Let me tell you a story.  It’s not an easy one to tell, but enough years have gone by now and I feel I’m able to share.  It involves a record.

My friend Paul and I were watching The Chart Show one Saturday morning back in early 1990 and they played a minute long video clip of a dance track, from memory* the video featured some creepy ass automatons – monkeys with cymbals and suchlike and the music was an interesting keyboard riff with quite a cool, prominent key change.  It was all rather repetitive and very different to my usual stuff.  So later that day in Carmarthen I found myself with some change in my pocket and I bought the 12″ of Lil Louis French Kiss, felling very happy that the track had a running time of over 10 minutes – talk about value for money!  the 7″ was only about 3 minutes duration.

Lil Louis French Kiss 05

When I came home my mum was around and asked me what I’d been up to that day, so I told her I’d been into town, played squash, bought a record.  ‘Oh, let’s hear it’, said my mother, a lady who has introduced me to more music than I can think of**, ‘Okay, but it might not be your sort of thing’, I said in that patronising way teenagers have, ‘It’s very modern’.  True story.

So I popped French Kiss onto the music centre, cued it up, hit play and sat down next to my mother.  I tapped my fingers along to the next 5 minutes of shifting, squelching synths and slow rhythm and just as I was getting a little bored, Satan made his move, precisely 5:47 into the tune.  The beat slowed slightly and a low lady-moan escaped the speakers.  To be followed by another, then another and then by what can only be described, in my subsequent worldly experience, as a frankly unrealistic screaming orgasm.  Just to allow adolescents listening with their parents maximum discomfort the music then stops completely, so you can concentrate on the young lady who is quite obviously having the time of her life by this point; this was an entirely unnecessary embellishment in my view, the lady was going for it with so much gusto by that time you could have driven a Sherman tank through the recording studio without obscuring her delight.

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So my mother and I, possibly both paralyzed by embarrassment sat there, me looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a combine harvester while a further 4 and a half minutes of orgasmic moaning played out, the music expertly slowing and speeding up at all the right times.  As this was going on various questions flickered across the barren tundra of my mind; Do I now have to leave home forever? what precisely do you have to do to a lady to generate that level of enthusiasm?^and why, oh why, did I have to buy the fucking 12″ version?!?

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French Kiss finished, to be fair to the lady performer she’d given all she had any more would have risked her straining something and the turntable clicked to a halt.  I was a bit lost for words.  ‘That is very, umm, modern‘, my mum eventually managed as I bolted upstairs, possibly for ever.

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U wrong, this is music from your darkest nether regions; not the mind.
Man, this is possibly only the second time I’ve listened to it since then and even now I had to steel myself first.  ‘French Kiss’ is actually very good, rather clever and let’s face it sounds like a damned good time.  Basically compared to this Jane Birkin’s ‘Je T’aime … Moi Non Plus’ and Donna Summer’s ‘Love To Love You Baby’ are a pair of long-bloomered, elderly maiden aunts.  ‘French Kiss’ this may be, but this is no peck on the cheek this is, umm, full penetration; quite possibly turbo penetration.  Oh, dearie me.

Definitely rather modern.

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586 Down.

PS – The B-side is insipid rubbish.


*I won’t look at the video until later, see how (in)accurate my memory is.

**Big fan of The Stranglers and the person who when I was playing AC/DC Fly On The Wall, told me that I might like a band called Led Zeppelin who she and my dad had seen play in London once – yeah right, what do you know old woman!

^my own fumblings thus far had failed to find that particular starter motor.

28 thoughts on “Very Modern Music

  1. My mom took my younger brother and I to History of the World Part 1. I think I was 12 and he 10.

    She was the straightest laced, strict Catholic lady ever, and the movie was all swearing and seuxual innuendo, nudity etc. I can only assume she thought it really was about the history of the world.

    I’m sure she was embarrased but we laughed our asses off, even if some was over our head.

    As for listening to a woman’s Big O with my mom, I would have lifted the needle long around the first moan.

    It kind of reminds me when I was young and my mom found smokes in my room. She made me smoke in front of her and my dad. I thought I was cool before that day.

  2. Gotta love those awkward moments. Sorta like sitting and watching a movie with mom and dad when I was a kid and nudity appears from out of nowhere. You just want to shrink and disappear forever.

  3. INSERT ribald jokes about the 12″ RECORD here.

    Also, an orgasm that long would kill someone, wouldn’t it?

    That whole section sounds like the musical equivalent of that hilariously bad sex scene in Show Girls (in the pool). Hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!

  4. Classic! It brought to mind my purchase of Iggy Pop’s Raw Power back in the early/mid 70s and having to turn the volume down as he sang ‘Penetration’ in case my parents heard!

    1. Yeah! Punk rock! Let’s stick it to the parents! I had a very similar thing with an AC/DC track ‘Love Song’ where Bon Scott wails ‘Jean…Jean’ at one point – that’s my mum’s name, so I always used to skip that track, too embarrassing.

  5. Big laughs reading this. So did the version with less inches not provoke the same orgasmic response then?

    And… The Chart Show! A blast from the past. I loved the lottery of it: waiting to see which random specialist chart would come on… only for it to be “dance” or “indie”. Ugh.

    1. Yup and all my rocker mates and I had the same conspiracy theory that they only featured the Rock Chart half the time they featured the others. It felt like such a victory once every four weeks when they’d play a 1 minute snippet on Bon Jovi or Def Leppard, but every so often you would get something heavier sneaking through.

  6. Sounds like the longest 10 minutes of your life to that point. Look forward to your Mum’s comment when she reads this post.

    BTW, is that the Dahl book with the story of the making of lightless love to the forbidden twin?

    1. Easily the longest, to date. I genuinely shudder at the thought of it.

      It’s from my set of Penguin postcards and I don’t own the book anymore. From memory the stories are all fairly bloody/macabre – Royal Jelly is in this one. I don’t remember twins. I read all his books I could find when I was about 15.

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