an analogy from a simple mind

It’s a game, a game, a game that we’re playing.  But I don’t mind,
cause I don’t make the rules.
~Bay City Rollers~

Clarification:  Based on the commentary I’ve received regarding this blog, I feel it necessary for the sake of my Real Family’s peace and good name, to advise my readers that this blog is not a true story.  You must savor and ponder the analogy (that is, if you have time to waste).  

Subtle (apparently way too subtle) hint: 
Bay City Roller song lyric preceding the blog.  Think Events of This Week.

PS:  My friend, Connie, advises that this is known as ‘satire’.  I bow to her wisdom and command of the English language.

The other day I conjured up a terribly brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea that I would create an Official Website for the Family of Baa the Magnificent.  Or at least Baa of Relatively Insignificant (But Always Striving for More) Fame.  The momentum for this project built to such irresistible proportions in my own mind, I decided to announce it.  Or blurt it out.  In either event, some magical force finally released the Incredibly Awesome Far-Out News from my wee little fingertips to the Internet masses.

AND THERE IT WAS.

As expected, all my friends thought I was the shazizzle.  And they fawned all over me.  No shocker there.  Pffft.  Because.  Well.  The public has been waiting a long time in both joyful, and somewhat painful, anticipation for the coming of the Stories from the Life of Baa.

IT WAS DAY OF GOOD FEELINGS INDEED.

My mind eagerly churned with all the never-before-seen family reunion photos I could share.  Oh my goodness, all the ludicrous tales I could tell.  Ho ho ho! And just think of all the secret recipe jelly preserves and cross-stitch pillows I could sell in the Online Family Store. 

WE’D EVEN ACCEPT PAYPAL.

Unfortunately. Once my (in my opinion, ungrateful and quasi-crazy) family got wind of the Official Project, I soon discovered that Uncle Wilbur wasn’t nearly as keen as I thought he would be to share his life with others.  And in no uncertain terms told me I’d best mind my P’s & Q’s.  Uncle Wilbur always was a money-grubbing nincompoop anyway.  Now.  All my friends think so too.

TAKE THAT UNCLE WILBUR.

Then Aunt Gladys said if I was going to toss all her showgirl Polaroids out for the world to see, she was certainly entitled to some cabbage for her efforts.

THAT WOMAN HAS THE NERVE.

All I was trying to do was get a little promotion for myself… I mean … my family … and this is what I get?  Next time, I might just say pooh on them and call it my Un-Official Family Website like Lawyer Bart told me I should have in the beginning.

For the record, I’m glad you all agree with me. 

IT’S WHAT KEEPS US FRIENDS.

loose girl

The past several months I’ve read some rather serious books.  Heavy topics, deep subjects.  Not necessarily depressing topics per se, but Really Sober Books.

So.

This weekend I felt the urge to find something a tad lighter.  Maybe something a little fun, nothing cheesy, and something that ultimately required no brainpower.  Maybe even a little romance novel.

OH I GOTCHA THERE, DIDN’T I?

I never read romance novels.  All that bodice tearing and throbbing you-know-what always comes across to me as well, gosh, a little dopey.  But.  Keep in mind I also do not read detective novels nor mysteries.  As readers, I think we all have our little niche of characters and themes we enjoy.  Give me a good drama romance, I’m yours.  Otherwise, Harlequin is not my thang.

Okay.  So.

In my quest for Light Reading what I found instead was an incredibly thought-provoking book about one woman’s journey through promiscuity.  Sometimes raw, sometimes heartbreaking, but always captivating, Kerry Cohen tells the story of years of seeking men’s approval through sex. 

Listen, I didn’t say sex wasn’t my thang.
I said Cheesy Tales of Sex didn’t interest me. 

YES, VIRGINIA.  THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.

However.  The further you delve into ‘Loose Girl’ you realize, it’s really not about the sex.  It’s about the fundamental desire of a young girl to be wanted.  To be loved.  To be validated.  And how the author stumbles through her teen years and into her twenties ever seeking, and rarely finding, what she feels she needs the most to complete herself.

I read ‘Loose Girl’ in two sittings and then pondered a bit on my own teenage years.  Perhaps this is because Kerry Cohen’s writing style is remarkably similar to Caroline Sullivan’s in ‘Bye Bye Baby’ that brought up the comparison for me.  The angst and rawness of teenage emotions is expressed in a very real way in both books.  While Caroline’s obsession was the Bay City Rollers, Kerry’s was any boy.

But. 

A mutual theme in both books I found incredibly significant was that both women expressed the thought that while it was necessary to their self-worth that a boy wanted them, it was even more powerful in an instance where the boy wanted them … and the other girls wanted that boy.  The sought-after prize came not only in getting the boy, but getting something that was so desireable to every other girl. 

