Years ago I was sent to Bogotá, Colombia to help a client. I was originally supposed to be there for a week, but due to problems we encountered I ended up spending a weekend and a couple more days there. I would have been there longer, except my manager called me and told me to get my ass home so I could go to Midyear (our semiannual meeting, usually held somewhere “fun” and during which we did “fun” things). Turns out that there had been an incident elsewhere in Colombia where an American official was shot and killed by a member of one of the drug cartels, and they were worried about me.
Anyway, I came home that Wednesday so that I could have “fun” with my co-workers on Thursday and Friday, spent Saturday at home, then left for a week in Minneapolis on Sunday. I got to my hotel, ordered dinner, and was watching ESPN (which was actually worth watching at the time) when I fell asleep.
When I woke up, it was 1 AM and I was really confused: I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know why I was there, and most importantly, I didn’t know why they were speaking English on TV. I remember actually saying, “I’m in the Twilight Zone!” and panicking because I knew I wasn’t home. I finally relaxed and told myself, “you’re overtired. Go to bed, go to sleep, it’ll all work itself out in the morning.” And it did: when my wakeup call came, everything was there.
The rest of the trip was uneventful, and nothing like that has ever happened to me again. But I still remember that trip and shudder…
Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (named for Union Gap, Washington, from whence they came) is a band that was only active in the late ’60’s, but in that short amount of time they released seven singles, five of which reached the Top 10. “Young Girl” was probably their most popular song, reaching #2 for three weeks on the Hot 100 and topping the chart in the UK. The songs that kept it out of the #1 spot in the US were Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” the first week and Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey” the next two. (It did reach #1 in Canada and on the Cash Box survey.) Gary and The Gap recorded a version of “Honey” themselves but never issued it as a single.
Badfinger, whose real name I believe is Max, and I were talking about great bands from the ’60’s, and he mentioned that a band that was popular then that doesn’t seemed to be remembered today was The Grass Roots. I had to be a wise guy and ask if he meant The Grassroots or The Grass Roots, knowing they used both spellings over the years…
Anyway, the Grass Roots were popular from the mid ’60’s to the mid ’70’s, and had a number of singles chart, although only three Top 10 hits (four, if you ask Cash Box), their most popular being “Midnight Confessions,” which peaked on the Hot 100 at #5 in 1968. This was their best selling single in 1969, peaking at #15 on the Hot 100, #12 according to Cash Box, and #11 according to Record World.
Since it’s just about midnight on the West Coast, I want to be the first to wish my brother Kip a very Happy Birthday!