19 May 2011

Just in case you've forgotten ...

... it's been a long time since I've dissected an American Top 40 playlist, so here we go with the way the songs stacked up early in May 32 years ago, 1979:

40) * I (WHO HAVE NOTHING) / Sylvester
"I tawt I taw a mirror ball!" Guy's full name was Sylvester James, and had two other singles - the #36 record "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" and his biggest hit, such as it is, "Dance (Disco Heat)." All disco and all throwaway crap. Especially this, one of a number of classic pop standards desecrated with a disco beat. Ben E. King had the hit in 1963 (#29) and Tom Jones went to #14 with it in ‘70. #40 was as high as Thylvethter made it with his cover. Taken from his album Sufferin' Silk Shirts.

39) * OLD TIME ROCK & ROLL / Bob Seger
I could go into a rant about this one, but would much prefer I no—ohhh, never mind. I shall. One reason I no longer wish to DJ dances, something I enjoyed doing back in the late ‘80s and a good part of the ‘90s, is the absolute dumbing down of party attendees. You think terrestrial commercial radio is down to the same 20 moth-eaten, over-researched songs? Try the world of dances, where that 20 is whittled down to maybe half a dozen records, at most ... of which this is one. I've joked that I no longer need to bring a big collection of music; just burn two CDs with those six songs (including "Respect", "At the Hop", and "Rock Around the Clock"), and segue between them.

38) GET USED TO IT / Roger Voudouris
One-song wonder that missed the top 20 (peaked at #21). A good song that got substantial airplay in Cape Girardeau, where I was living at the time of this survey.

37) DON'T YOU WRITE HER OFF / McGuinn, Clark and Hillman
Byrds of a feather make good records together. Roger, Gene and Chris pooled their talents into one song that reached #33. Another forgotten gem, serving as an ongoing reminder that not all of top-40 radio in 1979 resembled Hiroshima circa 1945. Just .... a lot of it.

36) SWEET LUI-LOUISE / Ironhorse
a/k/a Bachman-Turner Overtime. Randy Bachman's third group. Song is pretty good, for sounding like warmed-over BTO. You could even say that I like it. And I will, because I do.

35) * DEEPER THAN THE NIGHT / Olivia Newton-John
Malaria Neutron-Bomb goes disco with this week's highest-debut'er. Why are you so surprised – what part of 1979 don't you understand??!!

34) ROLLER / April Wine
I've always liked much of their stuff, in particular 1981's "Sign of the Gypsy Queen" and their first hit, "You Could Have Been a Lady" from 1972. Frankly, I'm a bit ‘meh' on "Roller." Not too bad, compared with some of the crap on the radio (see #40), but I've heard much better.

33) SUCH A WOMAN / Tycoon
The opening did not ring a bell, but once it got to the hook it took me back. One of those songs that recalls riding my 10-speed all over north Cape, with modified can holder duct-taped to the frame, holding a radio usually blasting KJAS. And remember:"KJAS plays the MOST MUSIC!"

32) ROXANNE / Police
First hit single for a band you've never heard of. One member goes by the name "Sting" ... huh? Never mind, moving right along ......

31) HOT NUMBER / Foxy
I got your number – #21 – now hurry up and "Get Off" the chart, already!!

30) HAPPINESS / The Pointer Sisters
Follow-up to their million-seller "Fire" ... #30 was as high as it got, barely enough to qualify as an ‘afterburner.'

29) CRAZY LOVE / The Allman Brothers
The Allmans regrouped to bring us the first of several memorable singles. Not to be confuzzed with Poco's big one from earlier that year. Same title, different song.

28) SULTANS OF SWING / Dire Straits
Debut single, and their biggest hit until 1985, when they realized that both chicks and currency are complimentary. From one of my favorite bands, it's one of my favorites, even though it flirts with B2AC-dom.

27) TRAGEDY / The Bee Gees
The title says it all.

26) JUST WHEN I NEEDED YOU MOST / Randy Vanwarmer
One of 1979's biggest Whiny Wecords®. "If you can't live without me, why aren't you dead?"

25) ROCK ‘N' ROLL FANTASY / Bad Company
So you had the Allmans and Poco both doing "Crazy Love" ... Bad Company can go one better: 1975's "Feel Like Makin' Love" (different song a year earlier by Roberta Flack) and .. "Fantasy", a minor hit the previous year by The Kinks.

24) THE LOGICAL SONG / Supertramp
First single release from Breakfast In America, my favorite album cover, bar none.

23) RENEGADE / Styx
Okay, that's three rock & roll acts in a row. I thought this was 1979. Where's the disco?

