It's been 30 years, but Allen Parswitz still remembers it like it was yesterday.
And it might as well have been, thanks to an unfortunate commitment he made to a virtual stranger he met on a party line in August of 1980.
When a girl Parswitz knew only as "Wendy" finally realized after over a dozen lengthy conversations spanning a month that nothing was going to come of their inter-county telephone liaison, she sent him a letter he'll never forget.
"It acknowledged that it was silly to have fallen in love with someone she had never actually met, but cited the night we talked until dawn as one of the best of her life," Parswitz recounts.
But it was what came after Wendy's usual sign off of "Have high and bitchen times" that still haunts Parswitz. In a post-script, she wrote, "Every time you listen to The Rolling Stones, The Beatles or The Who, or look at your Who sticker, think of me, ok?"
When a sympathetic Parswitz agreed to do just that in a brief final conversation with Wendy later that night, his life changed forever. "I figured, 'Yeah, okay, whatever,' and didn't think anything of it--until years passed and those bands were still as popular as ever, if not more so.
"Do you know how many Beatles CDs and TV shows have come out in the last 30 years? How many times the Rolling Stones have done a farewell tour? Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger are playing the Super Bowl in 2011 and I'm gonna be thinking about fuckin' Wendy!"
The Who sticker, thankfully, is long gone. "I scraped that shit off my emerald MG in 1981," Parswitz griped. "A lot of good that's done me."