I got a pair of bizzybee washing up gloves a couple of days ago. I like their packaging and the products are good. It’s only a mindboggling array of gloves and cloths for household cleaning, but why not have a cute cartoon bee on the package and a a cool, abstract pattern on the scouring surface of my purple washing up sponge?
Plus, with my glove purchase it was time for me to ‘get bizzybeing spoilt with a fabulous free gift’. I could choose between an mp3 download, a £1.90 coupon towards the magazine of my choice (presumably I could get Selvedge or Guns & Ammo if I so chose), or a 20% discount online at Nails Inc. I was a bit dubious about the last one. Maybe I could purchase a virtual manicure that would work while I am typing at the keyboard??
I chose the mp3, entered my promotional code from the package and had my pick of 4 million songs. It links into 7 Digital, an online record shop. They have everything from Daisy Mae & the Hepcats to the Kronos Quartet.
I chose ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ by Elton John and Kiki Dee. I love this song! It’s pure pop, inspired by those duets on Motown by the likes of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Such a happy, upbeat song. It was at the top of the charts in August 1976.
At the time, I was on a 6 week road trip with my mom. I was 13 and rode shotgun. We had just spent a couple of days in Chicago, the first really big city we’d been in since leaving LA. When we got to Chi town, I navigated us through a pretty tricky oneway system to the Chicago Art Institute. It was great to discover that I could navigate and that my mom just handed me the map. I can’t remember what else we saw there. Anyhow, I vividly recall the morning we drove out of Chicago, on our way to the next adventure. We were heading to Detroit, then on to Toronto, Canada. It was a blue-sky summer day and it felt so exciting to be back on the open road. This song came on the radio and we cranked it up.
The song’s promotional film has been cited among the cheapest music videos ever produced. The video’s director was found in the midst of filming a Rod Stewart television special. He was pulled aside, located an unused soundstage, hastily dressed it to give the appearance of a recording studio, setup three cameras and had the two singers pretend to record their vocals. Shot in a single take while being told to ‘improvise’, Elton John and Kiki Dee often missed their cues and John’s attempt to lead Dee in a very haphazard dance sequence caught his companion off guard. There are other videos of subsequent recordings and covers, but I like this one for it’s quirkiness and freshness. Sorry about the pop-up ads, but I can’t figure out how to disable them.
My mother Nell died from breast cancer in 1980, when I was 16. The 30 year anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks, on January 20th. I really miss her and wish that I had gotten the chance to get to know her as a grown woman. In a funny way though, the more I get to know myself, I do feel like I know her better. I thank her the most for the sense of excitement about the world and discovery of new things that she shared with me, and for taking me on so many of her explorations. Even though all I did was ride shotgun.