Thursday, June 07, 2007

ROCKIN' in the back seat (yeah baby!)

(above) poster by Alan Hynes and Christian Hall
(above) "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" reached #1
on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard R&B charts in the U.S. in 1988
(above) poster by Daniel Danger
I just saw Daniel Danger's new concert poster (above) and I'd earlier clipped Alan Hynes and Christian Hall's piece done for a Dwarves event. It got me thinking about action in the back seat. What musicians and lyricists have been singing and writing about doing in the backseats of cars, or alluding to doing in cars likely in the backseat, has been the source of great controversy--and great interest--while earning expressions of ire from morality groups since the 1930s.
Robert Johnson TERRAPLANE BLUES (1936):
"When I feel so lonesome, you hear me when I moan
Who been drivin' my Terraplane for you, since I been gone"
Sonny Boy Williamson PONTIAC BLUES
"I'm going out with my baby tonight
Whole lotta loving, in that straight-8 Pontiac
We're gonna get on the highway
Cut the bright lights on
Turn the radio on"
But the number one backseat love song has to be Billy Ocean's Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, simply because it rose to #1 on two of Billboard's singles charts in 1988, but also because it was the basic recipe with all the ingredients:
"Get outta my dreams
Get into my car
Get outta my dreams
Get in the back seat baby
Get into my car
Beep beep, yeah
Get outta my mind
Get into my life
Oh, I said hey (hey) you (You)
Get into my car"
Here are some others I looked up, while thinking about all the ways the back seat figures largely in car songs.
"With my girl by my side
We can go for a ride
To find a place we can dance
And when it gets real dark
We can stop in the park
And have a backseat romance."
"So come out tonight
I'll take you for a ride
This steamy ol' wagon
The radio is getting wild
Sleeping in my car, I will undress you
Sleeping in my car, I will caress you
Staying in the backseat of my car
Making love, oh yeah"
Akcent KYLIE
"Kylie, give me just a chance
Let's go out and dance
We can get into the groove
I can watch you move
Later you can sing to me
Like a shining star
But I'd rather do you on the
Backseat of my car."
Now, to be sure, rappers have been covering this subject in their own inimitable style, sometimes referencing the backseat directly, others implying where the deed was done. FYI, for those who care, each of these songs is a gem, lyrically, although some may be offended by the overall content. Nevertheless, you can Google 'em up and take yer chances.
"Never had sex with a rich rap star
Till I got her in the backseat of my homeboy's car."
"In a '64, me and baby boo cruisin' (oh-hoooo!)
Body rag interior blue and
Have them hydraulics squeakin'
When we screwin'"
Mc Nas-D and DJ Freaky Fred IT'S MY CADILLAC
"My Caddy is so loud
Some neighborhoods ban me
But it just makes it easier
For me to get in panties."
"You're the type of girl that got class and style
Still all you need
Is the backseat of my Jeep once in awhile."
Fabolous CALL ME
"I remember every gesture made (ooh)
During the escapade (ooh)
In the back of the Escalade (whoa)"
Still, the all-time leader in explicit allusion (if that's the right term) is:
Clarence Carter STROKIN'
"Well, let me ask you this
Have you ever made love
On the back seat of a car?
I remember one time making love
On the back seat of a car
And the Police came and shined his light on me
And I said
I'm strokin' . . . That's what I'm doing,
I be strokin'
Was that what Kid Rock was thinking (?) when he penned:
"She had some Cadillac pussy
Some Cadillac pussy
Man, it would drive you wild."
Or, Eddie Money?
Eddie Money SHAKIN'
"Rosanna's Daddy had a car she loved to drive
Stole the keys one night and took me for a ride
Turned up the music just as loud as it could go
Blew out the speakers in her daddy's radio.
Got so high we had to pull over to the side
We did some shakin' till the middle of the night."
And who doesn't remember the line "being seventeen and being barely dressed," although in fairness the front seat might have been the operating theater in this song:
"I remember every little thing
As if it happened only yesterday
Parking by the lake
And there was not another car in sight
And I never had a girl
Looking any better than you did
And all the kids at school
They were wishing they were me that night."
The Barenaked Ladies also expressed concern that sometimes lust got crossed up in the heat of the moment:
Barenaked Ladies IN THE CAR
"We were looking for ourselves
And found each other
In the car
It was rare to do much more
Than simply mess around
In the car
It was mostly mutual masturbation
And though we spoke of penetration
We'd have to wait for someone else
To try it out."
Billy F. Gibbons and company were just a little more confident:
"She don't love me,
She love my automobile
Well she would do anything
Just to slide behind the wheel
She said, "What's it gonna take for you
To lay your top on down?"
I said, "Honey, why don't you ask me
When we get to the outskirts of town"
And the Boss most certainly had it down:
Bruce Springsteen FIRE
"Im driving in my car
Turn on the radio
I'm pulling you close
You just say no
You say you don't like it
But girl I know you're a liar
'Cause when we kiss
Now, they're other songs of perhaps lesser stature that also cover the subject well, including the Violent Femmes' Gimme The Car, the Rolling Stones' Brand New Car, the Scorpions' Lovedrive, Paul McCartney and Wings' Back Seat of My Car, Die Vision's separately written Back Seat of My Car, the Ass Ponys' Dirty Backseat Car Thing, I Monster's The Backseat of My Car and Big Star's Back of a Car.
Nevertheless, the great ones really do get it:
"Hundred miles an hour
My hand's on the radio
Baby's in the back seat
Bompin' all over the road."
Unfortunately, bad--very bad--things can happen in the backseat too, through force and violence:
Tori Amos ME AND A GUN
"It was me and a gun
And a man on my back
But I haven't seen Barbados
So I must get out of this
Yes, I wore a slinky red thing
Does that mean I should spread
For you, your friends, your father, Mr. Ed
"Tell me what's right
Is it my right to be on my stomach
In Fred's Seville?"
So I close this meditation on back seats with two more memorable references:
Bruce Springsteen SHERRY DARLING
"Your mama's yapping in the backseat
Tell her to push over and move them big feet
Every Monday morning I gotta drive her
Down to the unemployment agency
Well this morning I ain't fighting, tell her I give up
Tell her she wins if she'll just shut up
But it's the last time that she's gonna be ridin' with me."
"I like the peace
In the backseat
I don't have to drive
I don't have to speak
I can watch the countryside
And I can fall asleep
Thanks everyone who contributed to my thinking. If anyone knows of other backseat songs, please contribute to this blog by responding. Thanks to to all the lyricists, songwriters, and musicians whose songs these are, and from which which I borrowed portions for the sake of this blog only. There is no permission granted or implied to otherwise reference or reproduce these lyrics. This is a documentary exercise. Peace out.

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