Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tramps Like Us

Honey, it's me.

Yeah, I'm gonna be a little late. I'm stuck on Highway Nine -- buncha goddamned suicide machines out here -- Just a sec... Hey! Goddammit, I'm talking to you! What cage were you sprung from, drivin' like that! Goddamned hemi-powered drones... Yeah? Well, fuck you too! How you expect to drive combin' your goddamned hair in the rear-view mirror! Fuckin' broken heroes...

Sorry, hon. Just blowing off some steam. Jesus, these kids. They don't have a frickin' idea what it's like, sweating it out on the streets of a runaway American dream --

What? She said what? Goddam -- put her on. I said put her on. Yeah, yeah, I won't blow my stack, but Jesus, that girl...

Wendy. Honey. Punkin'. What are you doin'? That boy is bad news, honey. Bad news. Your dad knows these things. The other night, when I caught you with your legs around his velvet rims and your hands strapped across his engine, I coulda cried. Just cried. That boy doesn't have your best interests at heart, honey. What? What the hell kinda talk is that? Don't let him in, honey! He wants to guard your dreams and visions? Excuse me while I piss myself laughin'. That's boy-talk for he wants to get into your pants, honey. That's all that means. Take it from me, punkin'.

And all that scary talk about dyin' with you on the streets tonight in an everlasting kiss? Jesus, you're scaring the shit outta your old man, hon! That's Child Protective Services stuff, princess! You think they wouldn't throw me in jail if I didn't kibosh that, like, immediately? Damn right they would! Ain't no daughter of mine gonna die with no punk in the goddamned streets in any kinda kiss! Not on my watch!

Hon, could you hold on for just a sec? I gotta phone something in. Be right back.

Sid? Hey, yeah, it's me. Look, I'm drivin' along past the Cold & Stark amusement park. Buncha kids out there on the beach, huddled in the mist. Yeah. Direct violation of city code. Beach is closed this time-a year. Could you get somebody on it? Thanks. Gotta run, trying to talk my daughter off the ledge. Bye.

Wendy, you there? Thanks for holdin', hon. Just bringin' home the bacon. Could you tell your brother to stop playin' that sax solo while we talk? Thanks.

Now look, hon. He's probably fed you some line about bein' a scared and lonely rider, wants to know if love is real, blah, blah, blah. But you can't possibly believe that crap he's feedin' you about loving you with all the madness in his soul, all those empty promises about getting to "that place" (you gotta know what that means, dontcha?), walkin' in the sun -- it's a load of crap, honey. Total crap. Don't you remember your friend Rosalita? The one who ran off with that worthless guitar-player, and now they're in Camden workin' Sal's pizza joint 'cause he blew that record company advance on shoes and haircuts, and ended up owing two hundred grand to Warner Brothers? You want to end up like that?

What? Born to what? Born to run? Run what, a Seven-Eleven? Jesus Christ!

Look. I'll be home in a minute. We'll talk more then. But I don't want that boy comin' around no more.

And tell Mary to stop slammin' that goddamned screen door!


Tom said...

Whoa-oh-oh, you're on fire.

The Viscount LaCarte said...

Back in the late 70's there was a DJ on WNEW FM - Carol Miller. She had started a campaign and a petition to get the NJ state legislature to adopt the tune as the official State Song.

Can you imagine them with the lyric sheet?

Baby this town rips the bones off your back
It's a death trap
It's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young...

Devil's Rancher said...

No worries. I know this kid, and let me tell you, his machine's a dud, all stuck in the mud, somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.

Neddie said...

DR: You're all right. You ain't a beauty, but hey, you're all right.

bobby lightfoot said...

Ha ha.

So you've been broken and you've been hurt.
Show me somebody who ain't.

-The Ghost of Tom's chode.

Kevin Wolf said...

Brilliant. Another one for the Collected Works.

HomefrontRadio said...

Sorry to throw this in here, and for the length but i'm not sure if i put it back in the 'Pussycat' post you'd see it or not.

