Monday, September 27, 2021

Frankie Says Relax

 

For Mr. Mago, who was puzzled.

 Since I've referenced this band and their excellent song here several times recently, I'm going to post up the video version that was banned (!) in the U.S market when it first came out:

                                    Damn, I need a glass of icewater and a smoke after that


Now here is the version of this rampaging, danceable disco anthem to anal sex that was released in America! It too was juuuust this titty-close to getting banned for the suggestive sound effect at 0:15, which was deemed 'too liquid' by reporters on MTV:


                                     Oh go ahead.  You know you want to listen to it twice.

And here are the lyrics to the American version:

Mi- hi-hi-iiiiiine....
Give it to me one time now
Well, whoa, well
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna go do it
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna come
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna suck, chew it
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna come
When you wanna come
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna go to it
Relax, don't do it
When you want to come
Relax, don't do it
When you want to suck, chew it
Relax, don't do it
When you want to come
Come
Whoa-oh-oh
But shoot it in the right direction
Make making it your intention
Live those dreams
Scheme those schemes
Got to hit me (hit me)
Hit me (hit me)
Hit me with those laser beams
Laser beam
Relax
Don't do it
Relax
When you wanna come (come)
I'm coming
I'm coming (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Relax (don't do it)
When you wanna go to it (what's inside me?)
Relax, don't do it
When you want to come
Relax, don't do it
When you want to suck, chew it
Relax, don't do it (love!)
When you wanna come
When you wanna come
When you wanna come
Come
Get it up
The scene of love
Oh feel it
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna go do it
Relax, don't do it
Relax, don't do it
When you want to suck, chew it
Relax, don't do it
One time, one time, one time (hey!)
Come!

Yes children, it was 1984, the Stainless Steel Amazon was but an infant, and I was living on Capitol Hill in the middle of Seattle. Our top 40 Hit was 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' by Yes, until this song came down like dynamite! This song had them literally dancing in the street when it came out!  You heard it everywhere on The Hill.  It wouldn't be until 1991when local boys Nirvana pushed it off to the side with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' during the height of the Grunge movement, which overlapped the post- Punk, NuDance club scene. I didn't make up those dopey genre names, btw.  That was the fault of The Rocket magazine, which was for a brief while even more prestigious than Rolling Stone here in the U.S.

I had just left my first husband and moved back to Washington.  I had gone right back to my club clothes and my Bowie-Meets-Bernadette Peters look, and there I was, on Welfare, not a dime to my name, literally an outcast living amid a whole community that was also on the edge of acceptance, and this song wasn't asking anybody for acceptance; it was celebrating what it was.  That needed to happen.  People saying 'Your foot is no longer on my neck, and I'll never express myself in terms of victimhood again.'

So you can probably see why it stuck in my mind.  Not only was it fun and irresistible, it was winning a kind of battle.  And face it - who doesn't like a rousing tune about butt sex?

I'd always wanted one of those huge block print t-shirts, the long ones that were so fashionable in the 1980's, that had FRANKIE SAYS RELAX on it, but I felt at the time that would be going a little too far, seeing as I had an infant and was at the beck and call of the Welfare agency.  Surprise visit by your caseworker? Oh, it happened.  And had it happened go me, sure as shit,  there I'd be in my 'Frankie' t and nothing else, fighting off the cockroaches in my little railroad flat with one bathroom down the hall - unacceptable living standards by Welfare's rules right there.  Nope. Sorry, Frankie.  And so I waited until last January, in 2020, to order myself the t I'd craved for so long.  Trump was in office.  It was practically a necessity.

The henbiddies in Lynden, home of Christian Separatists, homeschoolers, and the practice of Abusive Home Birth, absolutely freeze in horror when I come rocking up wearing this bad boy.  And they should.  That is the revenge that lifelong hatred enacts upon the ageing bigot.  Let them pay in anger, high blood pressure and palpitations for being shitheels.  Because they know what the lyrics to that song mean, and just knowing those lyrics is SINFUL and my t-shirt grabbed them by the throat and rubbed their noses in that meaning, right?  Ah, displaced blame.  Nothing like it.  Suffer, motherfuckers.

