AT40 Past Blast, 9/26/81: ELO, “Hold On Tight”

In taking a quick look over posts from recent weeks, I’ve noticed that I make mention of my father and his musical tastes with some frequency. Even though it’s starting to approach four years since his death, his presence still reverberates; I’m not expecting that to change.

This manifests itself when I hear Dad’s favorite songs from my youth. For instance, I think of him every time Heart’s “Barracuda” comes on (he would playfully mispronounce the title as “Baccaruda”). Another tune with this power is Wings’ live recording of “Maybe I’m Amazed.” When that one came on in the car back in 77, Dad would crank up the volume every single time Paul banged the piano after belting out, “Maybe I’m a lonely man who’s in the middle of something that he doesn’t really understand.” I’ve been known to do the same in recent years.

A perusal of the playlist of IRH’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue, Part I reveals two of Dad’s favorites from that era that at first feel out of place with the 50s and 60s sounds he loved so much. One is Elton’s “Philadelphia Freedom.” I knew he liked it but I’m not sure I realized he thought that much of it–I would have deemed “Crocodile Rock” more likely to be here (and it did appear on Part III). I was well aware, though, of his acute fondness for the other one, apparently at #21 on his all-time list. Jeff Lynne clearly loved the rock of yesteryear as much as Dad did, so it really isn’t a surprise that a driving number from ELO would catch my father’s fancy. It’s one spot away from its peak of #10 in this show. Rock on, and hold on tight, Dad.

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