Tuesday, June 26, 2012

If the Music Weren't There

Las Cruces NM, and particularly the Las Cruces Inn on West Picacho Street was a great place to witness the head-on collision between Rock & Roll and Country & Western music in the last half of the 70s. The cowboys had been growing their hair long for years but it wasn't until the Eagles and Burrito Brothers and other country-rock groups that it became okay for a bar to have both kinds of music -- and they were beginning to sound a bit alike.

We even had a strobe light for a couple of months and had it wired up so all of the other lights around the dance floor went out when we flipped the strobe on. It wasn't the Fillmore, but it was the next best thing in 1978 in Las Cruces.

Written: Gallagher Street, Las Cruces NM, 1978

Knees played this a couple of times with the Calhoon Brothers at the Las Cruces Inn but it wasn’t particularly danceable, hummable, or memorable. He probably had David Loggins’ Don’t Treat Me Like a Stranger in mind when he wrote the music. The words refer to the dance floor at the LCI with its strobe light, a first for cowboy bars in New Mexico.

We are gathered here outside the sight of God
To see who we’ll join together
Two-by-two twirling in the flashing light
Dancin on the edge of a feather.

We play along but you are the players
Spinning with stars in your eyes
Each woman Carmen, each man Cougie
Each with his own disguise.

So keep on keepin the thrill in sight
As you’re waltzing along through the air
I wonder whether she would spend the night
If the music weren’t there
If the music weren’t there.

When the moves have been made
In this romantic game
We’ll pick up the pieces and go
We’ll read all about it in the Sunday news
And we’ll wait for the next picture show.

The Organ


  1. Particularly nifty doodle. I would have titled it "Psychedelic Mole."

  2. PS: The song puts me in mind of Jimmy Buffett. I like it.