5 May 2006
So we have this new car at my house, and I have been driving it.
It’s not new-new, just new-to-me. And it’s a stick shift, which is sort of fun in a let’s-see-how-many-times-I-can-stall-at-this-one-particular-intersection sort of way. Speaking of stick shifts: how do you know what gear to shift into after you’ve slowed down some but haven’t come to a stop? Like, when you’re turning. I find that sometimes second gear will do and other times third is more appropriate. Is there a text I can consult on this?
The coolest part of the car is that is has not only a cd player, which is nice, but a tape player, which is fucking awesome. A tape player! A player! For tapes! All of those years and years’ worth of mix tapes were not for naught: now I am driving around town, stalling at intersections, scrutinizing my musical tastes from yesteryear.
So I put in this tape mysteriously labeled “RECORDS” yesterday, and man. I remember making this tape — songs from vinyl only — in an apartment in Denton, TX in 1994. I even remembered that the stereo that still actually recorded was in my bedroom at the time of this tape-making. I just didn’t remember what was on it.
I’ve been listening to it in a state of permanent madeleine-inspired-esque reverie as each song comes on, but when I got to “Frank Mills,” from the Hair soundtrack, I just nearly died. I had a lot of musical soundtracks growing up (most of which I bought at thrift stores, having never seen the musicals), and the Hair soundtrack (side one, at least) was one of my favorites. Did you know Diane Keaton was part of the original cast? (Later, when I saw the movie, I was incredibly disappointed; not only was it boring and sort of weird, but the songs had been slowed down considerably, which totally ruined everything for me. I’ve noticed that this happens in a lot of musicals when they are made into movies. I don’t understand why.)
So, “Frank Mills.” People. I had forgotten about the Lemonheads cover, which I have heard fairly recently, but hearing the original — sung in a sweet, tinny, girly voice — just got to me. This is the sweetest, most absolutely perfect minute-and-a-half explanation of what it’s like to be a teenager. Here are the lyrics, posted as a letter, which is how the song sounds to me:
I met a boy called Frank Mills on September twelfth right here in front of the Waverly, but unfortunately
I lost his address. He was last seen with his friend, a drummer — he resembles George Harrison of the Beatles, but he wears his hair tied in a small bow at the back.
I love him, but it embarrasses me to walk down the street with him. He lives in Brooklyn somewhere
and wears this white crash helmet. He has golden chains on his leather jacket and on the back is written the names “Mary” and “Mom” and “Hell’s Angels.”
I would gratefully appreciate it if you see him tell him I’m in the park with my girlfriend and please tell him Angela and I don’t want the two dollars back — just him.
If your heart doesn’t hurt a little after reading that, I’m sorry, but you are dead inside.