Dad, you ever hear of The Tubes?


I always prided myself on thinking on my feet. In my family, it was a survival skill and often the result of the mercurial nature of my other three family members. 
It was a fine summer afternoon back in 1976 I was 13. Dad was firing up the grill in the backyard and turned on the radio for some summer tunes.
Unfortunately, my sister had tuned the radio to WMMS which other than being a Cleveland legend, earned it’s chops by playing music other stations wouldn’t play. 
I was up in my bedroom reading some random history of the Second World War when I heard the music start – it sounded like some kind of gothic biker anthem from the 50s.  
Oooo baby,
Move closer to me
I’ve had all that I can stand
Take hold of me with your hands
Ahhhhhhh, shit. 
My dad compounded the frightening embarrassment I was feeling by striking a pose with his arms spread wide pretending like he was singing to my mother – who was looking out the kitchen window at him, no doubt smiling. 
Dad obviously thought this was a forgotten oldie from his time with the greasers.
Oh baby,
You give me the chills
Whisper low in my ear
Let knows how it feels
just to know you are near
Aw, FUCK! I knew I had to get down there and distract both of them before they listened really close to the lyrics and found out what this song was really all about.
We probably wouldn’t be allowed to listen to the radio for the rest of the summer.
I flew down the steps, my fevered brain putting together a plan. I raced past mom, out the side door and must have looked like Secretariat rounding the home stretch at Belmont as I reached the backyard.
Your body gives me a thrill
as it leans against mine
I love how it feels
with your jeans against mine
“HEY DAD,” I was nearly panting out of breath. “HEY WHY DON’T YOU TAKE A DIP IN THE POOL AND I’LL GET THESE STEAKS ON FOR YOU!”
“Kid, why are you shouting,” said dad. “I’m not deaf.”
The smell of burning leather
as we hold each other tight
As our rivets rub together
flashing sparks into the night
At this moment of surrender darling
if you really care. . . 
“WHOOPS, SORRY I KNOCKED OVER THE RADIO,” I said sounding like a frenzied Kevin Arnold. “HERE, I’LL TRY TO GET THAT STATION BACK.”
My dad just looked at me. “What the Hell is wrong with you kid,” he asked.
“Sorry, just a little clumsy dad; too much reading in bed,” I said as I surreptitiously cranked the dial over to nice, safe, teeny-bopper G-98. 
“Ah, too bad that song is over, here’s another one,” I stammered. 
Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
Gonna grab some afternoon delight. . .
I paused and my heart skipped a beat. Nah, they’ll never figure that one out.
The other song I stopped just in the nick of time? 
This entry was posted in Cleveland, growing up, my father, radio. Bookmark the permalink.

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