Randy's Corner Deli Library

25 October 2008

Fat Girls and Weed - An Essay From Bob Lefsetz

"Well since Mary Jane met Jenny Craig
She's got more to love, she never makes me beg
Take a sack of flour and a hit off my bong
She looks really good in that good thin thong
If I can't drink her pretty I'm gonna smoke her thin
She's my corn-fed baby with a double chin"

There's a song on the new Kenny Chesney album entitled "Ten With A Two". Kenny's gone on record that he lived this life when he was in college. His beer goggles fogging his vision, he woke up to find the girls he was with...wouldn't be featured on any magazine covers.

I think this is cruel. I'm surprised Kenny included this track on his album. Which despite many complaining about its dour tone, I like very much. Because of its honesty. But I couldn't help thinking what Kenny's audience would think of this relatively upbeat number. They're working in the bank all week, they put on their cowboy hat and boots, cover their beer roll with their t-shirt and pay good money to sing along and fantasize about one good night with their hero, who it turns out is going to make fun of them.

But Renegade Rail is not making fun of the obese.

What's better? To stand on the sidelines, waiting for someone thin and pretty enough to impress your friends or jumping into the action? What's more fun? Going to dinner with a woman who picks at her food or sitting on the couch, eating pizza and drinking beer as you rub flesh, with no one in the room but the two of you?

What's wrong with popular music is it no longer reflects real life. It's been so homogenized, made for a theoretical person who doesn't exist, that no one can relate to it. And who wants to sleep with Mariah Carey? Who enlarged her breasts and dieted down to nothing to please a critical press that doesn't buy her albums or pay for concert tickets anyway.

Can you look in the mirror and accept what you see? Or do you need hair plugs and four hours a day in the gym? Do you want to rub up against the coarse limbs of Madonna, touch her inflated cheeks, or hang with someone imperfect, but real?

Most guys would choose the latter. They might say the former, but that's only because they're afraid of being laughed at by their friends, of breaking a societal taboo.

I was sitting at a light in Pacific Palisades pushing buttons on my XM receiver and I came across this track on X Country. I immediately cracked up.

"I don't ask for much, I'm easy to please
There's just two things that satisfy me

Fat girls and weed
That's all I need
Well we've both got the munchies..."

You know this guy. The one who looks more like Kevin Smith than George Clooney. He's got no pretensions. He's not on the fast track. He lives to get high. Sometimes even at work. He doesn't exercise, he wants to relax, read his comic books and get laid.

If satellite radio survives, if the financial crisis doesn't make it implode, it still won't resemble the Top Forty of the sixties, even the eighties. It's a bunch of niches, appealing to everybody, but everybody isn't listening. Not needing to program for a psychographic profile, but playing what sounds good, stuff like Renegade Rail's "Fat Girls and Weed" can sneak through.

Is it gonna be played on the "Today Show"? Sung at the ballpark? Used in a commercial? Those are the criteria employed by the usual gatekeepers, to decide what's going to be promoted. But what about what sounds good at home? What sounds good in the club? You know if you heard "Fat Girls And Weed" in a bar, you'd raise your glass and sing along. Putting your arm around your buddy, feeling the donut encasing the torso of the woman you just met as your belly jiggles over your belt. You're in it together. And that's what the human condition is about. Facing the pain, the fury of every day life with your buds, laughing at the ridiculousness of the system, having a sense of humor.

Twenty years from now, no one will want to hear the Top Forty wonders of today. But when "Fat Girls And Weed" comes on the radio, you'll smile, just like you do when you hear the Toyes "Smoke Two Joints" today (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfduFy26EE0).

"Another tape from Bin Laden to the Al Jazeer
Well the future looks dim and the end is near
We got fires and floods and hurricanes
It's enough to drive a crazy man insane
Well I don't ask for much, you know I'm easy to please
There's just two things that satisfy me

Fat girls and weed
That's all I need"

Track 2: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=50060544

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