Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World - "It's A Long Way There"
Did I ever tell you the story of getting kicked out of class for putting my feet on the desk?
Well, it was a bit more than that. I had my feet on the desk and the Evidence professor was offended and he asked me a question.
Wrong strategy. I can read. And I did. Just because I wear my collar turned up and find it more comfortable to have my feet on the desk doesn't mean I'm ignorant. Not only did I answer his question, I asked him a few, which he couldn't answer.
So he kicked me out of class.
Not that I displayed any attitude. But that's the educational system, the teachers have to feel they're better than us. And if we ignore that construct and pierce the veil...dicey times ensue.
And it was the crack of dawn on a Friday morning, the fact I was there at all was a miracle, not because I'm a class-skipper, but because I CAN'T WAKE UP! Left to my own devices I'll go to sleep later and later, I love the nighttime, I don't love to boogie, but when it gets dark and everybody goes to sleep I can truly flourish. Which makes it hard to wake up at eight a.m., to drive from the westside to downtown, all to listen to the ministrations of some pompous person. Hell, one of the great moments of the year was the return of Moot Court papers, which had to be anonymous, since they're overwhelmed with privacy issues in law school, and I got the second highest grade in the class. This guy made a snide remark as he returned my report, he should have APOLOGIZED! Not that I was expecting it, but he'd really put me in a pickle, if I hadn't gotten back into class my dad would have KILLED ME! Screw the teacher, it was my dad I was afraid of. Hey Dad! You paid all this money and I'm not gonna graduate and it's gonna cost you even more bucks... I convinced the professor to let me back in, but this is all a set-up for that moment in the late fall of '76 when I was sitting in gridlock on the 405 and I heard this record.
Ah, the days of radio. Especially in L.A. Where there were FIVE rock stations on the FM. And the two biggest, if not the best, were right next to each other on the dial, 94.7 KMET, and 95.5 KLOS. You'd just twist the dial and go from one to the other. Hell, my Blaupunkt had no presets. And I'm on Wilshire, ascending to the 405, and the deejay announces he's going to play something brand new and I hear these swirling strings and then a cappella harmonies and then the track proceeds to positively ROCK OUT! For almost TEN MINUTES!
Ah, the seventies.
The song? IT'S A LONG WAY THERE! BY THE LITTLE RIVER BAND!
No, no, no, don't confuse them with that outfit with the a/c hits, this was before they blanded out the sound, when they were still rockers, before anybody in American knew them...
"People on the road are getting nowhere
I'm on the road to see
If anything is anywhere and waiting just for me"
It was really a long way to where I was going.
I was going to drop out of law school, but it was the worst year in the history of snowfall in Utah, 1976-77, you can look it up. And then I fell in love and then...
Sometime I'll tell you my history. I haven't been writing this drivel forever. Took me years to find my niche. But it's never too late. I may have little hair, I may be old, but I'm just starting to crest, my peak is still in front of me.
And how can I do it?
PERSEVERANCE AND MUSIC!
Not every track, just some tracks. I put them on and it's me and them against the world.
But "It's A Long Way There" is not aggro. It's positively pleasing.
And maybe you know that.
But if you don't you're in for a treat!
What we loved about our seventies music was it was not cookie-cutter, it did not all sound the same, it was a veritable cornucopia of quality.
I left Evidence and drove right to Music Odyssey and bought the brand new Little River Band album, a compilation of two from Down Under, but I didn't know that, the press hadn't yet told the story. And it really didn't matter, because none of the other cuts ever stuck, but "It's A Long Way There"...
I came home, ripped off the shrinkwrap and dropped the needle and...
Tons of power, big speakers, I had enough sound to blow apart the whole building. Like everybody's got a wi-fi network these days, we all had stereos. And if you paid enough, a few thousand bucks, a pure elixir of sound emanated from the speakers and soothed you, made you happy.
This was not earbud nation. You could actually see the instruments in the speakers.
And it's a long way until we're there again.
But when we are... All those exquisitely recorded gems from way back then are going to come alive, and the populace is going to be THRILLED!
Just check this out.
If you're not amazed, you're a jaded punk who thinks music must be ugly to be pretty.
But "It's A Long Way There" is not.