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CIRCA
Even More Music For the Soul
June 25, 2004

by Denny Burkholder
Courtesy of WrestleLine.com

 

Last week in Circa, we remembered some of the more dubious self-performed entrance themes in the history of pro wrestling. Apparently, theme songs are a very hot topic among readers. The feedback was plentiful, and the mood was very positive.

So positive, in fact, that I have decided to present a SEQUEL this week!

So to everyone who sent me words of gratitude for the previous installment, thank YOU for allowing me to be lazy and present the same topic two weeks in a row while giving me the excuse that the readers demanded it! It is because of you that I will now have a few extra minutes this afternoon to further humiliate myself playing "Showdown: Legends of Wrestling" on PS2 (review forthcoming).

I'll kick things off with two very famous themes I didn't cover last week, which readers overwhelmingly remembered with fondness:

Badstreet USA - Michael "P.S." Hayes / The Freebirds

Ladies and gentlemen: Here, in its entirety (as far as I know, anyway), is the 80s rock masterpeice known as BADSTREET:

I want to tell you a story
about a place you don't wanna be
This ain't no home sweet home
it's a home sweet misery
We knew when we got here
they'd try to put us away
But when they seen us walk down
the street they ran the other way

Badstreet, Atlanta, GA!
Baddest street in the whole USA!
Badstreet, NASTY and HOT!
The further down the block you went, the badder it got

Street is a jumping,
tonight there'll be a brawl
Old Lady McDuffie, she done
give the cops a call
She might as well call the Army
Or the United States Marines
'Cause can't nobody handle this Badstreet scene

Badstreet, Atlanta, GA!
Baddest street in the whole USA!
Badstreet, NASTY and HOT!
The further down the block you went, the badder it got

17 punks came calling
And they thought that they were hot
They thought that they were nasty
And could make it down our block
But I'll never forget hearing that
Ambulance driver say,
"Someone should have told those
boys 'bout Badstreet USA."

So don't you come looking
On this side of town
'Cause this is where the Freebirds live
And everything's going down
If you don't know by now
we always get our way
That's the way it is down
here on Badstreet USA

Badstreet, Atlanta, GA!
Baddest street in the whole USA!
Badstreet, NASTY and HOT!
The further down the block you went, the badder it got

Badstreet, Atlanta, GA!
Baddest street in the whole USA!
Badstreet, NASTY and HOT!
The further down the block you went, the badder it got

We live in the last house on the right!
Badstreet baby, anytime!

Any graduate of the 1980s scene had their share of "Apter Mags" - such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Wrestler or Inside Wrestling. As The Freebirds trio of Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts gained popularity, they ditched their old theme (the Lynyrd Skynyrd mullet rock classic "Freebird") and instead opted for an original theme performed by Michael Hayes himself. Hayes took it a step further and released a full album featuring the song, and marketed it in a series of full-page ads in the Apter mags. You could purchase the album in a number of packages with other Badstreet merchandise, like the official red-on-black Badstreet USA logo T-shirt. There may have been a beer can cozy in there, too, if my memory is correct. If there wasn't, there should have been.

The song itself was surprisingly catchy and holds up well today. "Badstreet USA" has the memorable guitar riff, the chorus you can't help but sing along to, and the cool vocal trick that makes Hayes' lyrics sound just a little more badass than his normal voice does. It's definitely the least embarrassing 1980s pro wrestling theme to be caught grooving to.

The other theme song people clamored for is beloved for its reference to the posterior. The ass, if you will. It's got a funky beat, and it had an even groovier cat dancing to it after every trip down the aisle in the WWF.

Grab Them Cakes - The Junkyard Dog

Junkyard Dog was incredibly popular in the "Rock 'N' Wrestling" days of the 80s. So it was only natural that when the WWF made plans to release The Wrestling Album in 1985, they made The JYD a huge part of it. The Dog's trademark growl made the song unique and endearing. JYD even secured an appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand with "Grab Them Cakes" backup singer Vickie Sue Robinson (famous disco-era pop star known for the song "Turn the Beat Around") because of the song.

You have to wonder, though, how JYD arrived at the subject of the song. It's basically about a simple dance that involves moving left, moving right, and they grabbing two great big handfuls of your partner's ass.

When you get yourself started, it's hard to stop
You just go for your partner's you-know-what
And then you G-R-A-B-T-H-E-M-C-A-K-E-S!

Awwwww, GRAB THEM CAKES!
Oh, is that all you do?
I said GRAB THEM CAKES
Now listen - I don't care WHAT it takes!
GRAB THEM CAKES
What a feelin' when you do it to me!
GRAB THEM CAKES

Thankfully, when JYD invited little kids into the ring to dance with him after victories, he stuck to a simple juke move, shaking his knees. I don't know if "Grab Them Cakes" would have the same pleasant connotation today if he'd actually performed the dance he describes in the song lyrics.

