the jukebox project #2 and #3

#2: “School’s Out” – Alice Cooper
#3: “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” – T. Rex

I’ve been struggling over the past few weeks over these two entries, obsessing over my memory, trying to recall any significant detail – or rather, any detail at all – behind my discovery of these two songs that would enable me to write a poignant yet hip essay that would cause all of you to reflect deeply and revisit these two tracks with more depth.

Let’s be real.

My obsession over those two songs at a young age can be boiled down to a few universal rock and roll truths:

1) DANGER = GOOD: I had seen Alice Cooper perform on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert (my parents had yet to hire a babysitter I couldn’t bribe to let me stay up) and he looked dangerous as hell, and this girl named Bernadette brought a copy of the record to school and there were PANTIES wrapped around the cover.

2) OBSCURITY = COOLNESS: Aside from Bernadette (who was the only Asian girl in a school where there was one Jewish girl [me] and one African-American girl [adopted]), neither Marc Bolan nor Alice Cooper were teen fodder, and therefore, no one else had heard of them.

3) THEY ROCKED. I just liked how the songs sounded. They made me want to turn the radio up loud and sing at the top of my lungs and made me wish for a car with a FM radio and be old enough to drive it around with the windows down so everyone could hear what I was listening to, like all the big kids did.

By rights, “We’re An American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad should also be on that list, because I certainly played it as much as I played any of the above. I’m not sure why it’s not. The danger factor came into play because of that centerfold photo: Mark Farner was scary shit to little girls. They weren’t quite that obscure, because they were, after all, from Michigan, but it was still late night drive time music; you didn’t hear it in the middle of the day.

Don’t worry, I promise more depth in future entries: the Beatles are next, after all. You’re going to wish for brevity by the time I’m done with that one.