Uh-uh-uh-uh, don't touch that dance floor.............

Now, that's more like it?

21) I GOT MY MIND MADE UP / Instant Funk
Best-remembered for the line, "Sayyyy WHAT??!!" Couldn't have asked it better.

20) HOT STUFF / Donna Summer
Disco Diva Donna, what more need be said? Okay, this: I like the song. Look people, I never said I hated all disco ... just the kind that's poorly done. This is nicely-made, produced under the talented hand of Giorgio Moroder.

19) PRECIOUS LOVE / Bob Welch
Former Fleetwood Mac vocalist (early ‘70s period) had a string of solo records – most of you I'm sure recall "Sentimental Lady" - originally done by Mac - and "Hot Love, Cold World" .... plus he got a big hit out of this ‘un.

18) LOVE BALLAD / George Benson
Generic title. Underrated song. Couldn't stand it 32 years ago, but I rather enjoy it now.

17) LOVE YOU INSIDE OUT / The Bee Gees
My ears wanna turn inside out when I hear it. This, dearfolk, is a big reason disco is a punchline, and not highly respected as a genre.

16) BLOW AWAY / George Harrison
Sweet. A song that can bring back the darkness of my life in 1979, and at the same time just how good it sounded when something like this pierced the wasteland.

15) LOVE TAKES TIME / Orleans
Meh, meh, a thousand times meh.

14) LOVE IS THE ANSWER / England Dan & John Ford Coley
But what is the question??

13) I WILL SURVIVE / Gloria Gaynor
I much prefer the cover version by Cake. That one single F-bomb makes it. Seriously. From a ‘stupid' lock to ....

12) SHAKE YOUR BODY / The Jacksons
Michael was A) male, B) of the African-American persuasion, and C) possessed all his natural body parts. Jacko would make an unforgettable impression later in 1979's Summer with Off the Wall, but here with his siblings he's already minting gold.

11) WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES / The Doobie Brothers
It's a long way from the laid-back rock of Tom Johnston's Doobies ... here, it's the Michael McDonald flavoured soulful pop. Have to say I prefer the former.

10) HE'S THE GREATEST DANCER / Sister Sledge
Another passable disco song. Much better than what was to follow - and had debuted on the Hot 100 the previous week: the B2AC "We Are Family."

9) TAKE ME HOME / Cher
Sickening. Caricature of an artist on the edge of relevancy trying to stay ‘current' by recording a disco song. And people bought this record. After all, it was 1979.

Like a nice shot of Diet Mountain Dew (or the soda of your choice) to wash down that bitter medicine you had to take. Macca and company were still crankin'em out.

Perhaps my favorite disco act, all around. "Le Freak" aside (too B2AC for me), all their stuff is good. I even have the two-CD best of collection, if that tells you anything.

6) IN THE NAVY / The Village People
Pure, unadulterated, non-filtered, 200-proof shit. I get seasick from having to listen.

5) STUMBLIN' IN / Suzy Quatro and Chris Norman
One that doesn't get played all that often anymore. I never liked it, though. A lame pop hit. Like it for me, please.

4) KNOCK ON WOOD / Amii Stewart
One more classic song folded, spindled and mutilated to fit into platform shoes. Whatever did Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper do to deserve this treatment? A fine Memphis soul standard gets royally ruint.

3) MUSIC BOX DANCER / Frank Mills
Lessee ... y'got yer disco (lots of it) ...y'got yer rock ‘n' roll .... y'got yer R&B ballads ... and you even got yer muzak. Please take that box outside and smash it on the driveway.

2) HEART OF GLASS / Blondie
What can you say, except that in many ways it was a breath of fresh air. That is, until a couple months later when we'd be introduced to a girl named Sharona.

Aaaaaaaand number one on the chart ...

1) REUNITED / Peaches & Herb
Burnt to beef jerky. A major fire risk due to belly-rubbing on the dance floor – silk garments and enormous amounts of exposed chest hair are not a good mix.

So there you have it. I've missed this, I have to say. Okay, bring on the feedback.....

--Talmadge Coast-To-Coast

26 March 2011

Still here, still dreaming

So, it looks as if it's been more than a year since my last post.

Hmmmm ..... quite a kneejerk from more typeative days back in 2006-2008, eh?

A quick update, for might still be listening to this dead air - in the quixotic hope that I shall rise again like cigarette ashes on the side of Highway 431 in Phenix City:

Seraphim and I have been married for 10 years. Still happily and crazily so.

Tiger is a college freshman ... and now blogs, too.

