Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Songs That Make You Go Oy Gevalt!

For instance, how about otherwise irksome hair band Mr. Big and their (depending on your point of view either gloriously or hellishly catchy) 1992 smash "To Be With You"?

The video itself, of course, is a zeitgeist-defining artifact of pre-grunge corporate pop, from the vanished Golden Age when such titans as Milli Vanilli, Richard Marx and Wilson Phillips walked the earth.

I bring the song up because, years earlier, I was actually in a band with David Grahame, the guy who co-wrote this particular ear worm. Dave is a massively talented, albeit sometimes hard to work with, dude who got his start as an understudy Paul in "Beatlemania" on Broadway (if memory serves he was there at the same time as Marshall Crenshaw), and then later recorded an album for EMI (featuring backing by lots of famous folks out of the Rockpile axis) that at the last minute the label declined to release. After that I lost track of him for a while until I heard "TBWY" on MTV. My immediate reaction was, god, that thing's got a chorus like a David Grahame song. A few days later, a mutual friend called me and said "Hey, didja hear? Dave finally got a radio hit."

Haven't talked to him in a couple of years, but you can check out his new stuff at www.davidgrahme.com. If this guy is to be believed (and I have no reason to think that he shouldn't be) you could do a lot worse.

Update: My old buddy Steve Schwartz, who has known David a lot longer than me, e-mailed me to say I haven't got it exactly right.

David Grahame before Badfinger? I don't get it.

I have my own version of the TBWY tale, though...I think I told you about that song before you saw it on MTV. (As cruel fate had it, I woke up to it each and every morning for about 2 months--and finally got to the point where I smashed my clock radio on the floor). I remember asking you about it, and telling you it sounded like a really bad Grahame song. A few months later you called up and said, "Dude! Remember
that song you said was like a bad Grahame song? You were right; it was."


I stand corrected. Also shamed -- tomorrow, Badfinger for sure!!!!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the best description of TBWY as simply hellish. It reminds me of George Michael at his lamest--which is saying a lot, I guess.

steve simels said...

Yeah, but once you hear it's imprinted into your cerebellum.

Oh wait -- that is hellish.
:-)

TMink said...

Thank God for video! I dutifully followed the link, and there arose an image of some twee looking yahoo squirming in a backwards chair.

I closed the link before the second "little girl" had finished.

Now no Whamishly bubblegum tripe will infect my grey matter this morning. I can listen to "Headquarters" on the way to work instead.

Saved by the video.

Trey

Slig said...

Oh man that hurts. I'm glad I was buried in my thesis research only listening to WXDU and WXYC during that era.

Kid Charlemagne said...

Oh, no!! Not another post about Steve's skinny tie new wave band from the '80!! :o)

steve simels said...

KC:

No, this was my crappy 70s band. Bad combo of the Stones and the Airplane, with a little Byrds thrown in.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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