So. . . What is LOVE? Let’s start with what LOVE isn’t, shall we? Then, by process of elimination, maybe you can figure it out. I think that any of you that have been following my “Journey”, know that I have a distinct adoration for “All Things 80’s”. Unfortunately, in my exuberance for keeping the 80’s “alive and well” – in my heart, I made a clerical oversight while filing the “Love Songs to Remember” and failed to acknowledge that this decade may have quite possibly opened the floodgate of confusion surrounding what LOVE is to our society. Through a series of “Music Industry Mishaps” started in the 80’s – then carrying on through the 90’s until today – We may have inadvertently. . . “Really Screwed Ourselves Up”. But there was ONE incident (years earlier) that set the ball in motion. . .
In 1967, in a seedy bar in upstate New York – a local lumberjack, by the name of Robert Lamm and his best Lumberjack friend Terry Kath, decided to “make a life changing decision” over drinks at a local watering hole. Unbeknownst to them, that night was “Amateur Night” at the bar they frequented. As they stumbled into the club (bleary-eyed and exhausted from an afternoon of heavy drinking and “sawing things”) they could make out a lone, single figure standing before a microphone; the smoke from the bar enveloping him, as if he were amongst the clouds of heaven. As he sang his first note, the friends were “hooked” – How could the man (they “thought” it was a dude) be singing “both parts” to the Righteous Brothers –“Unchained Melody”
with such an effortless angelic presence? They were transfixed. They waited until the song was over, until the “dude” made his way to the bar. Then asked if they could buy him a drink. Thinking this was odd (even for lumberjacks) the singer looked at them both – with piercing blue eyes, running his fingers through his long blonde locks, “I don’t let anyone buy me a drink, unless I know their names.”
“I’m Robert and this is Terry,” said the lumberjack.
“Fine. . . I’m Peter. . . Peter Cetera. . . I’ll have a Cosmopolitan
“. . .
The Rest is History. . . The group“Chicago” was born. . .
(BUT not like that. . . I just thought that might have been the way. I just looked it up on Wikipedia. I guess they were just some guys from Depaul University)
But, the POINT is that the group Chicago let us ALL know that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to get through the 80’s unscathed and unaffected. They would make sure that we KNEW what it was to be Loved by a Lumberjack. . . a “Codependent Lumberjack”. They wanted us to know that LOVE was a BALLAD.
Now, I’m sure there are at least two or three of you out there saying, “Hey wait a minute. . . What about Air Supply?”
And you’d be right in your assessment. “Air Supply“ was, by far the “End all, Be all” of “Dynamic Life-Partner Bands“ – belting out such favorites as “Making Love Out of Nothing At All”
and the other 30 that sound almost exactly like that one. But I REALLY need to get on with this bit, without researching how THOSE two met and the story “behind” it.(hee hee) Besides, don’t you think that “Air Supply” was such a magical twosome, that you’d almost be afraid to know just HOW that magic was made? It’s like that show “Magician Secrets Revealed”
and I don’t want to run around wearing one of those Mexican Wrestler Masks, because I told you. No, I only like wearing those masks during my new “Summer Job”. From June through August, I perform as a “Luchador” in Tijuana. (I am Taco Libre!)
But I digress. . .(and you’re invited)
If the fact that “Co-dependence” doesn’t strike you as a similar theme among the LOVE SONGS of the 80’s, I invite you to come over and go through my extensive “Cassette Tape” collection. (I was a very moody teenager – in a“Perpetual State of Unrequitedness” – quite sad)
BUT, in order that I might avoid further therapy, I’d like to move on to ONE song in the 90’s that seemed to turn the tide on the “Sickenly Sappy Ballads of the 80’s”
and dive headfirst into “Trashy”. Sure, there were a LOT of sexually charged songs in the 80’s. A few smutty ones. But in 1991, a group of 4, really “Weird Looking Guys”
decided they wanted to let us know what LOVE was, by singing tenderly about how they would like to “Sex Us Up”
. I’m unsure who they wanted to perform this activity with, but I assure you that if there were any “takers” in the heyday of this band. . . well. . . yeah. . . I got nothin’. (ewwh?) The PROBLEM is that we were no longer singing to our significant others about how much we loved and cared about them. We weren’t letting them know that we missed them and couldn’t live without them. NO. . . apparently SOMEONE in the Music Industry decided it was time to skip the courtship and time to skip traditional “wooing”. From here on out it was going to be Full Speed Ahead “Bumpin’ Uglies”! What happened to the tenderness and the romance? Actually, what even happened to “Knowing” the person that you “LOVE”?
