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In which Young Southpaw gets confused by the titles of the Bon Jovi records, the bathtub one and the releases surrounding the bathtub one
Taking in My Chemical Romance, Steve Vai, Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey, Nick Rhodes, Randy Rhoads, Cynthia Rhodes, ‘Slippery When Wet’, Fugazi, Van Halen, the film Runaway, Ionescu, and much more.
“So today I’d like to, like to talk about the album titles of Mr. Jon Bon Jovi. Or the band Bon Jovi, of which Mr. Jon Bon Jovi is, well, an integral part I would say. Named after him. Unless he named the band after one of his ancestors also named Bon Jovi. Maybe, you never know. You really never know. I mean you could ask him but I have no way to contact the man. And you know, time is a flowin’ like all those waterfalls. Not over the edge hopefully. Just flowin’ on, ridin’ on as that mellow AC/DC song goes. But I mean I do get confused. I didn’t get too confused, but enough confused you know. I’m sure you can get confused by any bands album titles once you think of them for a very long time. Or even a few minutes as the case may be. I mean Public Image Ltd. is probably the only band that’s ever had an honest album title, you know. With Album, Cassette, or Compact Disc…whatever format you had it on. You know the one with Steve Vai, 1986, year of the Fire Tiger, you know, Joan Rivers all that. Well it just hit me, Steve Vai went from working with John Lydon to DLR in the course of a year. From punk rock to Roth rock as they say. And Album and Eat Em And Smile came out in the same year. That just blew my mind…
But yeah I mean what I wanted to talk about is – well gimme a minute to get over this whole album Eat Em And Smile thing…
Ok well then, let’s go. This one also came out in 1986. I’m talking about Slippery When Wet of course. I mean I get what they’re sayin’, believe me…I get it. It’s uh, it’s innuendo. But it’s also something you’d say about a road, you know, and I don’t think anybody named Rhodes played on that album. Imagine if Nick Rhodes and Randy Rhoads played on Slippery When Wet. And Cynthia Rhodes was the singer. I mean she was a singer, maybe still is, I don’t know. Be good to find out. Again I don’t have any way to contact her. But you know Dirty Dancin’ Flashdance coulda been called Dirty…Flash…vocals… But they weren’t called that. You know, those were not the names of those films. But it woulda been a wildly different sounding record if Slippery When Wet had been made like that. Heck, maybe even my favourite record of all time.
But once I started to think about it, it just started to bug me out, you know? Got my mind all bug buggin’ as they say, as I’ve said before. When something gets my mind all…bug buggin’, you know. But Slippery When Wet’s the big one outta all his confusing albums. I mean, I just don’t understand. And it’s on the front cover like that, is it some sorta warning? I mean who…who gets their records wet? They won’t play. Precisely because they’ll be slippery. It seems like common sense. I mean the jacket all damaged, you know. I suppose I mean maybe there was an epidemic in America at the time or maybe they heard it someplace else around the world, people just dippin’ their, takin their records with them in the bathtub. I mean I know I love Van Halen’s 1984 but even I could…afford to…put it down for a little while while I took a nice soak..you know? And then you got New Jersey, I mean that’s confus- I mean I get it. They’re from New Jersey, but then forever on after once people say they’re going to New Jersey they could just be talkin about going to listen to that Bon Jovi record. I think that’s my favorite one, it’s got Born To Be My Baby – Na Na etc you know. Not like that My Chemical Romance song – you know that crazy My Chemical Romance band, also from New Jersey I might add – but they had that song Na Na Na…and then a whole bunch more Na’s in parentheses, you know… From their Danger Days album – Double D! Well not like that comic by Steve Horry and Eddie Argos, but speakin of comics you got Grant Morrison in the video for Na Na Na etc. with all the Na’s. Well I think Bon Jovi says Na 11 times in each phrase and MCR has like 13 goin on, you know like that Blur album 13 and Teenage Fanclub had an album called 13 as well and I don’t remember any comparisons between the two in the music press at the time. And then Fugazi had that 13 Songs but that was really a compilation of the first two releases. And listening recently to Margin Walker, that second half of the 13 Songs, might very well be my favorite Fugazi album. Though I am fond of Repeater too. Not