Saturday, July 3, 2010

Songs I Love - # 2,135

You would have gotten a kick out of meeting my maternal grandfather. You know how people say, oh, so-and-so always has the latest jokes? Well, my grandfather didn't have the latest jokes, but he had the best of the oldest jokes - stuff that knocked 'em dead for years in vaudeville, burlesque and Broadway. "If you fall asleep smoking in bed, you'll make an ash of yourself" was an example of the stuff I would hear at Sunday dinner and then get hollered at for repeating at Monday lunch in school.

"My friend has a real important job...he has 750 people under him. He cuts the grass at the cemetery."

"I had it all! Money! Power! Fame! The love of a gorgeous, sexy woman! And then my wife walked in."

So you can see why this sort of humor appealed to me, then and now. And one day, he gave me a hat - sort of like that hat that Goober wore - and it said "Don't Go Away Mad - Just Go Away!"

I wore that hat like a badge of honor. You know, like Dan Quayle wears our scorn.

So naturally I was all worked up when Mötley Crüe did a song by that name on their Dr Feelgood album in 1989. You can hear and see the song here. Please. Go ahead and listen and watch now; I'll still be here when you get through.

Whatcha think? Did you like the story line? You get to see singer Vincent "Vince Neil" Wharton packing for a fun weekend with some friends, tossing some money to a neighborhood mendicant as he rushes out. And for that Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I have a very dear friend in town here whose cousin, also a very close friend, in California went to high school with Vince Neil! Is that amazing? There might have been a Nobel-prize winning microbiologist or a great healer or an inspirational leader or someone else in a noble position in that class too, but the cool thing is to be able to say "I went to High School with Vince Neil!"

Bassist Frank Ferrara, Jr, known professionally as Nikki Sixx, and guitarist Mick Mars, whose friends back in Terre Haute still call him Robert A. Deal, lend their stringed virtuosity to the mix, and then there is drummer "Tommy Lee" Bass, whose thundering drums lend a backbeat that you just can't lose to this and many other Crüe-d anthems.

It should be noted that, as a drummer, Lee has an unfair advantage in that he has, in effect, three drumsticks with which to pound out the beat. As it were.

Another reason why I love this song and video is that at one point during the song, Vince takes a drumstick (one of the wooden ones) from Tommy and starts pounding on a tom-tom, thus freeing Lee to whistle through his first two fingers in a piercing wolf-whistle.

I would love to learn how to do that. It's great for hailing cabs, which I never do, and signalling my intentions to hot dog vendors, which I often do.

If you know how to whistle like that, and are willing to teach me, I can pay you in jokes and gags! Deal?