My parents were strict about bedtime, so if I was watching the Midnight Special it was on the TV in the basement with the lights off and the sound low. Other things I associate with that secret late-night pre-teen TV time are Love American Style ("Please let it be an episode about a nudist colony! Please!!") and The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, who absolutely mesmerized me no matter who he was interviewing, but I especially remember when his guest was a transexual woman (whose name escapes me now -- I think she was Scandinavian but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Christine Jorgensen because she was too young) which blew my world apart in a good way in the early seventies.
It's hard to reconcile the feeling of danger that washes over me while watching this clip now. It's so gentle and innocent. But many of the artists I loved then, who were making such sweet, lovely music, were also activists of one kind or another, first anti-war, then environment causes.
I loved John Denver when I was 12 or 13. Of course, he was very uncool for a number of years, but now I love him again, the child-like generosity and effortless love in his songs, and that crystalline voice. And more recently, John Denver makes me think with longing of my friend R who is a big fan and who I haven't seen in years and miss terribly.
And I'm crazy about Cass Elliot, not just because she has rick-rack on her muumuu, but that doesn't hurt.