Friday, 9 December 2011

Infinite Loop Disorder

I wonder how many of you have suffered from this malady. With Infinite Loop Disorder, the same melody plays over and over without end in an infinite loop on your internal tape player. I.L.D. can strike during the day or at night, but when it hits you at night, it's a surefire sleep-destroyer.

The I.L.D. sufferer has absolutely no control over the choice of music. The melody can be good, it can be bad; doesn't matter. It happened to me once with the scintillating Mildred Bailey-Red Norvo version of the clever Johnny Mercer-Victor Schertzinger song Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry. Even as sublime a melody as the Air from Handel's Water Music can begin to lose its charm when heard for the thousandth time in one night. But the torture is truly unendurable when the melody is bad.

In my particular case, melodies by Burt Bacharach and Marvin Hamlisch can bring on I.L.D. in its most virulent form quite easily, and so are to be avoided at all cost. The worst case of I.L.D. I've ever endured was with Barry Manilow's Copacabana. All I have to think of is the line "Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl" and my nerves are all a-jangle.

I.L.D. hit me again the other night, this time with a good tune, in fact one of my favorite jazz themes: That's the Curfew written by Pete Brown, the great "jump"-style alto saxophonist and recorded in 1945 by his Sextette [sic]: Brown on alto; Ed Lewis, trumpet; Ray Parker, piano; Al Casey, guitar; Al Matthews, bass; Ray Nathan, drums.

I've searched through the pharmacopeia and can find no remedy for I.L.D. except for heavy sedation, so I'm going to try some experimental therapy. Mind you, I have no desire to expunge That's the Curfew permanently from my mind; I like its nifty shifting from minor to major too much for such radical surgery. I merely seek temporary relief, and hope that by posting it here I can find some measure of I.L.D. surcease.

Here goes:

You know something? That feels a lot better.

At the Copa, Copacabana,
The hottest spot north of Havana,
Music and passion were always in fashion,
At the Copa... they fell in love.

Aargh, it's back. Help!

1 comment:

  1. A colleague of mine told me that another name for the same phenomenon is EARWORM . . . which I recoiled from in horror. Still, it does suggest that one could pour something else into one's ear and expunge the current squatter, the unwanted tenant. Might I suggest a thorough round of AFTER YOU'VE GONE by the Blue Note Jazzmen or HE'S A SON OF THE SOUTH by Mister Strong? Those might work. But don't call me in the morning.