"Won't You Take Me To..." In 1977, the disco era had come full swing to Lynnfield. Even the guy on the LHS year book cover was sporting a blue jump-suit thing. I think I’ve seen some of my favorite musicians wearing similar get-ups in videos from that era. The jumpsuit even sports a big Pioneer Pride-style “L” on the front. I wonder what that would get online.
The whole image feels like Elvis in Vegas, Jesus Christ Superstar, Dan Tanna, Frampton Comes Alive, and the Carter Administration all rolled into one product of a very specific and unique era. It’s so perfectly illustrated for the benefit of future decades that it wouldn’t surprise me if alien time travelers were behind the whole thing.
So, in the space of just a year the LHS yearbook jumped into a new era with this image. As shown earlier this fall, the 1976 yearbook cover still had very strong influences from the ‘60s era. In the last eBay column, I called 1976 the Grooviest High School Year Book Cover Ever. I'm not sure if I have to retract that statement, having now seen the 1977 yearbook cover - even if nobody was saying "groovy" by then except for on Brady Bunch reruns.
The 1977 LHS cover we talk about this week feels so "1970s" that off in the distance I swear I can vaguely hear a guy singing “The Love Boat” theme. I look around for my "Peace Train" LP (OK, Black Sabbath in my case) and think to myself, “Yeah, a huge mustache would really go well with my sideburns…” And after all that rambling, now I’m going to end up with the song “Funky Town” running through my head all day. Thanks a lot, eBay…
Shhhhhhh… So I’m not sure if this is the case, but this feels a bit like somebody years ago drove away from their hotel room without turning in their key at the front desk, threw the thing into a drawer when they got home, and then 25 years later decided to see if somebody would pay nine bucks for it on eBay. I think I've got a couple of little bottles of shampoo I could try that with.
But anyhow, is it just me or do those old-fashioned hotel room keys have a sort of sordid, sketchy vibe that the new-fangled key cards just can’t duplicate? I bet you know what I mean.
You could actually have a lot of fun with this key chain around April Fool’s Day at the hotel, which is near the 128 exit off Route 1 South in Peabody. For example, you could brandish it at the front desk claiming that you just woke up from one heck of a great night’s sleep in Room 237 and that you’d like to check out because their funny-looking flat TV doesn’t pick up The Johnny Carson show and some joker replaced the rotary phone with some sort of Star Trek communicator toy.
Anna Green's Rooming House: At some point in decades past, Anna E. Green ran a rooming house or something to that effect at 8 Broadway in Lynnfield. To call and get a room, all you had to do was dial “Breakers 706 Ring 4.” The place was called “Green Lodge” and she noted that “Many interesting rides can be taken from Green Lodge.” In the era of $4 gas, the notion of just going for a ride on a Sunday now seems increasingly quaint and of another time. Anyhow, a Google Map search for 8 Broadway in Lynnfield reveals that the former Green Lodge now appears to be the Exxon Station. Too bad both businesses couldn’t have existed there. They could have had a sign saying “Sleep here and get gas.”
Catchy Sound Of The Big Band Days: When you’re writing the eBay column for Lynnfield, you have to sift through many, many old postcards from the former Suntaug Lake Inn. In fact, this column once devoted an entire edition back in 2011 to this long-ago Lynnfield landmark. However, this particular image is different from any I’ve ever seen while researching the town’s past – it’s a shot of the old dance floor and dining room of the restaurant. The place looks like it would have been an awesome spot to knock back Harvey Wallbangers and Camels back in the day. The place also looks like it was beautifully done, with its décor and the murals, ornate fans, ample windows, and so forth.
On a side note, that old dance floor also reminds me of just how catchy swing and big band music is in general (ok some of it at least), especially when there’s a good drummer who’s really immersed in the song and freestyling considerably. It’s almost impossible to sit still when listening to it out live somewhere. Check out this classic “Sing, Sing, Sing” from Benny Goodman.