live fast, die young, don’t record embarassingly awful “rock” music

A delightful website that I recently discovered is Awesomely Bad Lyrics. The writer, BLB, does a line-by-line mocking of some truly terrible lyrics, mostly of songs from the ’80s. Which, as anyone who grew up in that decade (like myself), knows was like the Golden Age of terrible, nonsensical lyrics; not to mention weird things that got shoehorned in simply because they rhymed — case in point: the “Have a banana” line from Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”. (Which is from 1978, but is my favorite example of the genre.)

Anway, today he did Starship’s “We Built This City”, which made me jump for joy, as it’s probably one of the 10 worst rock songs ever written. For fuck’s sake, it has a traffic report stuck in the middle of the song. BLB didn’t even touch that, and there was still plenty of awfulness to make fun of. (Technically it’s not a lyric, so I can’t fault him for ignoring it.)

Someone always playing corporation games / Who cares, they’re always changing corporation names

Yeah! Take that, CORPORATIONS!!! How dare you establish yourself as a legal entity for the purpose of doing any kind of business! You suck!!!! Except, of course, for RCA Records, the good people that marketed and distributed this song.

I must admit to some personal bias in my loathing for this, or indeed any Starship song. As someone named Sarah who did most of my growing up in the ’80s, I’ve had to endure a lifetime of people wailing “SAAARAH! SAAAAAAAAAAAAARAH! STORMS ARE BREWIN’ IN YOUR EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYES!!!” in my face, then actually acting like 1) Probably no one’s ever done that before, amiright?!?! HA HA I’M SO CLEVER; 2) It’s funny, instead of deserving of a karate chop to the throat; 3) Butthurt when I don’t fall down laughing and wet myself with glee at their cleverness.

The ’80s and ’90s were the high point of this crime against Sarahdom, but it still occasionally happens to this day. My tactic in dealing with it for the past few years has taken advantage of my youthful appearance and people’s tendency to underestimate my age: I give them a blank look and ask “What are you doing?” It’s very satisfying to watch them flail about at having the rug yanked out from under their feet and mumble “Oh, well there was this song… in the ’80s… umm, never mind.”

I feel it’s only fair to warn Grace Slick, since she’s like 187 years old, that if I ever encounter her, she’s got a hearty punch in the face coming her way. She’s really the poster child for choking on your own vomit and dying before 30. (Umm, if you’re a rock star. Not so much if you’re like, a kindergarten teacher or bus driver.) What if Jimi Hendrix had survived the ’60s to team up with Bernie Taupin and make videos in which the Lincoln Memorial comes to life and ROCKS OUT!?


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