Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Two Minute Hate: Pat Boone - Tutti Frutti

Most disrespectful, least successful cover version of all time. The overtly threatening black man has been deleted, and the “suggestive” lyrics have been changed. All of the fun, and the entire musical idea, have been bleached out of the wonderful original. (Appalling video, 1957.)  

For the past week it had been killing me. What was that guy’s name? The face floated in front of me, nameless. This is a very famous guy I’m talking about, he sold a lot of records back in the 1950s and ‘60s, he was in movies, he was a romantic lead! He was a star! What was his name again?

I got off on this jag by thinking about Little Richard in connection with Jimi Hendrix. It happened by accident. I do listen to Richard on occasion, but this time around I was watching a video of the song “Shotgun,” by Stacey and somebody, was it Percy? I’ll check and get back to you. I was trying to figure out how Stacy and somebody had such a great band. I checked, and it turned out to be Little Richard’s band. So, Richard, covers, “Tutti Frutti,” and who was that white guy who cut the ridiculous cover version? Dead end.

I almost gave up trying to remember, and I was happy at the prospect, to be honest. I clearly remembered that I have always hated the guy. Later in life he had become particularly obnoxious, wearing dog-collar outfits and mocking all that is righteous about modern culture, some kind of big-time Christian washed up pop star slash amateur social scientist and “values” style leader. Today I succumb to the temptation to ask Professor Google.

“tutti frutti white cover version” led me right to Pat Boone, where I made the mistake of visiting his incredibly self-aggrandizing web site.

“Singer, actor, TV host, producer, songwriter, author, motivational speaker, TV pitchman, radio personality, record company head, TV station owner, sports team owner, family man, humanitarian, a man unafraid to air his views.”

That’s a cut and paste, so don’t blame me for turning it into a list masquerading as a sentence.

As this thick, smarmy fog swished around my ankles, I immediately regretted losing the opportunity to forget about Pat Boone, possibly forever.

That’s it; I’m done; no more effort from me; the object of today’s Two Minute Hate is Pat Boone. Mike drop. 

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