I want him. They want him. He chooses me.

The Ultimate Validation.

Honestly, I think 90% of all Bay City Roller fans will get that. Totally get it.

‘Loose Girl’ can be explicit and sometimes uncomfortable, especially as Kerry describes her younger teen and pre-teen years.  However, I found ‘Loose Girl’ overall to be thought-provoking and well written, capturing a myriad of emotions. 

It’s honest and real.  What more can you ask for?

just gotta tell you anyway

(Caroline) Sullivan claims to have slept with a mystery Roller not once but twice. She claims while they were based here in the USA that she was a “tour guide” of sorts to their home. She goes on to further say she had numerous phone conversation with them in their homes and at hotels across the world. She does however prevent herself from being checked by eliminating the name of the Roller. In the end she claims to have met her Roller and Ian Mitchell in a London Pub on a a business lunch. After all this one on one Roller time her Roller asked “Have we met before?” She was so disappointed in him that she replied “No.”

I find the story hard to believe.  How convenient that her friends told her not the use their real names due to embarrassment of the Rollers. Don’t waste your money. It a fantasy story of a women who doesn’t have a life.

~Reader Review of ‘Bye Bye Baby’ from Amazon.com~

Ouch.

I think the most amusing line from the review above is ‘I find the story hard to believe.’  Really?  Pardon me as I take a moment to wipe the utterly ridiculous smile off my face.

Okay.

Now that said grin has been erased, I’ll back up a bit with some history before I delve into today’s bloggity drivel.  I first read ‘Bye Bye Baby’ by Caroline Sullivan when it was originally released in June 2000.  And as much as I’m reticent to admit it in my well-beyond teenage years, I read the book rather rapidly that first run through, hoping to get to the juicy bits about Eric Faulkner. 

Now y’all know, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. 

I am cheese.  Pure, and unapologetic-about-it, cheese.

So. 

Coming across the book this weekend languishing on my bookshelf, and sans any new books to tear into, I pulled out the Tartan Grail and gave it another go.  I figured nearly 9 years later and with an ever-so-slight advancement in my level of maturity, I could simply slow down, read it word-for-word, and savor the experience.

I did.  It was delicious.

I think what I love most about the book is Caroline’s unabashed candidness about her entire Roller fan experience.  And the fact that as a fan, I could absolutely ‘get it’.  I got her emotions.  I got her feelings of intense highs and the subsequent tumble down to depression if you looked a bit too closely at the fact nothing was ever truly going happen between a young (read: 13-year old in my case) teenage girl and 20-plus year old boy-men.  Because y’all know that would have involved jail time.

Anyway.

When ‘Bye Bye Baby’ was first released, I was actually bewildered by the level of negativity surrounding what Caroline wrote.  To this day, I still can’t get my head around how anyone could have gotten their knickers in a twist about Caroline’s recall of sleeping with ‘her Roller’.  In fact, if anything the way in which she put the incident to paper was … well … extraordinarily innocuous. 

Details, Caroline. We want details.

Sorry.  A moment of inappropriate outburst.

And, of course, for the Roller fans it was no great feat to puzzle out who the thinly-veiled, apparently non-virginal Roller in question was.  Woody.  There I said it.  Sue me.  And for one fan of the thousands to come out and share their one-paragraph (perhaps two when you include the second time, gasp) experience of getting Biblical with a Roller, I’d say that was pretty darn amazing.  Considering, of course, these men were in no way chaste as they were purported to be at the time, and I’m quite sure there were far more occasions than just Caroline’s where they got horizontal (or otherwise) with fans.  Over the years, I think generally the guys got off pretty lucky … no pun intended … with the marked absence of fan ‘tell alls’.

Another fact I find eyebrow quirking was that when the first edition of the book was released, I had a copy of Woody’s tartan buttocks on the cover of mine.  Apparently, so the story goes, a certain someone took issue with the use of the photo of said Roller’s small tush and the cover for the next book printing featured a photo of screaming fans.  Yeah.  Because we all know how very much we’d rather see fans’ gaping pie holes than Stuart’s fine … errr … well-covered behind and bony spine.

Okay.  I’ll admit it. 

Personally, I’d be awfully uptight if someone took a photo of my backside and slapped it on a book.   But that’s just me.  And I’m sure it would be for entirely different reasons than the apparently inexcusable offense of Woody’s arse in full-color print.  For someone to take a photo from their private collection to illustrate their words about their experiences … gosh, I’m really not sure I get the gripe.

Anyway.

