Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blondie – "Rip Her to Shreds" (1976)

She looks like she don't know better . . .
Dressed in a Robert Hall sweater

Robert Hall was once the leading low-priced clothing retailer in the United States, operating hundreds of no-frills stores from coast to coast.

My mother never took me to Robert Hall or other bargain clothing and shoe stores despite the fact that my family didn't have much money when I was growing up.

She thought the clothing and shoes they sold at those stores were cheaply made and not worth the money.  She trusted Sears and J.C. Penney much more, so that's where most of my school clothes came from.

This mother (and father) had a different opinion of Robert Hall:

When it came to shoes, I wore size 12A when I was a ninth-grader – which severely limited my footwear choices.  My everyday school shoes were thick-soled Florsheim wing-tips, which were big enough to water-ski in.

The Dutch theologian Erasmus once wrote, "Vestis virum facit" -- which is usually translated as "Clothes make the man."  

I hope that I wasn't judged on my clothes, which were nothing special.  But even if I had access to the most stylish duds available, I'm not sure it would have helped.

Robert Hall was on its last legs when "Rip Her to Shreds" was released in 1976 on Blondie's eponymous debut album.  

The chain declared bankruptcy in 1977.  Click here to read the long, strange story of  Steven West, the businessman who bought Robert Hall at the bankruptcy auction.  (The Wall Street Journal once called West a "master illusionist."  I'm guessing the WSJ's lawyers wouldn't let the author of that article call West a con man or douchebag.)

Deborah Harry, Blondie's lead vocalist, co-wrote the song, which she said was about what gossip columnists do to celebrities' lives.  Obviously, she was not a fan of Robert Hall sweaters.

Here's "Rip Her to Shreds":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment