You either get it or you don’t. There are songs that, when you hear, will instantly bring up memories. One of those songs for me is The Kinks’ 1983 single “Come Dancing.” As a pre-teen, I don’t know that I had any idea who The Kinks were although I suspect that I may have known that at some point in that general era that Van Halen covered “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” on ‘Diver Down’. And, as I write this, I’m sure I was familiar with “Lola” and “Destroyer” (listening to this song now, memories come flooding back of thinking that this had to have been performed by a heavy metal band).
But, back to “Come Dancing.” We didn’t have cable in 1983 which meant no MTV. I imagine that I probably heard “Come Dancing” on the radio – my parents certainly weren’t fans of The Kinks, I had no older siblings to turn me onto music, and I don’t remember listening to The Kinks with my best friend who was definitely into music (thanks, in part, to having a sister in college and access to her albums) but I can’t imagine The Kinks slipped in among the many listens to Van Halen, Rush, Ozzy, and REO Speedwagon.
I heard “Come Dancing” this morning on iHeart Radio’s “I Love the 80s” channel and … bam … transported to a little league bench, after practice, talking to a teammate named Garrett. I remember two Garretts from my childhood and I think I played on teams with both of them at some point – when this memory strikes, I don’t remember which Garrett it was. Where we talking about the song? Was somebody singing it? Was I thinking about it after practice? Those are memories I can’t dial up but sitting on the bench, in my little league uniform, that’s as clear as day (it was a sunny day).
Back in those days, when shopping at a big box department store like Caldors or Bradlees, I’m sure I convinced my mom to buy me The Kinks ‘State of Confusion’ cassette just so I could listen to “Come Dancing” over and over and over again. As I look at the tracklist now, it’s safe to say that I likely never flipped the cassette over to side B and, honestly, none of the songs on side A other than “Come Dancing” even sound familiar so safe to say that my mom bought me the cassette for the sole purpose of listening to one song.