The Mixtape That Got Me Beat Up By A Fifteen Year Old Girl
Let's take a second to talk about the song "I'm Not In Love" by 10CC (which is blasting through my iTunes right now) before I commence to PBR-ing it up like a hillbilly just after nap hour.
Is the protagonist saying he is not in love because he is really in love? And what is the purpose of the 'Be Quiet - Big Boys Don't Cry' stanza with all it's mystical bells and outer space sounds - which I think is caused by that hanging metal percussion thingy that arranges the metal chimes by size that drummers play with some sort of a barbecue brush to 'enhance' their percussion, like the musical equivalent of a meat tenderizer or something.
And what about that sexy female ghost voice who says 'Big Boys Don't Cry?'
What if the face behind that voice is nowhere near as sexy?
Wouldn't you feel kind of ripped off?
The vocal was provided by Strawberry Studio receptionist Kathy Warren, but I like to think it was recorded by a woman who would be the 1970's equivalent of Kirsten Dunst, which very well could have been this cute girl, Karen, who lived down the block from my father, (she fits that description perfectly in my 1977 recollections, come to think of it) but that may be because I believe, though I am not sure, that 'I'm Not In Love' is in the movie 'The Virgin Suicides.' And, yes, just an aside here, but indeed my parents were divorced and lived something like 1000 feet apart from each other for awhile and were really into disco dancing and feathered hair and porn star mustaches. Dad had one for awhile, Mom dug them, and I think she divorced him when Dad shaved his. They weren't swingers or spouse swappers, but they certainly looked the part. It didn't seem as creepy to me at the time as it does in the way I visually remember it now.
That whole living down the street from each other was embarrassing enough. I never knew at which house I was going to eat dinner, but at least on most days, provided neither had a date, I had two choices.
Also Karen (the girl I mentioned above) introduced me to Cheap Trick via the song 'I Want You To Want Me' for what its worth. I wanted to like Cheap Trick before that, but all of the burnouts at my school were really into Cheap Trick so I was somewhat afraid and intimidated to discover their music at the time. But then Karen knew all the *right* words to the song 'I Want You To Want Me' and she was kind of hot despite being a year younger (and she already knew how to drive her Mom's Volvo) so I traded my cassette of 'Tormato' by Yes for 'In Color' by Cheap Trick with my friend Patrick just so I could talk music, and Cheap Trick in particular with Karen.
Back to 'I'm Not In Love' by 10CC.
I am just not getting this song. And I never did. I did, however, put it on a mixtape once (7th grade) and the girl I gave it to, who lived down the street from me, teased me and viciously mocked me into a level of shame that was so horrifying that I actually hid in the closet of my house in the room with the bright red shag carpeting that looked like the exploded heads of any number of circus clowns.
Thank God for Karen and Cheap Trick, and for 'Sultans Of Swing' by Dire Straits and for my secret passion for 'Terrapin Station' by The Grateful Dead. I was starting to dig way better music than 10CC's 'I'm Not In Love' or that stupid Ambrosia crap or 'Baby Come Back' by some band named Player. Great band name guys, by the way. And Jonathan Cain was only barely into the first of three bands (The Babys, Journey, Survivor) whose sounds he would homogenize to death with his schmaltzy, sugary pop keyboard driven melodies and ballads.
1977-79 were tough years for me. Plus I lost my father in the middle of all of it.
Every time I hear 'I'm Not In Love' I break into a palpable nervous tick and my left eyelid twitches. No wonder Julie sent her older sister Holly to kick my ass, just for giving her that mixtape, after I had finished lamming it in the red shag carpet closet. In retrospect I may have gotten off lightly, despite being beat up by a 15-year old girl. In front of my house. In front of all my friends.
Oh the shame.