Okay. . . Let’s fast forward to an utterly “forgettable” 2000’s – in terms of “Love Songs”. I have ONE that I’ve taken out of the mix, that I share with my wife courtesy of Incubus.
However, I deem the remainder of the 2000’s a “wash”. I offer you these songs to illustrate my point. Though, these songs were not intended to be LOVE songs (at least, I certainly HOPE they weren’t) they prove exactly what the Music Industry decided it was that we should be focusing on. . .
“Sex on Fire” – Kings of Leon
As much as I enjoyed Bob Seger and Eddie Money, I can’t bring myself to really “get into” this band. (yes, I think they are the sons of Seger & Money, NOT the Kings of Leon) The first time I heard this song (just like MANY of you) I wondered WHY their “sex” was on fire. If you follow the chronology of their songs, your question was answered with their follow up. . . “Use Somebody”. They are apparently SO indiscriminate about who their “partners” are, that they can USE somebody. . . ANYBODY. . . someone like YOU. . . I hear they’ve recently started a clothing line. . . I think their money would’ve been better invested on ointments and salves. If your “sex is on fire”, you might want to make that your Top Priority.
Bed Rock – Lil’ Wayne
Are you KIDDING me? Well, if you are, then this is funny. . . But something tells me that “Mr. Little” is quite serious, which in turn makes this EVEN MORE FUNNY. This song is ridiculous. . . I’m not sure who he is trying to charm with this little ditty, but I feel sorry for the “lady” that falls prey to his “Wile E. SmokeDopey and Hanna and Barbaric” ways. The problem (besides me getting older) is that KIDS are listening to this CRAP. I was trying to envision the ADULT that thinks this song is a winner. . . then I figured it out. . .
Tik Tok (aka Dolla) Kesha
I don’t have to say a whole heckuva’ lot about this “gal” that she doesn’t already partially sing about herself in the song. But I DO have a question about ONE LYRIC in particular:
“And now the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger,
But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger”
. . .
(oh. . . really?)
The rest of the song is basically her and her “girlfriends” getting “tanked” and ready to be used like a piece of meat at a “partay”, but I’m MORE troubled that the “young ladies” of America have SO lowered their standards for a potential spouse, that they are looking for LOVE in the arms of someone that looks like Don Knotts (circa 1981)
Dave, Dave, Dave. You ain’t gonna’ “Getta” respectable “Lady” if you have to think of ways to compliment a “Lady” without insulting her intelligence. Therefore, I think it would be best if you and “Chester Cheetah (aka. Acorn or Walnut or whatever)packed up your bags and checked into a Motel-Hotel-Holiday Inn with Kesha. . . I think you guys would be PERFECT for each other. . .
As for “Yours Truly”. . . I am going to sit at home and listen to the Love of My Life. . . My WIFE. . . She’s my best friend and my “Baby’s Mama”. . . Someone I can share my thoughts hopes and dreams with. Someone that can laugh with me(and AT me) when times are tough. She’s my best friend. That’s something I think the Music Industry lost sight of, somewhere along the line. . . I guess I really shouldn’t blame the ‘musicians’ (for lack of a correct term) The industry has become a reflection of society. . . That’s okay for some, but not for me. It makes me “uncomfortable”. I think, I’m gonna’ kick back on the couch tonight and listen to some old “tapes” with my wife. It’s comfortable. . . and YES, if I have to “let one go”, there will be no need for debate or conjecture. . . Because Love means never having to say, “Who Farted?”. . . It was ME. . . but I’m still blaming it on the dog. . .
‘Til Then. . . Go FigPeace Out – Later
D A N