July 13, 2011

"Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today..."



Rob Grill, the lead singer of The Grass Roots, died yesterday. He was 67.

Were you influenced, at an early age, by the lyrics of "Let's Live for Today"? I was!
When I think of all the worries people seem to find
And how they're in a hurry to complicate their mind
By chasing after money and dreams that can't come true
I'm glad that we are different, we've better things to do
May others plan their future, I'm busy lovin' you...

46 comments:

Pogo said...

Pretty song.

In the late 1980s, my little girl was about 4 and would sing along to this song very loudly, "Sha-la-la-la-la-la, that's what you say"

She only did the chorus.
Cutest thing ever, if you're the Dad.

Curious George said...

Look at the audience. Polite clap. Had to be thinking "WTF was that!"

As far as influenced? No.

vet66 said...

I remember that song while serving in the military during VN. For many of us serving it was a dream. For those back stateside apparently it was a call to a lifestyle. Not only did we "...worry 'bout tomorrow..." we worried 'bout today..."

RIP!

traditionalguy said...

It is not either plan for the future OR live for today loving you. It is always do both.

The freedom to love the other can be taken away tomorrow from bad choices made today.

Skipping love to race for money is a terrible mistake.

But love needs financial reality for long term stability.

gerry said...

The band members were apparently clean-cut troopers. From the article:
“I asked one of the guys at VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ why we weren’t on,” Mr. Grill told The Huntsville (Ala.) Times in 2005. “And he said, ‘Were you guys ever into heroin?’ and I said, ‘No.’ He said we just weren’t compelling enough.”

The promoter - VH-1 for heaven's sake - wanted badboy aura.

MTV probably would have required them to have done a snuff video while on crack.

May he rest in peace.

Fowl Ideas said...

I don't even remember that song.

Irene said...

Good advice.

I remember thinking, in the 1960s, that Rob Grill was hot.

t-man said...

I think the whole culture was influenced by that mentality, hence the budget crisis we are facing in the then-future that is today.

spunky said...

I seem to recall that GR was really just a studio musicians band playing songs written by other people - sort of a larval boy band, a partially successful experiment that later became The Monkees. They may have been good-looking (I'll take Irene's word for it), but they weren't Tiger Beat material as far as I remember (I'm asserting this, I might be a couple of years too young to actually know).

pst314 said...

No, not influenced. Even as a pre-teen I recognized that the message was foolish.

X said...

perfect song for the generation that ate the seed corn

Surfed said...

Saw them in concert last year on the Flo and Eddie tour when they came through Florida. I had forgotten how many great hits they had. And now he's gone on to that great sound check in the sky..."testing, one, two, three, four, testing..In my midnight confession...."

Ann Althouse said...

"I remember thinking, in the 1960s, that Rob Grill was hot."

Yes, and if you were in bed with Rob Grill, you could say a lot of funny things using double entendre with his name. The Grill is hot!

Irene said...

*winks*

TMink said...

A great power pop song and a really good recording.

Trey

alan markus said...

Creed Bratton (Creed on The Office) is the guy in the striped shirt.

traditionalguy said...

The 1960's was a society that was free to live for love. They could fall back on parents and a set of institutions that had weathered the Great Depression and WWII.

But today we can only fall back on savings stored in dollars and taxes paid by our children from their jobs.

Oops! The saved up dollars are disappearing while Bernanke pretends to wonder why.

And the kids cannot get middle class jobs so that they owe taxes.

And a surrounding civil order from a mostly Church going and law abiding people around us has disappeared.

All we can really rely on are scientists backing Al Gore's promises to stop bad weather in exchange for all that we own.

E.M. Davis said...

It's still just a love song.

gerry said...

And a surrounding civil order from a mostly Church going and law abiding people around us has disappeared.

Wow, man, what a downer. I mean, like, I may be in flyover land, but there is plenty of voluntary compliance with the law and church-going going on around me.

Sorry about your hyperbole.

TheGiantPeach said...

Interesting that one of the members of the band went on to become the senior senator from Massachusetts.

TheGiantPeach said...

Consider the weirdness of having the band introduced by Jimmy Durante. The clip is from a program that was called "Hollywood Palace", and if you watched that day's program, you would also have seen Ethel Merman singing "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." It was an era (probably at the end of the era) when households owned one television, and families watched TV together, so producers would try to come up with shows that appealed to everyone in the family.

Rick Lee said...

I certainly remember the song but I'm surprised that I had no idea who the people in the band were. Completely forgettable. Those guys exuded a kind of plastic image and lack of "authenticity". Speaking of which, I'm in the middle of reading the Keith Richards autobiography and I really recommend it for anyone who's interested in those days. BTW, the NYT photo caption has the names in the wrong order.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Chasing after money and dreams that can't come true"

Yet there he is on television, making money, living a dream.

Fucking hypocrite. I hate hippies.

virgil xenophon said...

Sixty-Seven? uh-oh, I'M Sixty-Seven! Better head out for my cardio work-out! Or should I just pour more booze in my coffee? Hmmm...choices, choices..,but as a denizen of New Orleans..

phx said...

