Chuck E’s In Love
In 1979, I was 27 years old. I listened to a lot of music, and I was revelling in the delights of Blondie, Kate Bush, Earth, Wind and Fire, and many others. Around the time of my birthday, I heard a song on the radio, and it immediately captured my attention. Hard to categorise, it felt jazzy, but was also definitely in the style of the singer-songwriter, with the feel of Joni Mitchell or Judy Collins about it. But better.
I had never heard of the singer before. Her name was Rickie Lee Jones, and she was from California, (though born in Chicago) and about two years younger than me. I read a little about her in a music journal, and discovered that she was the partner of Tom Waits, the actor and singer, and her eponymous debut album featured artists I liked a lot, including Dr John, and Michael McDonald. The article suggested that she was about to become the ‘next big thing.’ I didn’t know about that, but I knew that I just loved this song. It was very cool, almost unique in a global music scene that at the time was all about brash, punk, and electronic excess.
Thirty-six years later, I still love it just as much as I did back then, if not more. I only have to hear the few notes of the guitar introduction to anticipate the pleasure to come. Here she is, live.