Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Flashback

Who would've thunk it? A song about jilted homosexual love with lyrics that rankle the FCC on Friday Flashback? I know, I know...but bear with me and read on. I'll bet you've heard this one before... Jet Boy, Jet Girl, originally written and recorded by Elton Motello in 1977, is a song that just won't go away. It's popularity stems from the blissfully catchy tune and chorus in spite of the lyrical content of Elton Motello's original. Released in November of 1977, it predates Plastic Bertand's wildly popular Ca plane pour moi, released in December of 77, by one month. The only common theme between the two is the music itself. Plastic Bertrand recorded his lyrics with the same backing band featured on Elton Motello's Jet Boy, Jet Girl, using the same melody. Both songs have been covered by countless bands since 1977, most notably Jet Boy, Jet Girl by The Damned, the song which most listeners will identify with and probably assume was the original. "Ca plane pour moi" translates roughly to "It is gliding for me", or basically, "Everything is swell", the lyrics relate the story of a night of drunken debauchery and a one night stand. The lyrics are mild compared to the Elton Motello original, which many laud as a gay Punk anthem of sorts. It's not the lyrics that make this particular song but the pop perfection of the melody and that always recognizable chorus.

I'm not sure if it's the unsettling lyrics of the original, or the unusual story behind the recording of Ca plane pour moi, whatever the case may be the trend of using the melody and chorus of Jet Boy, Jet Girl set to entirely different lyrics continues to this day.

I'll ease into this one with Plastic Bertrand's Ca plane pour moi:

Now Elton Motello's original Jet Boy, Jet Girl:

And The Damned performing their classic version live:

And finally an example of the strange Jet Boy, Jet Girl phenomenon recorded by Dr. Explosion called Surf Taliban:

Have a great weekend and let it all glide for you too.

~Sham, Quixotic Referee


Richard said...

nice. Have you heard Sonic Youth's cover of Ca Plane Pour Moi? It's great.

Sham aka Dave said...

Richard, I didn't realize they had covered it until I was looking for other JB/JG versions, so up until recently, no...I do agree it's a great cover. I have a few Sonic Youth CDs in my collection. Very influential, unheralded band.