You Should Be Dancing!—By John Travolta
It’s funny, Friday night was always the big one. It was the beginning of the weekend. Saturday always concerned me as a kid because it was getting a little close. One step closer. But Saturday night did have one thing—it had the dances.
Until I was old enough to get into those dances, about 14, I was a very lonely little boy. I’d wait outside the Jewish Community Center or the Catholic Youth Organization where they were held and try to figure out ways to sneak in. My older sister would be inside and I’d hear the Four Tops and Smokey and the Supremes coming out and it really killed me not to be in there. Everybody danced where I grew up. Half of my school was black; you just had to dance well. I was always pretty good. I had some fantastic times at those dances.
I remember one really well. The year is 1968 and I’m 14. Bellbottoms are the height of fashion so I went to Greenwich Village with my sister to get my first pair. They were wheat-colored bells, a really pale yellow. And I wore them with a policeman-blue shirt and brown boots. Even though the waist didn’t fit I thought I was real hot for Saturday night. I went to the dance and was very excited because I knew this girl, Denise, was going to be there. I had seen her once before and was really looking forward to the night. We danced together and then I guess I said something that got her mad because she kicked me in the butt. And she left this big footprint there.
I went wild. I felt like I’d been shot. “Do you know how much these cost?” I screamed. “Eleven dollars!” I was out of of control. Poor Denise was in tears and at the end of the evening she handed me a note that read, “My mother always said that if someone was sorry they should be forgiven.” But I kept that little guilt edge as long as possible. We ended up going to her house for pizza and she became my first true girlfriend.
Now, Saturday night means I can’t go out dancing, I can’t go to the movies. And maybe I can’t go out for dinner. I work all week so the weekends still fed special and important, but now I have to think twice before I go anywhere. It’s strange, I still have that instinct to run out and party but I stop myself. It’s like the boy in the plastic bubble.
The way I enjoy my Saturday night is to travel. Get in my plane and fly to Mexico or Palm Springs or San Francisco. Then I come back refreshed and I have the necessary freedom. Things don’t get too crazy.
I guess that would be my ideal, fantasy Saturday night. It would be about eight or nine o’clock; early evening. And I’d get a Lear jet or my DC-3 and tell the pilot to take me anywhere he wanted to go. Anywhere. I wouldn’t know. I’d just sit back and watch the clouds. Just watch the stars and try to guess where he was taking me. When we landed I’d have the thrill of being in a totally new and foreign place. Another world. That would be a nice Saturday night.
It is a quote. CRAWDADDY MAGAZINE MARCH 1978