Then there’s the issue with Caroline’s perpetual jabs at the band’s musical prowess that some fans found highly offensive.  On that topic, I’d have to say let’s get down to brass tacks. If the intent of the actual marketing of the Bay City Rollers was to be about mind-blowing music … I don’t believe they’d have done it in shin-high cropped pants, stripey socks, tied up in a sea of tartan.   

Nuff said.

For me, rather than seeing Caroline as an ‘obsessed’ girl with ‘no life’ as the reviewer above kindly (cough) noted, I saw Caroline as the woman who gave life to words about my own young teenage years as a Bay City Roller fan.   She validated my unexplainable (to this day even), overly-intense yearning for these untouchable and unobtainable men.  She made it seem normal to spend hard-earned cabbage to buy magazines with perhaps only one sentence about the guys, cut it out and scrapbook it.  She made it seem reasonable to call every hotel in the town they were playing to find out where they were staying.  And then call them up with absolutely nothing of any consequence to say.  I should know.  My friend and I made such phone calls.  And we actually did converse with Woody when they were playing at the Ohio State fair in August 1977. 

Mind you, I use the term ‘converse’ with a large boulder of salt.

LISA AND COMPANY:  ‘Woody?’
WOODY:  (jaw-cracking yawn) ‘Yeah.’
LISA AND COMPANY:  (insert 14-year old blathering)
WOODY:  (insert second yawn) ‘Are you coming to the show today?’
LISA AND COMPANY:  ‘No, we’re not.’
WOODY:  ‘Right then.’

Embarrassing.

Back to Caroline.

In a nutshell, Caroline made it seem perfectly normal to obsess over something that you were never going to get … and if per chance you did get it, wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway. 

I heart Caroline.  She was me … with immensely more chutzpah.

Oh.

And for the record, the book revealed nothing about Eric other than he was a rather surly, musically angsty, unavailable sorta chap at the time.  Be still my tender heart.

this is my rock and roll loveletter

Message for all the Roller tribute bands around the world; Shang A Lang; Bay City Rollermania and all the rest … there’s gotta be one called Rollers Show somewhere – thanks for the compliment … long may your shang lang. If you want a little feature on the myspace send your stuff and we’ll see what we can do.

Message for the bogus Bay City Rollers across the pond in the good old U.S.of A.

Surely the un-coolest event to date. It might be a smart move to hang up your tartan scarves for a wee while … eh! Trying hard to keep this from the pinstripes who are chewing at the bit …

The problem we’ve got, it’s not just me, is when we fly the idea of some Roller shows in the States to buyers we’re told they already deal with the Bay City Rollers … How can this be?

Drop us a line to say you’re bored with the idea. If you wanna be famous I’ll put your pic here if you want maybe even a message board … that will be a hoot. You might have been told this is OK … It’s not.

The exit’s over there … that’s just before the legal department.

E.F. & S.W.

Fan watch; If you see this advertised in the USA let us know…all info dealt with in confidence … you’ve got to laugh …

This weekend, I stumbled across the above information posted on Eric Faulkner’s myspace page.  I no longer have a myspace account and haven’t been trolling around over there for quite some time.  Therefore, I can’t tell you exactly how long ago it actually surfaced.  The fact it’s still there as of this weekend, however, indicates to me it’s relatively current news.   Or conversely, as usual I’m on the little bike in the back, and this is news y’all have mulled over already in a galaxy far, far away.

That would be a shocker. 

Cough.

So.  I’ve read the statement multiple times to get my head around the gist of it, attempting to sift out how I feel about what Eric and Stuart are saying.  

And, lest you think I’m a wee bit cracked … please note I do realize that none of this matters in the big picture of my life.  I recognize I have eminently bigger fish to fry.  Such as pondering why my dadgum air conditioner refuses to make the house cooler than 75 degrees on a 73-degree day. 

Markedly ironic, doncha think?

But.

As to my thoughts on the Faulkner-Wood statement, I have to get ’em out, otherwise I won’t sleep tonight. 

Okay. I’m being dramatic.  I won’t lose any sleep over this.

Promise. 

But.  At the very least, the whole thing sticks in my craw.  I’m going to be honest.  The posting kinda rankles me.  A bit.

Alright.  A bit and then some. 

Firstly, I absolutely agree that faux Rollers shouldn’t be cashing in on the Bay City Roller name.  Y’all know that’s wrong on a myriad of levels.  No one who wasn’t part of the band at one point or another after they became a worldwide success should be flaunting about the name for a bit of coin.   And even then, there should be a sliding scale with which said member should be allowed to present and/or promote themselves based on their length of tenure and contributions to the band during the band’s heyday.

