Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Context of Reception: two songs that you can't really play anymore

Blogging from the computer lab at work, having been prompted to reflect on somethin' by a song overheard during lunch: "The Shape I'm in," by the Band (you know - "ohhh, you don't know/the shape I'm in"). It's actually one of the least offensive songs that you'll be forced to listen to while you stuff food in your face on your break - but I wonder if any of the hack radio DJs who spin the tune realize that Richard Manuel, who sings the song, hanged himself awhile back? I guess no one really DID know the shape he was in - it almost makes it an act of bad taste to play the song, knowing this.

Another one: Joan Jett's cover of Gary Glitter's "Do You Want to Touch Me There?" I have considerable fondness for Joan Jett - I even recently picked up Bad Reputation, which features that song, mostly because I'm planning to interview the Rebel Spell and, for some reason, Erin of that band reminds me a bit of Jett, as a thoroughly credible female rock guitarist. Also, I'm really pleased that Ms. Jett is interviewed by Nardwuar in the new Razorcake, I liked her in Light of Day, and sure, I'd touch her there if she'd let me (I wonder why she doesn't age? The blood of young virgin boys, I bet). Speaking of which, the trouble with that song is that history has revealed that Gary Glitter is a pedophile, which turns the meaning of that song into something far darker than can be borne - it literally ruins the song, being able to wonder what exactly the guy had in mind when he wrote it. One wonders if he makes royalties when it plays?

Hey, maybe Nardwuar takes Jett up on this topic - I should finish reading the interview!

1 comment:

Allan MacInnis said...

By the way - Nardwuar doesn't.