Sunday, February 23, 2014


"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 CafĂ© 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."

¡Que Linda!

42 DOWN, 10 TO GO

1 comment:

Gary said...

Holly, I think you and I are writing the same blog.

Here's a sample of one of my big-deal posts you might enjoy -- it talks about Dave Edmunds.

I'll check out some more of your posts -- maybe we can do some guest posts.

Gary Hailey