Thankfully, in this age of downloading and streaming, Homer's is still in operation! The location may have moved up a block and the CD selection might be a smidge smaller, but it's still the same atmosphere. I felt like I slipped backwards 15 years and landed at home.
I spent quite a bit of time flipping through the compact discs at Homer's, with special attention on soundtracks. Some of my favorite albums are soundtracks, probably because I love movies so much. I'll even listen to a soundtrack to a film I've never seen, which this downtown excursion proved.
While rummaging through the soundtracks, with my Mad Scientist Glasses on, one album kept drawing my attention. I picked up the yellow CD a few times, but put it back. I even wandered away to other sections, trying to avoid temptation. The CD was new and I wasn't sure if I wanted to splurge on an album I knew very little about.
The yellow may have caught my half-blind eyes, but I wasn't exactly sure what kind of soundtrack I was looking at. I could only initially decipher GO, Johnny Go! and IT'S WAY OUT! I didn't know if this was a soundtrack to an old movie or a new movie with a retro vibe. I even considered the possibility it was a soundtrack to a stage musical. After slow and painstakingly intense study, I was relatively certain it read MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK. All the other words were lost to me, even with my MSG on and focused.
In the end, I purchased the CD because I desired to know what the hell it was. Plus, I wanted a memento from my solo bus ride adventure to The Old Market. I didn't listen to the mystery album until the next day because I was hot and tired after my downtown visit, which involved more walking than you might think.
I popped in the disc during breakfast the next morning and was still unsure what I was listening to. The first few tracks sounded like music from the late 1950's/early 1960's, but I couldn't decide if these unfamiliar songs were authentic or new songs meant to sound like that time period. Then "Johnny B. Goode" started playing and I said to the dog, "That's Chuck Berry!"
As the disc continued spinning, my curiosity continued growing. I was immersed in a fun, danceable world and I investigated the origin of this soundtrack as soon as the last song ended. I discovered that GO, Johnny GO! is a 1959 film made to showcase the Million-Record recording stars. The flimsy plot about a record company's search for a new singer to make the bobbysoxers swoon was just a terrific excuse for Chuck Berry, Ritchie Valens, The Cadillacs and many others to perform. (There is a weirdly edited version of the film on You Tube which is worth watching for the great music.)
I enjoyed the whole album, but there are two songs that stand out for me. "Playmates" by Sandy Stewart is a swinging little number that I think is full of bizarre sexual euphemisms. "Please, Mr. Johnson" by The Cadillacs is a fun song about kids trying to get a little credit at the candy store.
In conclusion, I have no regrets purchasing the soundtrack to GO, Johnny GO! It's a cool collection celebrating the early days of rock 'n roll, with a few bonus tracks from a different but similar film. The best way I can describe this CD is that it's a rockin' soundtrack John Waters wishes he had for one of his films!
Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.
P.S. The weirdly edited version of the film...
The Collective Eye for August is wide open...