My first love was George Burns. I was no more than 6. There was a bit of an age difference and so I decided that it was time to find a new crush. And while my brother and I used to sit on padded bar stools in our living room and crank up the hit song, The Gambler and pretend we were riding horses, I wouldn’t call Kenny a crush. I just loved The Gambler and I liked feeling like a cowgirl because I really, really loved horses.
I discovered Blondie and then Michael and then sometime during all of that, I discovered Olivia. Like most young girls who were born in 1974, I fell in love with Olivia Newton John. And I’m not talking the one poster, and a few cutouts for the mirror kind of love. I’m talking the light a candle, pull out the tarot cards, and cast a spell kind of love.
Back then we had HBO. I’m not sure how, exactly, because most of my friends didn’t seem to have HBO. But I know we had it because I used to watch Fraggle Rock and Not Necessarily the News. I also watched Xanadu each and every time it came on and I was awake.
This was before the Great War of Beta vs. VHS. We didn’t own a VCR because they ran about 10,000 dollars. If we had owned a VCR, Beta OR VHS, I would have recorded Xanadu and I would have watched it over and over again. Instead, I owned a Sony tape recorder and I used it to record Xanadu.
There were bits and pieces of the movie that didn’t exist. Those silences took place when I was forced to turn the tape over or chang it. This option, while odd, worked. During those quiet lulls, I would merely imagine the movie. This technique had its benefits; the film was never the same. Even the endings could change. Sometimes, she was still magic. Sometimes, she became human and ran off with that guy with the featured hair. Sometimes she’d fall in love with me instead and we’d make ribbon barrettes, friendship bracelets and go shopping for rollerskates.
There hasn’t ever been a moment in my life where I haven’t been obsessed with music. Before MP3s, I collected CDS. Before CDS, I owned 7 inches and cassette tapes. Before 7 inches and cassette tapes, I owned records. Before records, I owned 8 Tracks. And before that, I sang. The best part about Olivia Newton was that she not only acted in several amazing major motion pictures, but she sang wonderful songs as well. (Sometimes, she’d combine the two and my little head would soar.) And so, it probably comes as little surprise to find out that I owned all of her records as well. I still own them.
A few days ago, I uncovered the most violent cat-to-item crime scene. The Orangemani terrorist we have living with us sent us a pretty clear message about my first love and my childhood memory. Tucker hates Olivia Newton John.