Puddy is still with us. In two weeks, our dog will be 16 YEARS OLD. Puddy isn't the feisty lovable creature she was in years past. Age has taken its toll. She's blind in both eyes from cataracts (common with Cocker breeds), is deaf and muscle loss has taken her weight from a maximum of 38 pounds to her present 24 and change. But the nose is strong as ever. So far, she still has good health on her side. Still, with 112 human years, we don't have much time left with her.

About 18 months ago we moved from Rincon back into Chatham County. Long story.

I'm still who I am, otherwise. Meanwhile, I'm hoping to dust the bunnies off this blog and get back to it. After all, I have a few American Top 40 programs to review. And it'll behoove you not to miss them.

Okay, that's it. I hope to be back a lot sooner than 18 months from now.

Ciao for niao.....

--Talmadge "Lots of makegoods to schedule" Gleck

17 January 2010

Still living, still dreaming

Greetings and Happy New Year!

The Glecks survived Christmas, and are now seizing 2010 ("Twenty Ten", not "Two Thousand Ten") with verve, gusto and other record labels.

Not much to say right now, I just wanted to put something here as it's been nearly three months since I've last darkened this space.

That's all. Ciao for niao.....

--Talmadge "Back to the Shadows" Gleck

22 October 2009

One crow value meal, super-sized, to go.

Weigh-in this afternoon? Yeah, you could say it was a good one.

I was -2.6 this week (all that walking, worrying and stress ... and no, I don't recommend that as a way to drop weight), putting me back over the top, for a grand total of -75.8

Since there are no "off program" events, like the Birmingham trip, and since this wasn't an off-the-chart oddity (dropping 5 pounds in one week is highly unusual, not to mention a sheer quirk), then I am now officially at the goal I set for myself nearly 18 months ago, when I joined Weight Watchers.

On May 5, 2008, I wrote about the doubts I had as to whether or not I could follow through on this commitment and drop 75 pounds, and went on to say:

I hope I'm wrong, though. If I am, I'll gladly eat crow. (How many points is that?)

I understand crow tastes like chicken. Guess I'm fixin' to find out. :-)

LEFT: My DL picture, 2 February 2008 ... nearly 300 pounds!
RIGHT: Victory picture today outside the WW Center in Savannah.

So what's next?

I have a secondary goal of dropping further, and getting down to a weight beginning with a 1. At this point I lack 19.6 pounds until I get there. HOWEVER: I am finished stressing about my weight, about being anal and meticulous about point values, and getting agitated whenever my awesome bride wants to do something else for supper, after I've eaten more points for lunch in assumption of a lighter evening meal.

Habits have changed. Many talk about this being less about "dieting" and "losing weight" than it is a "lifestyle change." Numerous times in this space during my regular updates on this journey, I have spoken of my severed relationship with Coca-Cola, with Squirt and with 44-oz. Mountain Dews from the Gate station down the street.

Some foods I will have to continue avoiding. Cashews still call my name like Olive Oyl toward Popeye when she's been abducted by Bluto (or Brutus, depending on which set of cartoons are on). That's a food I could very easily get back into snarfing at my desk, inhaling an entire can in less than two days.

Now to the truth, ugly as it may be to some:

1) Weight Watchers works. Dropping pounds at a slow, deliberate rate is the best way to do it. And the chance of the pounds coming back are far more remote than if one takes the quick and dirty route, e.g. Atkins. Couple years back, my friend in Alabama dropped 75+ pounds in less than 9 months via Atkins. Guess what? Much of it is back on him, and then some.

2) But much as I believe how well the WW program works, I also believe it has a long way to go for it to be a truly inclusive company. There is an embedded hostility to men I see -- not in all of the leaders and receptionist, however it's present in more of them I've encountered than those who are welcoming to members who possess a frontal limb.

3) With some events coming up in the next few months, I have made the decision to end my participation in Weight Watchers. I made the commitment for 75 pounds, and I was successful. WW is a for-profit corporation, not a civic club. It is a company with a product to sell, so I feel no guilt in discontinuing membership, nor should they feel betrayal in my doing so.

I shall continue my journey toward BWA1 (Beginning With A "1"), and if my weight shows an uptick, then I'll throttle back on foods. I already know the Points™ values of what I eat - they won't confiscate my Points™ calculator, so in that way I still have their "keys to the kingdom."

Saturday, I'm attending the 10:00 meeting and will ask for my 75-pound stone from Miz Tina, the woman who presides over the meetings in Rincon, and the one who looked at me that Cinco De Mayo 2008 day I joined WW, and thought I was too set in my ways to be successful at losing weight.

Something happened, and stubbornness marinated in male ego took over and played a role in helping me to get here. I'm going to look Miz Tina in the eye, and tell her she was mistaken. Boy, did she call this one wrong.

