Monday, February 05, 2007


Everly Brothers Wake Up Little Suzie

When I was maybe eight, we were living in North Hollywood, my family took a short vacation in San Diego, part of which was a Sunday morning drive to Tijuana.

My folks pointed out the shanty town just across the border. We’d heard how these hovels of cardboard and corrugated metal all had TV antennas sticking up out of them. This was noteworthy because in 1957 a television was an investment.

Dusty and bare was my impression. Not a lot of shade. I remember a little shopping. We brought back a set of castinets and those shaker things with the beads in them. Each of the boys got a straw sombrero.

And my mom got a big old bottle of her Jean Patou toilet water. I was still wondering if the Eau meant the odor from the toilet, or the water from the toilet. I knew there was something special about French toilets.

We ate lunch at a formicatabletop restaurant off the main drag. It had big windows that let in bright sun. The place was maybe a quarter full. The town really hadn’t awakened yet.

And blaring on the jukebox was Wake Up Little Suzie which none of us had heard before, and it got my eight year old blood flowing. This was exciting!

The raspy, raw, adolescent voices in such tight, edgy harmonies, the clever dilemma posed by the lyrics. Man, I couldn’t wait to be a teenager! I was ready!

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