Tuesday, November 08, 2005

AM Sunsets

There are some musical memories that can't in fact be remembered. How many AM radio songs streamed through your head when you were three years old while lodged next to a beer cooler in the back of a VW bus in 1974? You'll never know. But for some damned reason all these Glen Campbell songs sound like they were crafted in a subliminal pop heaven on a symphonically enhanced planet where VW buses will forever cruise open American byways haloed in gold and purple sunsets, where the Mr. Pibb flows from every water fountain and your parents never age, forever shod in earth shoes. What do you call nostalgia for memories you didn't even know you had--and maybe don't have? Perhaps it's the ultimate Freudian denial of death.
Which brings us to Ronnie Milsap.
Not far from Planet Glen, somewhere in the whiter whirls of the Ray Charles solar system, is "Traces," from Love Will Never Pass Us By, an early outing on Buckboard Records. Buckboard is long out of business and this album is long out of print. It's not even listed on Allmusic Guide for some reason. I think we can safely assume early '70s, although there's no date listed. Of course, when you're dealing with Freudian death-denial and AM sunsets, are dates really relevant? I think not.
P.S. "Traces" is a cover of the hit by one-hit wonders Classic IV. You can see an astonishing video of them performing it here.

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