Now, I consider myself to be one lucky little cub. I was born at the very tail end of the Boomer generation, the baby of the Babies. For me, it was a phenomenal time to be a kid; the ‘60s were such a BIG decade and I was all about BIG. I wonder if that was just who I was or if the times made that in me. Maybe some of both.

Anyway, I think of it as nothing but a huge plus that I was very little and taking in all this very rich musical, social, and political content. Little kids have no filters yet; they soak up everything around them like a sponge. There is no overthinking, no cynicism, no context. Everything is literal and believed just as served, even if that is not the reality of said things. There is a kind of purity to it.

I was a radio brat, as I have mentioned before. This was the heydey of the AM pop personality DJs, and it was very exciting stuff to listen to. Things were a-happenin’, baby! The DJs made it sound like there was nothing cooler in the universe, that somewhere out there, far from my big green lawn with cows passing by in the pasture behind it, girls were doing a wicked Twist somewhere Downtown wearing Mondrian print minis and flirting with long-haired guitar players. How I wanted in! Just wait for me to grow up! Wait for me! Give me just ten more years or so! I’ll be right there, Frugging away! I am growing my hair as fast as I can!

I listened to all the songs, mainly Top 40 of course, with the occasional regional oddity tossed in. I just didn’t have too much of an idea about creative license yet, and I more or less believed that WHAT ROCK STARS SANG, WAS TRUE. Some of these songs, most of them, were pretty straightforward anyway and caused me no confusion. I believed that the Beatles wanted to hold my hand, or some other girl’s, and that seemed just fine. Other songs just confused me completely. I felt so bad for Mick Jagger. As I heard it over the transistor, he was raised by a toothless bearded hag with a strap right ‘cross his back! Aw! Even though he said he was “alright now,” I felt surely he must have suffered terribly and wondered how he got away from the mean old hag, whom I pictured as the witch from Hansel & Gretel.

Even more disturbing was Mr. Arthur Brown. In “Fire,” he wanted me to BURN! Oh, that was very bad indeed! He kept telling me I was going to burn, burn, burn, and even laughed about it. I vowed to avoid Mr. Brown and his arsonist ways. I figured someone would probably put him in the looney bin with Napoleon XIV, of “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha.” Good riddance! They were probably dirty crazy hippies anyway.

Scott McKenzie implored me to put flowers in my hair and I did, even though all I could find were dandelions in my yard and I was nowhere near San Francisco. The Guess Who told a story about a girl coming “Undone,” who I figured was the flying LSD-casualty Diane Linkletter. Drugs are bad, mmmkay? The Monkees were gonna get the hell out of Pleasant Valley and get on the last train to Clarksville, and I wondered why they didn’t just take the Monkeemobile. The Animals also wanted to get outta this place, which must have been the House of the Rising Sun, which sounded like an unhappy kind of joint anyway. Snoopy fought valiantly against the Red Baron, and maybe he could fly down in his Sopwith Camel to swoop up Sloopy, who was having a tough time hanging on.

Communication problems were rampant. The Yardbirds weren’t talkin’, and the Beatles kept trying to say hello when some other dunce kept saying goodbye. Who would ever say goodbye to the Beatles? Unthinkable. The Rascals didn’t know how they could be sure, but then figured it out by the last line of the song, which was a much better situation than that whole eating out their hearts anymore thing. Smokey Robinson’s clown makeup got all messed up by tears; his sadness camouflage wasn’t working. The Turtles imagined we could be happy together but didn’t do anything about it, and the Association told me I didn’t know how many times they wished they could mold me into someone who could cherish them as much as they cherished me. Speak up, guys!

Gary Lewis’ diamond ring got messed up. What does a guy do with a messed up diamond ring? I guess he could have sold it to buy his way out of Vietnam, but NO. I guess it wasn’t shiny enough. Marilyn McCoo was flat out bold in asking Bill for a ring. Gary could have sold it to Bill, who could have given it to Marilyn, who was so desperate to get married she would not even care if it was dulled. BEEEEELLLL! MARRY ME, BEEEEEELLL! The band of gold didn’t work at all for Freda Payne; that dude bailed out on her wedding night, ferchrissakes. If I had known what gay was back then, that is what I would have guessed was going on there. Poor Freda. Maybe Bill could buy up her ring, too. Marilyn is still braying.

Expert textpert choking smoker don’t you think the Joker laughs at you, ho ho ho, hee hee hee hee, ha ha ha? Well, duh, of course he’s laughing, he’s the Joker! But Batman will vanquish him tonight in Part Two, so Gotham City gets the last laugh.

These were all little stories to me, not much different than a Little Golden Book except the illustrations were in 16 Magazine and Tiger Beat. If I had been a little bit older, all of these songs would not have been quite so imagination-filled for me, and maybe not quite as magical. Still very cool, but not so filled with living, breathing characters from somewhere way way out there in Rock n’ Roll Land.

Time did not wait for me. By the time I grew my hair out to my butt, the DJs all sounded low and stoned and were into Glam or Anne Murray. But in my mind, I can still say hello to Paul McCartney, and he can push back my hair a little, and adjust that wilting dandelion behind my ear, as we ride the Monkeemobile into my pasture sunset.

The Beatles -- "Hello Goodbye"