Scary witches and zombies

It was raining so hard the other night that I ducked into the bar 2A to wait/drink it out. My umbrella had bitten the dust somewhere on Houston, and there was no chance of hailing a taxi. I hadn't been there in ages...possibly since the late nineties when I dated the bartender (Donovan!), the last in a short string of boyfriends much prettier than I. Sadly, he wasn't there.

"Who is this?" I asked the schlumpy guy to my left, of the amazing late-British-invasion-but-who-I-assumed-was-a-new-ripoff-version. I didn't fail to notice that he was sitting with a disproportionately hot and young blonde chick.

"The Selbys," he mumbled.


He said the same thing again. I shrugged. Then he said, "You know, 'She's Not There.'"

"The Zombies!" I yelled, of course just as there was a break in the song. Blondie looked up. It's hard to be cool.

"Yeah, this was their Sgt. Pepper's, but they never really got their due." Or replace "their due" with "the attention they deserved," or, "No one gave a shit."

Then it happened. Drunk or not, I fell madly in love, not with Mr. Guy, but with the music. God, what heaven that is, even thirty years late, to hear that angelic voice and feel that he's just singing to me.

"Are you in a band?" I asked the guy, after the song ended.


"What are you called?"

"Fountains of Wayne."

I knew I should have heard of them, but I couldn't figure out if it just sounded similar to a well-known band, or if it in fact was one. "What do you sound like?" I asked.

"Like the stuff you hear on the radio."

Sheesh. What does that mean? I listen to talk radio. This was going nowhere, but at least it explained the hot blonde.

I got the Zombies record the next day, Odessey and Oracle, which, I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't even noticed was misspelled (see, you didn't notice it either! It should be "Odyssey"). Later I'd find out it was because the cover artist spelled it wrong and it was too late to have him fix it.

The music initially sounds so sweet that I started an email to a guy I'd been seeing on a day he wasn't feeling well, "Morning to you, I hope you're feeling better baby," until I realized that that song is from a boy to his girl in jail. And then I almost sent a song to my friend Emily called "A Rose for Emily," and then realized that it's about a spinster who never finds love. And, of course, Emily is my gorgeous but single and sometimes very lonely friend.

The word "Candles," in "Brief Candles," is possibly the best struck word in a chorus I have ever heard.

Some think that they were forced to disband because of how stupid listeners are. I think it's because they failed to really show us their genius until this record (they broke up even before it was released). When, randomly, because a radio station in the US played it over and over again and "The Time of the Season" became huge, they had been broken up for a year and refused to get back together.

Happy Halloween! Okay, this post has nothing to do with the holiday. Except that witches and zombies are scary!