Re: Pussycat / Deadtown and the whole music turning the world from B&W to colour experience:

After many years of urging, I finally got around to reading Colin Wilson's 'The Outsider', (a book i've always avoided since it always seemed to be cited by art school types who used it to justify their anti-sociality and some kind of measure of their imagined future greatness).

There's a discussion of Satre's 'La Nausee' which leapt off the page at me.

A few days later, again, he describes in detail the circumstances of an attack of the nausea. This time it is the braces of the cafe patron that become the focus of the sickness. Now observe that the nausea seems to emphasize the sordidness of Roquentin's surroundings. (Satre has gone further than any previous writer in emphasising 'darkness and dirt'; neither Joyce nor Dostoevsky give the same sensation of the mind being trapped in physical filth). Roquentin is overwhelmed by it, a spiritual counterpart of violent physical retching.

"...the nausea is not inside me; I feel it out there; in the wall, in the suspenders; everywhere around me. It makes itself one with the cafe; I am the one who is within it."

Like Wells, Roquentin insists on the objective nature of the revelation.

Somebody puts on a record; it is the voice of a Negro woman singing 'Some of these days'. The nausea disappears as he listens.

"When the voice was heard in the silence i felt my body harden and the nausea vanish; suddenly it was almost unbearable to become hard, so brilliant... I am in the music. Globes of fire turn in the mirrors, encircled by rings of smoke."

There is no need to analyse the experience; it is the old familiar aesthetic experience; art giving order and logic to chaos.

"I am touched; I feel my body at rest like a precision machine. I have had real adventures. I can recapture no detail, but I perceive the rigorous succession of events. I have crossed seas, left cities behind me, followed the course of rivers or plunged into forests, always making my way towards other cities. I have had women; I have fought with men, and never was I able to turn back any more than a record can be reversed".

Works of art cannot affect him. Art is thought, and thought only gives the world an appearance of order to anyone weak enough to be convinced by its show. Only something as distinctvely rhythmic as the blues can give him a sense of order that doesn't seem false.

Maybe our latching onto particular songs and hearing possibility in them is purely about order out of chaos. It's possibly the first time in our young lives we're presented with something in the world that makes logical sense to our brains.

That being said, perceptive or not, Satre strikes me as the worst kind of Miserablist drama queen. Go sit in the corner with Morrissey, Jens Lekman and Robert Smith!

bdraeger said...

I agree with DR:

Don't sweat it. It's good to be prepared, but fortunately, we're living in the future and none of this has happened yet.

Anita said...


And Viscount, Carol Miller is still on the radio in New York. She's at WAXQ (Q104). She's with some old WNEWers like Ken Dashow and Ian O'Malley, plus Jim Kerr, who was on WPLJ forever.

Little Steven also has show where he plays his rock favs ...

The Viscount LaCarte said...

Anita: Carol Miller used to be at WPLJ in the old days too, when they still play rock and roll. I think Pat. St. John was there too.

I'm old enough to remember when PLJ was "WABC FM." 95.5.

What ever happened to Dave Herman?

Anita said...

wow viscount, you are (channeling larry david) PRETTY PRETTY old.


on a more serious note, fordham university has an astoundingly wonderful radio station ... wfuv (go to and there, sir, you will find the likes of:

Pete Fornatale
Dennis Elsas
Vin Scelsa (doing his Idiot's Delite)

and ... i hear ... dave herman is making a comeback there ... although it's not listed on the website (from what can gather) ... do you remember his "old new borrowed and blue" routine in the mornings? and, of course, he started the "morning bruce juice" as well ...

those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end ...

sigh ...

Jim 7 said...

And tell the kid; fuelie heads won't fit a 396.

The Shamus said...

Genius. I love it. And as the father of a daughter, I dread the day when Springsteen drives up to my house and doesn't even fucking bother to get out of the car and come up to the door!

billy pilgrim said...

Too funny.

Got tix for the current tour. My first time; always been too punk for Springsteen before.

Last weekend though, saw the Drams, Glossary, Gran Champeen and Two Cow Garage (THIS is American Music Tour) do a late-night drunken no-holds-barred, jam-as-many-band-members-as-the-stage-will-hold version of BTR that brought tears to the eyes though....