Saturday, August 9, 2008

Daddy, Let Your Mind Roll On

I didn't know the name Erik Darling, so I didn't know why I cared that he died (via), until I read that he wrote the classic lyrics of "Walk Right In".
The coffee shops of the early 60s had jukeboxes with those pay boxes on the tables so you could select songs (10 cents each or 3 for a quarter) at your seat and then hang out for a couple days until they played.
I still vividly remember hearing that song during lunch at one of those coffee shop with my mother and sister (my sister will probably write a comment finding fault with my memory once again, as in, "it wasn't lunch, it was dinner" or "you weren't actually born yet"). We liked edgy lyrics like "Walk Right In", radical lyrics as in "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats and rebellious lyrics like "Green Back Dollar", where they said "D*MN"!
Later in the 60's, when the Viet Nam war became serious and my contemporaries battled it with shock and awe doses of sex and drugs, the old "beat" folk songs seemed tame. But in in pre-war 1960, I was only about 6 years old and I didn't know a coffee house was not a coffee shop. But when I heard "Walk Right In", I knew wanted to be a beatnik and "lose my mind" daddy-o. I wanted to listen to driving folk guitar and bongo sounds. I wanted to be Maynard G. Krebs.
So, to Erik Darling, now that I know who he is, I say, let your hair hang down, daddy, and rest in peace.

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8 comments:

Susan said...

"She was eatin' chicken n dumplings with some other man" Now there's a good reason to dump a woman that's for sure! :)

I'm trying to think what coffee shop that would be. Stacks? I don't think the Pancake House (aka IHOP) or Sizzler had the jukeboxes but I do remember putting coins in them while eating with you and mom.

JohnnyB said...

Could have been stacks but could have been some other random coffee shop of the era.

unfinishedrambling said...

Near where I went to college was a diner with those jukeboxes. We loved them. They still had all the "oldies" on them. I've since heard the diner has removed them and, as pathetic as it sounds, I shed a tear at the thought.

Bill Brohaugh said...

Walk Right In was a refreshing anti-folk song, welcomed after getting tired of Hang Down Your Head Tom Doolie and Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore. The Beats never appealed to me, though. I think I associated them with the campy bad motorcycle hoods in the Beach Party movies, probably because the hat that Eric Von Zipper wore looked suspiciously like a macho beret. Hey. I was young. In time, my short attention span wound over to the Bossa Nova, Grazin' in the Grass, The Isrealites (top 40 reggae--wow!), and the Girl From Ipanema--all natural segues into the Beatles, the Monkees and Inna Gadda da Vida. Man, those were odd times.

JohnnyB said...

Unfinished, I love diners and a jukebox really adds to the atmosphere - too bad that they took it out

Bill
As a 6-year-old, I liked the New Beats, but I can't say they contributed anything to the evolution of music. If you draw a line from New Beats through Frankie Valli and 4 Seasons, where does it go? Tiny Tim?

Dad said...

The last time I was in Edys Diner in Marina Del Rey,(about 4 years ago) they still had the juke boxes at the tables.

JohnnyB said...

Sounds like a place I need to go.

Bill Brohaugh said...

Looking at that picture on the movie poster, I suddenly know where the inspiration for Batman nemesis The Joker came from.