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In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Adult Babies, Virgin Killers


(Sorry. The experiment continues.)

Also, here is the Ziggy Circus that most recently caught my eye.
Yet again, Ziggy is mistaken for someone's father, and Jeffy's idiotic anger takes on ominous new dimensions.

And...Oh dear...

Well, this is an album cover image I've heard about for years, but have never actually seen. I have the album myself, but the photo on the jacket is a pretty innocuous one of a buncha German longhairs lunging at you, faux-intimidating-ly.

The Scorpions have a long history of banned album covers. Lovedrive features a man in the back of a limo with a shirtless woman. He is attempting to get a goodly amount of bubble gum off of her breasts. It was replaced by a big, blue scorpion on the U.S. release.

Love At First Sting had a lovely black and white image of a guy and a girl on a motorcycle. He has decided that this might be a good time to give her that scorpion tattoo on her thigh that she always wanted. She is smiling. In the U.S. release, they/we briefly panicked and replaced it with another black and white image of a buncha German longhairs walking faux-intimidating-ly at you while wearing leather. Then everybody remembered that there was absolutely nothing offensive about the original cover, and put it back like it was.

Animal Magnetism's cover features a woman and a German shepherd kneeling obediently in front of a tight jeans-wearing man who is enjoying a Carlsberg beer. In the U.S. release, it was exactly the same.

So that one up there? I found this picture of what certainly appears to be someone a great deal younger than 18 in an article about it not being viewable on Wikipedia, "despite the lack of obvious vulgarity."
Oh, I'd say that it's vulgar. Even "While the girl is clearly naked, her genitals have been subtly covered by the imposed image of cracked glass centring exactly between the legs."

(Dig the use of 'subtly'. Also, just so we can be certain of pure journalistic intent and no accusations of merely appealing to prurient interests can be made, the image itself on this page is fucking huge.)

And lastly, "The album’s original cover design has never been banned, and is still available to this day." Well, I've owned the album on both cassette and LP, and both had the entirely tamer cover. So despite being banned, apparently Mercury decided to police itself a bit -voluntarily- this side of the pond.

Virgin Killer is actually a pretty good album. It suffers from lyrics that are written in English by non-speakers of that language, but they have grown up with American and British rock n' roll and have lived pretty much all of their lives with a U.S. military presence in their country.

So that's why it's not hard to see where they got their bizarro-world ideas about what your average rock n' roll customer would view as An Ideal Life: "And you like the rock and roll-a/ a better life/ with whiskey-cola!"

It also features the talents of Uli Jon Roth, the "German Jimi Hendrix," or at least that's what he called himself. This leads to hilariously-overplayed songs like "Hell Cat," where embarrassing attempts at amazing guitar pyrotechnics sit alongside weird attempts at street-wise raps.

But best of all, for all who know, is The Message Song. Now again, I know that I'd embarrass myself if I tried to write an album in German. Lucky for me, most of the world's rock and roll is sung in my native language.
So up the ante a lot when you note that if you're going to release a rock n' roll album in the Seventies, you're going to need to do a Message Song. The Message Song is supposed to do many things: it should identify the problems that you -The Youth, that is- face. There should be a note of hope; a suggestion perhaps about what The Youth should do. There needs to be some mockery of Some Who Say. The song should be anthemic; it's okay if it's melodramatic.

"Crying Days" is all of these things, minus any sort of specificity as to what it is we are discussing here ("A question mark up in the skyyy!!!" notwithstanding. That would be a problem, though. I imagine it being purple and enormous, hanging over Stuttgart, say.)

And the condemnation of Those Who Say is kind of off, too: "Some people say we'll do it better/ some people say everything's goood!" Well, I'm gonna have to stop you right there. Nobody ever says that everything's good. Well, except hippies, but they don't really mean it.

Oh, I could go on. But anyway, now we have juxtaposed Lars' name with both an Adult Baby and a piece of what could easily be described as child pornography. Excelsior!



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