Thursday, February 11, 2010

Speaking of the pompatus of love...

Dear Steve Miller,
It's been awhile since I've written. I hope you are still being well and truly rocked by your sweet baby. I know to what great lengths you went to make that happen.

Just a quick question today regarding The Joker
You say:
People keep talkin' about me baby, 
say I'm doin' you wrong (doin' you wrong),
But don't worry, don't worry, don't worry now mama,
Cause I'm right here at home.

If I read you correctly, you're saying that the mere fact of you being right there at home rules out any possibility that you are doing your baby/mama wrong? Does she actually buy that? I'm no fancy social worker, but I'm pretty sure that a lot of wrong-doing happens, in fact, right there at home.

Still, if you would have stopped the song there, you might have convinced your sweet baby, if only grudgingly, that you were doing her right. But just a few lines later--after providing a laundry list of things you are (picker, grinner, lover, sinner, etc.)--you mention, almost as an afterthought, that, oh yeah, "I get my lovin' on the run."

Dude, you are either super-ballsy or your sweet baby has the intellectual capacity of an actual sweet baby. But, whatever works for you, Steve Miller. Just keep on tokin' and it'll probably all be fine.

Incidentally, have you ever considered playing your music in the shade? Not even The Joker can laugh away basal cell carcinoma. Think about it.

Full lyrics to The Joker here.
The mystery behind "the pompatus of love" revealed here. Really!

Below: The Joker, 1973. This one is well worth 3 minutes of your life. 
To see The Joker with kittens (Fatboy Slim remix), go here. Yes, kittens.

Got a question for the Space Cowboy or another classic rocker?
Query the Rockmocker.
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  1. Thanks for getting me the pompatus of love info!! You Rock!

  2. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.............................................

  3. Having come of age in the late 60s- early 70s I acknowledge that many of the "lyrics" under scrutiny here weren't of the highest caliber.

    Consider that many of them were probably hastily ,if not drunkenly, conceived or perhaps spontaneously generated as a place holder never to be improved or later replaced because they were too over-budget or too high to go back and fix it. Maybe they just didn't care ?

    If you recall those days then you also remember that lyric sheets were the exception so one rarely knew what bands were singing about anyway. I still don't know what Jagger is singing in many Stones songs but then I don't want to know. It was always easier and more fun to make up my own words.

    Also consider that many times, words and phrases were chosen for phonetic appeal whether or not they made any sense at all in the song (Little Richard being an early advocate of this approach). Such practices led to the formation of the rock n roll cliche of "don't let the words get in the way of the song".

    In any case with the WWW we now have access to all those glorious words from the songs of yesteryear, which has evidently triggered some sort of retrospective analysis of "the classic rock lyric".

    But then many of the lyrics under discussion here were never expected to endure much beyond a superficial examination (if that) or be considered strong enough to stand alone. Like the aging movie star who only goes out a night and only then with mounds of makeup - most classic rock songs were not to be heard in the cold light of the day.

    They were intended/expected to be listened to at "maximum volume" (as per the exhortation on the back of the Ziggy Stardust album) or while under the influence of a substance.

    I can imagine someone like Jon Anderson saying "you were never supposed to listen to Siberian Khatru straight because then it wouldn't make sense".

    Of course classic rock also has considerable ironic value -
    I recently heard of a hipster poetry slam that included a "reading" of "Don't Stop Believing". The layers of conceit and pretense associated with that crowd triggered an existential implosion since they couldn't figure out if they were "Really" supposed to like it or just pretend to...or not at all. Those hipsters !

    I AM appreciative of your theme here and never thought I would be hearing Foreigner,REO,Styx, etc songs on the radio much beyond the end of the 70s let alone in 2010.