This sounds like a P.F. Sloan ditty. Can't beat that P.F. Sloan with a stick.

phx said...

I decided to look it up anyway, and I discovered I was WRONG! It was written by David Shapiro, Ivan Mogull, and Michael Julian, and first performed by The Rokes and first written in Italian. It has its own wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Live_for_Today_%28song%29

Roger Sweeny said...

I remember thinking, this is an example of carpe diem (literally, "seize the day."). We had done it in English, and now it was relevant!

Ann Althouse said...

Another interesting thing about that song is:

"Baby, I need to feel you inside of me/I got to feel you deep inside of me"

Unusual for a man to sing that. Did he have some kind of vision of the merging of souls or was that sexual penetration?

Ann Althouse said...

@vet66 Note the Wikipedia article about the song:

"As well as being popular with domestic American audiences, "Let's Live for Today" also found favor with young American men serving overseas in the Vietnam War, as Bruce Eder of the Allmusic website has noted: "Where the single really struck a resonant chord was among men serving in Vietnam; the song's serious emotional content seemed to overlay perfectly with the sense of uncertainty afflicting most of those in combat; parts of the lyric could have echoed sentiments in any number of letters home, words said on last dates, and thoughts directed to deeply missed wives and girlfriends."[1] Eder also described "Let's Live for Today" by The Grass Roots as "one of the most powerful songs and records to come out of the 1960s."[1]"

The Crack Emcee said...

See, I just find the song on this page so much more powerful - and meaningful - I don't know how any "movement" could've ever been built on that "live for today" crap.

I would've been laughing and throwing things.

pst314 said...

traditionalguy 8:29 AM "The 1960's was a society that was free to live for love. They could fall back on parents and a set of institutions that had weathered the Great Depression and WWII."

Relevant lyrics from a wiser song:

"You're a rich girl, and you've gone too far,
Cause you know it don't matter anyway.
You can rely on your old man's money.
You can rely on your old man's money...."

edutcher said...

You hear that today and you realize how stupid it is. How many of the over-the-hill hippies with tie-dyed T-shirts and hair (or bazooms) down to their navels we've seen in New Meadia Meade's videos followed that advice 40 years ago and they've been in a drug-induced haze ever since?

Ann Althouse said...

Another interesting thing about that song is:

"Baby, I need to feel you inside of me/I got to feel you deep inside of me"

Unusual for a man to sing that. Did he have some kind of vision of the merging of souls or was that sexual penetration?


Maybe he wants his prostate tickled?

@vet66 Note the Wikipedia article about the song:

"As well as being popular with domestic American audiences, "Let's Live for Today" also found favor with young American men serving overseas in the Vietnam War..."


Typical of men in most wars, probably. James Jones writes at length about it in "WWII".

tree hugging sister said...

No. But I did think he had a sexy voice.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

The perfect song for public employee unions.

Sanctimoniously decry "chasing money," but demand the public provide you with secure future based on a model of unsustainable public debt.

All the while chanting "Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today..."

Carol said...

It definitely influenced me, and just a few months later I dropped out of college after one semester. Yet part of me was skeptical at the same time, but there were few countervailing opinions, even in my family, to pull me the other way.

I think someone from a strong family would be able to resist this kind of BS.

EDH said...

Hey, was that Jimmy Durante who had just introduced the Grass Roots at the begining of the video?

"Baby, I need to feel you inside of me/I got to feel you deep inside of me"

Unusual for a man to sing that. Did he have some kind of vision of the merging of souls or was that sexual penetration?


Maybe he was talking about being penetrated by Durante's nose, er, I mean, "Schnozzola"?

Chip S. said...

That clip seems like it's lifted from That Thing You Do.

Axis of Symmetry said...

That was Durante introducing the band, which seems like an odd juxtaposition. The clip is from the Hollywood Palace show, and among the other curiosities on tap at the Palace that evening was Ethel Merman singing "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."

It was an era (the end of the era, I imagine) when households only owned one TV, and producers were trying to reach entire families in their programming.

Also, one of the band members appears to have later become the senior senator from Massachusetts.

chickenlittle said...

Althouse wrote: Unusual for a man to sing that. Did he have some kind of vision of the merging of souls or was that sexual penetration?

Maybe it was just a young man's punt, pass, and kick football reverie?

David said...

Horrid little song.



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Dust Bunny Queen said...

Were you influenced, at an early age, by the lyrics of "Let's Live for Today"? I was!

No. I didn't like that group or that song. Too bubble gummy.

I was listening to Jefferson Airplane, Procul Harum, Cream, Traffic, Buffalo Springfield, Temptations, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Ten Years After among other groups.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ten Years After

Alvin Lee...FTW!!

ok. indulgence in old music over ...for now.

Anne B. said...

I hated that song. I especially hated the bit about "We'll make the most of living/ have pleasure while we can." I always figured that that would only last until the pregnancy test came back positive.

Lava said...

I was "in love" with my grade school classmate in 7 th grade and actually saw them in Ohio to show how serious I was...ah,sweet, naive, innocent love!

Lava said...
This comment has been removed by the author.