Move Over Mary Poppins!

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Memories of the Casbah

I heard the Clash in the car this morning, and thought of my grandmother.

In 1982, when The Clash released Combat Rock, I didn't know who The Clash was, or what a casbah was, or why we were rockin' one. I had just turned five, and was finishing my last month at preschool.

What I did know was that I should be shaking what I had when the song came on on MTV. Yes MTV, when it used to play music videos.

The funny thing is that we didn't have cable of any kind growing up, so there was no MTV at my house. Our neighborhood was in an odd position for utility service. We were separated from the rest of our town by an airport (no telephone poles from town), so our phone service came from the city adjacent, but the cable company wouldn't do us the same courtesy for many years. The point of all this is that the place where I watched the MTV was my grandmother's house. She would indulge my youthful need to shake it, and allow me to watch Solid Gold (oh, Dionne Warwick!) and a little bit of MTV, and I worshipped her TV!

I have one distinct memory of dancing in her living room to Rock the Casbah while she looked on, astonished and somewhat confused by my odd need to dance to the "noisy music," but indulging and loving, nonetheless. I wonder how she'd feel to know that twenty six years later, I still remember her fondly when I hear the Clash on my iPod?

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