Isn’t It Time? by the Babys, 1977

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This is an overproduced, overblown piece of mid-’70s dreck, but what lifts it up and makes it cool is the pretty piano line between the verses. The Babys were two-hit wonders and they just got back together last year for a new album.

This song hits a personal note with me for another reason. Let’s face it – you don’t listen to popular music in a vacuum. It all ties back to where you heard it, and who you heard it with, and you can’t separate it all out.

In the spring of 1977, I was finishing up my last year at the University of Virginia. My closest friend at UVa was a girl I had lusted after all four years of high school, lurking around her locker (1488 – I still remember the number, God help me), hiding in the bushes by her house, and harassing her to the point that she probably should have called the cops. I naively applied to UVa, blithely unaware of how difficult it was to get in, solely because she went there. But I managed to grow up a little once I got to Charlottesville, and we became close friends.

She was not a prude by any means, but she had managed to get to the last semester of college still a virgin. (She lived in a college apartment with some weird girls, one of whom was a Baptist from Alabama, determined to save herself for marriage, who managed to sublimate her sexual urges by allowing her boyfriend to bite her ass for hours at a time. Hey, whatever floats your boat.) So one day in April, she told me she had decided that she didn’t want to graduate a virgin, and she wanted to do the deed right away.

Great, I thought. Here’s my chance. Ka-ching!

“There’s the guy I met at a choral meet a while back, and I’m flying up to Ann Arbor to spend the weekend with him.”

Klong.

And the kicker? “Can you drive me to the airport?”

Remember that scene in (500) Days of Summer where Summer tries to explain to Tom on the bench at Angel’s Knoll how she found love, but just not with him? And how you wanted to reach though the screen and strangle Zooey Deschanel? Well, I managed to smile and agree.

And I drove her to the Albemarle County airport, and “Isn’t It Time” was playing on the radio. And it was playing on the radio when I picked her up two days later.

Fucking song.

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