Sometimes you’re too young to get it. Sometimes you haven’t lived long enough to understand art. You see the surface, but not the essence. Like me with the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.”
This was the height of the British Invasion. It was all Beatles all the time and we LIKED IT! Kinda like that Beatles channel on Sirius, today I heard “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and I couldn’t understand why all the cognoscenti crap on the LP and prefer “Abbey Road” and “The White Album.” When “Sgt. Pepper” emerged there was nothing like it, it was a giant leap forward, a moon-landing two years before Neil and Buzz walked on the surface of that satellite. You dropped the needle on “Sgt. Pepper” and were taken into a new world we only get in tech today. Did you see that Tesla began production of the Model 3? That’s very exciting. All cars will be electric in your lifetime, unless you get blown up by fireworks on July 4th, if you stick around for a while the future’s gonna come, and it’s so bright you’ve got to wear shades.
But not in music, not yet.
In music we’ve got Jay Z trying to prop up his moribund streaming service Tidal by making his new album exclusive, not realizing today the fight is not for money but for attention, all the reviews are in the paper and most people have not heard it. And rumor is the collection is going behind a paywall on Apple Music next, which is truly head-scratching now that Taylor Swift is on Spotify, is this a repeat of his Samsung exclusive where he got paid and the music went straight into the dumper? And the story so far is his feud with Kanye, the man who can’t get paid by Tidal, and is this how far we’ve sunk, where the rap wars have returned, only now they’ve infected pop and no one gets shot and the President plays when those with a brain, like Elon Musk, are truly leading?
So, after hearing “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” I was pushing the buttons on 60s on 6 and that’s when I heard “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and if this was February of ’65 I would have reached over and pushed the button to get it off the car radio as quickly as possible, assuming my mother was driving, if my dad was behind the wheel we either got beautiful music or the news. I HATED “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”! It was so RETRO! And this was long before Spotify, when you were a prisoner of the airwaves, the AM airwaves, the FM revolution was still a few years off.
And the funny thing was in the ensuing Bar Mitzvah season the bands sang the Zombies and Beatles hits, but never “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” because you couldn’t REPRODUCE IT! Phil Spector’s legend was cemented with the cognoscenti, an older crowd who were making records, like the Beatles, but we youngsters were enthralled with George Martin and Mickie Most…
You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips
I was eleven. I’d kissed a girl. I’d had my first girlfriend, Betsy Kimball at Camp Laurelwood. Then again, did we actually kiss? I think so but I’m not sure, but what I do remember is her being so into me, which made me feel warm all over, I’m not sure I’ve felt that comfortable with a woman since. Hell, the next year, my relationship at camp with Jill Philipson was much more intense, but she ended up somewhat reluctant, and you can feel that.
So, as far as eyes being closed or open, I had no idea.
But I do now. Like when I reconnected with my ex and we were deeply into it and she noticed the bathroom I was waiting for was now unoccupied, her eyes were open.
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips
Did you read that story in yesterday’s “Times” about people’s anxieties about being with the opposite sex alone? Just touching someone makes you tingle. But most especially when it’s reciprocal.
Jill lost that lovin’ feelin’, she went back to her ex.
Now I’m not sure that one ever loses that lovin’ feelin’, it waxes and wanes, you hear from everybody you were ever involved with on the internet and you wonder, but if you’re smart you keep your distance, because Don Henley was right, you can never go back, but you can in your mind, via song.
I think of the Concord Hotel. We only went once, that winter of ’65, my parents were sick of driving to Vermont only for skiing to be rained out. And this was the song on the radio, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” which disgusted me. And did I ever tell you the talent at the Concord that week was Neil Sedaka? My father kept calling him Neil SOBAKA, which he said meant “dog” in Russian, I never checked it, but my dad was never hip, this was back when there was a clear dividing line between parents and children, before the entire family listened to the Beatles, we’d play show tunes at best, and the way you clapped at the Concord was to bang these knockers on the table and I remember Neil singing “Calendar Girl” but I wish I could relive that concert now, now that I know his material so well, I was too young the first time around.
Just like I’m reliving how great “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” is right now.
There’s nothing worse than someone saying no after they said yes. It’s a private pain, assuming you reveal it at all. Guys will denigrate you, girls will tell you it’s not your fault, that it’s their loss, but deep down inside, you HURT!
And all you want is…
TO BRING BACK THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’!
Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
‘Cause it’s gone, gone, gone
And I can’t go on…
But you do. And you can because there’s someone else who feels the same way you do. This is when art is best, when it evidences the human condition, when it’s sans boasting and reveals only truth.
That’s the funny thing about oldies, the songs that sustain, they have a core of truth that cannot be denied.
Like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”