Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guilty Pleasures Part Seventy-Two -- Fearless Maria Hits the Books

Fearless Maria is back and it's really about time we get moving on another Guilty Pleasures. Why haven't you stopped by more often, Maria?

Oh, Dad! You've seen me! There's so much to study in the 5th grade! I haven't had any time for music, except for practicing for the band! Hey, here's a joke -- why did the skeleton go to the library?

Hmm, why did the skeleton go to the library?

To bone up on a few things! You know, you really need to keep up, Dad! A grilled cheese sandwich would have known that joke!

I'm more of a panini, actually.

Well, then get over to the deli, panini dude, while I get back to my books! I have so much reading to do that I'm not sure I'll even make it to breakfast tomorrow!

So you have a lot of books, Maria?

Well, sure! Maybe not as many as your nerdy English major friends, but I have a lot of stuff to read. So wait -- well, maybe I could take a break and do some Guilty Pleasures.

That's the spirit, Maria. And since you're so concerned about books, maybe we could do --

Songs about books! But I don't want any songs about the improper fractions in my math book -- I've seen enough of those, thank you very much!

Sounds good. Should we hit the Great American Songbook?

No, I'd rather not go over the rainbow tonight, Dad! It's already dark and I don't have one of those light-up hat things like Ben. Can you find some rock and roll songs instead?

I can do that. Let's start back in the 1950s, in the doo-wop era. This song was from a group called the Monotones--

Dad, if they are singing in monotone, it won't sound very good. That was one of our spelling words last week. Now I'm learning all those fancy words you like to use and I'll know what you're talking about!

That puts you one up on me -- half the time I don't know what I'm talking about. Well, in any event, these Monotones actually could carry a tune and this one was a big hit for them back in the day:

I can play the drums on this song, Dad! Boy, I did like that song -- it was quite catchy and the Monotones were very well dressed. But anyway, who did write the book of love? They never answered the question, did they? If you know, put your answer in the comment section, because I'm getting curious now!

I'm not sure who wrote it, Maria. But I know that the Beatles had a song about writing a book back in 1966:

"A thousand pages, give or take a few?" That's impossible! The longest paperback I've ever seen is the fifth Harry Potter book, but it was so big that it almost fell apart when I opened it! Do you think the Beatles might have been exaggerating a little bit, Dad? Or did they staple together 100 easy reader books?

I don't know, but I was amazed at the great sound quality they got considering they hadn't plugged in their guitars.

Dad, they were lip-synching! Kinda like Elvis does in Suspicious Minds. They did a lot of lip-synching in the 1960s, probably because they were too scared to speak up.

It could be, Maria. But I know of another song that came out a little later in 1966, or maybe it was early 1967, by a band from Los Angeles called Love:

Dad, I don't think the girls in the audience were the ones he was singing about -- I think they look a little nervous. That song is pretty tense with the throbbing beat! And what's the deal with the weird sunglasses? It looks like he stole a couple of pieces of stained glass from the windows at St. John the Baptist!

It was the 60s, Maria. I'm nervous just looking at it myself. But then again, the 60s had some other interesting fashions beyond the hippie stuff. Check out this video from a guy who knows something about books, Booker T., with the MG's:

Are you sure that's not Booker from the Ramsey County Library? That dog is so cute! Anyway, so my question is this -- why were all those beautiful women dancing with dorky guys that were wearing practically poisonous polyester? They should have known better, I think!

Again, I've given up trying to explain the 60s, Maria. But we can move to the 70s and listen to this song from the Talking Heads:

What, no video Dad? Just some weird orange album cover? Well, the album cover might be orange, but the lack of video is making me see red! If he's singing about living in the future and being ambitious, maybe he should have come up with a video! I'm not sure he's really that ambitious, Dad!

I guess he was too busy reading. Anyway, once we got to 1983, Elvis Costello got interested in writing a book, too. And he brought a video:

Well, that's a pretty good song, but what's with the outfits on the ladies? And do you think they made the couple look like Prince Charles and Princess Diana on purpose?

Well, yes -- I especially like the part where the Prince Charles guy jumps through the ring of fire.

Dad, I think if were really Prince Charles, he could hire someone to jump through a ring of fire for him! Like a stunt man or something.

Well, Elvis was interested in pulling stunts in the video, I guess.

Well, you know what's no stunt? Picking a winning song, people! So pick your favorite and put it in the comments section. And if you know who wrote the book of love, put that in the comments section, too! No one tells me these things around here!


W.B. Picklesworth said...

That "My Little Red Book" song is creepy, at least when combined with the guy singing it. I'm going to cast my vote for the song that most sounds like a London transit line, Booker-loo.

Gino said...

"who wrote the book of love' is my vote.
but i kinda like doowop anyway.

sorry maria, i dont know who wrote the book of love, i just know that i dont always appreciate some of its lessons.

Douglas said...

Is Elvis Costello in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? He should be. I once thought he was going to be just another new wave flash-in-the-pan, but he has kept on creating for a long time.