Dancing to rock ‘n’ roll is, of course the greatest fun you can have with your clothes on. Guys like Chief Al who always believed that “real men don’t dance” made it easier for the rest of us.
When I grew up in Boston, I was a lousy, maybe below-average dancer, but I knew some great dancers and learned a little. When I fled to Vermont and the Snow Lake Lodge for the winter, I was a dancing star. There were “ski bum” nights with live bands in different bars every night. It was a good winter.
When the snow melted, I made my initial trip to Florida and worked as a waiter in Hollywood. It was a notch above being a slave, but at night we would hit the bars on the seedy part of town for the music…and the dancing.
The very coolest night of my life was when I introduced the boogaloo to a black club in Miami. As God as my witness, women screamed and the men jumped up beside me to learn the moves.
Everyone should have one night. That was mine.
Naturally, I was a dancing fool when I ended up in San Francisco when I hit the Fillmore and the Avalon to catch the latest acts, for about $3, I think. Once I got to Maine and started dancing with Blue Eyes at the old Bay View Street Garage in Camden, she was a goner. Ask her.
All of this goes to establish my credentials to discuss the latest poll from Rolling Stone magazine for the Top 10 dancing tunes. I object, your honor.
For the number one dance tune of all time, they chose “One More Time” by something called Daft Punk, which won in a landslide. All right, I am old. But I never heard of the song (from 2000) or Daft Punk. Rolling Stone calls it a “hyper concentrated blast of euphoria.”
Continuing in that vein, Rolling Stone readers then chose “Blue Monday,” by that famous band New Order in second place. Never heard of them either. For your information, it is a “staple of British dance clubs.” Big deal. Have you ever seen David Grima dance?
Rolling Stone readers came down to Earth with “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles (what ever happened to that band?) in third place, which was actually a cover on a song by the Isley Brothers. They lost their minds again when they chose “D.A.N.C.E.” by that famed French duo Justice for number four, then by choosing “Vogue” by Madonna for number five. All I can say is, I have 2,200 songs on my Nano and none of them are by Madonna.
In their defense, readers did include “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees (I dare you to stay in your seat) and ”Thriller,” by Michael Jackson. “Shout” by the Isley brothers came in sixth. Forget the rest.
We conducted a Cobb Manor poll of the greatest dance tunes of all time, the songs that would get you off that bar stool or wedding folding chair and get you out on that dance floor.
My personal favorites are “Midnight Hour,” by Wilson Pickett, and of course “Hold On, I’m Comin’” by glorious Sam and Dave. “Respect” by Otis Redding gets them on their feet, along with “Disco Inferno” (I apologize but it does) by The Trampps, of all people.
You have to include “Shout” by the Isley Brothers and “Shotgun” by Junior Walker. The newest number I would include would be “Hey, Yeah” by Ludacris with the best beat in a generation, at least my generation.
I would include “Billie Jean” over “Thriller.” Hey, it’s my poll. I also love “Let’s Get it Started” by the Black Eyed Peas.
Now, maybe someday, some night we will all get together and dance before we die. But no Madonna. And no Daft Punk, please.