Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fab Five Freddy Told Me Everybody's Fly

The Jacket for the Blondie Single "Rapture"

My brother is four years older than I am; and he was responsible for much of my early exposure to the pop music of the day. When he was 9 or 10 he began collecting vinyl singles, which I ultimately loved more than he did. Blondie's "Rapture" was one of the "records" he brought home from the 3D, a KMart like superstore that dotted the Midwest landscape in the early 1980s. I was six at the time and I couldn't get enough of that song. I loved the rap. I loved the horn solo at the end. I loved the bass line and the overall groove. As far as I was concerned, this was the perfect song. In fact, this is the song that prompted my first grade self to march into the kitchen where my mother was whipping up a meatloaf, and announce, "Mom, when I grow up, I wanna be a singer, just like Blondie."

I don't recall my mother's response. I was only six so I'm sure proclamations about my future adult life were fairly common. But it's interesting that I remember the situation in which I asserted this particular desire. Under those bright kitchen lights, where my stay-at-home, dinner making, cookie baking, model of traditional housewifery mother did some of her best work - that's where I announced my desire to be like Deborah Harry - the pouty, ex-playboy bunny, with a come-hither squint, a cat-like wail, and a reputation for boinking her boyfriend in the bathroom at CBGBs.

Just six - and already a flare for ironic juxtapose - or so I like to think.

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