Don Gardner - My Baby Likes To Boogaloo b/w Inaugural Malaise
Marching to Victory
Okay… The inauguration (er, coronation) of Bush the Younger approaches rapidly, ripping the already tenuous scab that took forever to form after the tragic election. This does not make me happy. On one level, the asshole gets another four years to continue to f*ck things up like a wolverine in a baby carriage. One another level observers can expect to be faced with pageantry, pomp and overkill, wholly inappropriate considering the venue (depressed Washington, DC), the funding (which the DC city fathers were forced to deduct from an already paltry allotment for “homeland security”) and the times we live in (soldiers keep dying in furtherance of the upcoming democratization of Iraq, heretofore known as the Republic of West Vietnam…). On all levels utterly disheartening and disgusting. So, what to do. I’ve decided to do battle with this negativity using one of the rustiest swords in my arsenal, Don Gardner’s ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’. A song that stands as a battle cry, calling the faithful to arms, while simultaneously having nothing at all to do with the situation at hand. For those that don’t know, Gardner was an old R&B hand who had a number of hits as a duo with Dee Dee Ford, as well as a pile of his own 45’s. ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’, on the New Jersey (hiyooooooo!) label Tru-Glo-Town is just under three minutes of explosive, 1967 soul/funk savagery, in which Mr. Gardner whips the band like a rented mule team and shreds his vocal cords like so much slaw. I have gone on record in the past as preferring the Emperors’ cover on Mala, but the occasion calls for a brutal, immediate response and that group’s atmospheric spooky dooky vibe must be dispensed with and Gardner brought in to do his dirty bid’ness. The tune starts off with what sounds like someone slapping a giant, novelty guitar, accented by the slightest hint of combo organ, followed then by someone bashing the hell out of a set of drums that sound like they were perched on top of the main microphone. Don then drops in, sounding like he just caught his straightjacket on a rusty nail and couldn’t be more peeved. The sound is intense, and there are points where it sounds like the whole band climbed into a dumpster and rolled down a marble staircase, always on the verge of spinning out of control (yet always just hanging on…just). Tomorrow, when Bush and his coterie are rolling down Pennsylvania Ave (or whatever street they cordon off and armor-plate and protester-proof for the occasion) with thoughts of dynasties running through their bony little skulls, I will close my eyes and think of a huge wave of angry people, led by a marching band made up of mental patients playing this song. They will wade into the procession waving broomsticks, toilet-brushes, slingshots and roman candles, while rolling their eyes, gnashing their teeth and singing ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’ at the top of their lungs. The desired effect of course will be to further confuse the President, have Cheney drop stone-cold-dead, and Barbara Bush will start slapping Jeb like a little girl, causing him to soil his panties and swear off the very idea of returning to Washington under any circumstances, thereby making the world a safer place. This vision will cause me to smile (if only briefly). God bless you, Don Gardner, wherever you are. Fight the power.