Endless Loop: Tarzan Boy (A Joup Confession)

baltimoraHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora

I spend so much time riffing on the pop culture of the old days, living in the proverbial nostalgia bubble of college, or high school, or middle school, that I’m constantly neglecting what came before all of that. Elementary school baby! I’m talking about the 80’s pop gems and pop turds that I rocked on my Walkman on family road trips before I turned 10. The stuff I loved because I didn’t know any better. The stuff I still love now even though I do know better. I’m talking about Baltimora’s 1985 Italo-disco, new wave hit “Tarzan Boy.”

I would have been six years old when that 7” single made its way into my house, most likely a purchase by my then eleven year old sister, as I don’t picture either of my parents getting down on an Italian synth pop group fronted by an Irishman, prominently featured Tarzan yell or not. The song was featured on the album, Living in the Background, though to be honest, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard another song by the group. The single was enough. I thought it was amazing, and the opening drum machine beat and synth line still grab my attention greedily and make my heart swell. It is nostalgia incarnate. It makes me feel like a little kid again. And that can be nice sometimes.

The benefit of hindsight, and the fact that time can heal old wounds (generally by making us forget about them) puts a nice and shiny varnish on our childhood memories. It’s what makes us long for the good old days. It’s what makes us wistful for old places and old friends and old times. It makes us cling to the relics of our youth. And to me, the best of those relics are the ones that you kind of forget about for a little while, the ones that bring it all back in a hard flash by a chance occurrence of reintroduction. It’s just like hearing a song you haven’t thought about in years, and then reeling from the flood of feelings and emotions that come along with it, which, in our super information age is becoming a fleeting phenomenon. It had easily been two decades since “Tarzan Boy” and Baltimora had been anywhere near my radar when I happened upon that old 7” single while helping my parents move in 2008. It was like finding treasure.

Naturally, it came back home with me and will stay there henceforth.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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