Friday, September 29, 2017
Held Hostage by YouTube
Last night I fell into one of those black holes on YouTube where one video leads to another and before you know it you've wasted two hours of valuable time when you should have been asleep, like most responsible working adults.
I had fun, though. Holy cow.
I started with this song from the Eurythmics, which Dave and I came across last night in an episode of "The Sopranos." I loved it when I heard it on the show, without knowing who it was, and did some quick research to track it down. I might have known the incomparable Annie Lennox was behind those vocals. Turns out that although it reached No. 11 on the British pop charts, it was mysteriously never released as a single in the United States, which is why I never heard it when it came out back in 1999.
Then I slipped about 15 years farther back for some vintage Eurythmics. And then I changed the pace entirely by watching a lithe Joni Mitchell strolling through a wheat field in the '60s, and teaming up with Mama Cass and Mary Travers for a TV appearance. Those videos were already in my YouTube favorites, but I came across a new one of John Denver and Mama Cass singing "Leaving on a Jet Plane." And that brought tears to my eyes, with both of them long gone, and way too young.
And then I listened to Peter, Paul and Mary sing "Early Morning Rain," which might be the most beautiful thing I've ever heard, followed up by a stunning rendition of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."
And then I got into the '80s and listened to Peter Schilling and INXS and Wham! Let me just say, the video for "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" is the gayest thing I have ever seen. How were we not aware at the time that George Michael was gay? I remember loving his earrings, but what is up with those mini-shorts? And those "Choose Life" shirts? (They apparently have nothing to do with an anti-abortion message; they're meant to be "a comment against war, death and destruction.") And then there's this Wham! video, which I'd never seen but also hits pretty high on the gay-o-meter, Speedo and all -- the presence of the girls notwithstanding.
And then there's Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart," which is possibly the weirdest music video ever made -- and ripe for a hilarious parody.
Anyway, it was well worth wasting two hours of time, but now I'm going to be tired at work.
(Photo: A narrow side street in Hampstead. The panel on the ground bears a Roald Dahl quote: "Those who do not believe in magic will never find it.")