Don't Go Breaking My Heart, minor secrets of... Welcome, friends, to another Wodnesdæg and another Song for Odin. If you'll remember, Facebook killed my last Song for Odin for violating unspecified "community standards." This, by the way, is one reason I... er, was going to say a word that rhymes with "skate" here, but instead I'll say: I have a severe aversion to "communities" of any kind. They talk a good game, sometimes, but they're always out to get you in the end. People are terr... I mean, not the word that rhymes with "arable" (though I do mean that)... let's just say, people, as such, leave a lot to be desired, and in groups they're even worse. So, I just don't trust them... Anyhow, I will try, this time around, as above, to choose my words carefully and see if this post will manage to drip through the Facebook Speech Colander. There seems to be some indication that I am on some kind of "list" where my stuff gets scrutinized more intensely, strained more finely, than the usual. But maybe, with carefully chosen words, I can evade the censors and their accursed colander. Let's find out. I had a different song queued up to present today, but Ryan left this comment last night: "Could you please share some memories of when you recorded "Don’t Go Breakin My Heart" with Kim Shattuck? How did that come to pass? I love that recording big time. Good chemistry there, I wonder if Elton has heard it." Well we aim to please here at song for Odin. What he's talking about is a cover of the Elton John / Kiki Dee duet "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" that we recorded during the Revenge Is Sweet sessions with the great Kim Shattuck of the Muffs playing Kiki to my Elton. It wound up as a B-side on the "...and I Will Be with You" 7", along with "You Alone" (another fine song that there just wasn't room for on the album.) And it just so happens that I have video of the MTX doing this song, though with Joel in the Kiki role, as Kim did not happen to be present at the Rivoli in Toronto on October 5, 1997. Here it is: I'm not aware of another document of a live performance of this song, though I do remember doing it from time to time for a brief period. It's funny with Joel doing the girl part, and that may have been how it was originally planned, but if so I doubt it would have been recorded. But the idea of roping Kim in to be Kiki was even better, and when she agreed to do it, well, it was too good to pass up. She flew up to SFO and Joel picked her up from the airport and brought her to Toast Recorders where we had everything set up. I'd like to paint a picture of the two of us, Kim and I, huddled round a great big microphone in a sound booth, I in my huge-lapeled sportcoat, she in her pink overalls, dancing weirdly separate '70s dances while exchanging the occasional smoldering glance. But in fact, I'd already done my parts. Kevin Army cued up the tape and let it roll and she plugged in her parts. I believe she and I are about the same age, which meant, fortunately, that we both knew the words of this song by heart, so it was pretty easy. Though it is weirdly difficult to sing a duet with missing parts to be filled in later as I learned. Anyway that's how it happened. After the vocal track was done, as you can hear on the recording, Kim let out one of her famous rock and roll screams, which was great to get on tape. Someone asked, how do you DO that? (Which is an apt question - that scream is like a force of nature, the summoning of which must take some doing.) Kim said, "oh I just imagine I'm being..." Okay, hang on here. There was a time when I'd have told this anecdote without batting an eyelid, that is, without thinking twice. But these are different times. One must choose one's words very carefully. What she said was that in order to summon the otherwordly rock and roll scream for which she is justly famous, she would imagine a situation in which she was involved in a certain... intimate activity, involving an element of considerable size. (If you want it in plain English, Facebook and Social Media is not the place to look: check the Weakly Reader on Friday, maybe.) Anyway, this shocked the pants off Kevin Army, who went silent and remained so for quite some tine, not knowing where to look. For the rest of us, the reaction was more like, "this girl's alright." I mean, it was hilarious, if not necessarily literally true, But maybe it was. Literally true, I mean. We had fun. As you can see, she was a good sport. She also added some backups to "Love Is Dead" and possibly another song or two. And a good time was had by all. (And for those keeping track, this is one of two duets in the MTX corpus, the other featuring Penelope Houston of the Avengers on the Ramones song "Questioningly". And it's one of three where we managed to rope in a famous punk rock girl to do vox, the third being Kim Warnick of the Fastbacks on "Book of Revelation." Maybe I'm the only one keeping track, but, well someone's gotta do it.) As for the song itself, it's one I'd always wanted to do, since I was a kid, though I'm not quite sure why. I think it's the half-unfinished-seeming lyrics that fire off in the general direction of the topic but don't seem to have been thought out too carefully creating inadvertently interesting questions. What does "I couldn't [break your heart] if I tried" mean exactly? Why does she knock on his door in order to inform him that she has given him her key? The result, probably not intended, is a script in which two romantic partners, one of them... well, let's not "go there" on that, let's just say two rather flamboyant persons... these characters trade misfired clichés with one another, convincing no one but reaching the no doubt delusional conclusion that no one's going to go breaking anybody's heart. Maybe that's the essence of the romantic relationship, and maybe that's what was intended, but I kind of doubt Bernie Taupin was that "meta." But maybe he was. (And no, Ryan, I very much doubt Sir Elton has heard it.) At any rate, that's the extent of the "minor secrets" I have for this one. Thanks for the question, Ryan. And thanks Kim Shattuck for making it all possible, all those years ago. Thanks to Punk Rick's Videos for the video. And thanks to you, the reader, of course. Now, let's see if we get through the colander! Fingers crossed. notes: -- original Elton John / Kiki Dee song: -- MTX cover featuring Kim Shattuck: #music #songs #censorship #minds