Moving on, a lot of the feedback about last week's column revolved around the all-time classic "I'm The Mountie" and the sequel "We're Not The Mounties." Jacques Rougeau is legendary for the so-crappy-it's-great Mountie riff, and the lesser-known Quebecers theme is a fond memory if not a vivid one. But several readers correctly recalled a THIRD self-sung theme song involving Jacques Rougeau on vocals, with his brother Raymond. It predated "I'm The Mountie" by at least a couple of years, too.

All-American Boys - Jacques & Raymond, The FABULOUS ROUGEAU BROTHERS

In the late 1980s, the WWF turned babyface tag team The Rougeau Brothers heel and feuded them with The Rockers. As part of the Rougeau's heel characters, the French Canadian duo began waving small American flags and and sarcastically proclaiming themselves "All-American boys." Between the blatantly obvious fact that they were certainly NOT American, their mocking attitude towards PRETENDING to be American, and their newly-sinister tactics in the ring, the Rougeaus went from squeaky-clean good guys to wise-ass bad guys trying to pass themselves off as squeaky-clean. They weren't just the Rougeau Brothers anymore. Now, they were FABULOUS.

Their self-performed theme song was also a mockery of sorts, poking fun at the happy-go-lucky "pretty boy" wrestlers and their sticky-sweet personas. It had the generic, peppy pop synthesizer beat, overdubbed by Jaques and Raymond's easy-to-follow chorus:

We're All-American Boys!
All-American Boys!
We're All-American Boys!
All-American Boys!

From Montreal To Memphis,
Parlez Vous Francais?
Tell all the girls,
The Rougeaus on their way!
We're not pretty boys,
We're not a muscle head,
We hate that long haired look,
We like that preppy look instead!!

We're All American Boys,
All American Boys,
We're All American Boys,
All American Boys,

We don't like Heavy Metal,
We don't like Rock N' Roll,
All we like to listen to is Barry Manilow,

On peut pas les sentir,
Dans le monde ils sont les pires,
On aime les faire facher quand qu'on dit "We love the USA" HEY !!!

We're All American Boys,
All American Boys,
We're All American Boys,
All American Boys...

As a way of sticking it to the Rougeaus and their condescending entrance theme, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty fired back with a terrible tune of their own.

We're The Rockers - The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)

Here are the lyrics. Er... the lyric.

[Heavy guitar]We're The Rock-ers!
[Heavy guitar]We're The Rock-ers!
[Heavy guitar]We're The Rock-ers!
[Heavy guitar]We're The Rock-ers!

[Heavy guitar]We're The Rock-ers!
[Heavy guitar]We're The Rock-ers!
[Heavy guitar]We're The Rock-ers!
[Heavy guitar]We're The Rock-ers!

Essentially, it was the exact same instrumental guitar theme song The Rockers had always used, with Marty & Shawn yelling their name. Brilliant.

And we'll close this week's column with The Honky Tonk Man's second - and far less popular - self-performed song.

Hunka Hunka Honky Love - Rhythm & Blues (Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine)

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine had grown stale some time around 1987. The Honky Tonk Man had been sliding downhill since dropping the Intercontinental Title to The Ultimate Warrior in an unceremonious squash match at Summerslam. So the WWF paired them up under mutual manager Jimmy Hart and named the team "Rhythm & Blues." One problem, though: Greg Valentine's character had nothing at all to do with music. Of any kind. At all.

A bottle of black hair dye, some cheap sunglasses and a bedazzled Elvis Presley jacket changed that in a hurry. All of a sudden, The Hammer was doing The World's Worst Elvis Impersonation, gyrating his hips and pretending to play a guitar and sing backup for Honky Tonk on the group's theme, which they "performed" at Wrestlemania. Diamond Dallas Page even drove them to the ring in a pink Cadillac, more than a decade before DDP would join the official WWE roster.

Take it away, Honky...

Come on, baby, hold me tight
Tell old Honky want you need tonight
(Girls: We need a hunka hunka Honky love! We need a hunka hunka Honky love!)
I'm the one you've been dreaming of
You know you gotta gotta gotta have some HON-KY love!
Put your arms around me, whisper in my ear
Tell old Honky what he likes to hear
(Girls: We need a hunka hunka Honky love! We need a hunka hunka Honky love!)
I'm the one you've been dreaming of
You know you gotta gotta gotta have some HON-KY love!
Ah shake, rattle and roll!
Play that rhythm and blues!
Don't be CRUEL now!

Come on, baby, squeeze me tight
Tell old Honky what he wants tonight
(Girls: We need a hunka hunka Honky love! We need a hunka hunka Honky love!)
I'm the one you've been dreaming of
You know you gotta gotta gotta have some HON-KY love!
(Girls: We need a hunka hunka Honky love! We need a hunka hunka Honky love!)

"Tell old Honky what you need tonight." Aren't those just the words every woman longs to hear?

See you next week.

E-MAIL DENNY
BROWSE THE CIRCA ARCHIVES


  
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