Monday, May 25, 2015

20 More Things I Learned From 70's Music

If you grew up in the 70's like I did, you know music was educational. Here's twenty more things I learned from listening to 70's music.


1.  I found your diary underneath a tree and started reading about me. But, then I realized it wasn't about me. Rats.

2.  Freddie's dead.

3. You got to know when to hold them. Know when to fold them. Know when to walk away and know when to run.

4. If the DJ of your favorite radio station played "American Pie" and any song by Yes back to back, you know he had an upset stomach.

5. What are tramps like us born to do? Baby, we were born to run.

6. My momma loves me like a rock but she wants to take my Kodachrome away.

7. The Bee Gees kicked each other in the private parts to hit the high notes. It is the only explanation.

8. The best music created in the 70's was side four of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

9. People loved Led Zeppelin for some unknown reason.

10. Our "vinyls" were called "records".

11. If you put me on a highway and show me a sign I will take it to the limit one more time.

12. The mother and child reunion is only a motion away although I have no idea what that means.

13  Admit it: you don't know what me and Julio did down by the school yard either.

14. Everything I know about Vincent Van Gogh is from Don McLean.

15. The band Chicago was very popular. Every guy learned the chords from 25 or 6 to 4.

16. Thunder only happens when its raining.

17. If you want my body and you think I'm sexy, sugar, you have to let me know.

18. The child created in the Chevy Van is about 40 years old.

19. The reason why birds suddenly appear any time you are near is that, just like me, they long to be close to you.

20.  Paul McCartney's song Jet is about a puppy. Really.






Sunday, May 10, 2015

By Any Other Name



I suppose Mother's Day is not the best time to say this:  I am really mad at my mom.

Now, my mother died 21 years ago and I probably should let it go as the song in Frozen said. However, something has come up that I have to do and it is her fault.

I have to add my first name to my driver's license.

That may not sound like a big deal to you, but it is a big deal to me.

My first name: Leslie.  My given name at birth is Leslie Alan Manis. I want to give it back.


She said she looked through the Marietta, Georgia phone book before I was born, listing names on a sheet of paper that were, in her words, "pretty" (or more accurately stated "purdy").  She put those two names together and felt like she created a beautiful song because the name flowed and sang. It may have flowed and sang but it was a big fat pain in the neck for me.

I have never gone by Leslie. I have done everything I could do to conceal and pretend that the name doesn't exist.

As a boy growing up in The Deep South in the 60's and 70's, having a "girl's name" was not something I would wish on any boy.

Before you say it, yes, I know it is not technically a "girl's name" and there have been many famous male Leslies. For example, Leslie Nielsen, who was in "Airplane" and  Leslie David Baker who played Stanley in "The Office".

 

However, growing up, I ran into no male Leslies. All female Leslies. No famous football players were named Leslie. Or baseball players for that matter.

I remember in sixth grade this kid named Robert (which I couldn't be named because it was my brother's middle name) would say, "Hey Main-ass (my nickname), is it Leslie or is it Lez-lee?"

For some reason, the name invites the speaker to add a lisp to it. I have never figured it out. I'm mean, nobody lisps when they say "Wesley". Even Old Man Manis did it. One time, he was introducing me to one of his Lockheed co-workers and he said, "And this is mah thurd soun...Lezlee Alun"

On the first day of school in eight grade, I was one of many smelly eighth grade boys in a PE class. The coach comes out with his roll book and says, "Boys, it looks like we got us a little girl in class". I almost pooped in my pants because  I knew he was talking about Leslie Manis.  The "little girl" turned out to be an actual girl named Robin.

That same year, I took a business class and as part of the class we had to order a Social Security card. I was sitting around a bunch of guys and I didn't want to explain it again. So I ordered a card for Alan Manis. In a few weeks I got a Social Security card that said: "Alan Manis".

Most people did not know that I had another name besides Alan. It wasn't like I had assumed a false identity, I just didn't want to be laughed at. I was living a real life "A Boy Named Sue". Some gal would giggle and I'd get red. Some guy would laugh and I wanted to bust his head. Life's not easy for a boy named Leslie.


I found a way around it. My diploma from Kennesaw State says "L. Alan Manis".  My drivers license, which I got forty years ago, also shows "L. Alan Manis".  I know I had to show my birth certificate when I got my license. I guess the people at the DMV just understood.

In fact, I have to add Leslie to my Social Security card because my drivers license is up for renewal in a few months. Your name on the drivers license must be the same name that is on your birth certificate and your social security card. It has something to do with Homeland Security. Chalk another win for The Radical Muslims.

I have been told that I shouldn't care if people laugh at my name. This has been told to me by non-effeminately named people. I guess they are right. But in my defense, there are few things that press my buttons, but being called Leslie is one of them. 

Bob Dylan understands. He once said "Some people, you know, (are) born with the wrong names...I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free."
“Some people — you’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”

Read More: Bob Dylan – Stage Names Origins | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/bob-dylan-stage-names-origins/?trackback=tsmclip
“Some people — you’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”

Read More: Bob Dylan – Stage Names Origins | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/bob-dylan-stage-names-origins/?trackback=tsmclip
“Some people — you’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”

Read More: Bob Dylan – Stage Names Origins | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/bob-dylan-stage-names-origins/?trackback=tsmclip
“Some people — you’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”

Read More: Bob Dylan – Stage Names Origins | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/bob-dylan-stage-names-origins/?trackback=tsmclip
“Some people — you’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”

Read More: Bob Dylan – Stage Names Origins | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/bob-dylan-stage-names-origins/?trackback=tsmclip

Tell me about it, Bob. I want to be called Alan. If you want to call me the other, well, smile when you say that partner.