GETTING MORE TALE #870:
You Can Be My Lemon Wedge, and I’ll Be Your Tequila
(Part One of a two-part review of Kim Mitchell’s Greatest Hits)
The leaves turned colours, and were starting to decorate the ground. I had been working at the Record Store for over a year. I was well over my first relationship that went south, and was now seemingly hard at work wrecking the second. Everything started lovey-dovey in the summer. The first two months were bliss. It started to sour in September and October. “People are always on their best behaviour at the start,” she used to say in regards to “new love”. Now that things were going bad, was it my fault? It had to be. What was I doing wrong? It was in this emotional environment that Kim Mitchell released his first solo Greatest Hits CD in 1995.
As things started to go south, I anticipated that I’d need some new Kim music to get me through. This compilation had two new songs, one rare remix, two re-recordings, and some surprising bonus music. Decent value for a hits set. “Ooh, it’s a messy breakup,” sang Kim on the new track called “Rainbow”.
The relationship was hitting the rocks and taking on water, and so the arguments were increasing. Making things more uncomfortable, she was hanging out with my ex from the first bad breakup. A lot. I didn’t have a lot of experience, but that was weird, right? They talked a lot. It was obvious to me that she wasn’t happy with the way things were going and I was in no way prepared to deal with this added twist.
In October we went out on our last movie date: Virtuosity, a terrible Denzel Washington sci-fi thriller featuring Russell Crowe as the killer. I didn’t pick it. I haven’t seen it since.
I was the driver that night. Kim Mitchell’s Greatest Hits was in the tape deck. I purchased the CD (and still own that copy) but I recorded everything to tape so my music was always mobile.
I will tell you one thing I remember: she hated the song “Lemon Wedge”. I wasn’t keen on it either, but it was a very popular tune with old school Max Webster fans. It’s different. T-Rev at the Record Store absolutely loved it; it was one of his jams. “Lemon Wedge” is funky, horn-laden and mental. Not at all like “Patio Lanterns”. I was more indifferent to it. I was puzzled that it was included on Greatest Hits at all, instead of one of the songs from Itch that I thought were better. But I don’t skip songs; I play albums all the way through. We’re heading home from this shitty movie and on comes “Lemon Wedge”.
You can be my lemon wedge,
And I’ll be your tequila.
I just wanna have a dance,
And I just wanna feel ya.
“This song is terrible! Why do you listen to this?” I didn’t think it was worth explaining that I don’t skip tracks. That wouldn’t help.
Then, as if on cue, I made a wrong turn in the car. I have a terrible sense of direction and didn’t know my way around town like she did. She was really mad at me now, so I pulled over into a parking lot on Fairway Road. Then I sat there and just took it. This in turn frustrated her even more.
“You never stand up for yourself!” she complained. “Whatever shit people say, you just go with it! You can’t just keep bending over all the time! You need to grow a backbone and start sticking up for yourself!”
I wanted to, but I was afraid of getting dumped again, so I preferred not to argue. Getting dumped was no fun and I was not eager to do it again. But I got her point.
“Well, I like that Kim Mitchell song,” I lied in a half-assed rebuttal. She was not very impressed with my comeback.
My head was spinning. This was supposed to be a movie date. How did it turn into this lecture about me growing a spine? I can relate to the episode of Big Bang Theory where Penny dumps Leonard. “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it,” he said before she walked out. But that isn’t what she wanted.
“I’m pretty sure it’s already over,” said Leonard with the wisdom that I was lacking.*
It really was curtains; all over except for Kim’s singing. There were a few more arguments, but it was toast after Halloween. I can’t remember what our last argument was about, but she was hanging out with my ex again and wasn’t answering her phone. The ex was in fact the final “Lemon Wedge” that pushed us apart for good. And it’s good that it happened for reasons that are obvious to anyone who is not me in 1995.
Instead of trying to win her back like I did with my last doomed relationship, I moved on decidedly. I deleted my electronic contacts so I wouldn’t be tempted to email her. I selected a variety of rock albums that I tailored to my listening needs. She was into a lot of current music – Dance Mix ’95, the new Smashing Pumpkins, Lisa Loeb. I chose to dive deep into classic British hard rock, the stuff she wasn’t into. Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath. Ozzy had a new album out and so did Iron Maiden. There was plenty of music that didn’t remind me of her.
For a variety of reasons, that relationship took some time to get over. She married the next guy, which is exactly what also happened with the previous ex! I was the guy people go out with before the meet the one they were going to marry. So I did a lot of re-evaluation, both personal and musical. I really wanted to like that “Lemon Wedge” song just because she hated it so much, but I couldn’t force it to happen. You either like “Lemon Wedge” or you don’t. I wish I could say it was my favourite song in the world because of this story. Unfortunately not every story can be about your favourite song. Some are just about the music that was playing at the time.
Full CD review tomorrow.
* Ironically, Kaley Cuoco otherwise known as “Penny” was in that awful Denzel movie as a child actor.