Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Molly Hatchet - "Flirtin' with Disaster" (forgotten song)

Happy birthday Danette!  This year Danette's song is... "Flirtin' with Disaster", to which you might reply "WTF?!"

OK, unlike previous songs there's not immediate, lyrical meaning here, it's more "meta-relevant".  There are several reasons why.

First, we both always sing along with it when comes on the radio.  It's not our favorite song or band but I'm pretty sure, owing to the time and place of our birth, we're incapable of not singing along.  It's genetic.  I should be more ashamed to admit this, but I know we're not alone. 

Second, is there a better use of a whistle in rock?  Danette and I have an ongoing commentary about the awesomeness of whistling in songs, but this has to be the very best.  It appears at about 3:26 as one guitarist trades off with another during the solos.  If you can whistle like that how come you don't do it every song, all the time?  (If I ever get around to creating songs via genetic algorithms, they will consist almost entirely of whistles like this, Bo Diddley beats, and Jamaican toasting, but that's a story for another time.)

Third, and somewhat related to the first point but slightly different, the sound and imagery connects me with my youth.  I recall the first record I bought with my own money was Molly Hatchet's 1980 LP "Beatin' the Odds", at the (now closed) K-Mart in Denbigh.  Molly Hatchet's sound was probably the heaviest of the southern rock bands, and their guitar sound was similar to the NWOBHM sound that Iron Maiden would popularize (and which would become my primary teenage soundtrack).

The imagery is equally important -- at that time Molly Hatchet exclusively used Frank Frazetta paintings for their LP covers.  You might not know the name Frank Frazetta, but you recognize his work (and his imitators) from Conan and others.  At the time of these LPs I was also deep into D&D, playing adventure games on the computer, and reading fantasy books like Robert Adams's "Horseclans" series (which featured cover illustrations by Frazetta's nephew, Ken Kelley) -- you know, all the things that young ladies find irresistible.  So with limited interaction with actual females, I probably formed some pretty unrealistic expectations about women being Amazonian warrior princesses.  But take a look at the images by Frazetta and Kelly, then look at these pictures of Danette flexing:

And it seems pretty clear that I did end up with an Amazonian warrior princess*.  Now to work on that metal bikini...

So happy birthday Danette!  I hope you enjoy our shared nostalgia <insert southern rock whistle**>.  And to teenage geeks everywhere: dreams do come true!*** 

Molly Hatchet - "Flirtin' with Disaster"

Previous birthday songs:

2015: Avett Brothers - "Kick Drum Heart"
2014: Ani DiFranco - "32 Flavors"
2013: The Green Pajamas - "Kim the Waitress"
2012: The Cure - "High"
2011: Blink 182 - "Josie"
2010:  Dead Milkmen - "Punk Rock Girl"

* No, seriously

** And: bomp, ba-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp + Mikey Dread...  because I can't help myself.  

*** But not until you're about 30.  Hang in there.

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