So this is kinda supposed to be a guilty pleasures-type column. One problem with that, though, is that I really don’t have any guilty pleasures. Oh, sure, I used to be embarrassed by some of the things I liked-I remember my first roommate chastising me for listening to “Guilty” by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb, saying that “no straight black man should be listening to Barbra Streisand” (little did he know). However, although I might be extremely self-conscious in other ways, I make no apologies for the music/movies/TV shows/sports teams/athletes I like.
Record store employees are supposed to be cooler-than-thou, so it’s actually kind of strange that I don’t get the side-eye that much when I go record shopping (yes, my record shopping consists of actually being in a store and not sitting in front of a computer pushing a button). I buy 2-3 CDs a week on average, and I was at one of my local Newbury Comics locations with this particular week’s booty of 3 CDs. I brought them up to the counter-business as usual. Then, the guy checking me out (who also happened to be the store manager) paused from our mindless dialogue, and said, in a voice dripping with sarcasm and derision,
“The Captain & Tennille??”
Yes, I had made the unfortunate mistake of going to a record store, purchasing a greatest hits compilation from The Captain & Tennille, those fine purveyors of Seventies cheese, and expecting to not hear a snide remark about my musical taste. My response? Well, it’s the title of this column. I almost wish I could say I jumped over the counter and punched the guy in the face, but that would mean that his remark affected me enough to provoke a violent reaction when really all it did was give me juice for a blog entry.
For those not in the know, the Captain and Tennille consisted of vocalist Toni Tennille and her husband Daryl Dragon (AKA The Captain-so named because of the captain’s hat he always wore). The duo first became famous via the huge hit “Love Will Keep Us Together”, a song that not only won the Record of the Year Grammy in the year of my birth, but the 45 of which was one of the few Caucasoid-derived records in my generally whitey-intolerant (well, not intolerant…more like whitey-ignoring) home. It might be the textbook definition of pop cheese, but that song was dope.
Toni Tennille was also quite the hottie in her day. I might have had a thing for both her and The Cap’n when I was a wee lad. The duo had a pretty solid run of hits through the late Seventies, including “Muskrat Love” (a song no one will admit to liking except me) and “Do That To Me One More Time” (which is pretty randy in that white-bread “Afternoon Delight” way). I vaguely remember the duo having a variety show on TV for a brief time, and I definitely remember Toni having a daytime talk show in the early Eighties.
Cool kids-did you know that Toni Tennille sang on Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”?
Anyway, while Daryl and Toni may always conjure up scornful images in the minds of some folks, I think they put together some of the best examples of yacht rock/soft pop in the late Seventies. And between Mr. Dragon and Captain Merrill Stubing, I still want one of those awesome white hats, dammit.