Welcome back readers and Happy Friday! Today's hype week post will send you jamming into the weekend. So Long, Bobby releases this coming Tuesday. Are you ready?
So Long, Bobby Hype Week: Annotated Playlist
Readers, I humbly present to you the official playlist for So Long, Bobby! Can you believe this is the playlist after I worked tirelessly to cut the fat?
I make playlists for all my works – in fact, usually the playlist is the first thing I put together before I sit down and write. I’ll take a few days and listen to it exclusively, letting my ideas and thoughts marinate. This playlist was especially fun to make because it encapsulates the best music from a couple of different decades, as well as jumping across various genres of music. As you might expect, a large majority of the artists I picked are from Georgia, namely my hometown of Athens!
Below are a handful of the songs I chose and why they are meaningful to me, and to the book. Rock on!
Crying by Roy Orbison
At the beginning of the novel, we meet teenage Bobbi Newton and learn that she’s madly in love with Roy Orbison. Plenty of gals in her day were smitten with the likes of Elvis and Buddy Holly, but there were a select few girls who saw the unique, dark mystery of Roy Orbison, with his nifty bowtie, cap of jet black hair and thick glasses, and found him utterly bewitching. My own Grandma was one of them. She didn’t care a fig for most of the heartthrobs of her day, but she was unabashedly in love with Roy Orbison. As a teen, I made her listen to so many artists and she was always gamely willing to listen along, but when I’d play Roy Orbison, she’d turn into a giddy girl again.
This song appearing first might be a bit of foreshadowing…
Happy Together by The Turtles
This was my favorite song when I was little. As a child, we had a record store called Turtles, and I thought store and band were the same. It wasn’t my only delusion: my Dad was a popular radio deejay at a local radio station here in town, and for a while, I thought when he was on shift he was actually in the radio. Hey, I was three; gimme a break!
When my son was born, I used to sing Happy Together to him. My husband gave me a picture of us in a frame that plays the song, and I treasure it.
Time of the Season by The Zombies
For me, this song is the quintessential song of the sixties’ hippie movement. When I think of the Summer of Love, of flower power, I think of this song. I never get tired of it – the bass! The harmonies! So FRIGGIN’ good.
Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones
If Time of the Season is the quintessential song of the flower power movement, then Gimme Shelter is THE rock song of the sixties. In fact, I’ll go one further and declare it the best rock n’ roll song of all time. I’ll broker no arguments. The guitar intro narrates an entire decade in less than a minute, the vocals are on point (do me a favor: stop what you’re doing to go read the story of Merry Clayton’s involvement and how the song influenced her life) and it encapsulates every bit of the frustration and desperation that young people – not just in the U.S., but elsewhere – felt in the late sixties.
Pictures of Matchstick Men by Status Quo
Another sixties jam I never get sick of, and I’m in good company, because it’s been covered by everyone from Ozzy Osborne and Peter Steele of Type O Negative to Camper Van Beethoven (fronted by honorary Athenian David Lowery of Cracker fame).
Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
One of Georgia’s unofficial national anthems, sung by Macon, Georgia’s finest, who died far too young.
Drive by R.E.M.
Like any good Athens gal, I know and love R.E.M.’s entire discography, but this song has always been my favorite. The album title and cover is a shout out to Weaver D’s, beloved soul food institution.
Rooster by Alice in Chains
Fun fact: this song was written for Jerry Cantrell’s father, whose nickname in Vietnam was “the Rooster”. Listen to Layne Staley throw a random yodel into this grunge masterpiece!
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
More Athens royalty, NMH is a staple of the indie music scene. I might be a metalhead, but I unabashedly love Neutral Milk. At their reunion show in 2015, I literally ran across a field to greet Julian Koster and give him a hug (I’m not usually a hugger, and I suspect neither is he, because he was a little taken aback, but very sweet: he gave me a tealight candle that I still have to this day). A year later, he held an online Christmas contest, whereby the winner would receive a singing-saw Christmas carol by him via phone. I won! Julian called, and my phone died before I could answer it. Can you believe that? I was crushed.
Reader, Julian Koster is the biggest, kindest cinnamon roll ever, because he left me not one, but TWO musical voicemails. And you bet I still have those, too.
Asking for It by Hole
Say what you want, but Courtney Love has always been a musical genius. A prickly pear with the sweetest, most vulnerable parts coming to the surface now and again. Growl it out, girl.
Only Love can Save Me Now by Pretty Reckless
This song was written after the death of Chris Cornell, who was one of Taylor Momsen’s mentors. Featuring members of Soundgarden and Audioslave, it follows the long tradition of Seattle’s best ever friend group gathering to make a musical tribute after losing one of their own (see also: Temple of the Dog, Alice Mudgarden, Mad Season, and a little band some might know as Pearl Jam).
Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips
I mean, enough said.