Working on a construction job site I’m continually subjugated to classic rock music. Our poison of choice is 97.7 KCRR. This station likes to make bold proclamations in the bumpers between songs that say things like, “It’s not classic rock until we say its classic rock!” And then they’ll proceed to play George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone”. Really!?!? This is the crème de le crème from two decades of rock music? A meandering song by a hack—a song that claims that he is such a bad ass that just after he was born the nurses gathered around young George and came to the conclusion not to mess with this helpless, feeble infant. That in fact this child was bad to the bone and shouldn’t be trifled with.
I rarely say that I wish to punch a newborn child in the face—rarely do I say it. But, I would make an exception for that big-mouthed blowhard.
Another song I hate from George Thorogood is “I Drink Alone”. I should like that song. It’s probably the most relatable song ever written in rock history. I love to drink alone. As I’ve said before, there is no greater company than me with myself. But somehow the song misses the mark. First of all, he constantly repeats the line, “I drink alone. Yea, with nobody else.” The second half of that statement is redundant. You can cut this excruciatingly tedious song in half right then and there.
Pour Some Sugar on Me is a classically bad song from the classically bad band, Def Leppard. Here’s a taste of their poetic lyrics…
“Step inside, walk this way
You and me babe, hey, hey.
Listen! Red light, yellow light, green light go!
Crazy little woman in a one man show”
Yes, there it is. Take that Leonard Cohen, you hack! When I was first introduced to this song it irritated the hell out of me. But, as I grow older and wiser in my years, I now know that this sweet number is made specifically for people that have suffered massive head injuries and are learning simple rhyme schemes. And, it’s also written for incest survivors who take their clothes off for a living. Why dance on a stage naked to this abortion of a song? Well there’s some simple science behind it. You see, the unyielding guitar riffs and bombastic percussion drowns out the little girl voice that’s screaming within the stripper that’s pleading to her to seek therapy instead of resorting to gyrating nude against a lowly sweat-pant-clad sexual offender who ventured out of his mother’s basement to get glitter and cheap perfume ground into the pores of his forehead.
Fun fact: The drummer for Def Leppar, Rick Allen, has only one arm.
Fun fact #2: The music of Def Leppard is slightly more tolerable if you have only one ear drum.
Here’s a song that you may be familiar with that 97.7 plays EVERYDAY, Aerosmith’s Love in an Elevator. Yet, few people know Aerosmith’s less popular song, Love on an Escalator. It’s a song about being fellated on an escalator in the middle of a shopping mall. The song isn’t as cute as the title may imply. The first half of the song is what I previously described, and the second half is about a lengthy court battle where Steven Tyler and Joe Perry try to clear their name after their major PR disaster.
I particularly feel bad for the individuals who spent their formative years in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s who listen to classic rock radio everyday—trapping them in a terrible time capsule as they live their day-to-day lives working at dead-end jobs. They don’t even get to appreciate any deep cuts from the artists they adored from their youth. No, they instead have to listen to the same forty-three songs that were played yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.
You have a craving for Zepplin? How about the beautifully understated song Thank You or Tangerine? Nope! F@#K you! Here’s Black Dog.
You’ve got a hankering for a little Bowie. How about his classic opus Life on Mars or (my favorite Bowie song) Time? Nope! F@#k you, you get Fashion.
How ‘bout a little Stones? Say Heart of Stone or Street Fighting Man. F@#k you! Here’s Satisfaction.
That’s essentially what the DJ is saying to you when he plays the same crap he played the day before. Classic rock stations don’t have any love or respect for classic rock. If they did, they wouldn’t play mediocre songs to death.
I think the classic rock DJ should do really specific hypothetical dedications to the poor souls who have to listen to their inane chatter and terrible music selections every day. It could sound something like this…
“This song goes out to the woman on the cusp of forty who’s toiling away at a pork processing plant and pulling a double-shift to cover for the woman who lost her fingers in the unforgiving metallic teeth of the sludge grinder because she showed up to work high on methamphetamine and thought she saw the face of Jesus in a pile of pig intestines. You, with the gray roots sprouting from your head, and the thirty extra pounds around your mid-section, you’ll remember this classic gem from your not-so-recent past, it was echoing through the static-filled speakers of a big rig the night you gave your virginity to the red-headed carney who worked the Gravitron at the County Fair that sweaty July night back in 1988. You remember little from your carnival courtship, but small details still remain: his sly, artful dodger smile, his seemingly translucent flesh, your sensitive sunburned back, and the smooth acoustic rhythms of the song I’m about to play. Your sixty-second-suitor promptly hit the highway the next morning leaving you with only memories in your head, and a bastard child in your belly as you’re hopes and aspirations broke like the promises he made to you so long ago. Well, twenty-four years have passed, and each year has added a wrinkle to your face like a ring to a red wood tree. You’re still looking for your Mister Right, but let’s be honest, no one wants to spend the rest of their life with a premature grandmother who spends her evenings sniffing rubber cement while watching TiVo’ed episodes of Days of Our Lives. Well, chin up, this song will take you back to more innocent days, specifically the day when your life tailspinned out of control and left you picking up the pieces of your shattered existence. Here’s Poison’s Every Rose has its Thorn…and as always…f@#k you.”