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Harley Takes Kids, Adults for a Musical Spin

September 16, 1993|JANE HULSE

He's back again. Bill Harley, that is. The guy who writes wacky songs like "Dad Threw the TV Out the Window" and "Fifty Ways to Fool Your Mother."

Harley is in town for another family concert Friday at 7 p.m. at Ventura College, but on this trip to the West Coast the Massachusetts-based songwriter and storyteller is also doing an adult show at the college Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

In the latter, called "Growing Up is a Full-Time Job," Harley proposes that we all might be better off if we took an "adult competency exam" to prove we've mastered adulthood.

"They don't give you a license--how do you know?" he joked during an interview last week. In his performance, he takes his own exam, touching on his own funny and poignant experiences--from a 5-year-old waiting for Christmas to the ups and downs of parenthood.

Harley, who claims he "suffered from a normal childhood," is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," talking about everything from learning to read to memories of flashlight tag as a kid.

His one-man shows, for both grown-ups and kids, are a mix of songs and stories. His music isn't entirely wacky. One of his songs is about his grandmother, who lived to be 102. He wrote a song for kids, "Sometimes You Lose," after his son's soccer team played an entire season without scoring.

Advance tickets for the family show are $6 for kids and $8 for adults ($1 more at the door); and $10 for the adult show ($2 more at the door). To charge by phone, call 650-5900. For more information call 646-6997.

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