Do you have any memories associated with this song?  Do share them, in detail, in the comments!

 


10 comments:

Jon said...

Do I have memories of this song?! It arrived just at the perfect moment - just as I came out and started catching up with all the men I'd missed by being late to the game (I was 21)!

They were singing:

"Relax, don't do it
When you want to come
Relax, don't do it
When you want to suck, chew it"


...and I was doing it. Jx

Ms Scarlet said...

I still have 1984 in my veins, though I no longer have my Frankie T-shirt! Best music year in the UK ever! Well, nearly as good as 1979.
!984 - the year I realised I could add inches to my height with backcombing and hairspray alone - finally I reached the dizzy heights of 5ft 1".
Sx

Camille said...

Ah yes, the fabulous 80's. I too had taken a hike from my husband and started over. No kid or cockroaches in tow thankfully, just a crap job, crappier apartment and the ability to survive on a couple hours sleep and countless hangovers from all night clubbing. Was thin as a rail and enjoying my Pat Benatar/Joan Jett phase. Now I have a 40 year old stepson who adores 80's music. And as we cue up my 80's playlist I always say "Kid, you have NO fucking idea, you were still in diapers" Pfffft.

ProximaBlue said...

I moved to Seattle and Capital Hill in 1998 and the homeless and the homeless living at the reservoir park played Nirvana all day long on a boombox and I felt right at home.

I didn't know what this song was about, being a bit younger. Listening to it when you posted it in Mago's comments I thought it sounded like it was about "edging" for men to make themselves last longer during sex. I'll never forget when I was young and working at a screen printing factory and asked a male coworker what ZZ Top meant by "she wore a pearl necklace"
which I understood not to be an actual necklace. The man almost choked to death on air alone. Hahaha. He did tell me eventually though.

BEAST said...

They were a great few years . We used to go clubbing all the time as I lived in London at the time. This track in the UK was rather adopted by everyone as a general ode to shagging in any shape or form . Most of the big clubs did not give a shit about sexual orientation and were very mixed. Good times :-)

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Jon: Awesome! That is so cool! What a great anthem to dive into the hot tub o' love to!

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Ms Scarlet: Oh man, I remember the Big Hair. Mine was so stick-straight that I couldn't back-comb, so I did the 'Flock of Seagulls' hair thing in '84. I had high sides and a big ol' swoop down the middle (and obligatory rat tail.) I kind of looked like the opening sequence of Hawaii 5-0 minus the surfer.

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Camille: Wow, you too, huh? I had a Pet Teenager a couple of years back who had discovered 80's music online and was convinced it was a New Thang. I wish I'd been able to party back then; I loved Grunge! And I was right in the middle of it in Seattle, too!

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

ProximaBlue: We missed each other by a few years there, but yeah, I lived cattycorner from that park, and there was more needles than grass up in there back in my day. We used to go up on the roof and party instead because that damn park was SCARY. And yeah, I can get with the 'Pearl Necklace' thing too. Someone brought it up to me, and I sat there for way too much time before it finally hit me. Meanwhile everyone was cracking up helplessly at my dumb ass. Fun times!

Steve. Because 'Steve' is almost as nice a name as 'Paul'. said...

Beast: Up on Capitol Hill, it was the soundtrack for months! I remember Herbie Hancocks 'Rockit' being hugely popular too. Capitol Hill was where everyone went clubbing since it was by two major arts colleges and in the middle of the gay part of town. ANYthing went. Me, I had a baby to take care of, but it was awesome to be able to walk out in the evening and sidewalk surf the different clubs, listen to the music for free, do a little dancing, a little drinking, smoke a little weed...everyone was happy and in a celebrating mood. That was a summer I'll never forget.