Greenpoint, October, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

45 Limit

Michael Brown, songwriter and pianist for the Left Banke, died on March 19th. There have been a couple nice tributes on WFMU this past week, including Bob Brainen's show on Saturday morning.
I was reminded of a driving moment from last fall--remember fall? Heading up to RI on a sunny Saturday morning in October. The Hutchinson Parkway curving through Westchester County, listening to Bob Brainen's singles-only show on WFMU. With just a few minutes left in the show, he said: "We're gonna go to one of the great moments in Western Civilization right now..." And the sounds of the Left Banke's "Pretty Ballerina," from December 1966, came up, on an original 45, surface noise and all:

"I had a date with a pretty ballerina/Her hair so brilliant that it hurt my eyes..."

The second verse ends with two lines that are as sad and cryptic as any in pop music:

"Somewhere a mountain is moving/Afraid it's moving without me."

(You can hear it here. Thanks to Jeff Peter for introducing me to the Left Banke.)

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