Day 98: Your favorite song by a band/artist whose name begins with “B”.

“Holiday Road” – Lindsey Buckingham

HolidayRoadI found out long ago it’s a long way down the holiday road.

It was probably 1984. I didn’t see National Lampoon’s Vacation in the theater, but thanks to HBO or Cinemax, or one of the other movie channels, I was exposed to the movie early on. (And many other things I shouldn’t have been exposed to. Some my parents knew about; most they did not.)

Right from the beginning, one of the things I liked about it was its theme song, “Holiday Road.” I liked its beat. I liked its vibe. I liked its simplicity. And I really liked the barking dogs at the end. They made me laugh.

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But for some reason, I didn’t think much about getting it at the time. I wasn’t even sure who it was, honestly (and I didn’t think to look at the credits). I seem to remember thinking it was by Gary “US” Bonds, for some unknown reason. (Sorry, Lindsey.)

I was probably a junior in high school when I watched the movie again. And that’s when the song really took hold. I was hooked and I needed to find it.

That’s also when I got the big ol’ middle finger from the music industry. I looked. And looked. And looked some more. You know what I found? Nothing. It was like every teenage boy’s nightmare. “Like” had turned to “love” and the object of my affections didn’t love me back.

Apparently, a soundtrack album was released, but I’d never seen a copy of it. It appears there was also a single release (as evidenced by the picture above), but I’d never found one of those, either. Not to be deterred, I kept on looking when it occurred to me.

And then something miraculous happened: I found Napster. There were choirs of angels. And beams of bright light. Dogs and cats slept together. Men and women slept together. It was beautiful. (Incidentally, the dogs and cats did not sleep together in the same way that the men and women did. Which is how it remained beautiful.)

Some of you may have heard of Napster. It basically allowed you to share music via the Internet with people you didn’t know. Free! It was the beginning of the end of the music industry as we knew it. And in 2000, it was very popular. Well, with most people it was. People like Lars Ulrich weren’t all that fond of it. But, then, not many people are fond of him, so I guess it all evens out in the end.

As soon as I discovered Napster, I put together a short list of the songs I’d been unsuccessfully seeking out for a long time, without success, for a very long time. “Holiday Road” was high on that list. It may have been number one. And although I do remember having some difficulty tracking down a good version, I found it relatively quickly. As much as I fret about digital music in general, it does have some advantages.

I proceeded to enjoy “Holiday Road” many times. And I still do.

Napster is gone now. After the lawsuits it was a shadow of its former self long before it merged with Rhapsody. The beams of light are gone. The choirs of angels silent.

Men and women are still sleeping together, though. I can’t figure that one out…

Take a ride on the West Coast kick…