Oh 38 Special, there’s a “special” place in my heart for you.
You were part of the very first concert I ever saw-an event that I am currently working on a piece for as it just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the show. An anniversary that I thought I should capture as it also managed to make me feel old.
Wild Eyed Southern Boys was the album.
It’s the one with “Hold On Loosely,” a song-along with the gem “Rockin’ Into The Night” from their previous album-that I thoroughly enjoyed back in the day.
That’s right. I was stoked that I was about to see 38 Special.
At the same time, there were a couple of things I thought was stupid about the band even at the tender age of 14.
One was a song called “Back Alley Sally” from Wild Eyed Southern Boys.
It’s stupid. And it reminded me of a joke that I heard a classmate tell me and some other friends in the 6th grade. I’m not going to tell you the joke, because it’s not funny. It involves a prostitute by the name of “Sandpaper Sally” (hence the comparison to “Back Alley Sally”) and the scabs she possessed.
My stomach is churning now, which I believe is the intent of the “Sandpaper Sally” joke: to not necessarily funny in the sense of a traditional joke, but to be so gross to the point where the humor lies in the person telling it, because it’s funny to see people on the verge of vomiting I guess.
The other thing that I hated about Wild Eyed Southern Boys was the cover. It was a pathetic cartoon depiction of a woman wearing short-shorts walking up to the bar while the scraggly members of 38 Special ogled her figure.
Why don’t I just show you the cover rather than describe it.
And even at 14, I knew it was dumb.
It’s probably why I never bought another 38 Special album ever again, even though I did kind of dig that “Teacher, Teacher” song from some dumb movie and that one that goes “What if I’d been the one to say goodbye.”
At work, we have a gentleman around my age that sits in my department and sings for a country rock band. He loves the sound of his own voice, so that means he breaks out in song on a daily basis.
Another co-worker recently came up and advised me that this gentleman had recently had a photo shoot with his band, and that they were trying to “recreate some cover by 38 Special.
Now the person that told me this didn’t have the foggiest notion of what album cover it was for, but I did.
I knew immediately.
And I will share it with you now.