As if the cost of a gallon of gas exceeding the cost of a pack of Camel Lights is not enough, we finally have genuine proof that the world is, in fact, coming to an end. I heard the news yesterday on the way to Mountville for our weekly dinner with the Todd's folks. We were in the the Clicks, with its wide range of radio stations offering country, country, country and 107.3. You really can't ask much of a 1995 Mazda 626, you know? 107.3 was playing the general rotation of Music I Don’t Give a Rip About, so I was listening to the Country Countdown and laughing because somewhere along the line Mr. Festival has learned the words to Taylor Swift’s “Our Song.”
So the host of the Country Countdown announces some new, hot record by a young man named Darius Rucker. The name sort of (watch out) struck a chord (I warned you.) with me but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And the song, titled “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” sucked. I have this theory that you really shouldn’t try for one of those long drawn out song titles unless you have a name that sounds like you could be a County Sheriff in a really bad Lifetime movie – no offense to any Deputies who may be reading this. I totally support you and I plan on getting one of those window stickers to prove it. Anyhow, I just don’t think Darius is up there with Porter, Conway or Merle in the list of appropriate names for country songwriters.
Back to the story…I’m about to change the song, my hand is on the dial, and Pete starts cracking up. “Oh, man! Do you know who that is?” I’m sure y’all already know who it was, because you have better name recognition than I do and all that, but…
…IT WAS HOOTIE!
Okay, it wasn’t Hootie. Because though Hootie IS a person, he is not in the band Hootie and the Blowfish. He was a friend of the band from the college choir at the University of South Carolina, check Wikipedia. Darius Rucker does not enjoy being called Hootie and he will tell you right quick-like. But still, for all intents and purposes, it was freaking Hootie.
I don’t think y’all understand how big this is: Hootie has gone country (look at them boots). He’s gone country, but not back to his roots! (Aw, snap.) I could be totally wrong, but I just don’t see Hootie, I mean Mr. Rucker, being raised musically on Waylon, Willie and the boys. This is a travesty.
You know, I could be totally off on this. Darius Rucker could have grown up in some po-dunk town wishing he was one of the Oak Ridge Boys. But he’s ruining my youth. Hootie was a big part of my Senior Spring Break, of countless Bonfire Parties, Cabin Trips and excursions through rock quarries. I don’t think I ever drank anything without either Hootie or Dave (only up to the Crash album, after that I left him forever) playing in the background until I got to college. Let Her Cry? Let ME cry, Hootie. You and your hot, long-haired drummer, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld.
So you go on and have your hot country comeback, Mr. Darius Rucker. Try to forget the Hootie in your past. BUT…Don’t Think I Won’t Think About It.