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You know that moment when you’re deciding whether to follow through on an incredibly stupid idea or bail right before it’s supposed to go down? As a bored and foolish highschooler, I had a lot of those moments. Now and again, I thought better, put my tail between my legs and bolted, but more often than not, I manned up and plunged myself into an idiotic situation that could have ended in serious injury or arrest. It scares me a bit looking back. Hell, I’d probably be less of an adult if it didn’t scare me, but those feelings of invincibility I felt right before sledding behind a moving car or walking into a scary, low class convenient store to illegally buy alcohol have stuck with me. Oddly, those mixtures of confidence and fear are all accompanied by music. I don’t know if I was actually listening to the song my brain has soundtracked those memories to at the time or not. I suppose I don’t care. I was sixteen and ready to conquer the world. Here’s the music that made me feel like I could do anything, even if I secretly knew it was a sketchy life choice…
Booker T And The MGs “Green Onions”
Maybe it’s because I watched The Sandlot too many times as a kid, but those first few notes of “Green Onions” have always made me want to talk shit and beat the holy tar out of pretentious asshole adolescents in baseball. It’s such a goofy, yet building anthem. How Booker T accomplished carefree and aggressive in one song without using any words is beyond me. It’s really a feat if you think about it, but at less than three minutes, it manages all it needs to and quickly ends. When it was released in the early 1960s, “Green Onions” never got higher than third on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, but like most great memories, it found a way to hang around long enough until it was considered a classic. Why it doesn’t find its way into more movie trailers is anyone’s guess, but if a movie is ever made about my life, the dude playing me needs to get up to some shit in slow motion to this song.
Ram Jam “Black Betty”
“Black Betty” has been covered or sampled over the years by everyone from Sheryl Crow to Meatloaf to the Ying Yang Twins, but there’s something about Ram Jam’s recording that makes me want to steal a pie off of someone’s window sill and then speed off in my car as the angry and hungry victim helplessly runs after me. It should probably be mentioned that in this non-sexual food fantasy, the person chasing after me is a middle aged man and not a feeble old woman. I’m not a monster. I’m just a hungry dude that wants to get up to some mischief when those opening chords are blared at an above-average volume.
AC/DC “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Look: AC/DC has recorded at least ten songs better than “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. Anyone who tells you this one outpaces “Highway To Hell”, “Back In Black”, “Thunderstruck”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “TNT”, “For Those About To Rock” or “Hells Bells” is flat out wrong. That being said, for me, there’s no track that better embodies the spirit of AC/DC than “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. With an elongated intro, verses explaining blow by blow how to fight the man/ get rid of your nagging woman and a singable chorus about causing mayhem sung in a growling voice, it offers every reason why I would ever listen to the hard rock group. There are other bands that might spur you to clean up your act or go back to school. That’s fine, those outfits have a right to exist, but if I’m in the mood to knock over mailboxes or hatch plots to take down my boss, AC/DC is the only logical choice.
Led Zeppelin IV
I will freely admit that there are certain songs on Led Zeppelin IV that might be a little too contemplative and long-winded to inspire malarkey, but “Misty Mountain Hop”, “Black Dog” and “Rock And Roll” were explicitly written for bad decisions. I always picture Wily E Coyote with an overly confident grin listening to “Misty Mountain Hop” while concocting a giant slingshot to catch roadrunner. I always picture Wilt Chamberlain in a bizarrely colored suit listening to “Black Dog” while bedding several eights one after the other in some creepy VIP room. And I always picture Led Zeppelin themselves in some sort of tour montage climbing the stairs to get on a plane in some strange city with hundred dollar bills hanging out of one pocket, flasks filled with expensive liquor hanging out of the other and “Rock And Roll” blaring in the background.
Poison Open Up And Say… Ahh!
Not since Spinal Tap’s aborted album cover for Smell The Glove has an LP’s artwork more clearly given first time listeners an idea of what they’re in for. Featuring a model dressed like a demon with tongue extended, Poison’s most famous album contains arguably the band’s two most beloved songs and all the other stereotypical hair metal offerings fans had come to expect from the big-haired, loose-moraled 1980s club scene. I think my favorite track is probably “Talk Dirty To Me”, which chronicles lead singer Bret Michaels’ lusting after a woman who “never acts the way (she) should”, but it’s okay because he likes it. He wants to get her “behind the bushes” and “at the drive-in” so she can make him “scream for more” by “talking dirty to (him)”. Class personified. It should also be pointed out that “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is definitely the most played song in the history of strip clubs. For a column devoted to bad decisions, that seems like it should be worth bonus points, not that Open Up And Say… Ahh! needs any.
Mindless Self Indulgence Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy
Led Zeppelin IV has eight songs on it. Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy has thirty. There’s only two songs on the entire album over three minutes, and one of them is called “I Hate Jimmy Page”. I’m not sure if that’s fitting or a strange coincidence. Regardless, MSI makes an appearance here because their music is the right soundtrack for the exact opposite type of the bad decisions Jimmy Page might endorse. Led Zeppelin’s two part plan involves becoming insanely successful and then using that power to sleep with attractive suitors. MSI’s two part plan involves finding the most fucked-up, batshit crazy, personality disorder-ridden monster and doing cocaine off of her tits. I’m not saying I endorse that approach to life, but it’s out there and some people are down. Besides, there’s actually a song on Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy in which lead singer Jimmy Urine implores Clarissa to explain it all and asks Ferguson to cum on him. More gross or funny? I can't decide.
Because flying across the stage with a zip cord, goggles and a boom box is always a good idea…
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