In my personal opinion, prior to the point of the Alan-Derek-Les-Eric-Woody line-up, no one other than a die-hard fan would even be able to tickle their brain to recall the members before the mid-70’s.  Therefore, for my point of reference, it was the five above that ignited the spark that became the phenomenon.

So. 

On the sentiment of ‘cease and desist’ regarding ripping off the Bay City Roller name for profit by posers, I wholeheartedly agree.  

A gatrillion and one percent.

Where I diverge is on the topic of the ‘help-a-fella-out request’.  Having been a fan since 1976 and re-discovering the Bay City Rollers online twenty years later in 1996, I’ll be the first to admit I’m carrying a bit o’ Ms. Bitter Pants baggage.  I come from a place of years and years (and years) of not hearing a peep from Eric. 

Nada.  Silence of the chirping-crickets variety.

Now, y’all know I do realize he has a right to his own private life.  He does. And I totally get that.   But his secrecy and avoidance-bordering-on-outright-aversion of anything fan-related seemed to go well beyond the need for personal privacy. 

For instance, Eric was cordially invited (read:  begged to come) to 95% of the fan fests over the past decade plus.  There was a very real, willing-to-pay-coin audience out there who wanted to see him perform again.  Eric responded in the positive to only one; the others? 

Nothing but a big, black void of silence.

He has never interacted online with the fans.  He has never responded to much of anything where the fans were involved.  He has chosen to make himself entirely unavailable over the past decade.

So.  Y’all have to pardon the fact my back is up over his combined statement with Stuart.  Now y’all wanna be friends?  Help a brotha out? 

Hmm.  Where’s all this new-found love o’de fans coming from?

Ricky.  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do.

And while I’m purging here, I have to say I’m feeling a bit very much cynical on the teasing talk of a Rollers reunion and gigs in the United States.  I wanna believe y’all.  A whole bunch.  But.

Sigh.

Life at 13 was so much simpler.  I believed everything I heard … and trusted implicitly.  At this point in my life, I’m inclined to take y’all with a very large grain of salt.

And that’s terribly sobering.

pimped

Geesh. I’ve been pimped.  And I’m a wee bit very much frosted.  I checked my stats today on WordPress and see I’ve had a bazillion-and-three  four hits to my blog.  Now.  Y’all know I realize this is a public blog, however, it’s not like I’ve been zooming across the Internet posting the link everywhere.  In fact, the only place I’ve posted the link is on my Facebook account.  Because, well, really.  I’m not all that terribly fascinating.

Honestly. 

Those that know me can swear to it.

But.  In checking the referrers to this site, generally 99.9% of them come from Facebook.  Funny side note, my blog that mentioned ‘penny loafers’ actually got a search hit. Now. Isn’t that cute?  I wanna give a shout out to the web surfer who was mislead into thinking I had something important to say about that particular topic.

As I was saying.

For the most part, all the hits to Peel the Onion come from Facebook.  Today, an abundance of the hits came from the referrer welovetherollers.com.  My oh my.  What’s going on over there?  I click through and … wow … they’ve posted a link to this blog under their ‘Articles About Tam’s Death’.  Hmm. I’ve dashed off a note to the web mistress there because quite frankly, this is not a blog about the Bay City Rollers.  I am not an authority on the Rollers.  I’m not an authority on much of anything.

I know, don’t say it.

And .. yes, I’m whining … doesn’t anyone ask first?  Because I would have promptly and firmly said, ‘nothankyouverramuch’.

So.

For those readers out there who skipped over here from that website  hoping to find something deliciously nasty about the Rollers, you’re going to be disappointed.  I am a fan.  I know nothing more than 95% of you do.  This blog is not a Roller blog, nor will it be one when it grows up.  Period.  It is strictly for the purposes of recording bits and baubles of my life.

However, if you’re looking for a powerful sleep aid?  You’ve come to the right place.  Bring a blanket.

———————-

This just in … insert newsflash music … dit dit dittity dit …

I wanted to let y’all know I just received a most lovely email  back from Andrea at welovetherollers.com who has oh-so-kindly removed the link.  Thankyouandrea.

I shall now return to the eminently more pressing
crisis of cracked boiled eggs.  Phooey.

somewhere between

 
Disclaimer: Before I delve into the writing of today’s blog,
I feel compelled to state the following:

Firstly, if you choose to respond to this blog but have not previously posted a comment, WordPress will send your initial comment to a bucket for approval. Yes, it’s highly annoying. Unfortunately, my blog comment options are limited to …

1) permitting every single comment without moderation which opens me up for the daily Viagra advertisements and money making schemes from India … y’all didn’t want to see those, I’m sure.