Repeater 2 that doesn’t exist, but Repeater also. And the funny thing is Glue Man is probably my favourite Fugazi song and it is the glue that holds together the two previous releases that make up 13 Songs. But I think that Teenage Fanclub album is also named 13 because it has 13 songs on it and I would love to hear Teenage Fanclub and that crazy Fugari band cover each other’s 13 albums. Then Bruce Springsteen’s got that Nebraska album you know, and he’s from New Jersey too! That’s utterly confusing as well. Was like ol Jon Bon tryin to set things right? Maybe they shoulda done a concept album dealin with all that. But then again we wouldn’t have had I’ll Be There For You, you know. And that one’s got that line ‘these five words I swear to you’. Well if you look close enough – well any way you look at it really – you’ll notice Born To Be My Baby is also 5 words. Hmmm? Well, you know… A lotta B’s in that title as well. 3 if you again look closely. But then you got Bad Medicine too. It’s like a plethora of b’s, a bee hive if you will. Some won’t. I do not know currently if I do. But you got ‘bad’ again like ‘you give love a bad name’ from the previous album, you know the bathtub one. And bathtub the word begins and ends with a B. And then you got, goin back in time to before the bathtub one, you got that crazy Fahrenheit one. I mean that’s, that’s inconceivable as to how much, how hot that would be. 7800 degrees it is, let’s be precise. And you’ll notice it’s a number evenly divided by 13, make of that what you will. But 7800 degrees Fahrenheit, the vinyl would melt, forget Slippery When Wet, you’d have to put it in the bathtub just to cool things down. And what if some kid thinks that’s the temperature you have to put in on the record player at. Remember this was 1985, cds weren’t, well cds would melt too! I mean the kid’s thinkin you gotta put this on at 7800 degrees Fahrenheit, well you couldn’t even get close enough to the record player. And then you had that first one with Runaway, you know.. And that was a film with Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons and Cynthia Rhodes who you know I’m a big fan of. You know, Flashdance and Dirty Dancin’, I don’t remember her dancing in Runaway but I remember that was a big deal cause Gene Simmons didn’t have his make-up on, you know. And then Bon Jovi became an actor later on so there ya go. Both that Jovi album and the film were released in 1984, you know the year of Van Halen, but I don’t think either had anything to do with each other. But imagine if Cynthia Rhodes had been in the Hot For Teacher video. I mean how awesome would that have been?!
And then you got the Young Guns soundtrack or Young Guns II the number two not also but I guess you could use also or too as also if you were conversing about both films in the same sentence like I did but I didn’t mean it. And you got Blaze a Glory ‘shot down’ etc. you know. And then I lost track so I had to look this up on Wikipedia just to see if maybe their record titles started making more sense. But they didn’t need to make any more sense, it’s strange cause you figure once you establish yourself you can just do these crazy art installation album titles, you know. Livin’ On A Prayer, I mean prayers don’t have any physical substance to them. Unless he meant prairie all along. I mean they just confuse the heck outta me, but I ain’t never seen em. Maybe their live show is some sort of elaborate play that explains all this. That’d be cool, you know like maybe written by Ionescu you know, the Rumanian playright, The Rhinoceros, you know. Did you see that Gene Wilder film with Zero Mostel? I started watchin it earlier this year, I really wanna finish it. I was a bit tired that night but I dug the music and the mise en scene as-they-say-in…Paris, and all a France prolly, the whole French speakin’ world. And well even if you’re not in the French speakin’ world and people are still speakin’ French they could say it there too, you know. I mean why not?
Back in Boston there used to be this great bookstore called Avenue Victor Hugo. Not there anymore RIP. But I bought J.P. Donleavy’s Schultz there, first edition, orange cover, one of my favourite novels of all time. It was right across the street from Newbury Comics on Newbury street. The bookshop I mean, not the novel. That takes places in a fictional universe and anyway well Ally McBeal was set in Boston, you know. Like that band….Aerosmith… And Mr. Jon Bon Jovi speaking of his acting career well you know he McBeal’d it up. And the Bee Gees they had that song Massachusetts you know, not a whole album like New Jersey but I think I’ve proved my point.”