Have A Nice Bitey

Early last decade (I can say that for the rest of this year), a friend of mine I’ll call Sheepman made me a mix tape. I had it for years. I listened to it often. It became a music staple for when I ran. I used to pop that thing in my Sony Walkman (I have 2 and they still work beautifully. In fact they look brand new–Kids! Ask your dad about the old pre-iPod days!) and hit the road for a nice 5km run. Of course, I had to lash the player to my waist because bouncing didn’t make for great playback. Anyhow, last night I came across the cassettes I favoured for running. In fact, I found all 4 of my best running tapes–except for one, the one Sheepman made for me.

The songs? Well, they were all drawn from a Rhino Records 70s compilation with the 70s yellow smiley face title Have a Nice Day. There was Vickie Lawrence’s The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, Life is a Rock (but the Radio Rolled me) by Reunion, Loudon Wainwright III’s Dead Skunk, the supremely bad Run Joey Run, as well as Billy Don’t Be a Hero–the US version by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, not the UK’s Paper Lace, who did the Night Chicago Died.

You can still buy a few volumes of the collection on CD www.rhino.com/store/SearchResults.lasso , but what I’m after is to recreate the mix tape Sheepman gave me.  Exactly. Because the the soundtrack of my life becomes the soundtrack to a character’s, a guy who has a thing for cheesy one hit wonders, which you know mirror his love life with his one hit wonder girlfriends.

A result of trying to recreate Sheepman’s mix tape, I’ve been singing the best of the worst 70s tunes all day. Honk if you know this one: My name is Michael, I’ve got a nickel. I’ve got a nickel shiny and new. I’m gonna buy me all kinds of candy that’s what I’m gonna do…

Or maybe you know this one: Big bear this here’s Rubber Duck and I’m about to put the hammer down...

If I’ve managed to get you humming Candy Man or Chicka Boom (Don’t Ya ‘jes Love It?), then my job here today is done.


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