How many people do you know can claim a hit pop song was written about them? Well, for a brief moment in the early ‘70s, I could.
It was 1973 and my parents were taking me out to celebrate my birthday, and seeing as I was turning 11, they told me this wasn’t going to be the typical pizza and soda party. No, they were taking me for a real grown-up dinner; they were taking me to a “nightclub.”
Now, my older self probably would have been suspicious, but being a preteen, I was pretty stoked to be “hangin’ with the adults.” Dark, smoke-filled restaurant, live band cranked up to “eleven,” the place was packed and when the night’s main attraction took the stage…well, the joint went wild.
Because of my parents’ business relationships, they were able to enjoy special perks and this occasion was no different. Turns out, they handled the advertising for said nightclub and got us a table in the very front/center. Headlining that night was none other than that future Vegas phenomenon, pop singing sensation…ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Clint Holmes!
Well, at the time, he was considered the next Tom Jones and his new hit single “Playground in My Mind” was tearing up the pop/rock charts. That’s when, as his encore to the evening’s show, he jumped off the stage and swaggered over to our table and proclaimed to the crowd he had written his next song about…me.
As the spotlight beamed down on our table and illuminated me in all my red-faced glory, he belted out the chorus in perfect falsetto: “My Name is Michael…” My parents had arrange the whole thing! It was a birthday I’ll never forget. Despite those haunting lyrics and all the teasing I’ve endured over the years, it was still pretty cool.
And since we’re talking birthdays, April happens to have a couple notable ones. First is Bakersfield Magazine’s, celebrating 33 years. Thank you to our readers and advertisers for allowing us to continue to do what we love.
Secondly, it just so happens to be Kern County’s 150th, and that’s why as part of this very special April issue, also known as “Generations,” we’ve packed it with historical features including a story on the county’s namesake, Edward Kern. His fascinating story starts on page 41. We’re also excited to share the history of many local, long-standing, and family owned businesses in our Generations Profiles; they start on page 44.
The April issue also includes our annual Discover Kern feature, where you can learn even more little known facts and oddities about this community…enough to call yourself a true “insider.” Discover Kern starts on page 27.
As we were leaving the club that night, people kept handing me nickles; I made well over $10. Just don’t tell Cindy…