#37 How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, Michael Bolton
According to Wiki, this song was co-written by Michael for Laura Branigan. Its producer was Jack White, but not this one, because he was 8 in 1983. The Bolton hit landed on the charts in 1990, which makes sense … because I totally loved this song at the time.
It’s funny, you think I’d be more embarrassed about some other things in my life (and while I’ve come to have a more somber perspective on those things, I’m not as actively embarrassed about them) than my high school romance with Michael Bolton. But, being a music lover, I realize what terrible schlock it all is/was. He looks better with the shorn hairdo, but the cheese still looms large.
Let’s give my MB obsession a little context, though, shall we? Soul Provider and Time, Love and Tenderness were at the top of the pop charts during my musically deformative high school years. I was codependent best friends with someone who was ensconced in the Pentacostal Christianity of the Assemblies of God. This meant two things: 1. because I was completely codependent with this girl and was alternately her confidante/closest friend and protege/tag-along, I was eager to please her and do the things she wanted to do. That faded as the relationship went on, but it was not 1991 and I was still trying to adhere by the “let’s listen to all Christian music save for Madonna’s “Cherish” and Michael Bolton” when I was with her. Truthfully, I liked a fair amount of the songs on “Soul Provider” at the time and that and Kohlept were being run through my boombox on a fairly regular basis. (I now disavow MB and stand by Billy Joel.)
My worst admission comes as a co-headlining Michael Bolton and Kenny G were my very first concert — in the ampitheater down at the Summerfest grounds. People try to act all embarrassed of having Huey Lewis be their first concert or even NKOTB. Shit, NKOTB was at least popular with girls my age at the time! I could only hope to have Huey Lewis as my first concert ever. I still haven’t seen the dapper chap.
However, we should get down to brass tacks. This song is highly overdramatic in singing technique and great for a teen to get all emotional about. How *am* I supposed to live without you Brett F? (although my crush was actually well over by then)Brent E? Jared P? Brent M? (In what was just a pre-cursor to come, I had a pretty decent crush on who I now believe was a wonderfully Jon Cryer-esque gay boy.)
This is the first song in our series where the person in pain really didn’t do anything to deserve the heartache (also the first song I was really into — coincidence?). Bolton notes: “I could hardly believe it, when I heard the news today/I had to come and get it straight from you/They said you were leavin’, someone’s swept your heart away/From the look upon your face I see it’s true.” Dude, that sucks.
But, he’s wonderfully codependent as well and wants to know about her future: “So tell me all about it, tell me ’bout the plans you’re makin’…” But then just as you think he’s letting her off the hook: “Oh, then tell me one thing more before I go/Tell me how am I supposed to live without you/Now that I’ve been lovin’ you so long/How am I supposed to live without you/And how am I supposed to carry on/When all that I’ve been livin’ for is gone” Answer THAT, biotch!
Obviously, never having kissed a boy until I was nearly 18, I had really no relevant experience with which to make this song my own, but listening to the ‘MYX on Friday nights (Love Notes with Jim Morales (?) I thought that was his name, but he appears to be Marketing Director for them now), I could turn any sappy AC-love song and make it my very own. All At Once, anyone? Yeah, I was a (fantasy) relationship addict from the fuckin’ get go. Thank God that’s changed. Sheeit.
But all to say, at that time in my life, I was all about wondering how I was going to go on living without the love/s of my life. For fuck’s sake.
Would you guys prefer for me to write in proper capitalized punctuation? I realized I started doing it on this post because I was in email mode. There are people who are fully against it, and I get it. But it’s also easier for me in a lot of ways, too. Mini poll to come.