Double Nugget, Hard-to-find

Slave To The Rhythm Method

You’ll need a good scrub in the bath after listening to some of these tracks…

Probably long before Little Richard even though about hollering “Tutti Frutti, Oh Rudi“, pop music has been awash with sexual reference and innuendo. Island Records’ current celebration of their 50th birthday found me thinking about ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’, the Grace Jones hit from 1981.

grace jones bumper

The elastic band bassline (courtesy of Sly and Robbie’s Robbie), pattering percussion and honking horns can’t disguise the fact that this track is downright filthy. Taken at lyrical face value it would appear to be about driving through city streets at night, cruising the scene looking for action. So far, so very 80s. The fact that it’s sung by a woman might change your perception of it a wee bit, but if you know anything about Grace Jones you’ll be well aware of her appetite for life’s little pleasures.

grace jones cage

It should therefore come as no surprise when you read between the lyrics and discover that Pull Up To The Bumper is really an open invitation to come and get it.

Driving down those city streets,
Waiting to get down,
Want to ditch your big machine,
Somewhere in this town?

You’ll find the proper place,
Just follow all the written rules,
You’ll fit into the space.

Now in the park and lock garage,

Pull up to my bumper baby,
In your long black limosine,
Pull up to my bumper baby,
And drive it in between.

Pull up, to it, don’t drive, through it,
Back it, up twice, now that, fit’s nice.

back up I’ll pump your tire baby

We operate around the clock,
So won’t you please come in?
There’s lot’s of space for everyone,
Plus one for you my friend?

The lines are short,
I’ll fix you up so won’t you please come on,
That shiny, sleek machine you wheel,
I’ve got to blow your horn.

Pull up to my bumper baby,
In your long black limosine,
Pull up to my bumper baby,
Drive it in between.

Pull up to it, don’t drive through it,
Back it, up twice, now that fits nice,
Grease it, spray it, let me luricate it,
Pull up to my bumper baby.

See what I mean? There’s a multitude of versions out there. In addition to the original version from the Nightclubbing album (see above), there’s a nice early version from the Compass Point studio sessions (I think). There’s also an extended 12″ (uh-huh) version, which is basically the unedited final version of the album track. Larry Levan, Paradise Garage house DJ supremo took that version and updated it to a sleeker, club-friendly version.  This version reminds me a whole lot of..

Prince bw

‘Lady Cab Driver’ by Prince. Shuffling percussion? Check! Rinky-dink funk guitar? Check! Honking horns? Check! Suggestive lyrics? Check, although Prince isn’t as suggestive as Grace Jones, he’s more straight ahead and right to the point. Of course, the purple headed perv is no stranger to such things. But you knew that already. But have you heard the alternate mix of ‘Erotic City?

clique

The easily offended should cover their ears and look away now. The Clique are a mysterious band. The ying to Grace Jones yang, their track ‘Bareback Donkey Riding’ was recorded in 1995 by Mr Lo-fi himself, Liam ‘Friend of Jack White’ Watson at ToeRag Studios. But if you didn’t know that, you would be let off for thinking this track was recorded by some enthusiastic mid-western garage band in 1964. Heavy on the hammond, distortion and passionate vocals, it’s a Nugget-friendly no hit wonder. But have a listen to some of the lyrics…

Well here we are again

It’s you and me my friend

Let’s go throught he same routine

We’ll get there in the end

 

Last night she went away

Didn’t want to stay

Packed her bags and called a cab

I guess it’s not my day

 

If I could find a girl who’d like to hold the reigns

We could carry on our sordid lovers games

Bareback Donkey Riding! Bareback Donkey Riding!

Let’s go through the same routine? Beg beg beg! What d’you mean “not tonight?” Sounds like his girl left him because he wanted to do something that she didn’t. ‘Bareback‘? No protection? Another word for donkey? I’ll leave you to work out what it all means. I might be wrong…

*BONUS TRACK. Here‘s the Serge Santiago Special Edit of Grace Jones‘  ‘Slave To The Rhythm’.