“U2 . . .” She said.

“No way!” I laughed.

“Oh yeah? So what say you? Huh?” She said, sipping at her wine.

“Well, Bon Jovi . . of course,” I said, since it always got a rise out of her.

“Oh . . my God, you can’t be serious,” She said.

And then the wine started paying off and then the music started making all the sense in the world. It was as if Freddie was shaking his fist in triumph as two young lovers surrendered themselves to that magical drug called rock and roll, shouting his famous last words from the moon.

“You’re bloody fucking welcome,”

 

 

 

 

54 thoughts on “The Rushmore Series- Crazy Little Thing Called Love

  1. B,

    Oh yeah. Oh so much, yeah. I knew you would bring it with Freddie. How could you not? How could there not be significant moments in your life that didn’t include Freddie’s fabulous tenor to baritone (when he felt like it) singing backup?

    Rocking chairs were totally a waste of time to the likes of Freddie. He lived life to the fullest and gave us his all, didn’t he?

    Honestly, I think ending with Freddie was THE way to go. Because both of us knew for sure at least one of our pieces… and we both gave them today.

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have to agree with your choice of Freddy Mercury. He was way ahead of his time in his writing and you had give him a lot of credit in standing up to the producers that could not see, or want anything to do with Bohemian Rhapsody. However, I believe the team of Queen was made in musical heaven. The brilliance of Brian May both as a guitar player and also a writer sealed the deal. I believe they wrote their music much like the Beatles in that, they wanted each song to be good single. Most bands were happy to have one good song on an album. Bottom line, I agree with your choices. Not all of Freddys collaborations with others turned out as great as Queen. You and Dale are to be congratulated for this brilliant collaboration.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mercury had a vision and he stuck to it, you’re right. He just knew.

      As for the band, it speaks to how great and how influential they truly were that you can talk about the band AND about Freddie and you can consider them separately and together. That may have been my only thought against having Freddie up here. Could I separate Queen? And the answer I came back to was yes, because it was both.

      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Jan.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Marco,

    Time does zip by. I can’t believe Freddie’s been gone 30 years. He was bright light snuffed out too soon. Great choice for Rushmore. Thanks for sharing the music and your own personal stories to go with it. Some fun.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rochelle,

      It’s one of those things when you hear that . . thirty years, you just have to shake your head in amazement. Because it doesn’t seem possible.

      Thank you, I really didn’t have too much struggle with this choice.

      You are lovely, as always.

      Shalom,

      Marco

      Like

  4. Back when I was a teenager and starting to discover my own taste in music, my favorites were The Eagles (Hotel California), Boston (their first album is a classic), Rush, a few others whose names escape me at the moment, and … Queen. I’m 99.9% certain that Queen was the first group for whom I bought multiple albums. Day at the Races, Night at the Opera, Sheer Heart Attack, News of the World, Jazz. What an incredible run of albums that was. Some of their later albums were kind of iffy for me, but there are gems in the rough all along the way.

    I don’t have the same type of memories that you have to connect to Queen, but still, they were a key part of my growing up and their music still speaks to me. I can pull up any of those albums on Spotify now and be transported back to a simpler time and just enjoy the music. The movie about Freddie and Queen that came out a couple of years ago increased the power of his songs, lyrics, and singing for me. Seeing the real person (or at least an actor pretending to be the real person) behind it all just made so much of what he put into his songs that much more powerful.

    And the thing to me is that Freddie and Queen were unique. Their music was unlike most everything else of that time, and you can see their influence in some of today’s performers. It wasn’t just Freddie. He had some influence beyond his own words and style.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So well said Mark. I agree about that run, and I felt it to be the case with so many bands that I followed back in the day. I do believe I took it for granted that the next album was going to be lights out fantastic. Spoiled rotten I was. We were.

      And I agree about the movie. It was cool to see my son and his wife going to see it. Even if he already knew all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. {swoon} I absolutely freakin’ love Freddie. Such a creative soul who knew how to write great lyrics and then sing it. And then belt it out like an anthem. The world of rock will always be a tiny bit less with the loss of this remarkable human showman with a damn bloody great voice and an ability to put on quite a show. #killerqueen

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a great series of posts this is!
    I have enjoyed it tremendously. I have also thought about it. I agree with all you have put on Mount Musicmore. I wish there were 6 heads, though.
    I would include John Lennon, and Elton John. They are every bit as influential and powerful and moneymaking as the ones you chose.
    Let me add this (very, very personal): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYcyacLRPNsx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What can I say that hasn’t been said? Excellent selection, through and through. I think I would thrown Elton John up there myself, but he’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea. I haven’t tired of Queen, either. Bohemian Rhapsody was just so unique – it was a game changer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eilene,

      I loved the Elton John movie. And I will tell you he was in that discussion. It’s sort of like, who do I take . . Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig? Yes . . it’s that tough.

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment.

      Liked by 2 people

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