Here’s a photograph of my wife Pam and me on our wedding day. We call it the horseback picture because to us at least it looks like we’re sitting together on a stallion, ready to ride across the grounds of our palace. As of today, we’ve been married 15 years. Happy Anniversary, Pam. Thanks for all the wonderful things you do. (Like setting up this blog for me.)
Now on to a song about the joys of love. This past Spring, bassist Ted Ansani and drummer Mike Zelenko decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their band Material Issue’s debut album, International Pop Overthrow. They recruited singer-guitarist Phil Angotti to fill in for the late Jim Ellison and booked a few live gigs. Material re-Issue, as the new lineup was dubbed, proved how timeless Ellison’s songs really were, as well as the wide range of emotions he conveyed through his lyrics.
“Crazy,” from that impressive first record, was a celebration of a new romance. The call-and-response vocals depict a guy telling his buddies about the new girl in his life and how she makes him feel. “How'd you meet her? A friend of a friend I guess. When you see her you'll be oh so impressed. When she smiles it just drives me wild all the time.” The irresistible melody along with the high energy guitars and drums have the feel of classic power pop, but it’s the exuberant lyrics that make “Crazy” truly special. “Can you believe her? She's everything that I need. With a face that's stolen from a magazine.”
The sign of a successful relationship is when it still resonates with that joy 10, 15, 25, and even 50 years later.
“Valerie Love Me” finds Material Issue singing about a more frustrating type of love.
“Wings” by The Hollies was the song Pam and I used for the first dance at our wedding.