American Top 40 PastBlast, 4/26/86: Mike + the Mechanics, “All I Need Is a Miracle”

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons during my last spring term at Transy, I made two treks through downtown Lexington over to the University of Kentucky. The reason: to pick up (and afterward take back) a friend for TU’s Wind Ensemble practices.

She’d been a student at Transy the previous year, playing a decently mean clarinet with our group as a freshman. A transfer to UK had happened over the summer of 85, but she and I had remained in touch. In the meantime, TU hired a new Ensemble director for the beginning of my senior year; it became clear immediately that he was going to aggressively build up the program. I don’t remember how it all came together now, but I wound up serving as the go-between in arranging for my friend to re-join the Ensemble, beginning in January. She didn’t have a car, so I volunteered to play shuttle driver.

By this time, you’re probably wondering, so I’ll go ahead and say it: yes, I was interested in dating my friend, and had been since not too long after we’d met. In brief, I never even got the chance to be turned down. During her year at TU, she had an on-again, off-again, on-again relationship with her high school boyfriend, who was at UK; by the time I was picking her up for Ensemble practices, she was beginning to see the man she’d eventually marry. Anyway, in early 86 I knew I was going to be leaving the state in August to go to grad school, so at that point it wasn’t worth getting all angsty or anything.

Late in the term, “All I Need Is a Miracle” came on the radio one time while I was on my way back to campus, following my second trip of the afternoon across town. Even though I was cool with things as they were, I’d be lying if I said that the song title didn’t made me think just a little about the situation (though the lyrics as a whole didn’t really apply). Easily my favorite from Mike + the Mechanics, it was at #25 at this moment in time, headed toward #5.

My friend found other means of transport and kept playing with the Transy group after I graduated. We kept in touch decently over the next decade or so; eventually her husband got promoted and they moved to the west coast. Over the last roughly twenty years, we’ve had only very sporadic communication.


(And now, a completely different thought regarding this song. After my parents moved in the fall of 83, they began going to a dentist named John Miracle. His office wasn’t far from their new home, and I used him myself throughout the last half of the 80s. It occurred to me more than once that had he ever wanted to start a media campaign, he could consider using the tag line, “All You Need Is John Miracle,” set to the tune of the M+tM song. I never managed to bring it up with his office staff, though…)

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