BACK IN 1982, the summer of, to be precise, “Hold Me” by Fleetwood Mac was my favorite song. I recall first hearing it on the local rock station, WRCN, and was immediately grabbed by it’s melody, and Christine McVie’s voice leading those wonderful, layered Mac harmonies in the chorus. It’s simply a great pop song, easily identifiable as Fleetwood Mac.
Like so many favorite songs over the last 30+ years, the song’s impact on me was in part due to a woman. That summer I had my first real, regular summer job, at the Jamesport Manor Inn. Off the books and too young to work legally, it was a hard job and the owners were tyrants, but they had a niece who waitressed there that I fast became smitten with. Call it a crush, I guess – I was 14 years old and the sight of a powerfully built, college girl with short hair and a great smile got me all crazy. I don’t even recall her name, but she was always very nice to me and I remember that it was easy to make her laugh. That any woman paid any attention to a husky, greasy kid doing dishes was fuel for a summer crush. And yes, I said powerfully built. She wasn’t overweight at all, just had a…athletic build, really. Looking back, this may further explain why I’ve always had a penchant for women with powerful thighs and thick calves. If I recall, she played a lot of softball, which really impressed me.
In any case, I had a huge crush on “Hold Me.” Besides the great melody, the lyrics made sense to me, too: “I’m just around the corner/If you got a minute to spare/I’ll be waitin’ for ya’/If you ever want to be there” – and in that restaurant, with that waitress, I literally and figuratively was!
“Hold Me” came out in June, and after hearing it on the radio I had to run out and by the singles. It’s release and airplay was perfectly timed as that summer I used to keep a notebook – a top 20 chart every week of my favorite songs. Believe it or not, “Hold Me” was number one on my personal top songs chart from mid-June until nearly the end of August. I don’t remember who else made my weekly chart that summer, and I wish I still had that notebook, but I do remember lying on my bed, listening to my “Hold Me” 45 and duly writing down the title in the #1 spot every Sunday. What a coincidence that the song’s chart success corresponded with a
stocky athletically built waitress’s tenure at that restaurant, and her always smiling at me every time she came thru the kitchen.