Sunday, May 10, 2009

Under Your Skin

Sunday is always Don't Mess With Texas day!

Several years ago one of the duties I performed to help out at a job I had was to transport cruise or merchant ship crew from the dock to their hotel or airport and back again. During layovers some employees or crew stayed off-ship or used air travel to get back home. Due to customs and immigration laws all the crew were supposed to stay at their lodgings but few of them did. Many hit San Diego for the nightlife (what little there is of it) and sometimes when it was time to go back to work I had to detour to pick the crew up at bars instead of their hotels. The most interesting group I ever transported were about ten Aussie sailors from a merchant ship. Crazy bastards all. I nearly got arrested twice driving them the 6 miles from the dock to their hotel.

One time I drove a group of about six sailors from the Philippines to a cheap hotel in the Sports Arena area where they would stay for a few days. I didn't speak their language (as far as they knew) and they didn't speak mine (as far as I knew) but I think I managed to round up all the correct crew members for a ride to their designated lodgings.

This was the year 2000 and I typically carried about ten CD's with me to play at work and in the car. About that time I was pretty heavy into Jazz, Show Tunes and Big Band music and rotated the albums out frequently. But no matter what CD's I carried around at least two of those were from the band Texas and those were usually White On Blonde and The Hush. Nobody else I knew admitted liking the band enough to buy a CD but not being a hipster who has their entire self-worth contingent on what other people think of them I didn't really care. I was always annoyed that Texas never toured in the Unites States but the reality is that there wasn't a market for them here.

After loading up all the gear the Philippine sailors piled into the van and I prepared to drive them to their hotel. I ejected the Martha Tilton CD from the dashboard player and inserted a random CD. It began to play and it just so happened to be The Hush, the most recent Texas album. The music started and my passengers yelled and started screaming "TEXAS! YEAH!" over and over. By the time I drove onto the highway they were all singing along to the tracks. I didn't know if I should be pleased or not. Texas couldn't get arrested in America yet these hard-working sea-dogs who walked down a rusty gangway from an equally rusty foreign cargo ship without wearing shoes on their feet knew all the lyrics by heart. Music, like hate, truly is a universal language. Not that we had any real trouble communicating. It was a thing, had to be there.

The following featured clip Under Your Skin is from Texas' 2003 album Careful What You Wish For. If I didn't already know the song was from Texas I'd swear it was a lost track from the Parallel Lines-era Blondie.

1 comment:

  1. That story was actually heartwarming and put me in a good mood when I read it this morning, thanks!


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