I will not, no matter how much I may want to, do a post about “Rebel Heart” today. The only reason I won’t is because it’s not streaming on Spotify and that would mess with my playlist. So instead, I’m gonna write about Tiffany’s take on the Beatles’ classic “I Saw Her Standing There.”
By the time Tiffany got around to releasing “I Saw Him Standing There” – complete with pronoun change – you could kind of tell that the train was starting to slow down. Her last two songs – “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Could’ve Been” both hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but “I Saw Him Standing There” stalled out at #7, still pretty respectable for what is kind of an underwhelming song. Oddly enough, it was the only Tiffany single of the three that I actually purchased. It’s not that I didn’t like the other songs, and it’s really hard to explain why I didn’t buy the bigger hits. But I guess this was to be my inaugural Tiffany 45. It’s also my only Tiffany 45, as the only other Tiffany single I purchased, “Radio Romance”, I bought on cassette single. Even then, I kind of liked this song in spite of myself. I knew it was cheesy and not very good, but I couldn’t help but like it. But I think the reason that I still think of it all these years is because of a very specific story from my sophomore year of high school.
In April of 1988, I went with the concert band to the Ozarks to participate in some concert band contest. The name of the contest has been lost to time, and really, the time we spent performing was minuscule in comparison to the amount of time we spent goofing around in Branson. As is commonplace, many of the band parents came along as chaperones. One of them was the mother of one of my friends (who also happened to be a fellow saxophone player as well.) She was the lunchlady at the elementary school we all went to and I’d known her for years. Her name is Alva and she is remembered as much for her unconventional name as she is for her kindness to all of us as we were growing up.
One of the days of the trip was spent in Silver Dollar City. I was hanging out with a guy who was my best friend at the time, although I don’t think the feeling was mutual. I look back and I think I was very much the Chester to his Spike. Anyway, we were standing in line for a water slide of some sort and we looked down from the steps on which we were standing and there at a four way crossing, stood Alva. She wasn’t doing anything in particular, but we noticed her in a park full of people we didn’t know, and it prompted us to change the lyrics to “I saw Alva standing there, saw Alva standing there.” Ever since that day, I always think of that when I hear this song.
Tiffany kind of petered out rapidly with the release of her next album, Hold An Old Friend’s Hand, although she did manage one more top 10 hit with “All This Time.” Yet another victim of the changing musical tastes of the early 90s.
But if you really want to watch something interesting, find the documentary I Think We’re Alone Now, which follows two obsessed fans of Tiffany’s. I wrote about it here soon after I watched it. To say it is a riveting watch is putting it mildly.
So this post is dedicated to Alva. May she live long and prosper!