Feb 27, 2017

Call It Thunder: 40 Years of Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac was big when I was in high school, especially during my junior year, 1976-77, when I discovered what "gay" meant and started dating Verne, the preacher's son.

 I wasn't a fan.  Their songs were all about girls:

Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night
And wouldn't you love to love her?
Takes to the sky like a bird in flight
And who will be her lover?

Thunder only happens when it's raining
Players only love you when they're playing
Say women they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you'll know, you'll know

Plus they were heterosexual.  Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham were both dating Stevie Nicks.

I only liked guys who liked guys, like Shaun Cassidy.

 Then, in January 1977, "Go Your Own Way" started playing on KSTT Radio.

You can go your own way, go your own way.
You can call it thunder, all the way.

It seemed like they were talking to me personally, telling me that it was ok to break away, follow your own path, and "call it thunder."

I "called it thunder" when I decided to go to college instead of taking a job in the factory, like my parents expected.

When I figured "it" out the summer after my high school graduation: we stop the fight right now, we got to be who we are.

When I rejected the "wife and kids" destiny everyone had plotted out for me, and found the freedom to love.

When I abandoned the Midwest for California.

When I decided to go back to graduate school and get a Ph.D.

You can go your own way, go your own way.
You can call it thunder, all the way.

 Whenever I hear the song today, it sends me back to my junior year at Rocky High, when everything was fresh and new and full of promise, when you could "go your own way" and "call it thunder."

Last night I heard the song at the gym, on the Classic Rock station they play in the free weight room.  I decided to do a blog post on the song that meant so much to me long ago.  So I looked up the lyrics online:

You can go your own way, go your own way.
You can call it another lonely day.

Another lonely day?  WTF?

It's not an anthem to self-awareness at all!  It's about breaking up with a lover, who is now packing up and going away, so it's "another lonely day."

For 40 years, I've been hearing the lyrics wrong.

Well, back to Shaun Cassidy.

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