It was the summer of '81. My best friend, Ron, had just graduated from high school; I'd tossed my cap the year before. We were cruising down the highway in his black 1971 Volkswagen Beetle, windows down, singing at the top of our lungs (me, totally off-key; him, perfectly, because he was a music major) to the radio blasting the Go-Go's.
I looked at him, puzzled. "The song we're singing: 'Olive Cecile.' Duh!"
He threw me a withering glance. "The name of the song is 'Our Lips Are Sealed.'"
"Oh." If it was a question about music, Ron was always right.
Twenty-four years later, we still laugh about that (me, not so much). However, I did feel vindicated once I discovered I wasn't the only dweeb who'd ever bungled the words to "Our Lips Are Sealed." I wasn't even the only one who thought it was "Olive Cecile." There are newspaper and magazine articles, books and entire websites devoted to misunderstood song lyrics (also known as "mondegreens").
According to www.amiright.com and www.kissthisguy.com, "Alex the Seal" is the most common faux pas for the classic Go-Go's groove, followed closely by "Honest, I See You" and "Arm in Tuxedo" -- though my personal favorite is "Harlots of Steel."
For all the right words and a little taste of your own new-wave nostalgia, go see the Go-Go's tonight at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place; tix are $35 to $49. For information, call 303-825-4904 or go-go to www.hob.com. Tell 'em Olive sent you. -- Debra A. Myers
One-Person Power Soloists take the stage for 21 Days of ONE. WED, 6/1
Actors can play many roles, but rarely do they get a chance to command the stage alone for an entire night. What makes such an undertaking enticing is its sink-or-swim nature: No one else shares the praise or the rotten tomatoes.
But 21 actors will be in the same boat during the first 21 Days of ONE, a showcase for drama, poetry, political commentary and storytelling. The program, which debuts tonight at Crossroads Theatre, is intended to give members of Denver's creative community a chance to express themselves. "It's really to focus on who the actor is, what he puts into an individual character," says L.J. Harker, production manager at Crossroads.
Every night for three weeks, a different performer will present a personally chosen solo show, using either original material or interpretations of another's work. Each soloist will then engage in an audience "talkback."
"We want to make this an annual event, to get people involved," Harker says. Crossroads is at 2180 Stout Street, and shows start at 7:30 p.m.; admission is $5 nightly. For information, call 303-496-0212. -- Ernie Tucker
Ring-a-Ding Sing THURS, 5/26
As David Grapes was watching television coverage of Frank Sinatra's death, he realized he had to write about the legend. "They were showing concert footage that I had never seen from the BBC, and at that point, I realized everything that he had done." So he teamed up with Todd Olsen, and together they created My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra.
Using 56 of Ol' Blue Eyes' songs, the duo crafted a feast for Frankaholics. The show begins an open run tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Garner Galleria in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. For tickets, $32 to $38, and information, call 303-830-4100 or go to www.denvercenter.org. -- Jerri Theil
Bossa Boss Brazilian composer's tunes speak for him. THURS, 5/26
Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim has been compared to many one-of-a-kind artists -- Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Astor Piazzolla among them -- and the comparisons would all be correct: Like theirs, his work, which included such standards as "Desafinado" and "The Girl From Ipanema," was a sophisticated blend of new and old musical traditions, like poetry draped on the wind. And yet his bossa nova sound, born from a freewheeling and melancholic soup of Debussy, Duke Ellington and the samba beat, was all his own. But Jobim wasn't one to talk about his music. He preferred to live life, sometimes sloppily, and where the tunes came from was for us to decide.
Hear Jobim's hits, interspersed with history and commentary, during the Timeless Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, hosted by matchless guitarist Dale Bruning and narrator Jude Hibler tonight at 7:30 p.m. as part of their Narrative Nights series at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln Street. Admission is $10; call 303-839-5100. -- Susan Froyd