It Takes a Crue.
Some moron once said that it takes a village to raise a child.
I say “bullshit”.
What’s the first word that comes to mind when someone says village?
Exactly. Do you want an idiot raising your kid? I certainly don’t. And I don’t want one raising mine, either.
Henceforth, we have decided that our children will be raised in a progressive way, using music. Granted, there’s a lot to be decided here, at first glance, anyway. As we looked into potential sources for musical wisdom, we found that, for the most part, great songwriters are like philosophers and teachers, each expounding knowledge on situations you or I may run into every day. Bernie Taupin is a great example, as is Harry Chapin, Springsteen, and Dylan… All have a lot to offer in our musical child-rearing idea. However, amongst the good, we found some real crap, too.
Enya, for instance. No way I’m allowing my kids to grow up thinking that world is made up of moody-ass sailors and stars and whatever the hell else this broad sings about in a mix of what might be French, might be Klingon. Any pop performer? No. Nothing you can learn about life from anyone like that. Lady Gaga? She wears ducks and telephones on her head, and even mentions her own name in songs as some kind of lyrical element. Any boy band? That’s just made-up shit there. My kids will have a sense of reality. Rappers? Let’s not go there. So we hunted high and low. Blues? Yes. There will be Albert and Buddy, and BB and Stevie Ray and others… loads of great information to be gleaned from their experiences. But we needed more… and in this modern age, it needs to be in one package, and FAST.
And then we found it.
In the bargain bin at the used record store.
Motley Crue is the band we have chosen. Their lyrics are incredible when you’re a teenager in the ’80′s…. And oddly cryptic now. We selected their “Dr. Feelgood” album as the new “Dr. Spock” of our home, and I’ll explain why (above and beyond the price, and excepting for a slight crack in the jewel case):
First, the album teaches music appreciation. Any band that yells “guitar!” before a solo is a huge help. Prior to hearing this album, whenever I heard a guitar solo, I’d think “harpsichord? tuba? bongos, perhaps? Convection oven? Auto-tuned tire noise from a freeway on-ramp?” Yelling the instrument name (and occasionally, the name of the dude playing it) pays dividends later on.
Next, we learn about lyrics, mainly via bad examples. For instance, hoochy-cootchie is a phrase best left in the hands of Muddy Waters. In Crue Land, the women are beyond simple hoochy, and their cootchies are, apparently, legendary. In fact, they are basically cootchie squared. (…which led me to ponder the sheer logistical terror of any woman equipped with a square cootchie. I mean, beyond the simple “holy crap, what happened THERE?!” moment you’d certainly experience, is the nightmare of, well, for lack of a better description, pounding a round peg into a square hole. That just has bad night – or, at least, interesting YouTube video – written all over it. Moving along, let’s take this song-by-song. See that? we’re learning already! Rhyming is fun.)
It kicks off with “Terror in Tinseltown”, and drifts into the title track. Right there, you have your “drugs are bad” speech. It’s further defined in the title track, as we learn about a dope dealer and his tough times. He drives a shitbox, hangs with lowlifes and eventually meets his fate, imprisoned or shot, maybe both. Good lesson in there. Don’t be a douchebag.
Next on the list: “Slice of Your Pie”. Here we have a nifty metaphor about eating right, with a subtext that can be used for the “birds and the bees” talk. We learn about moderation, as Vince simply asks for one more slice… not three or four. We learn that even plain girls deserve attention in high school, because the gal in question apparently turns out to be quite attactive later on, and almost causes a neck injury when our narrator sees her later on. We also learn to appreciate women from all directions (“…always walk behind you for the rear view”). Powerful stuff.
“Rattlesnake Shake”. Beats the shit out of me. Could be exercise. Lots of posterior motion in this one. Good for the glutes. OK, then: “Physical fitness = long life”, even for hard-drinking, shallow, heroin-addled pop-rock bands. Works for me.
Moving along, we have “Kickstart My Heart”, which basically says “get yourself hobby that involves cars, and go fast a lot.” Amen. (until they use it in a Kia commercial, and ruin everything you ever hoped for with this song. WTF, guys??! At least it’s not for a Prius. And it has a grandstand full of bikini-clad women, which reinforces the concept that having a car will attract the ladies, even if it is, apparently, a foreign-made sedan. Chicks like the cars, apparently.)
“Without You”. Appreciate the people in your life. Otherwise, they’ll leave, and you’ll write a shitty song about it. Spare us that, at least.
In the catchy “Same Old Situation”, we learn that, in the opinion of a dude who just got dumped, and that you may find yourself thinking that all women are basically the same whorish succubi. We learn that some women, namely those in the life of this songs’ protagonist, anyway, say one thing, and do another. And we learn the value of safe sex, and that when you meet your lovely new bride’s old “friend” with the tattoos and long hair, that she probably didn’t learn that thing with her tongue from reading Cosmopolitan, and that if you forgo wrapping your little monster, that you’ll most likely catch hepatitis from that low-life, tattooed circus freak.
“Sticky Sweet”. Again, moderation. But we learn that a “fire in my pants” perhaps isn’t always a good thing, and that longevity in the sack is a part of any healthy relationship. (furthermore, replace the lyrics with “she’s got stinky/got stinky/she’s got stinky feet”, and we learn that parody is fun, too)
In “She Goes Down”, we learn that, sometimes, life is misery, and the grass IS, in fact, greener on the other side. We also learn that any girl who goes down this much will sleep with all of your friends. Sure, they’ll appreciate it, but see “Without You” above for the generally accepted outcome.
“Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” teaches us that not everything lasts forever, and that hanging out with your buddies can solve any relationship issue (unless, of course, the little lady in question is the one from the previous song, and she’s doing what she does while you’re in the same room.) It teaches us that, in a delicate, nowhere situation, it’s OK to say “fuck it, just please get out”.
Last in line, we have “Time For Change”. This will be left off of our “Crue Raising Mix Tape of Life”, as we cannot begin to fathom what idiot kid would have been telling Vince that they “lost all faith in the world”. Unless they mean “there are no more hot chicks to discover, you had them all during your ’87 tour”, or that ‘holy shit, you got really fat, dude… and that means if a heroin junkie can get puffy and weird looking, so can anyone. Look at Val Kilmer… maybe not so much heroin, but he was Batman. The fucking BATMAN!!! Of course, HIS Batman is now fat, and looks like a hamster…’ then we could understand. But, instead, they act as if this guy, at one near-bottom point in his life was going to solve the world’s problems. Perhaps. Just maybe, if we all head to the bar and land some hotties, it’d be a better place. Time to change the track, if you ask me.
In summary, this is our choice. What have we learned? That it takes a Crue, not a village to raise my kids. And at just under $4, it’s money well-spent, being just shy of seven dollars cheaper than a Dr. Spock book.
And that by golly, you may just want to keep your children away from ours a little later in life, should you choose some other, less testosterone-driven alternative.