So there I was early this evening, heading home to Queensborough and the Manse (and, of course, Raymond) after a busy but happily productive day at work in Belleville. It was a day in which our students in Loyalist Journalism had produced a ton of good work, and I’d edited and otherwise worked with them on many of those stories. It’s the kind of thing I love to do, and it’s incredibly satisfying helping young journalists make good work even better. But man, was I tired. And a feeling a little bit brain-dead, though not in a bad way. Just pleasantly weary.
I bumbled along, thinking about not much of anything. Dum dee dum dee diddley bum. Switched on the radio. And since my man Freddy Vette, DJ extraordinaire on CJBQ AM 800, bringing the Quinte area the hits from the 1950s and ’60s, is on vacation this week, I switched over to FM and CBC Radio 2. Where I landed smack in the middle of a great rock and roll song, the Rolling Stones doing Get Off of My Cloud. Which I of course, in my pleasantly brain-dead state, hummed along to. (As can you, if you click on the video atop this post. And in the process marvel at a very youthful-looking Keith Richards in spectacles.)
Then it was over, and Pete Morey, the fill-in host on Rich Terfry’s afternoon-drive show, shared some information about the song. It tuned out he was playing it because it had been #1 on the charts on this very day. Nov. 6. In 1965.
I mean yes, the year is good because it places the song in the era of my childhood at the Manse (1964 to 1975) and thus permits me to blither on about it here to you ever-patient folks.
But let’s stop and think about this for just a second – as I did, sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle pointed and zooming due north on Highway 62.
Nov. 6, 1965, is – I know this because I counted the decades on my fingers to make sure I had it right – only one year shy of 50 years ago. That would be half a century.
How did that happen?