I recently saw Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel, Prometheus and left the the movies humming Stephen Still’s Love the One You’re With on the way home. Now that’s no coincidence as the song and the artist are both referenced in the sic fi film … set in 2093! In my favourite scene of the movie, the spaceship Captain’s playing an old accordion and Charlize Theron’s character complains, “That thing sounds like a dying cat by the way,” to which the Captain replies, “I’ll have you know, this “thing”, once belonged to Stephen Stills”. After their verbal foreplay the Captain breaks into song: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”. Quite fitting when you’re on a spaceship with such few people of the opposite sex! Not to discredit the film’s larger human origins theme, but I came out of the cinema with a sense of hope that Classic Rock will still be relevant in 100 years!
A little bit of trivia about the song. Love the One You’re With was Stills first release from his 1970 eponymous debut solo album on the excellent Atlantic label. Legend says Stills borrowed the phrase “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” from musician Billy Preston (the man who gave us Nothing from Nothing and wrote You Are So Beautiful later popularized by Joe Cocker) at a party.