52 GIRLS"Linda Lee" / Buster Poindexter
One reason why The 80s Didn't Suck: Those were the years in which New York Doll David Johannsen decided to transform himself into the lounge lizard Buster Poindexter, all pompadour, sharkskin suit, and calypso-flavored pop. What started out as a novelty proved surprisingly enduring; he was still recording as Buster Poindexter in 1997 (Spanish Rocket Ship, the album "Linda Lee" is on), a full decade after his 1987 party hit "Hot Hot Hot." Johanssen still lets Buster out of the wardrobe occasionally, most recently last fall at NYC's Café Carlyle. And why not? Buster is fun.
Dig the mariachi strum that launches this song -- pick up your maracas and prepare to party.
You think Buster is fun? He's nothing compared to Linda Lee. In exuberant calypso tempo, he raves in verse one: "I swear there's somethin' shining / Shining out of Linda Lee." Sure, she's pretty, but so are plenty of other girls; what Linda has is special. Later, in the third verse, he describes it as "She's like a thousand girls / Jumping up and down inside her" (and naturally there are back-up singers standing in for the thousand girls). In the last verse he adds, "She's got a carnival inside her." He may not have told us what she looks like, or what color dress she's wearing, but he gives us something more important: her essence.
Where he does get specific is his scene-setting: "Aim this car straight towards Miami / I'm going to see my Linda Lee." I can just picture him driving south in some big-finned car, rapping out the beat on a zebraskin-covered steering wheel. Once he's there, they head for the Hialeah racetrack, and presto! "I gave her all of my money and said / Pick a winner for me. / You know it's crazy all the luck I got / Hangin' 'round with Linda Lee / ¡Que Linda!" Linda isn't just her name, it's what she is: "beautiful" in Spanish.As the song heats up, he starts to vary the melody, repeating lines, embellishing the verses. His voice is rasp-edged, thick, all cigar and margaritas. This is just the kind of guy who'd dig a one-woman fiesta like Linda Lee.
He's so intoxicated with her, when he's stopped on the street by a fan (okay, a little self-promotion here), all he can talk about is his girl: "They say they heard me on the radio / And seen my face on Latin T.V. / Well I tell them that ain't nothin' / You should get a load of Linda Lee."