https://youtu.be/Ck6yyKwv4_w Gesælig æsc Wodensdaeg to þe! Gonna shift away from Southampton '92 to Hamburg '92, because it's Valentine's Day and "Love American Style" is an appropriate song for the occasion. Sort of. (LAS was in that Southampton set but the video has lots of glitches during it.) This was just a few days after that Southampton gig, back on the continent, and near the end of the tour if I'm remembering right. It's a rough performance, as they always were, but it does manage to put the song across and it's the best we've got as far as live renditions of it in that era. To paraphrase something once said in reference to Leppo, the fifth Rutle, the Reeperbahn is one of the naughtiest streets in the world and if we couldn't play our instruments we knew how to have a good time, and in Hamburg, that was more important. I remember that night very fondly, and recall that show as one of the great ones despite what appears in the video to be a distinct too-cool-for-showmanship distance on our part and only a mildly interested, sparse crowd. Well, we were certainly used to those. The song "Love American Style" was recorded for a 1991 single on Lookout Records, and it is the first recording where I was genuinely satisfied with the way it came out. I think the hot guitar leads way up front were a bit shocking to the tiny, quite conservative, developing "pop punk" crowd, and the cover of the single was controversial in that little world, too. I do think, though I say it myself, that it has held up pretty well nearly thirty years on, as a recording and as a song. But, it's a pretty weird song. The idea of forming a love song by mashing up and combining bits and pieces of de- and re-contextualized, unexplained bits of ancient pop culture was strange in itself; it was something I liked to do, and it came naturally for better or worse, but this is arguably the first time it really worked. "I will defend your right to cry" (the original theme song of the TV show said "try") is maybe one of the best things of its kind I've ever managed. I doubt further explication would be useful. I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. Either you get it or you don't, and if you don't you won't. There are a few other songs from that set that may be worth pulling out and commenting on, but I'm not done with Southampton yet, believe me. Have a great time on your mandatory dates tonight. Þu eart dust and to duste gewendst.
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