December 4, 2012

Northwest Passage: Plant 2 – “I’ve Lost the Love of My Retired Boeing Production Trainee”

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Northwest Passage seeks to catalog the musical history of Cascadia as we dig through the bins and emerge with interesting wax from past and present. We explore the seminal, the classic, the bad, the funny, and the just plain weird.

Long before Microsoft or Amazon, Seattle was a Boeing company town and though Boeing calls Chicago its headquarters now, the heart of its plane building operations still lie in the Puget Sound area. Before it was a company town, Seattle was a union town with a storied history of disobedience and working class appreciation. With renewed contract negotiations set for today and this week’s threatened one day strike on Wednesday by Beoing engineers, we see yet another chapter of company and union clashing, so I thought I’d kick off this new weekly Northwest Passage column with the sort of topical diddy “I’ve Lost the Love of My Retired Boeing Production Trainee.”

Plant 2 - "I've Lost the Love of My Retired Boeing Production Trainee"

This 1969 Jerden Records single by Jeff Afdem and Harry Wilson of The Springfield Rifle is a tongue-in-cheek mouthful, a sight removed from the tasteful pysch pop gems “Left of Nowhere” or “I Loved Her” from just a year before. Are they posing as Plant 2 because it’s funny and appropriate, or rather because they wouldn’t want their other more contemporary work to be associated with this less serious work? Maybe both? Either way, it’s nice to learn Seattle has obviously had a hard time taking itself too seriously well before we were all Sub Pop LOSER’s immersed in irony.

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