Thursday, February 4, 2016

Romeo Void – "Never Say Never" (1982)

I might like you better
If we slept together

I’m willing to bet the farm that the only lyrics you remember from Romeo Void’s “Never Say Never” are “I might like you better if we slept together.”

Romeo Void’s lead singer, Debora Iyall, is a member of the Cowlitz Native American tribe.  She was born in 1954 in Soap Lake, Washington, which is home to a meromictic lake (one of only about a dozen such lakes in the United States).

Welcome to Soap Lake!
Iyall decided to attend the San Francisco Art Institute after going to a street fair in Eureka, California, and being given a fortune cookie that read “Art is your fate, don’t debate.”  

She hung out at the Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco’s most famous punk rock venue, and decided to form her own band after seeing Patti Smith perform there.

Romeo Void was formed on Valentine’s Day 1979.  The band became quite popular locally, and went on tour after releasing its debut album, which was praised by critics.

Debora Iyall
But Iyall found it hard to deal with Romeo Void’s success: 

It was frightening: we played a college in Santa Barbara, and there were all these blond people crowding the stage, and I thought “These are the people who hated me in high school!”  When you grow up being “outside” – because I wasn't white, and I was fat, and always a bit of a free thinker –  it was strange. It was like, “Uh-oh, I must be doing something wrong – they like me!”

The band eventually signed with Columbia Records, which reportedly asked Iyall to lose weight.  She refused to do so, which may or may not have been the reason Columbia stopped promoting the band after the release of its third (and best-selling) album, Instincts, in 1984.

The "Benefactor" album cover
You may remember “Never Say Never” – from the band's 1982 album, Benefactor – from the soundtrack of several movies.  It was featured prominently in Reckless, a 1984 opposites-attract movie that starred Aidan Quinn as a rebellious, motorcycle-riding high-schooler who falls for an upper-crust cheerleader played by Daryl Hannah.

Here's the "Never Say Never" scene from Reckless:

Here’s the “Never Say Never” music video:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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