OLD DOG GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
I had a great learning experience Thursday (This posting was Sunday Feb 26). I was invited to speak to a class at USC in Los Angeles called “Music, Television and American Culture” taught by Jon Burlingame. Besides being a noted NY Times and Daily Variety music columnist, Jon is an avid Lloyd Thaxton fan and the proud owner of four Lloyd Thaxton “Dawks” (only an avid fan knows what a “Dawk” is).
The class consisted of between 40 and 50 students 18 to 20 years old. Which means that the oldest was born almost 20 years AFTER the Lloyd Thaxton Show was off the air. Between my reminiscing, screening a few clips from the Show and a short question and answer segment, I managed to take up the entire hour and a half class. After all the things I've done over the years, this was a brand new experience.
It was amazing that the segments I screened were as relevant to these young students as they were to my audience 40 years ago. To them it was completely new and as they laughed and applauded, I had a mental flashback. I was back in the 60s performing in front of the kids who were about to take part in that day’s show. This 2006 classroom seemed no different than being in my studio when the Beach Boys, The Beatles, Jan and Dean, James Brown, and Sonny and Cher ruled (just to name a few).
To get back to the present, I had to take a cue from one of Cher’s most famous movie moments. I figuratively slapped myself on the face and said, “Get over it!”
I have always believed whenever a person finds and follows a career that gives him nothing but pleasure and happiness, that person is truly blessed. I am one of the blessed. And the fact that after 40 years I still have people write to me and thank me for bringing some pleasure, happiness, and laughter into their lives is mind boggling. And, I thank you all so much.
While I was playing the segments I realized, that except for a few close friends and family, I had never shown these clips to anyone since they were first presented on the show. It was eerily akin to a time capsule that had just been opened after 40 years.
During the Q & A, several students said, “When I graduate, I hope I get a job where I have as much fun as you.” I said that I hope so too. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
I closed the presentation with a clip of the Turtles singing
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again
Some sunny day
And we did meet again. On a sunny day - 40 years later.