Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Standing On A Corner

When I went to Arizona this spring, there were two pictures that I just had to take. One was of me at Four Corners doing the one limb in each of four different states Twister pose. Alas, that was not to be. The place where the four corners is was under renovation. And how do you renovate a geographical fiction? The mind boggles. I had a little WallyWorld moment there as I shook the gate in rage.

P1050425The other picture the entire trip was planned around was for me to be standing in Standing On A Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona. This artifact of Americana made famous by The Eagles was also under renovation. They were putting in a new brick sidewalk around it and they were installing in the middle of the intersection a huge island shaped like the Route 66 road sign. Fortunately, by just moving a few orange cones, I was able to make my photographic dream come true.

But my ambitions were even higher. The next morning we went back for more pictures and I wanted to film myself actually singing the song. Now the yellojkt clan is rather infamous for not being able to carry a tune even it came with handles. 'Happy Birthday' in our house has been known to make housepets howl in pain.

My wife who has a much lower threshold of public humiliation than I do refused to even assist in an act that could only result in shame and mockery. This was very painful to me because I had spent much of the vacation rehearsing to the point where I nearly knew most of the words. My plan was to play the song on my iPod with one earpiece in my ear and just sing along a capella karaoke style. Even I knew this performance had the chance of being rather painful. After a heated discussion where the word 'divorce' was never used but clearly implied, my wife went to hide in one of the two catty-corner gift shops that form most of the other corners in Winslow.


That left me to pressgang some poor fellow tourist/Eagles groupie into being the camera crew. One very nice tie-dye clad lady who refused to be identified or photographed (and probably for very good reason) decided to help me out. As I was showing her how to operate the camcorder, the gift shop where my wife had just moments previously disappeared began playing its repertoire of Eagles songs for the day, beginning with 'Take It Easy'.

Taking this as a divine sign of approval for my quest, we quickly started filming. My lyrical knowledge was still a little shaky and if I accidentally hit a right note, it still hasn't recovered. And my little shimmy during the instrumental break is the same not-dance move I have been using since middle school.

I was ecstatic to finally achieve a bucket list level goal of mine. After eight days of travel seeing some of the most fantastic scenery in America, my trip was made by being able to warble tunelessly in a town that if it weren't for the genius of Jackson Browne would have faded off the map like so many other victims of the closing of Route 66.

Was it worth it? Hell, yeah! Because as the song says, "We may lose and we may win, but we'll never be here again, so open up, I'm climbing it. Take it easy."

More pictures here and if you are real glutton for punishment, here is the full three minute and eighteen interminable seconds version in all its glory.


DemetriosX said...

That... that may have been worse than your rendition of "Hot Blooded" a few years ago. I think you need to listen to your wife more. (She must have incredible musical talent, given that your son is actually able to play a musical instrument at a level acceptable to a college marching band.)

I spent most of my first 37 years not far from Route 66 as it passes through the San Gabriel Valley, so a large part of me has trouble with its iconic status.

Heh, my captcha is singogr. There's a joke there somewhere.

A Free Man said...

Good on you for a complete lack of inhibition.

Flyboy said...

Hi from Canada,
After listing to your rendition I might never be able to listen to the Eagles again. My co-pilot awoke from a sound sleep and asked what was going on when I played your recording.

The Mama Bear said...

Mother says we never got a misical ability gene in the family, but appreciate the effort. You did get a travel loving gene though, and wife is very sensible.
The Mama Bear

Ed & Jeanne said...

That's funny because about a week ago or so I did a full feature post on destinations from songs and of course this one was in it.