Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Innocent" Ears

You said you'd always love me
You said you'd be my friend
You had your fingers crossed
You stuck it to me in the end

Innocence ... it's all you'll ever plead

Ah, Harlequin ... rescuing the pride of Winnipeg rockers in the 80s!

Burton Cummings was flying solo; The Guess Who were done; BTO was on the verge of paying the principal on the "Overdrive" ... what were the odds a Winnipeg band would ever pull us back into the arena for a rockin' good time?

The guitar-based, synth-friendly Harlequin accomplished that very stunt with mullet-coiffed élan.

Last night I was walkin'
And I, I saw you with my friend again
And you weren't both talking
Least I don't try to pretend

Yesterday as I wheezed to the melody it occurred to me that "innocence" was pretty much required from the listener for this song to work its magic. When I was 15 this was just the song to get me roller-skating: at the time, the odds of witnessing the object of my desire holding hands with any one of my friends were actually pretty good -- better, in fact, than my own. Now, almost 30 years later, this sort of song with its stilted lyrics would prompt me to switch stations.

In fact, it didn't take 30 years for my taste in music to change. The next track chosen by the randomizer was "Dirty Pool" by Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble. Same subject matter, better execution and only three short years' difference between 'em.

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