"My Ever Changing Moods b/w Mick's Company"
I spent most of the day cleaning the house, and about an hour looking for a couple of Michael Ondaatje books I want to get signed. I already have a whole box going, but somewhere I have a British first edition of The English Patient, an extra In the Skin of a Lion, and a perfectly nice ex-library copy of There's a Trick With a Knife I'm Learning to Do.
Have I explained before how my house is basically four bedrooms filled with books and bookcases, including a library that is crowded with boxes that go all the way to the ceiling?
I suppose there's a chance they might be in the garage, but what are they doing there? The garage is the last place they should be, however unlikely it seemed I would ever cross paths with Ondaatje. You know what belongs in the garage? Books by dead people. Lesser, uninteresting books. Nothing by Ondaatje.
I have a couple of weeks to figure this out, but I'm done hunting today. I have a book to finish reading and a book review to write and the pork tenderloin I bought this afternoon isn't going to cook itself.
But let's pause for a moment and talk about The Style Council.
Remember how upset you were when Paul Weller disbanded The Jam at the height of their power? Split up the very best English punk group to never catch fire in the U.S. in order to focus on funk and soul and r&b? I'm not knocking "Town Called Malice," I'm just saying there were so many great Jam songs that never charted over here. Positively criminal.
Tammy was in my high school Spanish class. She loved The Style Council.
She invited me to a party at her house, but it was really just her friend Wendy and my friend Ben and a bag of tortilla chips. We drank a few beers at her kitchen table and she told me Jenny said I wasn't a good kisser and I said, "well, there's only one way to find out." And then we kissed in her bedroom for probably the next three hours and we only took a break when the radio played her request for The Syle Council's "Long Hot Summer."
There are two versions of "My Ever Changing Moods." The album cut from The Style Council's U.K. debut--Café Bleu--is a slow piano number that is positively dull compared to the 12" version with drums and horns. That's the hit version, the one I fell in love with, the one that was included on the U.S. version of the album (renamed My Ever Changing Moods to capitalize on the success of the single which went all the way to #29 on the Billboard Hot 100).
I was so enthusiastic about the song that I tried to get my dad to listen to it. We were driving home from South Coast Plaza and I stuck the cassette into his car stereo. My dad, who taught me to love jazz and folk and Creedence Clearwater Revival, did not appreciate the infectious groove. He did not enjoy Paul Weller's singing voice or lyrics. Worst of all, he was not moved to play air drums during the entire song. He was driving, yes, but there were plenty of stop signs and red lights.
He let me play it a second time, but I could tell he wasn't enjoying himself as much as I was.
I hung out with Tammy for most of the summer before college. We listened to a lot of music, mostly The Style Council and The Smiths and The Clash. I haven't talked to her in 27 years, but I think about her every time I hear this song.