216: “Kanday” by LL Cool J

No One Crosses This Fence Except By MeHere’s an example of a very effective hook, circa 1987, from LL Cool J.

Me and my tennis homies rocked this one at tennis camp in Murray, KY in 1987…

A MEMORY: Dave S. got in trouble for hitting a car with a tennis ball from an insane distance. Dave pointed to the red sports car he was aiming for, down the road, anticipating where it would be when it was in range. He was living in a fairy tale. We were quite a distance from the road, over a hundred yards.  He swung at the ball like a ninja, apparently calculating for wind, the speed of the car, and the rotation of the Earth. We watched the ball sailing. We watched the car driving. It must have taken 10 seconds to reach its target. The ball tagged the car hard enough to dent the driver-side door. The sound hit our ears delayed it was so far away, but we were already running.

It was so awesome. An unbelievable act of adolescent impulse, athletic skill, and blind chance.

We tried to act innocent, but the authorities rooted Dave out with ruthless tactics. He couldn’t stand the coaches holding all the campers hostage from practicing. The driver had seen kids running toward the dorms. So Dave did the noble thing, impressive for a 14-year-old, and confessed the crime so we could get back to hitting tennis balls, inside the protection of the fence.

I think it is ironic (I’m not certain) that the coaches had no idea what an amazing athletic feat Dave had performed that day by nailing that car from that distance. Andre Agassi could have tried 100 times and failed to hit the car once.

It was a miracle.

Dave’s dad had to pay for the car repairs, but other than that, I’m totally glad this miracle happened and that I was a witness.


Song: Kanday
Artist: LL Cool J
Album: Bigger and Deffer
Label: Def Jam
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG
Watch: YouTube

108: “Still Of The Night” by Whitesnake

Un-FATHOM-able hair.This song is maybe a rock classic?  Not sure it has that status.  It’s from Whitesnake‘s debut, powered by John Sykes‘ guitar (Steve Vai hadn’t joined yet) and Robert-Plant-emulating David Coverdale.  In a video straight outta 1987.

It was one of my absolute favorite songs as a twelve-year-old.  I can still sing every word and stroke every guitar note on my wicked air guitar.

I’m reminiscing… I share my inner soul, here…  This flashback of my life happens at about 2:10 in this song, during the spooky part just before David Coverdale tries his version of a Plant-gasm…

In the fall of 1987, my totally radical twelve-ear-old self was in a state of merriment at a haunted house in Gatlinburg, TN with a friend and his older sister, who was totally gorgeous and two years older, like fourteen.  Well, she got scared in the haunted house and she grabbed MY arm for protection and I had a moment of joy where I thought, “Holy crap, she’s actually holding onto MY arm, this is awesome!  I didn’t know she felt this way about me!  We’ll be together forever!”

And then I realized I couldn’t defend myself against the zombies and all with this deathbait hanging on my arm!!

So I bucked her off like she had zombie-luring cooties and infrequently regretted it for the next 2-12 years.

There were lessons to be learned:
A) It was obviously no big deal in the grand scheme, and any regret was wasted energy.
B) I should have tried to mush my face passionately into hers right on the spot, risking that I might have then, mid-smooch, crapped my pants if a chainsaw had revved up behind my ear.  Better ending to the story, for sure.

Watch the video.  LEARN from your experience.  And enjoy.

Song: Still of the Night
Artist: Whitesnake
Album: Whitesnake
Label: Geffen
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes