Hot Time, Get It While It’s Easy

sleazy rag doll 2A few days ago, the song “Rag Doll” by Aerosmith came up in conversation. I don’t remember how, when or what the exact circumstances are. Maybe it was on the radio in the car. In just a few seconds, the complete awfulness of this song washed over me in a way it hadn’t since the song was popular in the late 80s.

Say what you will about the troubles we went through in the Double 00’s, I’m glad we live in an era that’s past the time when Aerosmith puts out music that’s embraced by the masses. They can have all the last hurrahs they want (although what is the official status of Steven Tyler right now?) as long as they don’t put out any more music on the level of “Rag Doll.”

It’s been heavy on my mind. Today, I looked up the lyrics.

Rag Doll livin’ in a movie
Hot tramp Daddy’s little cutie
You’re so fine they’ll never see ya leavin’ by the back door, mam
Hot time get it while it’s easy
Don’t mind, come on up and see me
Rag Doll baby won’t you do me like you done before

I’m feelin’ like a bad boy
Mm just a like a bad boy
I’m rippin’ up a Rag Doll
Like throwin’ away an old toy
Some babe’s talkin’ real loud
Talkin’ all about the new crowd
Try and tell me of an old dream
A new version of the old scene
Speak easy on the grape vine
Keep shufflin’ in a shoe shine
Old tin lizzy do it till you’re dizzy
Give it all ya got until you’re put out of your misery

Yes I’m movin’
Yes I’m movin’
Get ready for the big time
Get crazy on the moon shine
Yes I’m movin’
I’m really movin’
Sloe Gin Fizzy, do it till you’re dizzy
Give it all ya got until you’re put out of your misery

I’m rippin’ up a Rag Doll? Really? Gross. But I’ve got to hand it to them, they really have their finger on the pulse of the female populace. Every woman longs to be a hot tramp AND Daddy’s little cutie, doin’ it til they’re dizzy like David Carradine.

The most terrible aspect of this is that, due to the incessant sing-song nature of the tune, it’s very hard NOT to hum it once you’ve heard it. Even if you’ve made a conscious effort not to be the person humming “Rag Doll,” self-control slips away and you end up acting a bit like the weird guy in the bulk food section of the grocery store, talking and singing with such abandon that some people might think that you have one of those Blue Tooth things in your ear when in fact you do not.What’s worse, to sing and mutter about bulk almonds or to sing and mutter about “Rag Doll?”

I believe that we, as a society, have moved beyond “Rag Doll.” Some of us just haven’t realized it yet.  We’ve also moved beyond Dick Clark, although apparently he’s not done with us. We’ve left J. Lo behind, although she joined forces with Dick for New Year’s Eve, dressed as a bloated bat, to press some of her old radio hits into our ears. Just as certain things can’t go back into the box once you’ve taken them out , some things go in and never return.

It makes you wonder: in the end, what/who is culturally relevant and what/who clearly doesn’t make the cut? For examples, pick up any book about old Hollywood and you’ll see many names you’ve never even heard; all of them celebrities in their day. Fans waited hours for their autographs.

It’s a refreshing exercise, once you really start to delve into it. Taylor Swift won’t be relevant just as Debbie Gibson is now irrelevant. It takes the pressure of thinking you need to keep up with music, actors, movies, TV… Who cares if you know who people are or not? Are The Strokes culturally relevant? No, despite the brouhaha over them a few years back. Drew Barrymore? I don’t know… Do  a lot of people still care about John Barrymore? He was hot shit back in his day. Angelina and Brad? Let me ask you this… do you care about Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.?

It also makes you realize that you can withhold your participation in the pop culture if you so choose for quite awhile and see how things pan out. I have yet to read a Harry Potter book. I figure they will always be there, in reprints, until I die, so why rush? I just started watching Lost, although it first aired in 2004. Everyone says it’s great; I’m finally finding out for myself.

But then there’s this question. Although we can safely say that “Rag Doll” is not culturally relevant, nor is it at all cultured, where does Aerosmith itself stand? Rolling Stones – safely culturally relevant. Beatles. Michael Jackson. Aerosmith though? They reside in a murky area for me. I think I’m going to vote “not relevant,” but that may be because I’m mad at them right now. Actually, have been since the late 80s… Remember “Love In An Elevator?”

But you can decide for yourself which column you would put them in.

Ah, good times down at Ye Olde Whorehouse!

3 thoughts on “Hot Time, Get It While It’s Easy

  1. 1. I think there’s sort of a split in the Aerosmith canon. Their stuff from the 70s, from when they were pretty much just trying to be the East Coast US Led Zeppelin, holds up ok (even if classic rock stations have kind of overkilled a lot of that stuff). But then the 80s hit, and were not kind.

    2. Weird that you mention the Strokes, I thought they were off in Irrelevant Land, too. But a bunch of critics put their first album way up at the top of their respective Best-Of-Decade lists, so I guess somebody still cares. Of course, that might have just been the critics trying to make their own guesses look accurate…

  2. Really? Even the part about the hillbilly dad and trampy daughter who then takes off to go down to the whorehouse? You have to watch closely due to the fast cut action but its there…

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