If there were ever a Ballad of the Lackadaisical Hippie, it would totally be The Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker,” also popularly known as “Space Cowboy.” It’s got twangy, sexy guitar playing, the slowest drumbeat ever, and lyrics about the boy of many girls’ dreams—and many parents’ nightmares.
No, he’s not a hog-riding metal head, but he’s a joker, and a smoker, and a midnight toker, and he gets his loving on the run—which means he could very well be the guy from “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” who made the sixteen-year-old girl “a gal in trouble” after she hadn’t seen him for a while!
But seriously, who wouldn’t love to be a space cowboy, a gangster of love, a speaker of the pompetous of love? And when that little decrescendo of drums sounds at the beginning of the song, who doesn’t automatically turn up the volume and start lazily nodding his or her head, automatically transported to 1973 and pretty much half the scenes from Forrest Gump? I wasn’t even born yet, but when that song comes on, I’m immediately in my van o’ love, surrounded by a smoky haze and just groovin’ with my friends.
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