Song Of The Day 9/14/2016: Tim Curry – “I Do the Rock”
“I Do the Rock” (#91, 1979), much as I truly love it, is a kind of recorded simulation of mainstream entertainment’s clumsy handling of Curry’s peculiarities. Curry co-wrote the song with, believe it or not, the late gargantuan orchestrator Michael Kamen of “how can we possibly mess up Metallica’s legacy any further?” fame. (Kamen also co-produced Fearless.) I’m guessing Curry wrote the cock-a-hoop lyrics, which depict the singer’s detached affection for specific artists, athletes, Hollywood stars, politicians and philosophers, ultimately explaining that he stands outside their spheres, perhaps sadly, because the only thing that he knows how to do with any authority is “the rock.”
Like I said I love this song, partially because I’m pretty sure the character Curry performs has no knowledge whatsoever about how to “do the rock.” He sings in a European accent that’s nigh-impossible to nail down — I’m guessing Dutch — and makes up ill-fitting lines like “Rockne was quite Knute, you know” and “Carter, Begin and Sadat/Breznhev, Teng and Castro/Every day negotiate us closer to disas-tro.” It’s like something I would have written when I was in the gifted program in junior high school. Note also the uneasy instrumental straddling between cock-rock and new-wave, something that David Johansen was eventually able to perfect with his largely forgotten solo albums. Such was the netherland (hey, he is Dutch!) Curry found himself post-Furter. To his credit I’ve never heard him complain about it.