Your heart’s in the right place
I just wish I could say the same about where you put your legs
Some of us are born to the gutter, others have gutterness thrust upon them and yet others work at achieving and maintaining their position in the gutter every single day; such ones were Smashed Gladys*. They were the loinchild** of ex-pat Canadian Sally Cato (of The Concordes ‘fame’) and American guitarist Bart Lewis, who relocated to New York in 1984, were briefly managed by Gene Simmons and found a niche in the sleaze rock scene there. Their proper debut LP, Social Intercourse was released in 1988, they were signed to Elektra, I had a Smashed Gladys arm patch on my denim jacket, you’ve all definitely seen them in a video *^ and they were produced by Ric Browde – what could possibly go wrong? (goes the usual rhetorical question).
I first heard of Smashed Gladys from a girl I fancied called Lisa, who leant Social Intercourse to me when I was 16, bearing in mind the track titles that stood out for me were Lick It Into Shape, Play Dirty, Legs Up and Hard To Swallow, I did rather hope there was a coded message in this act. Hmmm…
It was a hard-driving sleaze-fest pitched a bit harder than Faster Pussycat’s debut, WAY heavier than Poison’s debut and nowhere near as hard as Guns ‘N’ Roses. At the time the nearest comparison was L.A Guns, but as I haven’t heard a note of theirs since Reagan was in power, I couldn’t tell you if that still stacks up. I was very pleasantly surprised by it when I span it tonight, if you like simple sleazy rock of that vintage you will undoubtedly like Smashed Gladys. Everyone can play nice and loose, the guitaring in ‘Legs Up’ was always, and remains, a fave. Sally was the real star of the show and her tough, alcohol marinated vocals are the focal point here and hearing her lay down the law on the likes of ‘Lick It Into Shape’ and striving for resonance on ‘Eye of the Storm’ (pants lyrics, good dynamics) give me sufficient kicks.
Now if you delve around on the internet a bit you can find various interviews with Ms Cato, the rest of the band seem to have blown away like chaff in a storm, which can’t help but tickle me. She was last heard of running a graphic design company and she did apparently put all the Smashed Gladys artwork together back in the day, but it is funny when she is asked about the sexual content of the lyrics. She talks in terms of empowerment, how a female-fronted band hadn’t done this before^ and how her lyrics slyly referenced Orwell and Kipling, whilst not really being about sex at all.
Well, whilst that may be your take on it, I’m sorry to say that really wasn’t what all of us hairy hornies were taking from it Sally, or indeed even why we were buying it. I call you out on the closing track ‘Sermonette’ a musing on precisely why people play in rock bands and my favourite track on Social Intercourse and one of my favourite tracks by anyone for a good year or two; it is a virtual Gettysburg address of sleaze. Revel in it!
Making noise with the boys
Just another one night stand
Well it ain’t easy being sleazy
It ain’t pretty staying up all night
Don’t you understand
Some do it for the money
Some do it for the limousines
Some will say they want to get on national television,
Well fuck that I’ll tell you why we did it
To get laid!
Wham bam, here I am,
I tell you honey I get all I can
Not for the cash, not for the fame
Getting some ass is the name of the game
We did it, we did it, we did it, to get laid!
Doing deeds, on your knees
Ain’t no way to scratch an itch
Another day, another lay
Living on the street you gotta practice what you preach
Some do it for the money
some do it for the limousines
Some will say they wanna see their face on the big cover of a magazine
Not us, I’ll tell you why we did it,
To get laid!
And I wouldn’t lie to ya,
Well not about this …
Well, what do we have here?
Oh! Hey you know those things? They’re … in all the right places
What? you want what? Ah come on Man! Let’s face it! You want the same thing as I do
and you know what that is ….
To get laid (x11)
To get fucked up !!
And it was worth everything! Every second!
Oooh I could just go on and on ….
I love it!
(various lustful exclamations and screamings)
So there you have it painstakingly copied out by hand just now, since no-one else on the internet had bothered before. That’s exactly why I would have joined a sleazy band at 17, or (checks wife isn’t reading) 42, it would be in order to meet easy chicks (or dudes in Sally’s case).
Sadly, record company incompetence/impatience sank them without much of a trace not long after Social Intercourse. But my view is that was enough, where were they going to go after ‘Sermonette’? So mentally I file them away with their fellow NY sleazoids Circus of Power and Cycle Sluts From Hell and I’m happy. The good news is that this is still a good record after all those years, it won’t change your life, or make you a better, kinder individual but there’s a decent chance you might get your rocks off to it.
*Okay so I’m paraphrasing really badly there, but hey I am legion.
**’brainchild’ really not the right phrase on this one, trust me.
*^the band, without Cato, are the band seen behind Tyler and Perry in the video to Run DMC’s ‘Walk This Way’! Cato was working behind the scenes. True story.
^we’re ignoring the Plasmatics for the purposes of that argument.