Where The Raspberry Women Have Gone

I was working part time in a five-and-dime
My boss was mr. mcgee
He told me several times that he didnt like my kind
cause I was a bit 2 leisurely

When I went in to the local Coffee Bean to get my daily morning dose of caffeine via skim sf vanilla latte this morning, I was bowled over by nostalgia.  I was standing there surrounded by girls from St. Monica's high school (their uniforms are very like my own Notre Dame Academy one was) and found myself feeling like maybe I was headed to morning class too. 

Seems that I was busy doing something close 2 nothing
But different than the day before
Thats when I saw her, ooh, I saw her
She walked in through the out door, out door

I couldn't figure out what was going on at first.  The music volume was set low, as though the barristas had been told not to have it on too loud too early.  But there it was in the back ground — Prince before he was the artist formerly known as singing. 

Built like she was
She had the nerve 2 ask me
If I planned 2 do her any harm

So, look here
I put her on the back of my bike
And-a we went riding
Down by old man johnsons farm

Prince's 1999 and Purple Rain albums were huge at my high school — but I wasn't a fan.  They were just there in the background.  This seems odd now because I'm always so pleased (as I was this morning) to hear any of his songs playing. 

I said now, overcast days never turned me on
But something about the clouds and her mixed

She wasnt 2 bright
But I could tell when she kissed me
She knew how 2 get her kicks

My sister was a fan (and she owned the albums so I got to listen to them a lot), but I was more into the music of the LA scene at the time — Tom Petty, Oingo Boingo, Concrete Blond and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  And now I remember us arguing during the Grammy's in 1984 about whether Born in the USA or Purple Rain should win album of the year.  We were both passionate about our favorites.  And both indignant when Lionel Richie won for whatever he'd produced. 

She wore a
Raspberry beret
The kind u find in a second hand store
Raspberry beret
And if it was warm she wouldnt wear much more
Raspberry beret
I think I love her

One of my best memories of high school was cutting for the day in the spring of 1983 to go with friends to hear a new band play a free concert at UCLA.  The new band was REM and we were all given a free copy of their first release — Murmur.  I loved it and played the tap until it broke.

The rain sounds so cool when it hits the barn roof
And the horses wonder who u are
Thunder drowns out what the lightning sees
U feel like a movie star

It's funny now to remember all the music I loved and was so important to me in the 1980s, my days in junior high, high school and college.  Important enough that I had to have a fake ID, not to drink (booze seemed easy enough to get and not very important anyway — we all drank what we could when we could) but so that I could get into the clubs on Sunset and listen and dance with my friends. 

Listen
They say the first time aint the greatest
But I tell ya
If I had the chance 2 do it all again

Dancing to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Whiskey — finding out where Oingo Boingo would be any given night.  It all seemed so wild then and now feels so innocent somehow.  I didn't have the problem a lot of my friends did with my parents hating my music or somehow trying to keep me from listening to whatever I wanted.  They were children of the 1960s and had their own favorites.  And my dad became a fan of a lot of what I loved at the time, my mom favoring my sister's choices.  One of the things I really grateful to them for was for not seeing music as somehow evil or corrupting.  When my brother got into AC/DC and the Scorpions, they didn't find the music horrible and satanic.  Instead, my dad listened to it too and even surprised my brother by taking him and his best friend to a couple concerts.  The downside of their always listening to our music was, of course, that they constantly borrowed albums.  I still haven't entirely forgiven my dad for stealing my Pink Floyd "The Wall" tape set — especially since I'd had to buy it myself and it was a lot of cash for a 12 year old.

I wouldnt change a stroke
cause baby Im the most
With a girl as fine as she was then

This was early days in MTV — we'd all come over to each other's houses after school to watch.  There were so few videos that in about 3 hours of watching you could see everything there was to watch.  And by keeping up, literally see everything as it came out.  It all seemed so exciting — even the silly bands like the Go-Gos, B-52s,Cars and Bangles.  As I stood in line this morning, straining to hear Prince talk about his first time, I caught myself thinking "the 80s were such a great decade for music — so much better than today" and blushed.

The kind u find
The kind u find
Oh no no
raspberry beret
and if it was warm
she wouldnt wear much more
Yeah raspberry beret

I think i… I think I… I think I love her

This is, of course, what I used to roll my eyes at hearing my parents' friends say about the late 1960s.   To their credit, my parents didn't think that. I remembered my dad saying "yeah, there was great music then, but a lot of crap too.  We just don't remember the crap."  And of course there was great music in the 80s.  But there was a lot of crap too.  I just find myself missing the crap as well sometimes.  And god knows there's some great music coming out now.  Rock is fun, as well it should be.

No no no
No no no the kind u find
in a second hand store
raspberry beret

Meantime, I wondered what the girls from St. Monica's would think of the old lady behind them wondering about kids today and their music.  And just at that moment, one of them started singing along while another excitedly shouted "Hey, that's Prince!  Turn it up! Turn it up!"

Tell me
Where have all the raspberry women gone?

Still bleary because I hadn't yet had my caffeine, I started laughing.   They couldn't have been born a day before 1999, young enough to be my daughters.  But there they were.  Raspberry women.

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