[Story told with Song Titles from the ’70s top hits]
Freddy adjusts his hospital bed so he can recline. Seventy years old and ailing with sarcoma, his only comfort are the memories of when he first met the love of his life. He closes his eyes to recall those times . . .
Over 40 years ago . . .
“Ooh, Candy Man.” Freddy stares at the muscle man centerfold.
No one is around the apartment courtyard to pay attention to him leafing through Billy’s Bi-Cycle World, an underground magazine his former partner used to bring home. Now no one is bringing home anything to him because He’s Alone Again (Naturally). He hasn’t had anyone stay long enough with him through the Seasons in the Sun. He suspects it’s because he dresses like a Rhinestone Cowboy. An eternal optimist, Freddy decides to Get Down Tonight and drop by the club Convoy, where he can be himself as a Dancing Queen.
Tucked in MacArthur Park, the bar looks unassuming from the outside. In contrast, the inside is Hot Stuff, with a strobe light dominating the ceiling and glittering the burgundy and black plush interior. Freddy glides over to the bar.
“Knock on Wood.” Freddy raps his knuckles on the oaken counter, as he hails his favorite bartender, Tony. Tony waves at Freddy from the end of the counter, calling out, “I’ll Be There.”
Freddy gives him a thumbs up and swivels his chair to the other side to check out the crowd. He sees the regulars and winks at one or two he’s had trysts with. He feels a tap on his shoulder. Someone whispers in his ear, “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty.”
Recognizing the voice, Freddy laughs as he turns around. “If it ain’t the New Kid in Town. Hey, Daniel, what . . . .” His voice trails as he’s Blinded by the Light that appears to outline the Adonis that stands next to Dan, his friend.
“Freddy, meet Michel. He’s moving here from New York and looking for a place to stay. Since I still live with my parents who aren’t quite open to . . . you know . . .”
“For sure, I Can Help.” Freddy extends his hand to shake Michel’s. “With a Little Luck, we’ll find you a Hotel California.” Freddy squeezes Michel’s hand and adds, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.” Freddy turns to Dan and says, “You mind?”
“Go right ahead. I’m looking for my Brown Sugar.” Dan goes toward a large group that swallows him.
Just before Freddy and Michel head to the dance floor, Tony comes up to them from behind the counter, “Freddy, you want your usual?” Freddy looks questioningly at Michel, who says, “I’ll have a Manhattan.”
“Ooh, make that two.”
As Tony makes their drinks, Freddy and Michel sit at the bar, facing each other, knee-to-knee.
“I want to Make it with You,” Freddy says to Michel.
“Let’s Get it On.”
Soon after they get their drinks, they swig them and hurry over to Freddy’s place, where they do Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and pretend to do some Kung Fu Fighting. As they reach the peak of their high, Freddy starts to strip dance and says to Michel, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”
“That’s the Way (I Like It).”
After that fateful evening, Freddy and Michel became inseparable. Although they had their fair share of War with each other, they always hopped back on the Love Train. Once, Michel left and took a Midnight Train to Georgia. It was a sad period of 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover for Freddy. But, Michel came back The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia. On their 10th anniversary of being together, Michel found out he had AIDS. Freddy went through a Love Rollercoaster, but Michel said to him, “Don’t Leave Me this Way, When I Need You. Don’t Give Up on Us.” When he buried Michel, Freddy knew then that his heart would always have a void no one can fill. It felt like The Night Chicago Died.
His thought of Michel at peace brings him back to his present condition. He will soon be Reunited with him. It won’t be long now. He imagines Michel saying, “Too Much Heaven, but I’ll Take You There.” Freddy feels his eyes misting and thinks The Tears of a Clown. As his consciousness starts drifting, his last thought is being with Michel again and saying to him, “Looks Like We Made It.”
Song titles in the order they appear
Candy Man – Sammy Davis Jr.
Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’Sullivan
Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks
Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell
Get Down Tonight – KC and the Sunshine Band
Convoy – C.W. McCall
Dancing Queen – Abba
MacArthur Park – Donna Summer
Hot Stuff – Donna Summer
Knock on Wood – Amii Stewart
I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5
(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty – KC and the Sunshine Band
New Kid in Town – Eagles
Daniel – Elton John
Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
I Can Help – Billy Swan
With a Little Luck – Wings
Hotel California – Eagles
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Leo Sayer
Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones
Make it with You – Bread
Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye
Sky with Diamonds – Elton John
Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Bachman-Turner Overdrive
That’s the Way (I Like It) – KC and the Sunshine Band
War – Edwin Starr
Love Train – The O’Jays
Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & the Pips
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia – Vicki Lawrence
Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players
Don’t Leave Me this Way – Thelma Houston
When I Need You – Leo Sayer
Don’t Give Up on Us – David Soul
The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace
Reunited – Peaches & Herb
Too Much Heaven – Bee Gees
I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers
The Tears of a Clown – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
Looks Like We Made It – Barry Manilow