"Killer Queen"

As a way to get out of my writer's block I decided to try a Nick Hornby-style exercise where I would think of a song that I liked in my youth and then write something about my life from that time. The first rock 'n' roll band I really liked as a kid was Queen and I think the first time I heard them was in 4th or 5th grade when I was at my friend John's house across the street. We were probably trading baseball cards or something. Back then kids would carry cards around and trade them and not mind if they got scuffed up. Now we have all these weird adults who collect toys and cards and stuff and keep everything wrapped up like they're museum pieces. Anyway, my friend's older sister and one of her friends kept playing the "Killer Queen" 45 over and over and I really liked the song. I knew next to nothing about rock 'n' roll growing up, which might seem surprising because it has been such a huge part of my life, but it's true. My parents never played music in the house, other than classical and I didn't have an older brother or sister to show me the way. That's why I kind of relate to the Cameron Crowe character in Almost Famous. Like him I also felt a little awkward because I started school a year earlier than I was supposed to so I was always smaller than everyone else until puberty hit and I started to run after being tired of sucking at baseball, basketball and soccer.

In the back of John's house there was a huge field and some woods. That part of Ann Arbor wasn't built up then so we could run around and do dangerous boy stuff. Not to sound all Wonder Years or anything but the 70's were one of the last times that kids could be kids. In the summer we left our houses when the sun came up and came home when it got dark. Our parents didn't know what we were up to most of the time and nothing bad happened very often. In the summer before junior high me and a few guys found a huge stash of Playboys in the woods and a good chunk of the time was spent hanging out, looking at the magazines and pretending we got the jokes inside. We would also talk about kids we had heard about who smoked weed and girls who would let you go to second base. I'm kind of amazed at how clueless we were back then compared to today's tech-savvy kids. It kind of reminds me of the Morrissey line in the Smiths "Queen is Dead": "...some 9-year old tough pushes drugs/I never even knew what drugs were." In the live version on Rank, Morrissey almost spits out that last part in disgust.

I was talking to a friend my age at a party recently and he was telling me how much he has to monitor his 15-year old son and we were both laughing at what it was like for us as kids. BTW, he told me that there is now a term to describe that phenomenon of finding porn when you were a kid in the 70's. It's called getting a visit from the porn fairy!

Anonymous –   – (9:40 AM)  

Oh ya. I totally agree about the 70s (and early 80s) and the freedom of kids. In Albuquerque and especially Rio Rancho you could ride your bike a very short distance and be in undeveloped property. And I still remember some of the pictures from my earliest Playboy discoveries. The made quite the impression on me, haha.


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