I have a seasonal disorder when it comes to my music habits, because without fail, when the temperature soars, I just can't get enough of classic rock. Which works out perfectly with one of my all time favorite movies about summertime, and the subject of today's Summer Scenes (Songs) We Love, Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused. There is no shortage of spectacular tracks to choose from in Linklater's ode to the 70's, but the one song in particular that always get's me in the summer mood is Dr. John's Right Place Wrong Time.
Linklater's classic film centers on a group of teens in a small Texas town on the last day of school trying to get together, which might sound like every other teen movie ever made on paper. But it's the details that sets this movie apart, and today's scene selection is a good example of how the small things make a big difference. After a night spent busting mailboxes and killing time at the Emporium, the scene in which we watch Mitch the freshman (played by Wiley Wiggins) stagger through the mythical party at the 'water tower' is only a minor moment in the movie, but it is the perfect example of the genuine quality of Linklater's story.
No matter how many times I watch this movie (and I shudder to think how many times that has been exactly), what stands out is that as I watch him struggle to hold it together after a few too many visits to the kegs and to 'the circle', the thought that always goes through my head is: brother, I know just how you feel.
After the jump; "If I ever begin to refer to these as the "best years of my life", remind me to kill myself."...
But that's what made Confused such a great film; we've all been there, and you didn't need to have grown up in 1976 Texas to relate. The film was loosely inspired by Linklater's own misspent youth, and unlike most modern films that reference the '70s, Linklater's coming of age movie doesn't play it for comedy. He doesn't spend any time getting you to laugh at the clothes, egg chairs, and lava lamps, and instead, touches on all those common summer teen experiences: trying to organize a party when your parents go out of town, impressing the older kids, scamming alcohol, and wasting a night with your friends driving 'the strip'. So maybe that's why I love this song and this movie so much, I get the chance to let my mind wander back to my wasted youth, grab a beer (or my intoxicant of choice), and crank up those '8-Track classics'.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a clip of the scene in question, but instead, I thought we'd take a moment to honor the insanity that is Dr. John.
As an added bonus: The last time any of us thought Matthew McConaughey was cool.