Saturday, February 2, 2013

Joan Jett Suspiciously Claims To Love Rock 'N' Roll

I've always felt that songs about rock and roll are kind of stupid. If a song wants to rock, it should just rock; it shouldn't sit around and talk about how much it's rocking. Did "Jumpin' Jack Flash" stop and say, "Hey, look at me everybody, I'm totally rocking right now"? No. No it did not. Did "Purple Haze" pull over to the side of the road and say, "Hot damn, I am really rocking like nobody's business"?

That's why I always thought Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" was kind of silly. I mean, if you really loved rock and roll that much, you wouldn't need to tell me; it would already be understood. In fact, the more you tell me how much you love rock and roll, the more I'm inclined to doubt that you really do. Me thinks the Joan doth protest too much.

I also thought it was silly how she brags about some attractive young man "moving on and he was with me - yeah me." I mean, he wasn't moving along with me, was he? No, he was moving along with you. Why should I care about your flirting success and not mine?

However, it turns out that Joan Jett didn't actually write "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (it was written in the mid-70s by an obscure British band named the Arrows), which makes the declaration a little less self-serving. Instead of "Hey, look at me, I'm trying to create a rock anthem," it's more like, "Hey, I found this song that somebody else wrote in the '70s that I really dig, so I'm going to use it to rock out." Having discovered that piece of information, and also appreciating all manner of '80s music anew, I have to say that I now like this song and agree with those who are inclined to share their supposed affection for rock and roll.

If pressed, I have to admit that the song does, indeed, rock. The guitars crunch. The drums pump. The vocals shred. It's not false advertising. On the other hand, certain mustachioed tunesmiths may have agreed with my original view that such blatantly anthemic statements are ripe for ridicule.


Herr Zrbo said...

Great one, I've definitely never seen that Weird Al video.

Little Earl said...

Probably neither has he.

It's from his first album, back before he realized that every song didn't need to have an accordion and raspberry noises on it.

I just tried to watch the video and was surprised to see a message about how it had been removed because of copyright violation blah blah blah, but then I looked and a higher quality version had already been uploaded on Vevo. So, screw Vevo, but thanks Vevo!

Viv said...

Yeah, the Arrows were an "obscure band" with hit singles and their own weekly TV series. A lot of bands would like that kind of obscurity. Did you know Joan Jett didn't even make the top 3 in the British charts with "I love rock n roll" because everybody there knew the "obscure" band the Arrows version.