Joel’s 45 pick: Peter Schilling’s ‘Major Tom’ in German (1983)

“Major Tom (Coming Home)” in German by Peter Schilling

Joel Benjamine says:

“So I only had a handful of records until I was in my late teens and discovered punk rock 7″ and bootleg tapes, but I had one 45 RPM single that I bought at age 13 from the Berkeley Public Library ‘Friends of the Library’ sale. I was only passingly familiar with this tune thanks to MTV and I had never heard Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ before. My parents were current in their musical tastes up to about Simon and Garfunkel, with them both being teens from the pre- Elvis era of ‘Race’ records in my dad’s case and folk music for my mom. Want some vintage Ike Turner? Got it. The Weavers? Got it. Mom even had an early Beatles record or two, but that was it.

I listened to a lot of albums in the Art and Music department at the library, especially on summer days when we were doing Berkeley Day Camp. At the end of one summer session they had a culling of the heard and put a bunch of assorted vinyl out for sale. Being a broke barely- teen I could afford exactly one single, as could my younger brother. Going through the bin of 45’s they had out I found this single, literally the only album in the stack I recognized. So I grabbed it, excited to play it when I got home. Cut scent to the back bedroom in our old house in El Sobrante and I drop the needle on this 80’s gem.

And it was the German version.

I still did better than my then-11 year old brother, who bought this oh so 80’s gem:”

“Girls with Guns” by Tommy Shaw


Wondering what this is all about?

In September 2015, I asked readers of my inbox zine, Rusty’s Electric Dreams, to share their all-time favorite single from the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s and tell me why they like it.

Years ago, a friend of mine had a “33 1/3” birthday party where she spun vinyl LPs. I thought that was a cool idea and imagined doing that for my 45th, but with everyone sharing their favorite 45 RPM singles.

So, here we are. It’s September 2015 and my birthday quickly approaches.

Instead of having a big bash, I have a SPECIAL REQUEST to ask of all of you. I want to take a musical trip down memory lane, because –seriously– where would we be without music??

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