Friday, August 23, 2013

Ian Hunter "Girl From The Office" (Bonus Video Friday)

Okay, here's the deal, there are two main reasons I think I relate so much to Ian Hunter:

1) He was born June 3rd, 1939, making him a fit & robust 74 years old as I type this sentence, and he's still out here in the rock & roll universe making records and playing shows.  Talk about growing old with rock & roll.  He's a genuine inspiration to me, and part of the reason I don't feel silly at 61 years old still strapping on a piece of wood with steel strings running up the neck and playing songs in bars to people who don't listen. 

2) Ian Hunter actually worked in factories before he was a full-time rocker with Mott The Hoople.  It was a fact they kept kinda quiet at the time, but Hunter was already 30 years old - and married with two small children - when he JOINED Mott The Hoople, something that just did not happen in 1969.  Back then rockers were all 16 to 22 years old, maybe 25 at the outside, but a 30 year old was supposed to be off selling insurance or working at a bank, NOT joining a rock & roll band.  I never worked in a factory, but (as it says in my little blog profile) I worked a solid 24 years in warehouses, unloading trucks & stocking merchandise, and that wasn't a whole lot more glamorous than factory work, believe me.  From 1974 until 1998 I never held a job where I could see sunlight while I was working.    

So I think that's why I was so struck by the song "Girl From The Office" when it first came up as track six on Hunter's Man Overboard CD in 2009.  Only someone who actually worked in a factory would get the details as right as Hunter does in the tune: the breath of fresh air & poetry that a pretty girl lent to those dismal working surroundings; the coarse manner in which your run-of-the-mill line workers or warehouse guys spoke of women, even (or especially) ones they liked and found attractive; the way it lifted one's respectability when said office girls would "bring you a coffee from the staff canteen."

Plus I wanted one tune in this August compendium that would demonstrate Hunter's way with a full-blown Great Pop Song.  "Girl From The Office" has it all - great tune, great story, killer hooks (go ahead, get that "What's she like, what's she like, what's she like" out of your head for 24 hours after you first hear it, I dare ya), backing vocals galore, a bridge section the last place you expect it - all of the ingredients required for a Great Pop Song.


inspirational verse; "No one seems to know where the girl from the office
goes in her spare time, well I found out / She visits the Sabrina Dancing Academy /
I just got my membership card filled out" - Ian Hunter, 2009

(This video is dedicated, by me, to Michelle DeVito & Leann Sloan from Service Merchandise
and to Linda Whittington at Ross Laboratories, the girls from the office who made my - and
many of my friends' & associates' - warehouse existence bearable.)

appendix to Bonus Video Friday

Much as my friend Colin Gawel asks the musical question "Why Isn't Cheap Trick In the Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame?" I must ask, as Craig Ferguson does in this interview, "Why Isn't Mott The Hoople In
the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?"  Great rock intellect from Ian in this clip, and great sense of humor. 

© 2013 Ricki C.

No comments:

Post a Comment