Laughter is an instant vacation. –Milton Berle
Have you ever tried vacationing with an introvert? It’s the absolute worst! I know because I am THAT introvert.
Basically, I’m a home body. I’m perfectly content with staying inside ALL DAY. This becomes problematic when your entire family is made up of extroverts. They like to do things (like go out of the house,) hang out with friends, see new things and try adventurous stuff…in the HEAT of summer! Ugggghhh. I’m not “anti” all of this…I’m just a lot more particular about how it all gets done. Thus, the worst introvert to vacation with. EVER.
So what does this have to do with the last song on my summer playlist? A lot actually. “Vacation” by the Go Go’s was a smash hit in 1982. Quirky, fun-loving, and surfy…these girls really nailed the pop/punk rock/girl power kind of sound. A tune about trying to use a vacation to get over a guy–well what could be more practical than that? (Introverts LOVE practical!) “Vacation” further cemented the popular girl group as 80s icons resulting in the song earning the number eight spot on both the Billboard Top 100 and the Rolling Stone Best Summer Songs of All Time list. And while these ladies seem like the “vacation” type, interviews and soundbites reveal that they were actually a little salty. Group members wrote their own songs, learned how to play their own instruments, scoffed at the record label executives, and basically did everything on their terms. Which sounds a little bit like my approach to vacationing…why do we need to go, what will we see there, how much is this going to cost, is it really worth my time, is it safe and (my favorite question) how many people are going to be there? So who wants to travel with me now?
Seriously, I love this song and remember thinking as a kid how cool it would be to perform synchronized water-skiing with my best girl friends. We all wanted to be Belinda Carlisle and the catchy chorus still brings a smile to my face. Besides, the music video actually depicts the best kind of vacation ever–virtual! Enjoy YOUR summer!
I wish summer could be all sunshine, popsicles and flip-flops, but we all know the truth. There are bad days out there. Sometimes the bad days have our names written all over them. And yes, sometimes those bad days occur in the middle of summer. Like when you friends can’t hang out, some kid vomits in the local pool, its scorching hot outside or worse- IT WON”T STOP RAINING! Then…there’s evil humidity. Boo.
Leave it to a rebel music icon like Eddie Cochran to write, sing and sum it all up perfectly in the song, “Summertime Blues.” If they say, “expectation is the root of all heartache (Shakespeare,)” then summer expectations are the worst. Cochran was a rising star in the late 50s and (depending on sources) co-wrote this Billboard Top 100 song about being broke, working all the time, and life as an overlooked youth. Ouch! Still, this upbeat, rockabilly favorite has become a summer anthem for a number of generations. Originally a B-side single, “Summertime Blues” has been covered countless times and in a variety of musical genres. Cochran was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and his song is ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. His untimely death further cemented his legacy as a rock-n-roll legend.
I’m pretty sure I came across the song via pop culture…most likely though the 80s comedy, Caddyshack and especially the biopic, La Bamba (love, love that movie.) Now it’s a permanent fixture on my summer music playlist. Cochran’s guitar and the juxtaposition of such a cheery-sounding song with the teen angst expressed in the lyrics…it’s just so relatable. And you can’t beat that hand clapping!
UP NEXT: Song 15…”vacation, all I ever wanted….”