Do you know the song "Talk of the Town" by the Pretenders? I always loved that song. I consider it probably one of the ten best singles ever released. Over the years, when intoxicated a certain way, I'd insist it's the best ever, but then I've also insisted that about "Bad Case of Loving You" by Robert Palmer, which just isn't true. Still, "Talk of the Town" is perfect every time I hear it. Maybe it's because I know the band's leader, Chrissie Hynde, is an Ohioan. Maybe because it's beautiful. I was hearing "Talk of the Town" in my head as we began our flight to John F. Kennedy International. "Oh, but it's hard to live by the rules. I never could and still never do," Chrissie sang.
I forced myself onto a bit of a high, and my walk had become a strut. I'm signed to Diphthong Records, I repeated to myself. My little band is worth one million dollars to someone. We've been played in Topeka and Athens and Istanbul. We were banned in Iran. Big in Japan. Very famous in places I would probably never visit. I am now middle-aged. But I'm a professional musician, and I will never have to work at anything else again. All you people who warned me to grow up? Fuck you. All you people who tried to grab me and take me down with them? You couldn't catch me, suckers. I am going to stay 18 for all time like Mr. Mick Jagger, and if you have a problem with that, you can kiss my arrested ass.
Harry . . . he had no strut and a much different interpretation of "Talk of the Town." He saw Chrissie Hynde's confession as a lament, whereas I was sure it was a boast.