Classic rock devotee that I am, Ocasek and company are solid radio friends in my book (at least with their early- and mid-career material). This was not always the case, and now it is. I am without shame on the matter. Full stop.
That said, I just got a little creeped out by "Let the Good Times Roll" in a surprising iPod revelation.
The tune by itself seems a little dark for the subject matter, though I always thought this was kind of an ironic juxtaposition and never really paid much attention to it. It sounds like something you'd find in a New Wave haunted house (I just made that up, but wouldn't such a house be kind of awesome? "Aaaare we not mennnnnn? WE ARE DEEEEEVOOOO!!! BOO!! BOO!! BOO!! BOO!!").
Coupled with the lyrics, however, the song takes on a decidedly sinister, cult-like tone:
If the illusion is real
Let them give you a ride
If they got thunder appeal
Let them be on your side
Let them leave you up in the air
Let them brush your rock and roll hair
Let the good times roll...
First of all, I do not know what "thunder appeal" is.
Second, "let them brush your rock and roll hair"? What kind of hackneyed, Malibu Barbie-gone-bad, freshman-level beat peotry is that? I must call lyrical bullshit. Besides, isn't the goal of rock and roll hair to remain unbrushed? I mean, combed, maybe (or even picked for the cork-screw-haired artists), but definitely not brushed.
Okay, so that one's just a stumper.
Third, I can't help picturing a 'luuded-out, feather-haired, glassy-eyed, 80's dance club acolyte being led up to the VIP room where questionable activities are sure to take place on or around her person with or without her consent:
"Yeah baby, come on up, let's keep the party going... it's a gas, isn't it? They all love you, baby, everybody loves you, yeah, it's a big party and you're the star. Ride the tiger. Very groovy... You need another bump? Sure you do. You look sleepy, you want to lie down? Say, I've got a brush right here in my desk, why don't you let me take pass at that rock and roll hair of yours. Right on, right on..."
You, sirs, are SKEEZING ME OUT!
Then the chorus is chanted about 400 times at the end:
"Let the good times roll, let the good times roll, oooo won't you let the good times roll...", no doubt with the goal of coaxing even the coyest of wallflowers into the party trance imperative. You have to hand it to The Cars for their sheer tenacity here. But still. Jones, party of 500? Your Kool-aid is ready.
Now, rock bands playing Pied Piper to our precious, feather-haired and 'luuded-out children is not news, of course. Rock and roll, combined with youthful stupidity, peer pressure and illicit substances, has been The Debbil's most successful tool in leading the youth of today/leaders of tomorrow out into the dark territory. That is the way it has been, is and should always be forever and ever, world without end, amen.*
I suppose it's mainly that the good times I always associated with this song were not, in fact, the rolling good times its authors meant to conjure. So color me naive.
Or maybe I'm wrong and they were exactly the same good times. I'll have to take another listen. And then another,
And then another,
Gosh, all this blogging is making me... a little sleepy. I'm gonna go take a nap up in the VIP room.
[*I will deny this statement if my daughter ever brings it up. This blog post never existed. I don't even know you.]