Back in “the day,” we used to post music videos featuring scooters on ”Vespa Video Vednesdays,” and just the other day Matty sent me one so good that I decided to revive it next time a Wednesday rolled around. But that one is in the hopper. In the meantime, i want to share a story that came to mind today, even though it’s Monday:
Many years ago, with much fanfare, an English scooterist we’ll call “Doug” traversed the United States on an old Douglas Vespa. At the time, he seemed old and wizened, though he was likely younger than I am now. Doug’s ride was ostensibly raising money for charity, so many U.S. scooterists, clubs, and shops jumped in to help out with logistics, accomodations, telecommunications, tires, pistons, and such, helping him plan his route through rallies, shops, and welcoming towns. As things turned out, schedules were largely ignored, feathers were ruffled, and the charity aspect of the tour came into question, but ultimately, my relatively small investment of time and money was worthwhile, if just for the entertainment value/stories. Others may disagree, but they can tell their stories on their defunct scooter news websites.
“Doug” had been in the country for a few weeks by the time he made it to Chicago, and only stayed with us for a couple days, visiting Scooterworks for some repairs, seeing the sights, and meeting for dinner with local scooterists. He really wasn’t much of an imposition, but we felt compelled to make some effort to entertain him, as a guest in our home, so one night after dinner, we retired to the basement to listen to the hi-fi. I asked him what sort of music he liked, and named a couple artists, one of which was The Moody Blues. I’m no big Moody Blues fan, but I’d recently become obsessed with their maybe third-biggest hit “Ride My Seesaw” after I found a copy of In Search of the Lost Chord at the thrift store, so i put the record on.
Now, as you can see in the video, it starts out with a trippy monologue, and at this point, confusion crossed Doug’s face. I figured maybe he was just a big “Knights in White Satin” fan and maybe just owned a greatest hits CD but surely he’d recognize it as the actual song kicked in.
Nope! It became pretty clear this was not what he had in mind. I had a CD compilation of British Invasion music with “Knights in White Satin” and I put that on, and he did recognize that, but then told me he was “more into their later stuff” and I recoiled as he cited “Your Wildest Dreams,” their 1986 comeback hit.
At the time it seemed baffling that when asked about favorite music, someone would cite a band they’re largely unfamiliar with. I guess it still does. In his defense, I now see the Moodies released several albums in the 80s and 90s so perhaps their later music was more popular in England and relevant to an audience largely unfamiliar with their earlier music, like, say, the Status Quo or Cliff Richard. On the other hand, this guy seemed old enough to remember “Ride my See-Saw.” Weird.
Anyway, I was just telling this whole story to my old pal Supergome, because it’s 2020 and we’re still chatting online all day like back in the scoot.net days, and to accompany it, I pasted in the video for “Your Wildest Dreams,” which I hadn’t seen since its original heavy rotation on MTV in 1986:
And what’s that!? In the opening very expensive-looking dolly shot across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, there’s a LAMBRETTA IN A TREE! So Doug’s taste in Moody Blues songs may be questionable, but he left me a decade-long easter egg to find and I laughed out loud when I found it. Another pair of scooters pass through the video a few times, too, as the band and friends pop back in time to listen to… In Search of the Lost Chord. It’s a very expensive-looking video with sets and dancers and a story of Boomer reminiscence that is both sad and confusing (it’s very unclear where the flashbacks begin and end). But to be fair, the song’s not as bad as I remembered.
That’s a long way to go for a cumulative four seconds of scooter screen time, but hopefully I’ve rekindled your love of “Ride my See-Saw” and man, it feels good to run some gas through the carburetor of 2strokebuzz once in a while.