Thursday, January 21, 2010

Danger in the shape of something wild

"So young to be loose and on her own.
Young boys, they all want to take her home.
She goes downtown, the boys all stop and stare.
When she goes downtown, she walks like she just don't care."

Hot Child In The City (live) :: Nick Gilder

History Lesson:
Hot Child In The City is a pop rock ode to runaways. It was recorded by Nick Gilder and it went to number one both in Canada (October 14, 1978) and in the United States (October 28,1978). He won two Juno Awards in Canada and a People's Choice Award in the United States.

After seeing young girls on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, it inspired Gilder to write this song. He explained, "There are young people around (Downtown Los Angeles) finding out about themselves. And so it was a reflection, I think, of youthful angst and the passion that you feel when you are young, to find out what its all about in this world."

- Seems a little naive if this song is really about runaways, to say they are finding out about themselves and full of youthful angst and passion. The runaways I knew, both from the streets of Hollywood and the ones who hung out around Sears at the South Coast Mall, they always seemed better described as full of desperation, wanting, and disillusionment. That said, I never took this song as being anything about "runaways". I always took it to be about being young, going out, being a little wild, and experimenting with sexuality, and attraction.

Personal Reflection:
In the late Eighties it was the Seventies that captured us. It started as an underground Sunday night club, the first spot in a corporate cafeteria where you were tasked with knowing a special code for the door. Next it was an old mexican restaurant whose name meant "The Cockroach". There were mirrors on the wall, and red leather booths; it looked like the set for a Blondie video, all smoke-hazed and glowing. The next was an old skating rink, snack bar and smooth wood floors, you could almost hear them call for a "Couple's Skate" in the echos of yesterdays. This song stood out to me, one of the few I'd never heard before as a child of the Seventies; I think that made it more mine, or ours. These particular lyrics, Kate and I found ourselves inside of them, and we sang aloud, with half knowing smiles.

(The 70's)

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