guilty pleasure monday: the wall (kansas)

the grammys (tagline: we only reward artists after they’re dead, irrelevant, or past their best work) have inspired me. i’m thinking it is time for a theme, at least until i get bored with the idea 😉

so welcome to the inaugural post of guilty pleasure monday, where i’ll talk about a song i love, a song i listen to at times when i think no one is around, a song i might sing at the top of my lungs except for the fact that BS will look at me with that face that says you know, i thought you were cool once, but you’re just one giant sap.

so today’s gem: the wall by that prog rock band kansas. you know, the ones who gave us point of know return and carry on wayward son? oh, and the one my mother refers to as the all-time, #1 depressing song, dust in the wind?

and yes, i did sing this at the top of my lungs at one time in my life. i absolutely identified with the idea that there was a wall that i had to overcome; a wall of being who i wanted to be and not who everyone else thought i should be. yes, the stuff that 19 year olds everywhere feel; only instead of going punk like every other self-respecting person of my era, i dug deeper into prog rock. (i don’t think punk ever made it to miami.)

anyway, back to the top-of-my-lungs-singing bit. fortunately, when i was doing it, i was enclosed in a soundproof booth at the university of miami (motto: the harvard of the south), witnessed only by my best mate murph, a person who still admits publicly that she’s my friend in spite of the fact that i’m a dork and made her listen to me sing and play piano back in the day. so, back in that noisy day, i attended UM for two years. you should know that while it has earned its rep as suntan u, UM truly has an amazing music school, which boasts a zillion great musicians — pat metheny, for one. and it reserved its pi-anos, housed in little glass soundproof closets, for said music school kids.

of which i was not.

i did find a very nice guy in the music school, a man who i have since googled and have found that he plays professionally in a jazz duo with his significant other. and this adorable man, who at age 20 looked like an older version of christopher robin, let me borrow his university photo ID every time i wanted to play. it’s a credit to the people at the front desk that never did they ponder why i didn’t have short, light brown hair, or wasn’t a boy, for that matter. they just let me go.

and one of the first things i would sing and play at the VERY TIPPY TOP OF MY LUNGS was the wall. not the we don’t need no education wall. the dark and silent barrier between all i am and all i ever hope to be wall.

i still love this song, even though i probably have since written graffiti, removed chunks, and finally leaped over that wall. metaphorically speaking, of course. all things that would probably disturb the song’s author, who has since become a born-again christian. but i digress.

(did i mention that murph is still my friend some 25 years later? in spite of my dorkiness?)


4 Responses to “guilty pleasure monday: the wall (kansas)”

  1. I was at UM Law School in the mid-1980s. It totally was Suntan U. I suppose my guilty pleasure was Manilow’s “Weekend in New England”. It still makes me sniffle.

  2. our paths probably crossed, as i was always walking past the law school for reasons i still don’t understand 🙂 we were probably meant to meet!

    (when will ours eyes meet?) 😉 j/k

  3. “Guilty Pleasures?” You mean, like the songs they play on BIG 100.3 at 7:40 every weekday morning? I ❤ that feature! They’ve played the Partridge family, bad 70s love songs, and other gems that they can’t get away with playing at any other time. It’s so cool.

  4. […] my first entry wasn’t exactly a barnstormer. but others have garnered either lots and lots of commentary OR tons of hits. (against all odds probably hit the latter because there are apparently a lot of people in this world who are still searching for rachel ward. who knew?) and unlike my blatantly bad 70s jag i underwent last november, my GPMs don’t garner hate mail.  (you think i kid? check out people i don’t even know hating me because i knock songs like wildfire and playground in my mind.) […]

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