Thursday, June 09, 2005

Jeff Barry vs. Rod McKuen

In his fascinating interview in the LA Weekly today with music ed. Kate Sullivan, Jeff Barry waxes irked about those who dismiss the value of his bubblegum:

What you were doing was so new: The sound was new, the lyrics, the thematic values, the whole concept of a girl group and what that meant
[Nonsense lyrics] are the hook — the stuff that gets attention and you remember. But I was also conscious of putting in real stuff.

Somebody once said to me, you write all this bubblegummy garbage, and I said, “Yeah, you’re right. I read a Rod McKuen poem the other day that said something about “the loveliness of loving you . . .” And he said: See, now that’s what you should be writing. And I said, fuck you — that’s a lyric from “Sugar, Sugar” that I wrote for 3-year-olds.

“I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you” is not a 3-year-old’s sentiment. And it was record of the year. And I went, wow, that’s interesting. To become record of the year, it’s more than 3- and 4-year-olds asking Mommy to buy it.

And the fact it’s still on the radio every day.
Isn’t that cool?

From “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy” to “Skooby Doo,” your nonsense lyrics have a real childlike emotional power there’s something heroic about them.
Heroic? Ah, jeez. I love you! I’m a hero! I’d love to be a hero. I’d love to be a friggin’ hero.

1 comment:

Laura Pinto said...


I agree 100% with what Kate Sullivan said at this juncture - "[Jeff IS] a friggin' hero!!!" I run Jeff's official fan site and he's one of the sweetest human beings on this planet - a wonderful person, not to mention an artist and a genius. Thanks for posting the link to the article.