Ruby Tuesday: The Bluebells, “Will She Always Be Waiting”

Rare is the girl that has been able to positively school me on music — no offense, ladies, but most girls simply don’t have the passion for it that I have — so when one comes along that can teach me a few new tricks, the lessons have been memorable ones. It is with this piece that I salute Jen Mueller, a onetime college sweetheart who made me one of the best mix tapes I have ever received. Yes, it was an actual tape. Hey, it was 1987. We didn’t even have CD players back then. No, we didn’t add using an abacus. Shut up.

Anyway, to make things even more interesting (for her, anyway; frustrating as hell for me), she covered the track listing in blue marker so I could not read the names of the songs or the artists. Listen and learn, that was the lesson. Luckily, I knew most of the songs or artists — The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears, World Party, Paul Young, Dream Academy, The Stranglers and a killer Thompson Twins mix spring to mind — but a couple of them left me positively baffled. There are songs called “Dark Intentions” and “Deep Blue Sea” that I’m still trying to track down 20 years later, but I was able to weasel the artist name out of one of the unknowns: The Bluebells. Never heard of them. Little did I know, they had broken up two years earlier, though the song she gave me, “Will She Always Be Waiting,” sounded light years ahead of its time. Big, technicolor strings, lotsa jangling acoustic guitars, and harmonies by the pound. It was wonderful. Still is, in fact.

I recently came across a copy of the record that “Will She Always Be Waiting” called home, the 1984 album Sisters. It’s clearly a vinyl transfer — I’m pretty sure there’s even a small skip towards the end — but that actually makes it sound even better to me. Thanks, Jen. My life’s a little better for having you in it, even if for a brief period. I hope you’re doing well.

The Bluebells – Will She Always Be Waiting.mp3