Tuesday, March 9, 2010

1979: Rock Lobster

B-52's: Rock Lobster

I was one year old in 1979. I can't tell you that I disco danced with Michael Jackson to Off the Wall or worked for the "Clampdown" with the Clash. Or maybe I did... I don't know. I was still in diapers. But, just because I wasn't much aware of what was happening musically in 1979, doesn't mean that some of the songs from that year don't immediately transport me to a certain place or time.

One such song is "Rock Lobster" from the B-52's off the band's 1979 self-titled debut.

I attended college and grad school at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky (about an hour east of Lexington). Morehead is a fairly small town with limited options when it comes to late night eateries. That meant I often found myself heading east along I-64 in the morning's wee hours to a place called The Smokey Valley Truck Stop. It was the place to get a hot breakfast or double decker "Smokey Valley Burger" at 2AM.

The food was the primary draw... but the Truck Stop also had a juke box in the corner that always drew my attention. It held all the typical juke box fare... Bon Jovi, The Eagles, Garth Brooks, various "Hits" collections, etc... It also held the debut album from the B-52's.

That's where I came to love this song. I played it every time I went to the Truck Stop (which was pretty often) even if it did seem to annoy some of the other patrons who didn't want their stream of classic rock and current country interrupted by some abstract, seven-minute, new wave anthem about a ocean dwelling crustacean. I'm still not quite sure what this song was doing on that juke box, but I'm glad it was there.

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