Song: “Babe” by Styx
Reached #1: December 8, 1979 (their first, 2 weeks)
When I started this blog, I thought I’d be taking more tangents than I have… that I’d write blogs about something other than just the songs of the day. I really haven’t, mostly because there very few songs (or bands) that have that kind of effect on me after all.
This is the exception.
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Styx because of a girl I knew in college.
It was 1983. I was back in school at Queens College of the City University of New York, 18 months after flunking out of Hofstra University because I spent all my time at the radio station instead of doing minor things like going to class.
So, of course, this starts at the Queens College radio station. It’s been almost 30 years, so some of the details are a bit hazy… but I had started at Queens in January, and while I’d found the radio station, I was also going to classes. Thus, I was allowed back for the fall semester when she walked into the radio station.
She was blonde, curvy, funny, and was probably New York’s most dedicated Styx fan. Now I’ll admit I wasn’t that big of a fan, but Kilroy Was Here had just come out, and I was a big fan of the rock opera concept Dennis DeYoung was trying to push. I played Styx on the air one day, and that got us started talking.
Of course, the fact that she was blonde, curvy, and funny at a college radio station full of guys who didn’t get a lot of blonde, curvy, funny women in their lives made for an interesting scramble. But I think the fact that I liked Styx helped. She introduced me to The Grand Illusion – sadly, the copy she gave me disappeared during my move to Richmond – and while we never actually dated, I thought there was a chance.
Unfortunately, there was one problem. Her parents. They were first-generation Greek immigrants, and there was no way in hell their little girl was going to date anyone without Hellenic roots.
I left Queens at the end of 1983 to take a shot at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting (protip: don’t). We stayed in touch for a while, but – as with most of my friendships – when we no longer had the place in common, the friendship drifted away. Last I heard, she’s still a big part of the Styx fan club scene (which is why I can “hear” anything of her) and living in New Jersey.
Was she “the one that got away”? Maybe not “the one”, but she’s on a very short list…
Thanks for your indulgence.
Tomorrow, we go back 52 weeks from today’s entry – 52 weeks and an entire shift in music…
Other songs that reached #1 on December 8:
1956 – “Singing The Blues” by Guy Mitchell (his first, 11 weeks, all three charts)
1984 – “Out of Touch” by Hall & Oates (their sixth, 2 weeks)
1990 – “Because I Love You (The Postman Song)” by Stevie B (his first, 4 weeks)