Christmas 1995 Open Letter
To all jinxed space travelers, earth shakers, cave dwellers (and pop stars):
I sincerely hope this finds you well and in good enough spirits to read on, after all, Christmas is approaching, if not already come and gone.
Since last year’s seasonal outburst was such a fantastic success and a blow to my self-image, here I go again with more love and tidings to match this year’s chidings. There’s no business like blow business, I can swear to that, my friends. Everyone from the dentist next door (Dr. White and Mr. Jones) to Bob Licky and Zoe Snow will testify that there were some days on the ‘95 calendar that just blew. All rejoice in the glory of days with no blow.
• • •
As the compact disc takes over the market, with tricks with green markers and such, I indulged in 45 rpm singles found often on street corners. God knows what I’ve passed up in order to fondle the buggers. Scored with several hits from England Dan Seals and John Mopar Cokey, a little hot wax Lightfoot, and plenty of terrible Chicago hit-bound singles that never were. They cut ‘em hot for a reason. Whew! I literally broke down and was lent a CD player, but it felt vertical resistance and went south.
• • •
This year I’ve learned more about California. Learned how to pronounce Cahuenga, La Cienega, and Butte. Driving around Los Angeles while visiting was torture, but it’s probably worse if you live there. Helped Rupert Pupkin write some material. Kinda got my own niche going on down there, a Denny’s at Santa Monica and Gower. Same Mr. Gower, the druggist from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Saw that dick Jay Leno.
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While my housemates were leafing through the spring, summer...and fall schedules at the colleges, I got my hands on a Moog. Learning that old synthesizer was like taking French, I bet. All those tricky sounds and more. Might even count as a credit in a textbook, a whole lot more if I got lucky, Ooh, oui.
Most importantly, I learned Dusty in Memphis. That turned into a 9-5 job, took it on business trips, crying to stewardesses, “I can’t make it alone!” The only thing I would have changed is that weird lyric, “This old world wouldn’t be half-assed bad...” I think those husband-wife songwriting teams (Mann-Weil) must get distracted. That record just kills me. I was going to give it back to Denise, but it broke in about a million pieces.
Now more on Lightfoot: I gave Gordon’s words a good listen this year. A Wreck with Edmund Fitzgerald is the feverish tale of the demise of a couple guys fully loaded trying to make it to Cleveland, eh, the best line being, “Does anyone know where the love of God went when the booze turned the minutes to hours?”
• • •
Off I leave you to your opinions and rest. My vitals are the same as they’ve been, my love be with you. Remember, this is the “Season of Shaving.”
From a warped prostrate young man,
Chris von Sneidern
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