My brother flew into Chicago this weekend to visit his lil sis (what a good brother), and we quickly set about doing his favorite things - wandering the city and popping into watering holes to drink really hoppy beer. At our first stop, gg's boyfriend and Map Room bartender cleverly joked that he couldn't believe two people he used to "beat it" to had recently died on the same day. Good one, B! Later that same night we ended up at Marie's Rip Tide, an old Chicago mainstay that looks like a sixties diner but serves only booze and classic tunes from an old school jukebox. After a couple patrons sated their "Red Red Wine" cravings, the Michael Jackson tunes started to pour out one after the other. I think we all got a little misty eyed realizing that there must be no better way to pay tribute to the successful and talented side of MJ's otherwise profoundly strange life. Right before we left, "Midnight Train to Georgia" came on, making us nostalgic yet again, but this time for the sentiment we associate with our southern upbringing. Which to me means mostly a certain terrain and smell and sweetness. Just a feeling of being home. Although it's not the story behind the song, who can't relate to wanting to take a midnight train to be there?
As a somewhat strange coincidence, I just discovered through wiki that "Midnight Train to Georgia" was originally called "Midnight Plane to Houston" and was inspired by none other than Farrah Fawcett. The writer of the song, Jim Weatherly, knew Lee Majors and had a conversation with Majors' then-girlfriend Fawcett, who mentioned that she was going to take a midnight plane to Houston to visit her parents. The words "midnight plane to Houston" stuck with Weatherly, and he used it as the basis for writing his original version, although the story in the song is not based on Fawcett but a story line that he eventually wrote around the title.
Now you know.