Song: “I Love the Nightlife”
Impressions: New Year’s Eve, Big Apple Circus, pretty knit sweater, winter, dead life without night life
Elbow Nudge: describe someone who says “ax-shun” instead of “action”
I connect this song with Christmastime 1978. Even though it’s disco, I don’t actually hate this song. What I connect to it most vividly is going to Playhouse in the Park with Mom to see The Big Apple Circus, which was doing a special holiday appearance in Cincinnati. (This was before “A Christmas Carol” became an annual tradition at the Playhouse.) It was just a year since I’d graduated from the Ringling Clown College, a year in which I’d done some professional clowning but not with a circus. Consequently, I was filled with both nostalgia and longing as I watched the Big Apple performance, especially their featured girl clown. Mom and I attended twice; I think the second was a matinee performance on New Year’s Eve afternoon. It was nice to get to do something special on New Year’s, and while I didn’t normally crave the nightlife, that song made me want one that New Year’s Eve.
I’d worked in Santaland at Lazarus department store that November and December. While there I had admired a sweater: polyester, I’m sure, ivory with a sheen to the yarn, and it was embroidered with small flowers. Mom had gotten me that sweater for Christmas, and I wore it to at least one of the Playhouse shows. It was a little small for me, though, and I wasn’t having any luck losing the weight I’d gained since Clown College. In the end, I wound up passing the sweater back to Mom, who looked better in it anyhow.
The other distinct memory I have of “I Love the Nightlife” is of Diamondqueen singing it in the car while the radio played. Diamondqueen was eight years old; and although she razzes me for screwing up song lyrics now, she often put a unique spin on them herself. She changed out “I want to go where the people dance” to “I want to go where the bimbos dance,” which struck both Mom and me as entirely appropriate. Diamondqueen could (and still can) belt out a song, at least as far as volume is concerned.
Here’s a video of Alicia Bridges singing “I Love the Nightlife.” She never did impress me as a bimbo. I did think she looked as if she could beat the crap out of anyone, including any big bruiser of a bouncer at her beloved disco.