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phaeton

Gas Station Elevator Music OMGWTFBBQ!!

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So yesterday the gf and i were at a nondescript, emulsified and utilitarian fueling station/convenience store. Specifically the Speedway variety, but that part isn't so important.

 

She was at the pump, trying to key her way past the 15 or so offers for things like carwashes, deals on propane, hot dogs, soda, etc and just get to the "lift handle, select fuel grade" part.

 

I was washing the windshield with water that had more funk in it than detergent. Overhead was some elevator music playing. You know the sort, usually some older pop song emasculated and reorchestrated for mellower instruments. There were some cellos, i think a jazz piano, a few woodwind instruments, and some brass. As usual the tune sounded familiar, but this time it really struck me, like "something here is not right".... Yet i couldn't figure out what tune it was. I knew i knew what it was, but i just couldn't place it. Problem is, i never remember lyrics to songs -just the music part- so i couldn't ask my gf. (when she listens to music, she only hears lyrics, and remembers all of them).

 

I'm humming bits of the melody as we leave, and as we head down the road lil bits of it fill in. And then enough of it comes together and it strikes me, like a smacker-o-blurbie....

 

Procol Harum, Conquistador....

 

Like OMFG..

 

#1) I haven't heard that since i had it on vinyl when i was about 10.

 

#2) If you know the song, you know what a badass feggin' song it is.

 

#3) How in the HELL did this get plucked out of obscurity and turned into elevator music? I could see Whiter Shade Of Pale, maybe... maybe.... but Conquistador?

 

#4) I can't decide if this is a good way for the song to "die" or not... On one hand, they mellowed it way out, and though it's got some pretty lines in it, the real value in the song is the power of its churning rhythm section like a breaker wave underneath all the orchestration overtop. But on the other hand, even if it's not really itself, it may continue on, hopefully gaining a couple of bucks for the band and songwriter, and it also reminded me to immediately run to Amazon and see if i could order this album.

 

But still. Conquistador. I'm toadilly blown away. Twue Storey.

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Funniest elevator music I ever heard was in a supermarket in Palm Springs during Easter 1969. There was a pop festival in town (I was on my way -- where, coincidentally, I did happen to see Procol Harum and they, of course, did play Conquistador) and I was in the chain supermarket to get dinner (as I recall, it was cheese and Ak-Mak crackers) as I was pondering the cheese selection (it may have been the first time I'd ever bought cheese outside the little cheese and cracker mini-servings they used to sell in liquor stores... ah youth... it was also the first night I'd spent away from my folks' house under my own power and momentray autonomy)...

 

... and (Can't Get No) Satisfaction comes on the Muzak, in full 101 Strings/Andre Kastelanitz/Mantovani glory.

 

And suddenly I felt so old...

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... and (Can't Get No) Satisfaction comes on the Muzak, in full 101 Strings/Andre Kastelanitz/Mantovani glory.

 

Yeah, but what did they use to do the Keith Richards fuzz guitar with? :D

 

*nehnt nehnt neh neneeeeee ah nenuh nehnt nehnt*

 

In the Conquistador tune i heard it was something brass doing the vocal line. Not as inyerface as a trumpet, but not as sedate as a saxophone. I really don't know my brass instruments, unfortunately.

 

All the driving rhythm stuff was gone from this rendition, unfortunately, as was the telltale section with the trumpet flying up and over the mixolydian scale and ending on (i think) the b3rd....

 

The more i think about the parts i heard, the more i start to wonder if someone didn't just toadilly bastardize the chord and melody structure into something else. :mad:

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> I really don't know my brass instruments, unfortunately.

 

You didn't pay attention to the beginning of Fantasia?!? :eek:

 

You probably timed your drugs wrong...

 

 

:D

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Setting aside the Muzak for a moment...

 

C'mon! this is Procal Harum!

 

You're now getting ads on your gaspumps!?!? That's it, I'm joining the Amish!

 

Where do you live again? :confused:

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Didn't Procol Harum originally record that with a symphony? (shrug) I can't remember, but I think they did.

 

At any rate...I'd have to say "You know you've made it when you hear one of your songs turned into elevator music"...even if it's 30 years since it was released...

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I am sure that Jim Morrison would be very pleased to hear the Muzak version of Light My Fire. :D

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Didn't Procol Harum originally record that with a symphony? (shrug) I can't remember, but I think they did.

 

Yeah they did have at least a small string and brass section in their recording, but it was just garnishment- the bass and the drums and the guitar did all the real work and heavy lifting in the song.

 

Oh, and i thought it was "you know you've made it when Weird Al does one of your songs.." :D

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