Weekend Tune: Lost ’80s Classic

23 Sep

There’s nothing like a pop song with a great hook to take you back in time to wherever you were, whatever you were doing and whoever you were with when you first heard it.

Of course, the song below always makes me think of … the late King Hussein of Jordan.

Why? Because I was in the Middle East 22 years ago when it was climbing the British charts. At the time, the best station in the region for music was Radio Jordan.

You could catch all of the British Top 40 on Radio Jordan, except for songs with risqué lyrics – including, I recall, Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (risqué being a culturally relative concept). If a song was deemed too racy for the Jordanian censors, it would be broadcast in its instrumental version only. And, really, who wants to hear an instrumental-only version of “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”?

Anyhow, the tunes would be interrupted every hour on the hour for the Radio Jordan news, which would always lead with whatever King Hussein happened to be doing that day. For example, a newscast might go something like this:

“His Majesty King Hussein relaxed today aboard the Royal Yacht in the Port of Aqaba in the company of Her Majesty Queen Noor. In other news, the space shuttle Challenger exploded today, minutes after takeoff, killing all seven crew members…”

“Lost Weekend” was a great song by Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, who were big at the time in Britain. And big on Radio Jordan. But not as big as King Hussein. In any case, the song and the king will forever be entwined together in my mind. And probably nobody else’s…

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