Unlike a lot of men I’m not really a car person. Living in London I didn’t need to drive and didn’t learn how until I was 30 and had moved to Florida where you have to if you want any sort of life. As a result I don’t really equate them with freedom or girls like in the Springsteen songs and see them mostly as things to get you from A to B. Not that I don’t appreciate a beauty of a classic car like an E-type or Mustang (and wouldn’t say no to owning one), but I don’t get erotically aroused by them like the bloke in Queen’s “I’m In Love With My Car”.
There are a lot of pop and rock songs about cars but few make them as blatantly sexual as this. Written by drummer Roger Taylor, it’s hysterically over the top but there’s something gloriously ecstatic about it that I’ve always loved. With its lines about “pistons a pumpin'” and “my hand on your grease gun” it’s almost, um, Ballardian in its erotic fetishization of cars.
I first heard this when it was the b-side of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and kids at school would sing “I’m In Love With My Bike” to it. We knew all the girls loved a nice Chopper.
Sad to hear about the death of Sylvia Anderson. The obits focused on her being the voice of Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds but the greatest thing she did for me was design the costumes in the Anderson’s live-action series UFO.
Though the styles were often silly and a hysterically groovy 1960s idea of fashion in the far-flung future of the 1980s, she has my undying gratitude for putting the girls on Moonbase in those silver catsuits and miniskirts, especially Gabrielle Drake. My childhood wouldn’t have been the same without that.
I like to think the girls of Moonbase would have been listening to this 1985 hit when they were relaxing between UFO attacks. It’s a tad cheesy but I love it.
I’m not entirely sure who was the very first woman I saw on TV as a boy that made my dormant hormones go Boing! and realize that girls were actually rather interesting creatures. Previously I’ve identified that first crush as possibly being Raquel Welch, or even Bobbie Gentry, but it could very well have been Yvonne Craig as Batgirl.
The Batman TV show was already catnip to a young boy anyway with its bright cartoon sensibility and KAPOW! fight scenes, then they threw this cute girl in a skintight purple outfit into the mix (they already had Julie Newmar as Catwoman, add her to the list too) and I thought it was about the greatest thing on television.
40+ years later and I have a daughter who loves watching the same show to see Batgirl beating up bad guys. Anyone with a daughter can tell you the power of strong female role models to fight against the malevolent evil that is Barbie and Disney princesses, so I’m very grateful to her Batgirl for several reasons. Craig died yesterday at the age of 78, she’ll be fondly remembered.
One of the many reasons why it was so great being a boy in the 1970s: 20-foot high billboards of Caroline Munro in a wet suit plastered everywhere.
Mott the Hoople are rightly famous for being one of the best rocking bands of their era, but they also did some lovely ballads like this one. I actually think Ian Hunter’s voice is more suited to slow, melancholy songs.
You don’t need me to tell you that Merry Clayton was the wailing backing voice on The Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” or that her own version of the song is fabulously funky. “Good Girls” was the b-side of that and is also on her 1970 debut album.