Saturday, November 08, 2014

"And I have heard all the stories, you know the stories..."

In the fall of 1973, I moved with my husband and daughters to Farmingdale, New York. If I'm remembering correctly, that's the first place we ever lived where cable TV was more prevalent than rooftop antennae, so, like a good neighbor, we signed up for it. HBO was part of the package. On the day the cable was hooked up, I was quite shocked to turn on a movie (Serpico, I believe it was) and hear Al Pacino drop the F-bomb several times in succession right there in our living room. (Hm. Hadn't thought about it, but HBO may be partly responsible for the potty mouth I struggle with daily; I've always blamed it on my old friend Jude.)

My husband didn't like to go out to the movies, mostly because he couldn't smoke in the theater, but he did enjoy watching popular films on TV. The rest of the family did, too. Many nights found us all curled up together on our family-sized, orange crushed-velvet sofa, eyes glued to the latest offerings on HBO.

A few of those movies still stand out in my mind forty years later, mostly because of the feelings they evoked at the time. One that moved me profoundly is Buster and Billie, the story of a popular high-school boy (played by Jan Michael Vincent) who unexpectedly falls in love with the shy, good-hearted town slut, a relationship that eventually leads to harsh consequences for both of them.

Do you remember that movie? If you saw it, I'll bet you do. And I'll bet you still remember the theme song and that hearing even a few notes of it calls up feelings of sweet, sweet love and heartbreaking sadness. Listen and see what you think:

The song is "Billie's Theme" by Hoyt Axton.
Thanks to Skye Moppit for posting the video on YouTube.
Click here to read the lyrics.


  1. When I was still an impressionable teenage girl, I somehow came across a Playgirl or some similar publication for women that had a photo of a completely naked Jan Michael Vincent standing next to a horse. I have never forgotten it and see it clearly in my head any time someone mentions Jan Michael Vincent. I don't think I'm grateful, Linda.

    1. Hahaha, Annette! Did you not even notice that he had a nice face?


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