WXRT, the local rock station for people like me who don’t so much rock it anymore as rub it after a bad sprain, for years has had a Saturday morning show called “Flashback”, in which they choose a year and highlight the songs, the news and groovy trends of said year. While intended to arouse feelings of nostalgia for a disappeared youth, the show generally feels like tonguing a cold sore. There are times you might be tempted to react to a song by gushing, “Ah, this is an old gem that could only be made back then,” but far more often the thought emerges, “Christ, I remember this garbage. Somebody actually made money off this back then? Were we all insane?? Was the dope that strong? God, I hope the kids don’t hear this.”
I especially look forward to the shows spotlighting 1976 through 1978. Gerry Rafferty. Fleetwood Mac. Al Stewart. Boston and Foreigner. Rockin’ Robert Seger. Because on those mornings, I get to shout, to no one in particular, “You hear this?? Don’t tell ME it wasn’t an abusive adolescence!”
So anyway, they ran a Flashback for 1977 last week, and they played Muddy Waters singing “I’m a Man” from his album Hard Enough. Fitting, fine and dandy. But one line stuck out at me, even after hearing it literally hundreds of times:
“I can make love to you, woman,
In five minutes’ time.”
Really, Muddy, is that the sort of thing you want to advertise? You want to tell her that she has to pay her share of the dinner bill, too? Does she feel like she’s getting a lot extra if you stretch it to seven minutes?