Image Source: MosadiMusic
We were, once again, driving with The Association on the juke, and I was, once again, amusing myself. “Who’s reaching out to capture a moment?” I asked in song. “Everyone knows it’s West-bye!” I’m hilarious like that. We shared a chortle and continued, and, once again, my brain continued on this non-linear side street.
Lyrics are funny things, especially when they are the lyrics that exist only in your head. Example: when I was seven or eight, I got the 45 of The Eagles’ “The Long Run,” and I heard the lyric, “Did you do it for love, did you do it for money, did you do it for Spike, did you think you had to, honey?” And for years after, I always wondered about Spike, and what our unnamed female protagonist did for him. Who was this Spike, and why didn’t he get more mention in the song?
Many years later – more recently than I’d care to admit – I had a mini revelation. I may have been listening to Lou Reed’s infamous lyric, “When I put a spike into my vein, and it makes me feel like I’m a man,” or that line might have just been in my head. But it hit me all at once: could the Eagles lyric be, “Did you do it for love, did you do it for money, did you do it for Spike…” as in heroin?!? Yes, that makes sense! It was the 70s, after all. I brought this up with a friend, well proud of my thirty-years-too-late brainstorm.
“You knucklehead!” my friend said. (Okay, maybe not those exact words were used) “It’s ‘Did you do it for love, did you do it for money, did you do it for SPITE, did you think you had to, honey?’”
I had built an entire narrative in my head, based on a misunderstood lyric, and kept it for thirty years. In one nanosecond, I had a brainstorm that comPLETEly altered and replaced my faulty narrative with a new, nefarious one. And then in one nanosecond, THAT faulty narrative balloon was popped and replaced with the actual, much more benign narrative.
I still kind of miss my man Spike. I guess that’s what I get for reaching out to capture a moment.