leave your inhibitions at the door
Living here in Ann Arbor, I’m around college students all the time. I’m sure many of you living in towns where a university is a huge part of the community can relate. Those of you not living in a college town will probably come across a student every once in a while, too. But I’m pretty sure you’re not going to run into monster displays of awful beer at your local grocery store.
Even though I’m completely surrounded by college students, I don’t get many opportunities to have conversations with them. Probably because I don’t want to come off as some Asian version of Frank the Tank.
I’ve often wondered whether certain aspects of the college experience are the same now as back then. I’m sure falling asleep in boring lectures is a given. As are hellish roommates. And a quick drive around town before a football game is all you’ll need to verify that drinking games are still a thing.
That got me thinking about music – I know they still listen to it, but how much has changed? I still keep up with new music (thanks in part to my teenage Pieholes) so I know there are whole genres that weren’t around when I was in college. Of course music is going to be different.
There’s some music whose appeal to college students is timeless. My niece – who I’ve referred to here as “Sh!tshow” – graduated from Michigan a couple years ago. Right around the midway point of her freshman year, I noticed she became a huge fan of some of the same music that I discovered at that stage. Artists like the Grateful Dead and Bob Marley.
And NOOOOOO, I wasn’t in college when they made it big. They were already years – maybe DECADES! – in their prime when I started listening to them. But it seemed like everyone and their roommate (hellish or otherwise) had a copy of Bob Marley’s Legend.
There was another album that every guy had back then. It had been around since 1976, so it definitely wasn’t a hot new release. It wasn’t what we normally listened to with friends or alone. It only came out on special occasions, but it wasn’t the stuff of wild party mixtapes. No, it only came out when guys were looking to impress a date with their sensitive sides.
I’m talking about James Taylor’s Greatest Hits
It was oh so predictable. Guy cleans up dorm room “just in case” he meets someone at the party later that night. Depending on his qualities, pure chance, and/or the moon’s cycle, he meets that someone and they have some wonderful conversation or whatever. He then says, “hey, do you want to see my stereo?” both knowing, of course, that no one gives a rat’s ass about his hi-fi gear. They go back to his room and he then puts a coat hanger on his door which is code to his roommate for “I don’t care if you have to sleep on a park bench, DO NOT, under any circumstances, for the love of God, come in here and ruin things for us. Especially if you’re with your Dungeons and Dragons buddies.”
Then, of course, comes…
Something in the Way She Moves
Fire and Rain
You’ve Got a Friend
Some disclaimers are needed here –
– I had the album myself, but it never worked for me. Mainly because I was such a fucking loser and I never had a chance to try it out.
– It wasn’t me that took the coat hanger off your door to the dismay of you, your date, and your roommate. But the rest of the dorm floor had a good giggle at it.
– I don’t know if it was only a “guy thing”. I’d like to think that women would also bust out the James Taylor for the same occasion. Again, I wouldn’t know. See “fucking loser” a couple bullet points up.
I’m sure Sh!tshow or one of my nephews around that age could tell me whether college students still use James Taylor as a romance aid. But that’s not exactly something I’m comfortable asking them about. And I’m pretty sure they’d get creeped out talking about it with their dear old Uncle Hedonist. But I have no problem asking you …..
Did James Taylor work for (or on) you? Do you know if they’re still trying it today?