Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mom, Can I Go Play At Max Yasgur's Farm?

In the summer of '69, when I was but a lad of seven, there were only two rock bands in all the world: the Banana Splits, and the Archies.

At the time I was in a Banana Splits tribute band. Me and three of my friends would pick up our junior badminton rackets--our guitars--and just kick butt:

One banana, two bananas,
Three bananas, four,
four bananas make a bunch
and there are many more

Tra la la, la la la la

There were some other kids on our block who were in an Archies tribute band. They would pick up their junior badminton rackets and play:

Honey, honey
Sugar, sugar
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you

One day we had a kind of Battle of the Bands. We were up first, and sang a version of our song suited to the temper of the times:

One banana, two bananas, oh, man
Three bananas, four, oh, man
Four bananas make a bunch
And, man, there are many more

Tra la la, la la la la, ooh baby!!!

The Archies tribute band was up next. They, too, made a slight adjustment to their song:

Honey, groovy honey
Sugar, groovy sugar
You are my groovy candy girl
And you got me wanting groovy you

Our band was clearly winning this battle. We were just about to perform our second song when suddenly Barry Freed, who was two years older than us, and whom we all looked up to, emerged from his house with one hand behind his back.

"You little kids just don't know good music!" Barry shouted at us.

Barry then pulled out from behind his back an actual tennis racket, and not just one for kids. This was an adults tennis racket!

He spent a few seconds tuning up the racket, then began to play:

Hey, hey, we're the Monkees
Keep on monkeying' around
We're so busy singing
We keep on monkeying around

Barry then began whacking the tennis racket against the sidewalk until it cracked in two. He next climbed up on the hood of his father's '64 Chevy Corvair, which was parked along the curb, started jumping up and down, and shouted:

"Power to the people! Hell, no, we won't go! Peace, baby, peace! Make love, not war! Hang, five! Turn in, turn on, drop out! Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me!"

Barry was grounded for two weeks.

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