Friday, May 21, 2010

Full Circle

It was 1985. Ronald Reagan was President, Amadeus won the Oscar for Best Picture, New Coke was introduced and I was about to graduate High School.

Twin Falls Idaho was (and in many respects still is), a small town USA kinda town. Patriotism, church, conservativsm all reigned supreme. I knew I was gay, but could not envision a future anything close to what I have now. I felt very much alone, and remember the 80s were pre internet so unless you moved to a big(ger) more progressive city…you really were kind of alone.

My graduation present came early, a project and gift from my Dad. It was a 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring, in original condition with a 440 V8 engine and a cassette deck.

At that time, I heard a song on a TV show and tracked it down to the group “The Nylons“.  Once I played that tape in my graduaction car I fell in love with them, eventually learning every song, backwards and forwards.

The song “Up the Ladder” and “Please” blared through my car windows, competing with the roar of the engine as I cruised through town in my vintage muscle car. It was a good time in life, full of sun, possibilities and care free youth. I loved all the songs on that cassette….they spoke to me. The Nylons were all about soaring accapella, intricate harmonies, pristine vocals and rich lyrics that bent your heart to their story.

Then life happened, cars changed, cassettes morphed to Cds and MP3s and I mostly forgot about that special group I spent my spring and summer with.

Recently on You tube a chain of accidental clicks reminded me of The Nylons and I found them once again. My friends from long ago were still there, as well as new favorites from their old material. As I watched the vids I had a feeling they might just be family. It wasn’t just the funny 80’s fashion…or their dance moves…or the fact I detected facial wasting in the lead singer Marc Connors. It was something more, and it inspired me to find out more about them. So, I did a search and couldn’t believe what I learned.

They were gay. All of them.

It was an emotional moment for me.  While I was beginning my life as an 18 year old gay kid…their songs had became a part of my life, and little did I know we shared a bond, a kinship.

The story of the original group is amazing, heart breaking and touching all at the same time. And even though "out" gay entertainers were practically non-existent in the 1980s…they connected with a young gay man just starting out in life. The Nylons have owned my heart for a couple decades, now we’ve come full circle and I feel I owe them my thanks.
The above were my favorites from all those years ago....the one in the Daily Aural is my new favorite.


Brooke Santor said...

I would bet that car hauled didnt it? I am a fan of the nylons too, those are great memories.

SteveA said...

I remember them...they had a top 20 single with "Na Na Na Na Hey hey...." I remember seeing them and that cute guy with beard and thinking - he's kinda cute!

Charlie said...

That song busy in your daily aural was really beautiful

Tom (Thomas) Rimington said...

Great post Geoff... Funny how things come full circle sometimes...

Ahhh yes, I was just pondering the early 70's and disco as I was graduating... yikes I am OLD!

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