Thursday, March 16, 2006

A-B-C, 1-2-3

It took forever for it to end, this lifeless Matchbox 20 tune. But when I heard the sassy sax/keyboard intro of the next song today, I knew there was a reason that I sat through three minutes of warbling, half-baked soft rock.

The song, ABC's Look of Love, will always make me wanna crank it and laugh my ass off. I first heard it on the great Northwest road trip I took with Dan, Toni and Alex in August 2003. We drove 26 hours straight from Mpls. to Seattle, then down to Portland. From P-Town, we drove the coastal highway to San Francisco.

It was the early afternoon on the fifth day of the trip. We were driving my mom's Jeep somewhere on the Oregon coast. I can't remember if I was driving or if it was Dan, but everyone was silently reading of staring out the windows.

Then I heard the beginning of "Look of Love" on a small town soft rock station. I turned it up and started laughing. Dan shot me a look of astonishment that said, "This song is awful -- awesome!"

Every verse, prechorus and bridge was met with unbridled joy and laughter. Every keyboard manuever and bit of 80s guitar (keytar?) wankery celebrated. Somewhere in the middle I blurted out, "This song is so bad that it's exciting!" And I actually called it before it happened, I could just feel that the singer -- who sounds a hell of a lot like Rick Astley -- would start talking over the music. Sure enough, towards the ends he murmurs: "And though my friends just might ask me/They say martin maybe one day you’ll find true love/I say maybe, there must be a solution/To the one thing, the one thing, we can’t find"

We couldn't stop talking about it when it ended. We pulled over in the next town, found a pay phone and actually called the station to ask the name of the song and the band.

When we arrived in San Francisco the next day or so, Dan asked to stop at Amoeba Records, ground zero for hipster record purchases in the Bay Area. After milling about in the store for about twenty minutes, he said he'd better leave before he spent all his money.

I met him back in the car where he was sitting and leafing through a CD booklet. I started the Jeep and heard the now familiar keyboard and electronic drum intro. He had bought ABC's Greatest Hits (false advertising, if I've ever seen it) and wanted to surprise us.

We rocked out to the CD whenever things got boring on the drive back to Minneapolis. I've karaoked the song in the years since, and know a surprising amount of the lyrics. And when I moved to Washington last summer, Dan put it as a "hidden track" on a mix CD he made me.

Cheers, ABC!


At 10:16 AM, Blogger poor man said...

You first heard it in 2003?

Wow. You really wanna laugh, you should see the video too.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

Dude, now I feel TOTALLY old. Like I didn't already. Thanks a ton.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Toni said...

I've been laughing for about 10 minutes now just thinking about that day. Unbelievable that was almost 3 years ago now. How time flies.


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