July 8

With the summer of my junior year of high school looming, I felt the need for a new soundtrack. MTV was a recent phenomenon in my sleepy suburban town and it was influential. Also new on the scene was our first pop radio station on the FM dial… FM 106, The Cat! Between MTV and the new FM pop station, there were two artists dominating airplay:

John Cougar was huge with his mega smash breakout American Fool:

…and MTV was still all atwitter with videos from the Go-Go’s:

Final exams were underway and I was lucky enough to have a late period study hall. We were warned that attendance in this study hall was mandatory and truancy would not be tolerated! But the weather was sunny, mild and calm… there was no way we weren’t going to take advantage of this perfect youthful day!

Someone had a Frisbee, someone else ran for food, there may have been some beer around and I stopped by the local music store and bought cassettes on both Beauty And The Beat and American Fool.

We met up at Hells Gate State Park on the banks of the mighty Snake River. I had my 6X9 Kraco speakers mounted in home built particle board boxes… with enough extra speaker wire to run them out the window and on to the vinyl top of my 1967 Mustang. We played, we ate, we drank, we reveled!

The soundtrack changed often over that summer, my last carefree one before college, the military, life would take over. I’ve reminisced about that afternoon many times on warm afternoons when I should be doing whatever task is at hand. I found these albums on vinyl at the Groove Merchants a few weeks back… maybe today would be a good day to re-wire my car stereo speakers and find a Frisbee?

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