Dear Jerry, Don’t Try To Kill Me With Your Love, Norman

I know that The Monks (the late-1970s fake punks, not the 1960s army rockers) are on the untouchable lists somewhere, due to the total insincerity of the act, but I like them. 60s folk-weasels who spent time with all-time ecch-yuck Rick Wakeman, these former Strawbs followed up Bad Habits with some 1930s pastiche act; they were genre-hoppers, pretty much taking the piss with this album.

But to kids, does any of that matter? Long before I heard any real punk or even much sincere punk-flavoured pop, I heard Drugs In My Pocket at Sarnia’s long-gone Records on Wheels, and it seemed real enough to my ten year old ears – even a little dangerous.

What seemed even more dangerous was the gay love song (sort of love… relational, anyway) that ended side one called Dear Jerry, Don’t Try to Kill Me with your Love, Norman.

There were a few key gay-flavoured moments that opened my young mind – few enough that I remember them all. The line in Hotel California about the “pretty, pretty boys” scared me and thrilled me more than the “you can never leave” ending; a photo of Frankie Goes To Hollywood fascinated and scared the crap out of me; and Springsteen’s Backstreets,  in my interpretation about a male Terry, was equally mind-expanding. (His stage-smooching with Clarence Clemons solidified that possibility.)

Whatever the intention of Springsteen and/or The Monks, the songs opened my straight mind to gay love’s legitimacy,  and opened my political and social mind in a clear and important way (without “turning me gay”, interestingly). Which makes me wonder if the kids listening to  I Kissed A Girl will feel the same way, however the song is received and interpreted – or even intended.

Anyway: from the vinyl archives…

Dear Jerry, Don’t Try To Kill Me With Your Love, Norman


1 Response to “Dear Jerry, Don’t Try To Kill Me With Your Love, Norman”

  1. 1 psj December 8, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Nice! I loved this album when I was a kid; also as recently as two years ago… “Skylab” was always a favourite. I don’t know why.

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