Well, this is a little random. I’ll let this note from my iPhone explain why I wrote it.
That’s it, that’s the story.
First of all, how great is Earth, Wind & Fire? One summer during college after I turned 21 and earned the privilege to consume $12 frozen margaritas in public, my roommates and I attended the City of Orange’s annual International Street Fair in Orange, California. With plastic cups of overpriced alcoholic slush in our hands, we found ourself at a bandstand where a plucky group of local middle-aged men were covering hits from the 70s. My roommates and I were bopping along politely until the song changed and we heard the opening to “Let’s Groove.” We can boogie down, down upon, down the boogie, down, down upon, down the boogie down, down, upon, down the boogie down, down*. My friend Tatiana and I turned to each other, jumped up and down, and screamed. We screamed like we were teenagers in the TRL studio audience and Carson Daly threw to commercial (remember TRL?) Basically, Earth, Wind & Fire is so cool, they’re even cool in other forms.
Now, it wasn’t just the blend of bottom shelf tequila, artificial lime flavor, and ice; or that the band was actually really good (I am a sucker for middle-aged men playing their hearts out as well as hits from the 70s). It’s that it’s scientifically impossible not to dance to the music of Earth, Wind & Fire. I mean, come on. I dare you to sit still during “September” or “Boogie Wonderland.” You can’t do it. Don’t even try. What a boring, stupid thing to try.
Songs like “Shining Star” have been mainstays on my Walkman/Discman/iPod/iPhone over the years, but I only somewhat recently rediscovered their slow jam “After the Love Has Gone.” It came on the car radio when I was driving home one day. I love car radio. My car was too old to have even a CD player but I would choose radio anyway. Every song that comes on is a surprise. When something you love gets worked into the rotation, it’s somehow even more satisfying to hear than if you put it on yourself. And when “After the Love Has Gone” came on during that ride home, I was like: damn. Later that night, I found a live performance of the song on YouTube, and well, you saw the iPhone note.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I sat on my bed for two full hours playing it over and over again. I tried working other videos into my impromptu stoner playlist. Stuff I normally really like! But no more than 30 seconds in, I was pressing the “back” button on my browser. I was transfixed–very high, but mostly plain transfixed.