Friday, January 21, 2011

Rock Me Tonite

As twisted as it may seem, I've long been an advocate of Billy Squier's music, which I suppose says more about me than it does the music. Growing up in New England, I felt a connection to the boy from Massachusetts who made it big, and hell, Don't Say No, aside from being an obvious date-rape mantra, isn't a bad album.

Then tonight (or as Squier pens it "tonite"), I was doing some YouTube surfing and stumbled upon this gem. Consequently, I must re-examine my position.

Take a second and watch this video. I'll wait....

Okay. Here are a few unsettling observations:

1. I'm having a difficult time with the overall vision of the video. Let me get this straight. Billy Squier wakes up naked and alone in silk sheets, although, seriously, who could sleep through those synthesizers? He admits to being "guilty of love in the third-degree." If anyone is a lawyer, I need some clarification. Is that a misdemeanor or a felony? He then dresses in canvas pants and a pre-ripped Hulk Hogan t-shirt (like we don't know what's coming next). As the music builds to its crescendo, Billy starts to have seizures. He rips off the Hulk Hogan shirt (big surprise) and puts on a pink tank-top and slides down a pole (who the fuck has a pole in his bedroom?). The next thing we know, he's wearing a bandanna around his neck and playing his guitar. Inexplicably, his band has arrived. Or they were always there in the next room as Billy seized? Has Billy been "rocked"? Was it "tonite"? Did the jury come back with a guilty verdict? What hell happened?

2. Truly, if people in the '80s watched this video and weren't creeped out by Billy crawling on his elbows toward the camera, I guess there's a cultural chasm that I'll never understand.

3. Here's the thing: I'm not a man who dances. I've never been able to dance or purported anything to the extent. But I COULD DO THAT! Admittedly, I'd struggle with the crawl across the floor---my elbows are very sensitive---but the arm swinging, sliding down poles, air guitar, I'm all over it.

I'm truly baffled and saddened by this video. Can I continue to make an argument for Billy Squier's music? Can I file this in the capacious bin labeled "It was the '80s"? Call Camus. I'm having an existential crisis.

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