08. November 2004 · Comments Off on On A Hot Summer Night… · Categories: That's Entertainment!

Jay Tea over at Wizbang is having a bit of fun trying to speculate who else Jim Steinman could write for besides Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler. Who else has got the pipes for a Jim Steinman rock opera? You can go leave comments with him on that subject, I have to do my obligatory why I love “Bat Out of Hell” rant.

In the summer of 1977 I was getting ready to turn 16 and FM radio was a wasteland of Disco babies singing to that insipid heartbeat backbeat. We also had “Back in The Saddle” by Aerosmith and that was the year that “Rumors” got Fleetwood Mac noticed. Queen hit us with “We Are the Champions.” But we also had Shaun Cassidy torturing us with “Da Doo Run Run” and Dan Hill making the little girls cry with “Sometimes When We Touch.” Just kill me NOW. I’d complain about “You Light Up My Life” but that song got me to second base with a very blessed young lady so I’ll leave it alone. The Ramones were still banished to college radio and the Punk Clubs. My fake ID worked almost everywhere BUT the Punk Clubs.

Midnight Movies were where kids my age hung out. Led Zepplin’s “Song Remains the Same” was at the Uptown or the Nortown, The Fantastic Animation Festival…where Pixar first made it’s splash with the Desklamps was at one arthouse or the other, and a weird cult movie out of Britain called, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was going into nonstop Friday and Saturday Midnight rotation at The Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue. I’ll admit I did a decent Riff-Raff and even once did a night as Rocky, but I wanted to be Eddie. “Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul…I really love that rock and roll.” Besides…Eddie got Columbia and I LUSTED after the girl playing Columbia.

In the middle of all that throw in hormones raging and Boones Farm down by the lake drinking. Junior year was coming up…no longer a Frosh and already suffering from senior-itis. All of this was swirling around and around and around….out from the radio came a chilling voice…

“On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?” What the f*ck? Turn that up…”On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?” “Yes.” “I bet you say that to all the boys.” And “You Took the Words Right Out Of My Mouth” crashed through the clutter and the garbage and I was dancin’ barefoot in the arms of an angel at sunset on Morse Beach and all was right in the world for those moments. And yeah, we danced at Morse Beach to the radio…you got a problem with that?

The next day found a bunch of us at the neighborhood record store picking up, “Bat Out of Hell.” Produced by Todd Rundgren, backed up by most of the E-Street Band, and holy sh*t, Carla DeVito!!! She’s local!!! No sh*t she went to Loyola…she used to sing at Baby Huey’s…my brother DATED her!

Pure, unadulterated rock taken to operatic levels and with words every teenage kid in the neighborhood could understand. From “I know that I’m damned if I never get out and I know that I’m damned if I do…” to “We were glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife.” we got it. This was an albumn about summer, at the beach, with kissing and making out and all that stuff that made being a teenager bearable.

And that’s why “Bat Out of Hell” is to this day, one of my favorite albumns. Someone out there got it. Someone outside of our circle knew. Cuz ya know when you’re 16…you figure that no one gets you or your friends.

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