2) tossing all comments into the approval bucket which is immensely annoying when y’all have something to get off your chest, not to mention tiresome to me for the time spent approving legitimate comments.

3) allowing y’all to comment once, then push you on through to my ‘Yes-I-Know-You’ list. Your subsequent posts will then appear immediately.

Monty, I chose what’s behind Door #3.

I’ll say this loud and clear.

I AM NOT MODERATING COMMENTS TO THIS BLOG.

Truth.

If you don’t see your post right away, refer to above paragraph and please be patient. There is no conspiracy. Folks, y’all know I’m just not smart enough to initiate a conspiracy. I’m merely away from my computer.

Secondly, this is my blog and these are merely my observations and opinions. It is not my intent to incite, enrage, nor lose or gain friends over an already highly sensitive subject.

I’m just sayin’ …

Tam Paton’s death this week opened the proverbial floodgates for some rather heated discussions, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the old AOL days in the mid-90’s. Truth be told, it was all a bit surreal considering I thought we’d put it all behind us years ago.

But. Hmmm.

I did not personally know Tam Paton. I do not personally know, nor am friends with now or in the past, any of the Rollers. And let’s get real here … 95% of the people in the Roller sphere fall into the very same category. We are merely bystanders, privy only to information that we have heard. When the incidents between Tam and Rollers occurred we were, for the most part, kids in high school. As for me, in high school I believed Eric was going to be my husband … and we all know how that turned out.

So.

I’d like to see the one person that can raise their hand and say unequivocally that they were that little fly on the wall during the 70’s and can say fact-for-fact who is telling the truth … and who is lying. 

Between Tam and the Rollers
Between Eric and Les
Between any of the guys  

It’s quite clear that the stories of what happened are factually in opposition. That presents some interesting scenarios, all of which, for the most part, are really not the point of my blog.

Honestly? What disturbed me most about Tam’s death were the really hateful comments and the subsequent fallout … from ‘both sides’. I’m gonna spank y’all?!

I swear.

When I logged onto Facebook and saw discussions about dancing on graves and breaking out the alcohol, I kinda gasped. I did. While I realize Tam generally inspired nothing but ill will, if not flat-out loathsome feelings, in most people, I gotta tell ya, the comments were … well … disconcerting. Specifically because what anyone knows of the man is heresy at this point.

Okay. Wait.

I’m not implying Tam’s not all that he’s purported to be and perhaps more. I’m only saying 95% of us never knew him personally. And y’all know that is the truth.

And while I’m on the topic of things that are bothersome, I thought the drawing up of ‘sides’ and the deletion of those we once called friends from both Facebook and myspace was a rather passive-aggressive snitty little move. It boggles the mind that someone would delete (or add) friends based on personal opinions of someone else or a situation that touches only in the fringe of our ‘real’ lives.

Even during the 2008 elections when we all had some very terse political discussions on topics that did affect all Americans, I can’t recall anyone being deleted from a community. But we now determine the inclusion or conversely, exclusion of our friends in our online social communities based on the topic of … geesh … it sounds stupid to even say it … the Bay City Rollers?

Oh my.

What’s mostly sad to me is that I was just talking to my husband the other day about the Savannah trip and how far we’ve come in our little group. How so many years have passed and the fact that we’ve managed to strengthen the connecting threads of friendship based on vastly more things than just the initial connection of the Bay City Rollers. This week, however, I’ve seen so many of those threads frayed and clipped in a gnat’s blink.

It’s disheartening. It’s frustrating … and quite honestly, shocking … to see the cattiness and antagonistic attitudes. It’s frustrating to know that in the big picture, none of this touches the majority of us in our ‘real’ lives. And it’s unfortunate that we’ve chosen this opportunity to prove our worth and value as fans to the Rollers by loudly and vehemently supporting topics of which the majority of us truly know nothing about.

The guys are all big boys.  It’s time to let them fight their own battles.

”Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.”
~Benjamin.Franklin~

six degrees of separation


As cheesey as it is, I have loved the Bay City Rollers since I was 13 years old.  That’s over three decades now.  I know.  I’m scaring myself.  But today, I figured out why.  Sorta. 

While sorting through some photos and memorabilia this morning, I came across my great Auntie’s obituary.  As I read the bit from the newspaper, I was shocked that I never realized my maternal great grandmother on my mom’s mom’s side … my grandmother’s mother to be precise … got all that? … was Scottish.  And a purebreed Scots at that.  Ola Kelso.  Can you get any more Scottish than that?  Methinks not.

The Rollers and I?  Why, we’re from the same breeding pool.  Sorta.  People … ya really gotta work with me here.