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Weekend Soundtrack

"Friday On My Mind"

Michael Raphael

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Jim Leftwich as a young man
(Courtesy Jim Leftwich)
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We've been asking listeners about the songs that bridge the gap from Friday to Monday. Our latest story comes from Jim Leftwich. His soundtrack is "Friday on My Mind" by Richard Thompson.


John Moe: Jim, what makes this your weekend soundtrack?

Jim Leftwich: Well, I remember when that song first came out. I was 17 year old, living in Kansas City, going to high school--putting myself through high school as I worked during the day. And you know, it was a pretty grueling week, and when the weekend came around, this was the song that heralded it in for me.

Moe: What kind of work were you doing?

Leftwich: I was actually working in a machine shop, on a lathe and on a drill press.

Moe: What was your life like back then?

Leftwich: It was pretty tough. I had left home when I was 17. My parents had moved to Chicago. I didn't want to move because I was in high school. And so I was working during the week, going to high school, and when Friday came around it was pretty good times. Something to look forward to.

This song was called kind of a blue collar anthem, and I think that's what it was. It was sort of a rebellious song and talked about losing your head and letting everything go on the weekend.

Moe: What parts of it resonate for you the most? Are there certain passages that really stick with you?

Leftwich: Yeah. I think the one about "No more working for the rich man, I'm gonna change that tune someday." Which, you know, kind of means getting out of the factory. And that was a goal.

Moe: Well, now you don't work in a factory anymore.

Leftwich: No.

Moe: Do you have people who work for you?

Leftwich: I have in the past. I don't anymore, but I have in the past, yeah.

Moe: So you probably see where I'm going with this. Are you-?

Leftwich: Sure. I had, I had turned into that guy.

Moe: How do you feel about that?

Leftwich: A little bit ambivalent about it. You know, it's one of those things that you want to do, you strive for. I was never a real management type. I tend to try and get good people and just let them do what they do. You know, so I hope I haven't turned into the guy that they were singing about in that song.

Moe: You don't want to be the rich man.

Leftwich: Well no, I do want to be a rich man. I just don't want the obligation.

Moe: Okay. Jim Leftwich of Skokie, Ill., thanks for being with us.

Leftwich: Thank you very much.

More stories from our Weekend Soundtrack series


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Greg Hoff

    From Reno, NV, 11/15/2008

    I was drawn to this site after hearing Thompson's version of this well known tune on today's broadcast. Certainly different from the original but, more challenging in the execution I would think. Considering the acoustic approach where every word and guitar string stroke is hanging there for scrutiny. Lets hear it for variety..
    Richard Thompson You Rock!
    Thanks to Jim for bringing this song
    to my attention. I'll probably have you
    in mind whenever I hear it.

    By bill skodje

    From minneapolis, MN, 11/15/2008

    Let me be part of the crowd that mentions that this song was created by the band,"The Easybeats" in 1966 and covered by David Bowie. Thompson's version is not that great in my opinion.

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