Mocking matrimony

Heading out to skate this afternoon, I looked at the clock and wondered: Do they still play the same couple of songs about this time on a Friday? So I flipped on the radio, and sure enough.

At roughly 12:40 p.m. every Friday, the folks at WAPL — “Wisconsin’s rock station for 30 years” — salute couples getting married or celebrating anniversaries. The DJ reads the list over the theme to “The Dating Game,” which those of us who are older than dirt will remember.

And then they play this classic song by a much-loved Milwaukee blues band. That’s Jim Liban on harmonica.

Man, I sure did mess up my life
The day I made my girlfriend my wife
I realize I made a mistake
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I made a mistake
I made the mistake of my life
The day I made my girlfriend my wife.

“I Made A Mistake,” Short Stuff, from “Short Stuff,” 1976. It’s out of print. There’s one on eBay for $200, though.

My friend Mike enjoys this tune. His wife Lori is not amused.

5 Comments

Filed under October 2008, Sounds

5 responses to “Mocking matrimony

  1. Liberty

    This is great! Never heard it before… Thanks for sharing!

  2. Dean Halonen

    I haven’t seen that album cover in a few years. I have a few of those from the original printing. One has never been unwrapped although I’m pretty sure the shrinkwrap started to come undone with age.

    I was credited on this LP with the Arp synthesizer tracks we put on it. I worked at the studio they recorded at. This remains my only published credit. Waah.

  3. William

    I’m glad I found this post… I’ve seen Short Stuff many times in the late 70’s and was just looking for this song. the whole album is great… be nice to find that music again!
    JR

    • Ron

      Short Stuff was great! Moreover, Jimmy Liban was great! I loved to listen to, (and especially watch,) Jimmy play. He was a “stone cold killer” on the harp, man. Of course, my favorite song was “I Made a Mistake.” Back “in the days,” Short Stuff was playing in a hotel bar, down on Wisconsin Ave; near Milwaukee St. so I went down to see them. Jimmy gets on the elevator with me and I told him I need to hear that song. He told me it was a song he wrote about his wife after a messy divorce or breakup, and they had since reconciled their relationship and he doesn’t do the song anymore.

      Many years later I was searching for Short Stuff, trying to get that album, but found nothing, so I called information and, (to my surprise,) got Jimmy’s number; hey, If anyone had a copy, Jimmy would, right? I was a little apprehensive about calling him, but hey, I was on a mission. He was cool and appreciative when I explained my purpose, then he laughed and said; “Short Stuff, man, that was a long time ago.” He told me about a record shop in Milwaukee that specialized in older records and said I could probably get a copy there. (So much for the; “hey Jimmy, just drop one in the mail,” plan. At that time I lived far from Milwaukee, so the search ended there.

      Many more years have passed, but now we have all the electronic communications and file sharing, so I’m attempting once again, but it’s not as easy as I thought. If anyone can help me out …… man, I’ll owe you a beer!

  4. Thanks for the post. I saw a band performing this song in Milwaukee in 2006/2007 at “Jazz in the park” and I tried to figure out where to find this song since that day. Today I had the idea to search for the city as well and it worked. Thank you so much!

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