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An Aimee Mann Summer

The first summer I spent with Aimee Mann was the summer of 1985.

Her songs and I were together every day.

Candi fell in love with Aimee’s wardrobe and hairdo, and suddenly we were all ‘Til Tuesday fans.

Of course, we had to miss the ‘Til Tuesday show at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium (the one where they opened for Rick Springfield), because it just happened to be on the same day as the Power Station show at the Omni in Atlanta.

It was July 15, 1985. It was Candi’s 15th birthday, although we lied and said she was 16 so we could get into the afterparty with John and Andy Taylor. No, really. There were police at the door of the party checking our ages to make sure we were 16 so we “wouldn’t charge statutory rape” if we ended up sleeping with the band. Hilarious! (Don’t worry, Laura’s mom was there to make sure there was no hanky panky.)

I remember hearing “Love in a Vacuum” and “Looking Over My Shoulder” 1,000

times that week in celebration of having had champagne and shrimp with our favorite rock stars.

Yep, that was my first Aimee Mann summer.

I was the only one who stuck it out after Welcome Home and Everything’s Different Now–– and the acoustic guitar of “Coming Up Close” rang a little too earthy for the rest of the 80s gang.

But stick it out I did … to the Lonestar Roadhouse in July of 1993, when a handful of folks showed up to hear Aimee play her solo stuff (and a grunge version of “Voices Carry”).

Then there was the following summer, when Aimee’s record came out but it never really came out, and I carried a worn-out promo copy of what was to become I’m With Stupid for two years (or was it 3?), unable to share the exuberance of “Superball” or the beauty of “Ray” with anyone else––because they’d never heard it.

One evening that same summer – which I consider to be one of the best music nights of my life- I saw Aimee with Squeeze at the Beacon Theatre in NY  then rushed in a cab downtown to catch the Devlins at the Mercury Lounge. Then my friend Rich and I walked to 14th and 9th at like 3 AM to crash at Chris M.’s place.

Then there were the Atlanta Music Midtown years and several shows at the Variety Playhouse and the Botanical Gardens.

I interviewed her a couple of times in there somewhere, and there was great music along the way –– some of which was not quite my style, or maybe I was just too busy to notice.

So, now it’s 23 years later, and here I am listening to Aimee’s great new songs.

I just interviewed Aimee for a third time yesterday, and I’m trying to come up with the words to say what’s so right about this new music. Don’t worry, I won’t gush. But even when I get my article finished, I’m looking forward to spending this summer with Aimee’s new record, Smilers, which has already carved a spot in my brain.


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