Cliff Eastham

The Day That I Danced on WING DING

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2008 at 9:13 am
Television Dance Party
by Larry Curtis Spurlock

Watching the Geico Commercials on TV with the Singers, the Pips has reminded me of seeing them about 40 years ago.

When I was 16-17 years old and in my Junior year of High School .. I had a job and I bought myself a car. It was a 1959 Ford. I was probably only one of about 5 in my Class that had wheels. This promptly, jettisoned me into a viable male prospect with all the girls at my High School.

I remember, one day, walking into the Cafeteria at Lunchtime .. and a small group of really hot Sophomore girls asked me to come over to their table for Lunch. Sh!t, I didn’t even go buy my Lunch; I just went to their table and sat down.

The discussion turned to music. One of the hotties asked if it was me who was the Manager of the Rock’n’Roll band at School, The Changing Tide ? My answer was yes. Yes, I am. That was the truth .. but that was where the truth ended and the BS began. I mentioned that I meandered throughout the area looking at local Bands when I had the time. And that I went to Concerts featuring the biggest names of the day.

I was asked if I ever went to Channel 20’s Wing Ding TV Dance Party. That was a new show that was on between 4 and 5 o’clock and broadcast from just outside Washington, D.C. I answered in the affirmative .. and could see that I had this group of girls right in my pocket. All of these girls said they’d love to go on that show .. and so I looked around .. picked out the hottest of the group (Sarah Hansard) and asked her for a date. She replied that she’d love to .. and for a date – we should go on Wing Ding.

And so it was .. a date was set to go on the Wing Ding Dance Party. Sarah and I had to skip the last period of School to get over there in time for the audition .. which was (1) wear a sports jacket, (2) not have alcohol on your breath, and (3) be able to dance.

Whoa, .. that would be a problem. I had only had the nerve to dance at High School and local Teenage Dances if I could down a few beers .. which I did on the way over to the TV Studio.
So, as we were lining up for the breath test – Sarah handed me a pack of Dentyne chewing gum. I unpackaged it and popped every single piece into my mouth.

Twenty seconds later, when the woman was in front of me to check for the smell of alcohol – she informed me that I couldn’t be chewing gum. I acted as though I was going to spit it out into her hand and she told me to go spit it in the trash can by the doorway. I did and didn’t have my breath checked .. and so it was on to Dance Floor.

Gosh, there were lots of Rules, there .. but I obeyed them all .. and had a great time. So did Sarah. The Live Music that day was provided by Gladys Knight & the Pips. They almost didn’t perform because it was a rainy day .. and Gladys Knight had gotten her hair wet coming into the Studio. Finally, she relented.

They said they were going to do a song that had not come out on record, yet. It was the Marvin Gaye tune, I Heard It Through The Grapevine. A slow dance which I was good at .. and so I kept dragging Sarah over to where the Cameras were.

The next day at School, Sarah was the Bell of the Ball with all the Sophomores .. but my Classmates were a bunch of azzholes .. and most acted like they hadn’t seen me at all.
Jealous mofos !

And so when I see the new Geico TV spots with the Pips .. I’m reminded of that rainy day on River Road in between Potomac, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Wing Ding .. which was pronounced WHING .. with an H in it.

© 2008 Larry Curtis Spurlock. All Rights Reserved

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