Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Meat Loaf – "Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul" (1975)

You climbed in the back seat
Really had a good time

Do teenage couples still drive to secluded spots after dates, climb in the backseat, and make out?

I have four post-teenaged children, and I have no reason to believe that the backseats of cars played a prominent role in their adolescent love lives.  But I could be wrong about that.

Meat Loaf (who was born Marvin Lee Aday in 1947) was given a recording contract by Motown on the strength of his appearance in the Los Angeles and Broadway productions of Hair, but his 1971 album (recorded with fellow Hair cast member Shaun "Storey" Murphy) wasn't a hit.

Meat Loaf as "Eddie"
In 1973, Meat Loaf was invited to appear in the Broadway production of The Rocky Horror Show, which had been a huge hit in London but closed on Broadway after only 45 performances.  

Meat Loaf also appeared in the 1975 movie version of the musical, which was titled The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  The movie was ignored by pretty much everyone until a brilliant 20th Century Fox executive talked distributors into showing the movie at midnight screenings.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show became the longest running cult movie in history, eventually grossing $140 million in North America alone.  (The film cost only $1.4 million to make.) 

The Key Theatre's marquis
In the summer of 1978, I was a rookie lawyer at the Federal Trade Commission.  Several friends of mine and I went to see Rocky at the Key Theatre in Georgetown one Saturday night, and I immediately became a card-carrying member of the Rocky cult.  

I saw the movie at least a half-dozen times that summer, attending in costume and joining the other freaks in the audience who brought props and shouted out snappy comebacks to the movie's lines.

For example, there's a scene in the movie where two characters are caught outdoors during a rainstorm and hold newspapers over their heads in a futile attempt to stay dry.  During that scene,  audience members equipped with spray bottles and water pistols shot water into the air to simulate rain, then pulled out newspapers and covered their heads.  

Tim Curry as "Dr. Frank N. Furter"
When the transvestite star of the movie, Dr. Frank N. Furter, offered a toast during a banquet at his creepy castle, audience members threw pieces of toast at the screen.  

And when Frank N. Furter said, "I see you shiver with an-ti-ci- . . . pa-tion," the audience shouted "SAY IT! SAY IT! SAY IT!" during the pause between "an-ti-ci-" and "pa-tion."

Here's a brief video taken during a Rocky screening in Houston that will give you a small taste of how audiences interact with the movie.  Listen for the audience member who asks the singer, "How many balls do you have?" and see if you can figure out why he says that.

The most amazing example of audience participation I ever saw at a midnight Rocky showing came during the scene where Meat Loaf's character, Eddie – an ex-delivery boy whose brain was partially removed by Dr. Frank N. Furter for use in his scientific experiments – rides a motorcycle out of the large deep freeze where Frank N. Furter is keeping him.

One night as Eddie roared out of the deep freeze on his bike, someone rode a real motorcycle up the Key's center aisle.  The noise it generated in that small enclosed space was absolutely deafening.  The vibrations it produced were such that you felt like you were experiencing an earthquake.  

"Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul!" is tribute to fifties rock 'n' roll, and making out – or more – in the backseat of your car on a Saturday night: 

My head used to swim
From the perfume I smelt
My hands kind of fumbled
With her white plastic belt
I'd taste her baby pink lipstick
And that's when I'd melt
And she whispered in my ear
Tonight she really was mine

(By the way, "patootie" – as in "cutie patootie," or "hot patootie" – is an old-fashioned term of endearment that refers to one's sweetheart.)

Sadly, Eddie introduced an element of unbridled heterosexuality into the movie that Dr. Frank N. Furter could not abide.  At the end of the song, the cross-dressing scientist murdered Eddie with an ice axe as Eddie's one-time girlfriend, the delightful Columbia – my favorite character in the movie – screamed in horror.

Later, Dr. Frank N. Furter surprised his guests by serving Eddie's remains for dinner.  (Ewwwwww!)

Here's "Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show:  

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment