There's this older guy who comes in occasionally and wants us to look up song lyrics. Like many of my favorite customers, initially I didn't like him, but his persistence won me over and I kinda love the guy now.
He's missing a leg, and looks sort of like a skinnier, less kept-up version of old school Barry White. You know, like this:
Well, it's sort of a stretch, but work with me, babe. You know, I know that people been talking about me all over town, but girl, don't pay them no mind. You know we got a stone groove together. And baby, you know that we got it together, and nobody can --
Sorry, got caught up in the Barry White vibe there for a moment. Anyway, this guy is in a band and is constantly looking for lyrics to old soul and R&B songs. Usually a line will form behind him while I'm looking up lyrics, since he usually doesn't know the title, just a few words from the chorus. He's a pleasant, cheerful guy and is always happy when you find lyrics for him, or let on that you've heard of Mandrill or the Isley Brothers. He'll say hello to whoever is in line and usually ask them a question.
"Excuse me ma'am, he's looking up a song for me. Do you know that one? Goes like, (and here he'll start to sing a bit)'baby, I'm so in love with you?' That's a jam, there."
He's not crazy or drunk or smelly, like a large portion of the public, but I always love seeing people shy away uncomfortably as he croons at them.
Couple months ago he wanted some Curtis Mayfield song lyrics. I hipped him to a documentary we have, "Movin' On Up," which is all kinds of awesome and you should check it out now. We got to talking about just how awesome "Curtis," Mayfield's first solo album is. Any album with both "Move On Up" and "(Don't Worry) If There's Hell Below We're All Gonna Go" on it is just one of the best things in the world. Plus, that cover of him chillin' in his bright yellow flares should be hanging in the National Gallery.
He started talking about "(Don't Worry) If There's Hell Below We're All Gonna Go."
"That's a jam, there."
"Oh yeah," I replied.
"I've wanted to do that one for a long time, but people might have a problem with the opening."
If you don't recall the opening, there's an awesome fuzzy bassline, a woman talks about reading the Bible, then Curtis shouts out what adults now refer to as 'the N-word.'
"Yeah, I guess those were different times, huh?"
"Oh yeah. You know, I might get away with that," he laughed. "But I don't think you could."
"Heh. Yeah, you're right. I'm not going to even try that one."
Then he thanked me and went on down the line to sing to some uncomfortable soccer moms.