Though 35 miles south of New York City, the town where Pete and I grew up was just as in the middle of nowhere as any other. Nobody had FM radio until the mid-seventies, but even after that, most people were marooned in AM radio waves while ABC and NBC radio battled it out. If you were really lucky, you had enough money for records or eight track tapes. I probably bought three or four records a year. For me, FM radio was like sparkly jewelry. I’d hear a song once, fall in love with it, then maybe hear it again months later. Sometimes I could figure out whose song it was, but most often not, and I had no idea what the players looked like. Sometimes, a song took on an air of mystery as I waited to hear it again, if I ever did. Here’s one now.
Those crunchy guitars, the mushy lyrics, the improbable and almost comical harmonies: to my 15-year-old ear, this was a perfect radio song. There was no way in the world I’d get to see a band play a show, and even getting to see a band play live on television was unlikely, so today is the first time I’ve seen The Sweet. Bless my buttons, these skinny boys are super sexay rock stars. The hairstyles alone are genius. My dad came back from Europe dressed like this and the women in my town lost their minds. Bonus: the bizarre camera work would not have interfered with my gooey teenage love of this song, had I seen this video. From experiences like this, from waiting for weeks or months to hear a song a second time, I developed a hunger for certain musics I couldn’t get to and couldn’t have.
You: Ta, what in glamorous tarnation are you getting at?
Tata: I thought you’d never ask!
I love this like the Flying Lizards’ craven and comic version of Money (That’s What I Want):
Tomatoes and zucchini is the answer to the question, “What the fuck am I going to do with another freaking zucchini?” The recipe for onions in vinegar came from the Ball cookbook, which as you might imagine is full of Post-Its, index cards and syrup stains. The tomatoes and zucchini recipe has vague points like what volume of tomatoes to use and why after five minutes’ simmering zucchini would be cooked through, so I added some lemon juice to the jar before processing. The onion recipe is for red onions in red wine vinegar but I ran out of both and improvised with white onions and vinegar, adding a tablespoon of pickling spice to the simmer, which I let go awhile longer than the recipe described because my father-in-law arrived at my kitchen door. Pink pickled onions will be fantastic on homemade pierogies in January, almost as good as a new guitar sound on a bright summer morning, when anything is possible.