“Get your motor runnin’ HEAD OUT ON THE HIGHWAY!” Yeah, it’s “Born to be Wild” and it’s one of today’s songs for your listening pleasure.
Today’s songs all have to do with men. Not just any men, Harley men. And not just Harley men, each of them at one time was Karin’s man. So, let’s tell some stories. As usual, I’ll use no names, but if you think you’re one of them, let me know. I’ll admit it.
Anything by Creedence Clearwater Revival
I told this story during a Navy post, but I’ll run through it a bit again. Right before I left for bootcamp, back in 1983, I was invited to a “Fun Run” by a friend. A “Fun Run” is a party. A big party. Not as big as Burning Man but a few thousand people were there. There was camping, drinking, dancing, music (I’m pretty sure it was Creedence Clearwater Revival, or a cover band, I was drinking…) and roaring around on Harley’s.
Well, my friend had a specific friend she wanted to introduce me to. Before she could introduce me to him, I managed to find him on my own randomly. She was pretty confused to find us sitting together on a blanket. “He’s the one I wanted to introduce you too!” Heh heh.
Well he did his best over that weekend to try and convince me to not go in the Navy and to come live with him. Clearly, he failed. This is a later favorite of mine from them. Here’s to you….
Born to Be Wild
My first job in the Navy was as a Data Processer at JCMP (Joint Cruise Missile Project). But at night, I hung out in the club on Fort Myer, where I lived in the barracks.
I’m in the club one night and I see this rather large blond man, about 10 years my senior, shaking it on the dance floor. Well, I danced and scooted my way over to him and suddenly I have a new boyfriend. That’s the way it worked back then.
Yes, I said I wasn’t going to use names but this one is too good to pass up. He was introduced to me as “Nasty.” That’s right “Nasty”. How could any woman turn away from that? It was a nickname that came from a magazine ad that said “Who the hell is Nasty?” Later he wanted me to use his real name, but he had become “Nasty” to me.
Nasty was in the Army MPs so I ended up with a huge group of wild men as friends. Nasty had been with the Unknown Raiders out of Georgia. I was never sure how he ended up in the Army and was a bit nervous to ask him. Did I even want to know?
He had this thing about his Hog. Men would ask if they could ride it and he’d say “if you can start it, you can ride it.” No one could ever start it. That didn’t keep him from worrying about having an accident. What if he couldn’t drive it? I’d have to drive it! This worry usually came up after a few brews and there I’d be, jumping up and down on the kick-starter, knowing damn well it’s never going to work.
Anyway, Nasty and I had a great time riding around on his hog, drinking, dancing, and loving.
But of course, I’m an idiot. I got it into my head to “test” him. I decided that he needed to come up to the desk in my barracks and pick me up. You know, like a normal guy. But instead of telling him that, I just quit going over to his barracks. He got confused. 6am in the morning and he’s roaring around and around my barracks on his hog, making a racket and waking everyone up, while I’m just sitting there wishing he’s just come to the door.
So, I returned his stuff and that was that. I was an idiot. Things I’ve learned since then: 1) never test someone unless you can afford to have them fail 2) No one can read my mind 3) With men, it’s better to be open and transparent (unless they’re a sociopath).
Sorry about that Nasty. This one is for you…
Saturday Night Special
This one was a short but intense affair. Every time I hear “Saturday Night Special” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, I think of him…
We ended up together after going up to our campsite in the Shenandoah Valley together on Friday. Everyone else was coming on Saturday morning. Well, there was a group of West Virginia good ol’ boys camping there as well. Both of us knew that me, as a single woman, would be considered fair game to them, so he became my “boyfriend” for the night. It worked out really well so it became reality. We had a bunch of confused friends come Saturday morning.
He had been a former Hell’s Angel out of Oakland. He’d been kicked out. Why? Did you guess it?
Deep down inside, I didn’t really believe the Hell’s Angel story. He didn’t even have a bike! And he told a lot of wild stories.
Then one day, I meet a man who told me that HE was a former Hell’s Angel out of Oakland who’d also been kicked out for bad behavior.
(How bad do you have to be to get kicked out of the Hell’s Angels?)
I thought, ahhh, I have you now! A lie caught is what I sought!
I introduced them to each other and damned if they didn’t already know each other. They had no idea the other was in Virginia. Suddenly my boyfriend had a new best friend and they started running around together. He told me it was my fault because I was the one who introduced them.
Anyway, he was intense. And paranoid. And tended to lose his shit over small stuff. He had knives and guns stashed all over his house. He’d have a party, I’d leave the room for a moment, come back, and the music would be off and he’d be standing there, madder than a hornet, glaring at everyone in the party.
He was a scary guy. He never hurt me, but the threat was there. It was very good that he wasn’t near as attached to me as I was to him. This one is for you…
I Used to Love Her
When I first got out of the Navy, I went to college in Kearney, Ne. I ended up dating this crazy, brilliant man who would call me up, in a drug induced frenzy, at 3am to tell me all about some theory he was working on.
This song is not about him.
I went over to his house and met his roommate. His roommate was a big Harley guy. No motorcycle gang though (that I knew of). Well my current boyfriend kept trying to get his roommate to give me a ride. On his motorcycle.
Now, motorcycles are sacred. You don’t just give anyone a ride. It means something.
I thought my boyfriend was breaking up with me. His roommate thought the same thing. We eyeballed each other, and decided that yes, I was going to go for a ride. And he became my boyfriend.
I know, all these boyfriends, right? And I haven’t dated in 14 years. I think I used it all up.
The first one had no idea this was going on in our heads so he was pretty confused. But I thought, with the new one, I’d get some sleep since he wasn’t drugging himself up to go into intellectual scientific madness. (Some people are just too smart for their own good.)
This song came from the day he sang it to me. We’d both been drinking and this song came on. He sang it and danced around me. I was 99.9% sure it meant nothing. But a part of me… well… maybe a little too exciting…
I heard a rumor the song was about a dog. I sure hope so!
“I Used to Love Her” (but I had to kill her) by Guns and Roses…
I miss Harley guys…