I finally figured out that I shouldn't go to the gym at night. Not only is it way more crowded, but that's when the TV is always showing the Bret Michaels Rock Of Love show that I complained about a few days ago.
It's not so much that I find the show THAT offensive, apart from the frequent close-ups of fat-ass old Bret slobbering over every woman that comes near him, and come to think of it, is it part of their contract that all the contestants have to kiss him whenever he or the script require it? Because unless they're all doing it voluntarily, wouldn't that be creeping (appropriate word, no?) into the realm of prostitution?
To be honest, I just don't know the answer to that one, and therein lies the crux of my problem with Rock Of Love. Despite JoeIII aka Futon Revolution's enlightening explanation appended to my original post on this subject, I still have far too many questions about just what the hell is going on, why these women are so willing to debase themselves, and why a multi-millionaire like Bret Michaels would allow them in his house in the first place when it would presumably be far more efficient and far less time-consuming to phone an escort service.
As I noted earlier, I've only ever seen the show at the gym, with the sound turned off, so little mysteries keep presenting themselves, like, for example, Bret Michaels' hair. It's unusual but not unheard of for a man his age to have a thick luxuriant head of hair, but assuming this is the case, why is he always pictured wearing some sort of swami-ass do rag that covers the top of his head? I note that some of his henchmen or members of his posse wear similar head coverings, presumably so Bret won't look so weird, but where, I ask you, apart from prison, do you see so many grown heterosexual men with rags on their heads?
Tonight there was one brief shot of Bret in a cowboy hat, but once again we never see the top of his head, and middle-aged guy always wearing hat usually = balding. But then we see those (no doubt completely natural) blond tresses cascading down the sides and back of his head and the mystery deepens? Are they the genuine article, or were they attached to his do-rag/cowboy hat by the upscale Hollywood version of the Hair Club For Men?
This way lies madness, I know, which is why I have resolved to stay out of the gym from now on when Rock Of Love is showing. Oh, and one more thing about that swami do-rag that has an approximation of a third eye just over the top of his forehead (well, we don't actually know where the top of his forehead is for sure, but where it would be if everything is on the up-and-up). Tonight, just when I was thinking, "Is he actually trying to portray himself as some sort of sage or mystic?" an actual Indian swami came sidling into the room and squatted down at the table with Bret and his latest victim for some sort of seance. Or so it appeared from the cheesy hippie prints and 10,000 candles adorning the room.
I left the gym completely befuddled and moseyed on over to Greenpoint in vain hopes of seeing Tin Armor, who I'd meant to see the night before until Mr. Cometbus showed up at my house and we spent the evening looking at old pictures of Gilman and Spy Rock and Detroit (and why, pray tell, does everything and everybody look more fun and beautiful in the past when I can remember perfectly clearly that it and they were not nearly so fun and beautiful when they were actually happening and there?).
But of course I wasn't going to see them tonight either, and things were, as per usual, operating on drunken hipster Brooklyn bar time, meaning that Tin Armor are probably taking the "stage" right about now, whereas I've been safely tucked up at home for a couple hours now because I'm going away in the morning and have to be up early to catch my flight.
And what really outrages me is that JoeIII was there and I totally forgot to put my newest Rock Of Love questions to him. Instead I tried to get him to join me in my ire at what the opening act, a young lady calling herself Hopalong, had done to Del Shannon's "Runaway," one of the greatest songs of all time and perhaps the single most defining anthem of my pubescence.
It's not that I begrudge artists the right to rework the melodies and intonations of the classics, though certain songs - "Runaway" very likely being one of them - are so absolutely perfect that any attempt to alter them is like the proverbial mustache on the Mona Lisa. But if you're going to do it anyway, at least LEARN THE FUCKING WORDS. I mean, it's not like there are so many of them or that they are so deep and profound that a mere mortal couldn't be expected to encompass them in a normal human brain. Jim "Jersey Beat" Testa didn't help matters any by referring to "Runaway" as being by "Dion DiMuci." Hell's bells, Dion didn't even start using his surname until 1964 or something, years after "Runaway," and although Dion is also one of the greats (with a lot more hits than Del Shannon), to confuse the two singers is like mistaking Minor Threat for Fugazi. Well, no, more like the Methadones for the Copyrights, but I told Testa he was too young to have an opinion on the matter, considering that he was no more than eight years old when it was topping the charts in April of 1961.
What a great song, though. If I weren't such a considerate neighbor, I'd slip into the other room right now, 2 am or no 2 am, and bust out a version of it on the piano. It was a good year for music, 1961, almost as though the radio were providing a personalized soundtrack for my budding teenage life. "Runaway" was playing the day I wandered off and hooked up with my first gang, and we'd just changed our name from the Vandals to the Rebels when the Crystals' "He's A Rebel" hit the airwaves.
I take that back. I just did a quick check and discovered that "He's A Rebel" didn't come out till 1962 (and speaking of defiling the classics, check out this cheesy synth version of it, which try as it might still can't obscure the soul-stirring greatness of that melodic line). But the point is, I have vivid memories of trying to shuffle down the street like the hero described in the song, and in my mind they will always be fixed firmly in June of 1961. There's a whole year gone missing, and ain't it funny, as Willie Nelson might be wont to say... And with that I'm off to bed, and in the morning, off to Florida to moulder away with my fellow old folks. If they've got wi-fi on the beach, I'll be in touch.