On and On (1977)
Unfamiliar with this week’s song. Hear it here.
1) This song describes the plight of “poor ol’ Jimmy,” who caught his girlfriend kissing someone else. Have you ever spied on a romantic partner? Eh, I’ve scrolled through messages on occasion, but that’s it. And I will 100% own that it has far more to do with insecurity than actual suspicion and that not trusting your partner is a dick move.
2) In this song, Stephen Bishop sings that he “smiles when he feels like dying.” When did you recently put on a happy face, even though you really weren’t all that happy? I don’t know. I haven’t really had a recent time where I felt like I had to power through it, so that’s good, and the rough times that do come to mind weren’t so much me putting on a facade as they were me enjoying what was happening in the moment in the midst of bigger things going on.
3) Stephen Bishop always wanted to be a musician, and as a child he began playing the clarinet. Did you take lessons — dance, art, music — as a child? If yes, did you take them because you enjoyed them, or because your parents made you take them? I took ballet starting about when I was six, and I had been begging for those ballet lessons for a while. My parents were never the type to make us do things, which I’m grateful for, especially knowing people who parents did and how they hated it and are a little resentful for it.
4) When he was 12, inspired by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, he switched to the guitar and began writing songs. Tell us about someone or something that influenced your career path. I’d always been interested in writing as a kid, but I never considered it as a college major/career path for all the reasons everyone already cites. But around the end of my first semester in college, I saw a movie where the main character was a writer, and I felt like I was watching someone do what I always wanted. So I changed my major.
5) Stephen Bishop attended Will C. Crawford High School in San Diego. This school requires students complete 20 hours of community service every year. Tell us about an organization, cause or campaign you volunteered for, either as a student or an adult. In high school, we were required to do service hours each semester, and for the bulk of it, I did stage crew for my former ballet teacher, but I also did a little time at the local animal shelter and a thrift store.
6) In 1977, when this song was popular, Seattle Slew won racing’s Triple Crown. Sam’s mother has always been afraid of horses. Is there an animal you’re uncomfortable with? Most reptiles. Turtles are pretty great, though. And sharks.
7) Also in 1977, moviegoers waited in line for hours to see Star Wars. What’s the longest line you waited in recently? Not very long, I know that. Maybe waiting to get into a concert?
8) The mini-series Roots first aired in 1977. Today Americans are spending more time and money than ever to research ancestry. How far back can you trace your family tree? Without much effort, back to my great-grandparents, maybe one generation farther. But on my maternal grandmother’s side, one of the relatives has a Facebook group for all the family members and I know he keeps records on everyone, like birthdays, anniversaries, and deaths, so I’m sure I could go back pretty far on that side if I’d ask him. Someone ought to do my dad’s side because no one knows much.
9) Random question: It’s often said that nobody’s perfect. How about you? What quality keeps you from being perfect? I’m stubborn, nosey, and opinionated.