Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Three Rhapsodic Decades

My local classic rock station mentioned this morning that today is the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", although Wikipedia credits October 31 1975 as the date. The radio station may have been a bit off, or possibly the earlier date was the British release, and today was the US release. If so, the two weeks' head start had an enduring impact, as BR is invariably #1 in British lists of the all-time greatest rock songs, just as on most US classic rock stations it always (and inexplicably, to me) seems to be "Stairway to Heaven". Either way, BR definitely made rock history in at least one regard, as it's credited with having the very first music video.

BR was my favorite song when I first became interested in rock music. Though I've much diversified my rock tastes over the subsequent three decades, hearing BR today still brings back those days of teenage reformation. I remember taping the song and playing it for my parents, hoping they'd like the operatic middle portion. Instead, I succeeded in worrying them that I related to the earlier lyrics, which sounded depressive/suicidal. Oh well, so much for bridging the musical generation gap.

I did learn something new about the song just today. The famous "Bismillah!" refrain is from the Arabic and means roughly the same as the Jewish expression "Im Yirtzeh Hashem", "with the help of God". Funny, in high school my friends and I thought "Bismillah" was somehow related to the Yiddish "ich vill nisht" [I don't want]. Though we were obviously incorrect, I still think our interpretation fits better with the way "Bismillah" is used in the song!

While I'm on pop culture I must acknowledge that yesterday was also an important historic date in TV land. Of course, I'm referring to the fact that...
"On November 13th, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. This request came from his wife..."
All you ever want to know about my very favorite comedy TV show here.


At 11/14/05, 9:20 PM, Blogger torontopearl said...

"The Odd Couple" was a great/unique show.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to see in Toronto a stage production of it featuring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Jack had had surgery on his vocal box, and his minimal voice had a very grating quality, even more than we were used to. But the caliber of the stage play was great, the chemistry between the two actors even greater. It was a pleasure to see TV life come alive. (yes, I know it was a stage play before it became a TV series...)

At 11/15/05, 5:39 AM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Freddy Mercury of Queen also has a distincting in American Top 40 history. What is it?

At 11/15/05, 9:50 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Freddie Mercury was Lebanese, maybe that is where the Arabic comes from.

At 11/15/05, 10:40 AM, Blogger Elie said...

David: Don't know what distinction you mean. I know Bohemian Rhapsody went to #1 on more than one occasion, which is rare if not unique, but I think you're referring to something about the singer, not the song.

At 11/15/05, 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have fond memories of watching "Odd Couple" on TV during my younger years. I think it's dated now, perhaps more so than other shows from the period, but it's still funny.

At 11/15/05, 6:09 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Freddy Mercury was the first African born singer to reach #1.


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