By Syd Smith
If you’re a Texas State student, a Southwest grad or just a fan of Richard Linklater’s work from “Dazed and Confused” to “Boyhood,” then I cross my fingers that you’ve seen “Everybody Wants Some!!” Set in the early ‘80s, a majority of the film takes place around San Marcos, which follows an awkward but nice college freshman named Jake (Blake Jenner) who is introduced to college leisure by none other than the rowdy baseball team, which is a pack of wild, young, dumb and full of fun guys who are always competing to have a good time.
Filled to the brim with Texas summer sunshine, Lone Star and classic ‘80s arena rock, here’s a closer look at some of the tunes and the scenes shot around Texas:
“My Sharona” by The Knack
This song kicks out the jams as Jake cruises through the sunny San Marcos Square in his ‘70s turquoise Oldsmobile 442, arriving at what is his new home, a “piece of s**t house,” with nothing but a duffle bag and crate of LPs.
“Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang
Once the baseball gang’s all acquainted, they sing along to this fun song that comes on the radio. They forget some of the lyrics at one point before jumping back in, with all with their arms hanging out the windows in proper Dazed and Confused McConaughey fashion.
“Shake Your Groove Thing” by Peaches and Herb and “Give Up the Funk” by Parliament
These two jukebox hits will get your hips swinging as the team boogies down at the Jolly Fox located in Huntsville, Texas.
“Drivin’ My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbitt
Willoughby gets on his soap box while playing pool as Eddie’s somber vocals mix with the white noise of bar stories in the background. He advises Jake to embrace his inner strange, “Just be f**king weird, you know? And when you do that, you bring who you are, never who they want. And that, my friend, is when it gets fun.”
“Fearless” by Pink Floyd
This songs steady chord progression will drift you away within seconds as the boys sit down in a circle, practice telepathy and discuss Carl Sagan. And oddly enough, 50 years later, it’s hard not to go a day without seeing students hiking around the Texas State campus wearing Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Who graphic t-shirts. Maybe there’s a strange universal connection between past and present generations of Texas State students. Who knows what the future of Texas State might hold?
“Crack That Whip” by DEVO
This classic MTV hit plays during batting practice while the boys crack their bats against some fast balls at Strickland Field in Weimar, Texas. The final whip crack of the song ends with the coach telling Willoughby to pack his bags while still on the mound because–surprise– he’s 30 years old and has played college ball since his 20s.
“Gilligan’s Island” by the Riverboat Gamblers
This is a nice call back to Dazed and Confused where they try to list all of the Gilligan’s Island episodes and proceed to have a conversation about it in the high school restroom. The Riverboat Gamblers, originally formed in Denton, are a local band and play from time to time in Austin– you don’t want to miss the opportunity to mosh to them.
“Everybody Wants Some” by Van Halen
This track floors it to the max during the kegger party scene with shots of students from all types of high school cliques– jocks, frat boys and sorority chicks, punks, freaks and geeks– you name it, they’re there, spiking watermelons with Everclear, driving golf balls off the roof of the house, and let’s not forget, stripping down for some good ole’ fashioned Texas mud wrestling.
Satisfying from “My Sharona” to “Good Times Roll,” Linklater hits it out of the park once again with this stellar soundtrack of ’70s and ’80s classic rock nostalgia that’ll knock anyone off their feet. Combined with the familiarity for some of, “Oh snap that’s Flowers Hall- did she just say she has an English class in Jones?” to, “Wait–what, that’s Blue Hole in Wimberley, hell I’ve been there,” and of course Linklater’s witty and philosophical dialogues, the mechanics in this movie keep it from going off the train tracks and becoming another dull, raunchy, slapstick college comedy. And for what it’s worth, I hope Linklater doesn’t stop tossing up past salad days, and maybe one day if we’re fortunate enough, he’ll give us another quotable coming of age movie entitled after another classic rock track, though to be fair, “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict” and “I Think I’m Going Bald” are probably out of the running.