When did you have your Motown phase?
Mine happened in middle school. It lasted on into high school, and, by great fortune, into adult life. My first exposure to The Temptations came with the Daryl Hall & John Oates album Live at the Apollo. I learned fast the history and prestige of playing that venue.
Hearing my favorite Rock N Soul duo mix it up with legends was priceless.
Temptations songs resonated with me at 12 (and 32, and 42) Just My Imagination was my theme song for those formative years. A girl made a mixtape for me with I Wish That It Would Rain on it and it took me a decade to understand what she was trying to say.
Every week, I try to answer questions my daughters pose to me in everyday life over the years, at random.
To kick off the A to Z Challenge, I chose three questions with A words in it. See how that works? For this post, My Girl (see what I did there?) found me listening to a Temptation favorite and it must have sounded so awesome to her that she just had to ask about it.
1. What are you listening to? (Temptations, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg)
If I have to sleep on your doorstep all night and day
Just to keep you from walking away,
Let your friends laugh, even this I can stand,
’cause I wanna keep you anyway I can.
There’s often nothing like the original. (No apologies meant for Rick Astley or even the Rolling Stones, who both covered this hit.) Released in 1966, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg is a tale of woe for a fellow whose lady seemingly has a foot out the door.
I always regarded his actions, when I was young, as somehow noble.
Begging is no way to save a relationship, however. Not even like, for Elizabeth Banks or my favorite local meteorologist. Also, and I feel this way about most art, this is soulful prose about that feeling you don’t want your love to walk out on you, even if it feels she will.
It’s all a metaphor, I say. And how can you resist that beat?
2. Is Adam Levine related to Avril Lavigne?
Isn’t this one cute? I mean, they sound alike. But no, family trees for the Maroon 5 point man with all the tats and silly noises is not blood relative to the feisty Canadian singer. The story, of course, gets stranger as you dig. Because of course.
Rumors that a doppelgänger or alien took Avril’s place at some point still circulate.
Also, that somehow, Adam and Avril are married. Which would make an interesting driver’s license. Avril Lavigne Lavine. It smacks of silly controversy. Yet, I wondered from age 6 to 9 whether Luke and Leia were siblings or boyfriend/girlfriend.
Avril’s had her share of makeups and breakups (haven’t we all?) and she’s a Lyme Warrior. Adam overcame the mysterious loss of a shirt during a Super Bowl halftime show. Both appear to be doing well, regardless.
3. Why does Queen Amidala have so many handmaidens who look like her?
Ah, the Naboo handmaidens.
I often wished I could coach girls’ soccer at Naboo High. The Handmaidens. I feel like that would be a formidable force. (Force, get it?) They’re picked to serve and protect the Queen. It’s their great fortune to have been blessed with genetics for the job.
Unless, of course, they must lay their lives on the line because of it.
Who could you be a handmaiden for? I guess my best bet would be to be a handmaid for former Indians pitcher Albie Lopez, or comedian George Lopez or dimple king Mario Lopez (only my mom thought that, when I was 15.)
(My kids have thought I looked like crooner Elvis Pressley (presumably young Elvis, not Vegas Elvis, although … ), spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel over the years.)
But enough about me. Back to the Queen. Here are three facts you might not know about this band of fierce handmaidens:
- Their names are Sabé, Rabé, Eirtaé, Saché, and Yané (which could take down the Lakers in a 7-game series, no sweat)
- Kiera Knightly played Sabé, Amidala’s main maiden girl. (This was before Pirates of the Caribbean fame.)
- They appeared in all three prequels, and Dormé appears to be the one who serves most closely as a confidant to the Queen.
And none, apparently, are related to Avril Lavigne …
Glad to see you and yours are doing well. As I write, I’m listening to Celtic Woman Decade (courtesy of Amazon Prime music). It’s over 3.5 hrs of Celtic melodies, which I happen to love. Truth be told, there is hardly a genre of music I don’t love… at least a song or two. Raised in a home where my mom would only play classical, yet my radio was always tuned to rock. Older cousins introduced me to the likes of Herman’s Hermits, The Four Seasons, The Beatles, Beach Boys, and Monkees. And college introduced me to multiple part harmonies of contemporary country music of the eighties and doo-wap.
Hope you’re doin well, too! Celtic Woman was set to have a concert here before the COVIDs. Good choice – I will listen to them this afternoon for work!
I feel like there’s something in many genres that can touch us in one way or another. Bluegrass seems to strike a cord in me, and that’s kind of unexpected. Classic country and 80s country were big parts of my childhood, too. Urban Cowboy, the movie, had my family wearing jeans and western shirts for a while!
You stay healthy too! Look forward to getting to your page soon.
It’s wonderful to see you participating, and as usual, i love your answers to your girls’ questions.
Sweetie grew up in a part of rural Louisiana where he was the only white boy to listen to Motown. He wouldn’t have married me if i didn’t share that love.
Thank you Mimi! I think music calls people together in a lot of ways, over a lot of differences. Have you ever written your story about Sweetie?
Happy first day of Blogging A to Z! My Motown Phase occurred during the same years as yours.
I’ve considered that the Bennett Sisters (of Pride & Prejudice) and Tevye’s Daughters (of Fiddler on the Roof) would make good basketball teams, but not sure if they’d match up well against the Handmaidens of Naboo.
Happy opening day to you, Liam! Motown Phases are best when we’re trying to figure out the world (well, I still am!)
I think we’re talking about a great tournament in the making here, my friend. Looking forward to reading your post, too.
It’s an absolute delight to find you playing in the challenge Eli. And you’ve started my day off laughing, so double win. Happy April!
So great to see you too, Deborah! Glad we could start with a laugh … I finished these laughs late last night!
Fun post, Eli! Thank you!
A is for Aedile
Thanks for stopping by, Sharon! Looking forward to checking yours out.
I loved the character of Queen Amidala but I’m sure glad that make-up never caught on 😉 Great A to Z kick-off!
Fun start to the A to Z challenge! I never realized how much Adam Levine and Avril Lavigne’s names were similar! I always knew they were spelled differently, but if you were just hearing their names I could totally see that. Oh the Temptations have some good ones. Love that old school Motown stuff!
Thanks, Beth! One of my girls asked this one when she was very young. Today felt like a very Motown day today, too.
I can’t tell you how many times I answered questions EXACTLY like #2! My brilliant, gifted, med student son didn’t know to come in out of the rain when he was a kid (I’m only assuming he knows now). “Mommy, is Clinton, Missouri, named after President Clinton?” ad infinitum
And they LOVE when you bring up those things, don’t they? But it’s all we have, parents. One of mine read a sign about Mercury levels in bass in a lake, and not to eat the fish. She asked later how bass could survive on Mercury. Precious.
hey i grew up near motown and it’s never left me )
It stays in your soul, doesn’t it? I remember hearing beach music when we lived in Colorado, and that’s the first thought that came to mind when we moved to Carolina.