Hey Babe, take a walk on the wild side
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Andy Williamsí version of Moon River is the earliest song I remember liking. Aged about five years old. pllayed it on the jukeboxes in the honkytonks my parents frequented. Puff the Magic Dragon is the first radio hit I remember paying attention to. Aside from some Supremes hits my memories of the music of childhood is dim.
I think the first LPs I bought were academic electronic music. Very serious stuff I imagine but not at all sensual or pleasing. Once while very high on some MDA one of the albums did give me the illusion that I was on Mars. Well worth the purchase price but I donít know that I ever played either again.
They were going to make a musical out of Nelson Algren's A Walk on the Wild Side. When they dropped the project I took my song and changed the book's characters into people I knew from Warhol's Factory. I don't like to waste things.
A Walk on the Wild Side was a mighty surprising song to hear on the car radio in Savannah back in 1972 (at least for this naÔve boy).
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her leg and then he was she - she said:
Hey Babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
My awareness of my pleasure in pretty boys was weeks, maybe a couple of months before hearing this. I donít know if I knew the term drag queen much less what it meant. But that had to mean something gay, right?
Lou Reedís Transformer was probably the first rock LP I bought. (Possibly it was Space Oddity, canít be sure.)
If I hadnít already read John Rechyís City of Night the lyrics dovetailed perfectly with Rechyís descriptions of the louche people who would become a wonderful part of my life when I left home.
Then comes pancake factor number one
Eyeliner rose hips and lips gloss are such fun
[ Ö ]
Eyeliner, whitener, then color the eyes
Yellow and green oh what a surprise
Given my taste for boys in makeup it isnít a big surprise that Make Up was always a song of odd erotic potency. And one of the most sexual satisfying moments of my early twenties was watching a friend work magic with ointments and pencils before he went out to the bars. Funnily enough once he was done you could hardly tell he was wearing make-up.
I watched it for a little while
I love to watch things on TV
I remember standing in the dark, smoking cigarettes as that played. It matched nicely with my image of myself as a detached observer. Song lyrics are easily contorted to personal need and whim.
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