Saturday, November 05, 2016

Before You Vote...

"Lies" / The Knickerbockers

We're all tired of political commentary at this point. I'll just say that on Tuesday we'll be forced to choose between a less-than-forthcoming person and a blatant liar for President of the United States. And in their wake, we've had to endure a flood of other lies of all stripes: Plagiarisms, misquotes, false statistics, unproven allegations, malicious insinuations, paranoid fantasies, and plumb ignorance of the most hateful kind, from both sides of the political spectrum.

I'm tired of it all.

And so here is my eve of election soundtrack.

Anybody remember this Beatlesque single from 1965? Though they hailed from New Jersey, the Knickerbockers jumped right on that BritBeat bandwagon, and scored a hit. (C'mon, that opening chord was straight off of  "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," and those back-up harmonies, especially in the bridge, are cloned from "Love Me Do").  It even got covered by Nancy Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt (and, improbably, Styx). Ka-ching, ka-ching.

The Knickerbockers weren't exactly a one-hit wonder -- they had a few other charting singles, and were regulars on my favorite afternoon TV show, Where the Action Is, for a couple of seasons -- but they never quite hit the big time. They were talented enough to rip off others bands' sounds (their previous hit, "All I Need Is You," was a doowop-inflected Elvis Presley wannabe) but they never had a sound of their own.

So in a way, even "Lies" was a lie. Nevertheless, it's such an earworm, it keeps playing in my head whenever I hear these politicians spout their cunning fabrications. It's got just the right level of outrage, mixed with sneering taunts and a howl of frustration. That persistent guitar lick is a like sonic scribble of rage.

And the kicker is the last verse -- for which I will quote the Linda Ronstadt version: "You think that you're such a smart boy / And I'll believe what you say / But who do you think you are, boy / To lead me on this way."

Sound like anyone you know?  

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