The Roundabout Fiasco of 1979

The other day I had occasion to go inside a stranger’s house for a few minutes. I didn’t know these people; I was only there to pick up something for my kid. It all went fine – I wasn’t assailed by any weird smells or shocking junk hoards or anything like that, but they were loudly playing bad music. I mean really, really bad music. Music that would be bad even for a Miley idolizing twelve year old. So I was a little disconcerted, attempting to maintain a fake smile in the midst of my horror and confusion, and trying to get out of there as soon as I could politely do so.

Naturally, this experience reminded me of the “Roundabout Fiasco of 1979”. It was one of those high school parties where a kid’s parents are out of town, so he tries to have a big, wild party like he’s seen on those stupid teen movies. I didn’t know the boy with the out-of-town-parents, but one of his pals was my band-guy-friend, and he pestered me into coming to the party and bringing some of my friends with me. So I reluctantly agreed to go, and I showed up at the designated time with a carload of girls, as I was expected to do. My friends didn’t want to go, of course, so I promised them that we would only stay a few minutes if it sucked. Which it did.

Once inside the house, it was evident that in addition to breaking parental trust with a “wild party”, the parental liquor cabinet had been broken into as well. There were a few other miserable looking girls huddled together on the couch, but mostly, the place was overrun with a bunch of drunk teenage boys – some already passed out, some dashing off to bow before the porcelain god, and a few still upright and trying hard to impress. The only saving grace was that “Roundabout” was playing on the stereo, and as you know, I’m a big Yes fan, so I gave my girl-posse the “just give it a few minutes” signal and we stood in a little knot close to the door.

But the drunk boys obviously weren’t aware that this was their only saving grace, because in the middle of the song, one of them went up to the stereo, scratched the needle across the record, said “I don’t wanna listen to this old sh*t”, and put on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall. Let’s let that sink in. He took off “Roundabout”, dissing it in the process. Then he played Michael Jackson instead.

You know, I have a long history of judging people by their musical tastes. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna feel disdain for your granny if she watches the Lawrence Welk fund-raisers on PBS, and I’m not gonna sneer at a twelve year old that likes Lady Gag or whatever, but if you are my contemporary, and you like crappy music, I know in my heart that you’ll never be admitted to the inner circle (not that I actually have one), though I’ll be nice to you and all. But this was really too much to take. Here I had forced my friends to come with me to this ridiculous “party”, only to be thrust into the midst of a bunch of Michael Jackson listenin’, Yes dissin’, drunken jerks. I stood there glowering at the record-changing twerp for a few minutes, then I gave the “let’s roll” signal to my girl-posse and we left without a word.

My band-guy-friend followed me outside and wanted to know why we were leaving, to which I casually responded “We can’t take that music they’re playing”, not realizing the incendiary implications of my words. The miserable girls from the couch followed us out too, and the whole horrible event was over as far as we girls were concerned. But we found out on the following Monday that our leaving was only the beginning of the pièce de résistance of the evening. Apparently, my band-guy-friend told them all we left because of Michael Jackson, so a couple guys jumped on the record-changing twerp for running all the girls off with his bad music, and of course the twerp’s friends came to his defense. Thus, the failed teen-movie-wild-party evolved into a drunken teenage-boy brawl. Because of Yes-dissing. And Michael Jackson. And my big mouth, I guess.

Record-changing twerp, whatever were you thinking? I continue to glower in your general direction, wherever you may be now, enjoying your Bieber tunes and such. But I’m sorry you got your comeuppance. Kinda. Just kidding! Sorta.

It occurred to me while writing this post that the band-guy-friend was probably the one that played “Roundabout” in the first place. He knew how much I like Yes. He was the one that gave me ELO’s  A New World Record on eight track when he saw that the only tape I had was John Denver’s Greatest Hits. Probably never shoulda friend-zoned that guy. From the metalgurumessiah…

And don’t go dissin’ John Denver! My parents gave me that tape so I’d have something to play on my eight track player in my first car. I wanted to do a “Rocky Mountain High” clip, but I couldn’t find a good one, so we’ll do “Rocky Mountain Way” instead. Because the Rocky Mountain way really is better than the way we had. Seriously, America. Not even sorta kidding.

Questions? Comments? Please Share!



Filed under Music, Uncategorized

11 responses to “The Roundabout Fiasco of 1979

  1. I guess I’ve generated a couple of fights in my time but never had someone defending my musical tastes while he’s at it. I guess this guy may not have been your boyfriend, but I sure hope someone thought he was a keeper. He sounds like a great guy.

    • Yep. He was a keeper all right. But I couldn’t see that at the time, because apparently my brain was too clouded with the heavy testosterone emanating from the souped up El Caminos in the bowling alley parking lot. lol!

  2. I know what you mean. I guess there were a lot that got away because we didn’t realize then that personality and kindness accounted for a lot. Guys that ‘got’ us, but didn’t get us, if you know what I mean.

    • Yes, I know exactly what you mean. But the heart wants what the heart wants, right? There’s no explaining it, really. Oh well, all part of life’s rich pageant…

  3. “Way” over “High”… good choice.
    You know that Jon would not approve of this story, don’t you? But I’m darn sure Rick Wakeman would.

    • Yeah, I would imagine that any kind of conflict in any way related to a Yes song would give Jon a sleepless night or two, but Rick would probably revel in the victory. Haha!

  4. Okay, Yes is great, of course, but I happened to hear “Off The Wall” on the radio just yesterday, and I was head-bobbin’ with the best of them. But I know teenage girls are very opinionated, and I’m sure you were no different. I’m very sure.

    • I like a lot of dance music but M.J. always got on my nerves. However, it wasn’t so much the M.J. listenin’ as it was the Yes dissin’ that made me walk out in protest. That, and the roomful of drunk, obnoxious teenage boys. lol.

  5. Pingback: Sweet Accustomed Ways: Yes in Nashville | My Wild Surmise

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