Friday, March 11, 2005

The Blurred's the Word

One day in 1989, I was at a closeout store with my boyfriend and spotted an album I'd never seen before: a circa-1965 release by a Puerto Rican garage band, the Fabulous They and I. I knew it was a keeper because it contained cover versions of Rolling Stones tunes like "Get Off of My Cloud"—retitled "Get Off, My Cloud"—and songs by the Dave Clark Five and Them, as well as the inevitable "Louie, Louie." Clearly a bargain at $2. Also, the band looked so cool on the cover—like a bunch of 15-year-olds trying to look tough. I'd show you, except I was so crazy about my boyfriend that I made the great self-sacrifice of offering him first dibs on the album. (I bought the Lovin' Spoonful's Daydream instead and got far less enjoyment out of it than I would have from the Latino songsters.)

Today I was listening to a tape of the Fabulous They and I for the first time in years, enjoying their phonetic singing and minimalist playing (reminiscent of the Shaggs), and was pleasantly reminded of a misheard lyric I'd forgotten. On "It's All Over Now," where the Stones sang, "[she] spent all my money playing her high-class game,"* the Fabulous They and I sang, "[she] spent all my money playing the happiest game."

I don't know why, but that gaffe always makes me smile when I hear it. It's so teenage and innocent.

UPDATE: Charles G. Hill has graciously posted an MP3 of one of his favorite Latin American Sixties pop recordings, "Tenemos Que Irnos de Aqui," by Los Shains. (Note that the link will be good only for about 72 hours, which means until early Tuesday evening.) If there's enough demand, I may be persuaded to put up an MP3 of another fun ESL cover of a Sixties classic, an Italian band's version of the Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night." (My friend Michael Lynch calls it "I Had Too Much Minestrone Last Night.")

*And I got the lyric wrong too. I originally had "her fast game"—which is apparently the way the Faces sang that tune, which was written by Bobby and Shirley Womack and originally performed by the Valentinos.