Credit and thanks go to the following people: my wife Seraphim ... Kate/Susan ... Melissa (thanks to her, I kicked my sugared-soda habit) .... and, most of all, to Nettiemac. Without Nettie, I'd probably still be pushing 300, with sleep apnea, stamina problems and the beginning of a lower back problem.

I love you all. Know that.

We have a good bathroom scale, and my intent is to do a weigh-in each weekend as I step out of the shower. As you know, I've dubbed that my "nekkidweight."

If - heaven forbid!! - I were to backslide and find myself inching back toward, say, 240 ... then Weight Watchers will still be there, I know it works and I'll walk in and rejoin. Simple as that.

I will certainly make a post when the BWA1 day arrives. For now, while I'll continue to occasionally touch on the topic of weight, I am finished with weekly updates, and I am hereby retiring the Pound-O-Meter®, which you've seen on the left-hand column of this blog since May 2008.

And there you are. Time marches on, and the weight marches down.

Ciao for niao.

--Skinny-Ass Tal

15 October 2009

A small gain ...

The wages of Birmingham, Alabama ... and (wonderful) places like The Greenbrier Restaurant in Madison, and the hush puppies, the same recipe I ate when I began my love affair with those fried pieces of delectable edible pulchritude, at such a time as I was able to hold one.


Now I'm at -73.2 down. I now lack 1.8 until I get back to 75 pounds. I'm hoping this can be accomplished by Halloween, or at the latest November 5 -- my 18-month anniversary on WW.

Ciao for niao.


01 October 2009

An all-too brief taste of success

I knew I'd be up this week. I just knew it. 5 pounds without some kind of 'correction' would have been too much to believe.

But the fates were most cruel ... I was hoping for no more than +2.2, keeping me at 75.0 even.

Try +2.4. I am now just 2/10 of a pound below the 75 level. Well, shit.

One good thing, though: I won't feel the 'pressure' of staying above goal when I head to Alabanana for a few days next week. As usual, I don't count points during those times -- that said, though, it won't be like last year's Birmingham junket. I've come a long way since then. And I sure as hell won't be making a dive for the Thickburgers. 23 points? That's friggin' obscene. A heart attack on a greasy bun. But anyway....

Allrighty, Saturday I'm going over to Alexander City and watch my son's band play in the Lake Martin band tourney. And then over to Birmingham for some fun, frolic, research and roadgeekin'.

When I get back, also as usual, I'll be back on the wagon. And I'll reclaim 75 ... or my name isn't Talmadge.

Ummmm, wait a minute. It isn't. Well, you get what I mean.

Ciao for niao!

--Talmadge "Birmingham Bound" Gleck

24 September 2009

Facebook killed the Blogger star?

Or so it seems. I've been sharing stuff with friends via Facebook and have allowed this blog to grow weeds and become like the many fabulously abandoned and derelict motel and restaurant properties along US-301.

There will be more to say in the coming weeks and months. Quite a few substantial changes in the cards for these Glecks, so you'll want to keep tuned to this flea-powered daytimer AM.

The big news to share right now involves WEIGHT.

Look at the "I'm Melting! Melting!" column to your left to see how I've been doing. As you can see, I went through a phase where - most comically, if not frustrating - I plateaued to the tune of exactly ZERO change, three weeks in a row. I stayed at 223.4 pounds, with a cume drop of -71.8 ... then last week (09/17), I creeped downward by 4/10 of a pound. Yeah, okay. At least it was preceded by a minus sign.

Then came weigh-in late this morning. I didn't know how I'd do, and early this week I'd been stressing in a BIG way over a couple of things (see "substantial changes", above).

Clearly, that was to my benefit.

I stepped on the scale, and the WW receptionist said, "Well, you've lost.", and then reached for the calculator. My heart jumped, thinking maybe - just maybe - I'd dropped 2.8 pounds, enough to get to my big goal of 75.

Since last Thursday, I dropped exactly -5.0 pounds. I HAVE OFFICIALLY MADE 75, passing it by 2.2. -77.2 pounds since May 5, 2008.

So there.

My next goal is to make damned sure I can keep at least 2.2 pounds of that off, so as to stay above 75. And then make my annual trip to Birmingham without worry.

Then I'm going to continue with this journey, without the calendar or obsessive goal-making, hoping to simply be at -100 pounds before May 5, 2010 - my two-year anniversary of leaving 300 pounds in rear-view mirror.

It feels weird, truth be known. A good weird, still weird.

For the first time in nearly three (!) months, I get to say "ciao for niao"!

So, ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Gleck