Saturday, March 3, 2012

No. 824 – Undun

Performer: The Guess Who
Songwriter: Randy Bachman
Original Release: Canned Wheat
Year: 1969
Definitive Version: None

Although discovering Steve & Garry when I started at Northwestern in the fall of 1986 changed my radio listening in that I stopped listening to music radio per se, I still was discovering new songs through the radio. After all, Steve & Garry were still on the Loop, a rock station, so they still played a song or two every once in a while. And when Kevin Matthews joined the station in spring 1987, he played more music.

It got to be whenever I’d tape a show that had a song I liked, I’d copy the song to a different tape before reusing the old tape. Eventually, I had a full tape of just songs recorded off non-music radio.

This song, which I hadn’t been familiar with, came from the Kevin Matthews show, and it makes me think of my Evanston apartment—well, really it was just a room.

Due to a quirk in scheduling that I’ll discuss at another time, I was able to move out of my on-campus Northwestern residence hall and into the back bedroom of a townhouse that was being rented by the guy who ran the Medill library, whom I had befriended when I worked there as part of my work-study.

It was smaller than my room on campus, but I was eager to make the move all the same. It also was furnished, so all I needed was to bring my stuff. I had a bed with no headboard, and a drafter’s table that I adequately turned into a desk for my computer. I set up my milk-crate bookshelves and hung my gigantic Reds poster, just as I had it at Engelhart Hall.

I had a decent size walk-in closet that had a clothes dresser inside and my own full bathroom. The door to my room was off the kitchen and a mere 3 feet from the back door, so I could come and go as I pleased and not bother anyone. I had full kitchen privileges.

Two things were notable about my room: It was totally surrounded by windows, so I had to keep the shades pulled pretty much all the time to have any privacy. And it was far enough away from the L now that I could barely hear the Skokie Swift when it rolled past in the morning. That was quite a change from my old place, and the first couple of nights I had trouble sleeping WITHOUT hearing the L constantly lumbering past—a complete reversal of when I first lived at Engelhart Hall.

Actually, the real problem of getting to sleep might have had more to do with the fact that I was constantly taping the midnight rerun of the day’s Steve & Garry show. I put my double-tape boombox at the head of my bed and would listen to the stuff I missed at the start of the show due to work before dropping off to sleep. It was during this time that I taped Undun, so when I think of it, I think of rainy mornings in the summer, when I’d have the fan running nonstop while getting dressed before going downtown to work.

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