Saturday, May 27, 2017

Forty years ago today-- the Sex Pistols release "God Save The Queen"

Sometime during the 1979-80 school year, when I was eleven or twelve, my older brother returned home from college in Colorado, where he was a freshman and hating it. When he’d gone off in the fall, Clark had had shoulder-length hair and was listening to the Marshall Tucker Band, the Eagles, and the Who; when he came back home, his hair was half an inch long, and he was wearing cracked mirrored sunglasses and an amused snarl. One day during his visit, Clark told me I needed to call the KSHE Radio request line and ask for a particular song to be played. At the time (and probably to this day), KSHE played “Real Rock Radio” and was where white St. Louis went to hear Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Charlie Daniels, Steely Dan, and Yes—it was, at my brother’s insistence throughout high school, the only radio station we ever listened to on family car trips. Now here was Clark wanting me to call up these arbiters of dinosaur rock taste and request some song with bad words in it he'd heard about while away at college. As the younger brother who always wanted to be included in any mischief and mayhem, I was eager to comply.

I’m not sure I actually remember placing the phone call, so I always imagine my fingers shaking as I dialed and my voice cracking as I asked the man who answered the phone on the other end of the line, “Can you play ‘God Save the Queen’ by the Sex Pistols?” But I have no trouble recalling his response— he quickly shouted “Fuck you!” and crashed the phone down. Needless to say, I was thrilled—what powers had I just unleashed? What was this music that made grown men cuss out little kids over the phone just for requesting it? I hadn’t even heard the song yet, but I knew was hooked.

No comments:

"Hockey ought to be sternly forbidden, as it is not only annoying but dangerous." Halifax Morning Sun, quoted in Michael McKinley's Hockey - A People's History