Aloha, Bobby and Rose

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This is the All-Girl Band live, another negative-fi audience cassette. This song was always a good showcase for what was so lovely and personal about Tex’s guitar playing. Well, not always. The arrangement had a lot of tricky (for me) two-guitar stuff and hazardous transitions, and sometimes it fell apart completely, but when we pulled it off, it sounded really beautiful.

“Aloha, Bobby and Rose” was a 1975 movie about a pair of young lovers on the run, starring Paul LeMat (who had just played Milner, the cool drag racer who kicks Harrison Ford’s ass in “American Graffiti,” and who would go on to play Melvin in the rather incredible “Melvin and Howard,” among other intermittent dead-on bulls-eyes over a long and inexplicably erratic career).

When “Aloha, Bobby and Rose” first came out, it’s relentless “four-wall” ad campaign fired the aspirational imaginations of pre-teens across the country (most of whom, like me, probably never even saw the movie), a shining beacon of grown-up romance and rebellion. Someday, someday, we would be as cool and free and sexy as Bobby and Rose.

Like the rest of America, I then forgot all about it, though it must have still been lodged in the depths of my adult memory, when Beth McGroarty made a random “Aloha, Bobby and Rose” reference one day while we were drunk-driving around in Palo Alto. And I realized that I had not been the only 13-year-old whose philosophy of life was indelibly warped watching TV commercials for a cheap-o teen-sploitation flick.

Which is not to say that I either wrote or ever sang this song through a prism of irony or with condescension. The anger and sadness that fuel this song were –are– very real to me. Sometimes people can be so fucking brave, it’s devastating. I don’t how we do it — any of us.

Aloha, Bobby & Rose

Amazing All-Girl Band

He took me by the elbow
And he steered me around and round and round
Over by the water
Where the piers are falling down, down, down

We had a pint of tequila
And a bottle of champagne
We watched the faces in the clouds
As the sunset turned to rain

I tried so hard to learn the things
That everybody knows
You want things a certain way
Well, that’s not how it goes

You might call me bad
But that’s the path I chose
I’ve been waiting all my life to say
Aloha, Bobby and Rose

I could feel his hands
As we hurried to a bar
I start to lose my legs
We hadn’t gotten very far

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