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The Gun Club – Fire of Love (1981) & Tom Tom Club – Tom Tom Club (1981)

June 5, 2020

[Albums 778 & 779 / 1001]

“I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”
– Groucho Marx

Did you ever read the Berenstain Bears books?

More specifically, No Girls Allowed?

In the book, Brother Bear starts a Boys-Only club, Sister Bear retaliates with an All-Girls club, before *spoiler alert* they realize the folly of their ways and decide to welcome all members, regardless of gender identity.

First published in 1986, next year it will be due for a 35th Anniversary extended edition.

And I’m hoping there will be a few additional bonus pages, featuring some extra lessons based in music group settings, in which Papa Bear & Mama Bear reference The Gun Club & Tom Tom Club.


Untitled presentation (22)


Papa Bear: I see that you and Cousin Fred are starting a Boy Band, Brother Bear?
Brother Bear: That’s right, Papa. No Girls Allowed!
Papa Bear: Wouldn’t you rather play in a band like The Gun Club?220px-GC_Fire_of_Love
Brother Bear (examining the Fire of Love tracklist): You mean, we should add some violent imagery to our name –
Papa Bear: Well, not exactl-
Brother Bear: Of course, I get it now, you think we should cover their song, Sex Beat?

Papa Bear (tugging at shirt collar):  Actually, I was meaning that they were a punk blues band that often featured female members. Lois Graham, for example, provided backup vocals here on Jack on Fire, an album highlight…what I’m trying to say is, “is it so important that he and she bands aren’t the same?”
Brother Bear: Oh, I see. But what do they mean when they say She’s Like Heroin to Me?
Papa Bear: Umm…

(Mama Bear & Sister Bear arrive in the room)

Mama Bear: Papa Bear, Maybe sit the next couple of plays out. Now, Sister Bear.
Sister Bear: Yes, Mama?
Mama Bear: Now you Could form a ‘Girl Group,’ where each member had a nickname to describe their personality & have a wildly successful run in the second half of the ’90s before Lizzy Bruin inevitably leaves the group to pursue a solo career-220px-Tom_Tom_Club_-_Tom_Tom_Club_CD_album_cover
Sister Bear: But mama-

Mama Bear: And furthermore, Brother you Could form a ‘Boy Band,’ where each member portrayed a specific character type. You know, where Too Tall would be the Bad Boy? Cousin Fred would be the one that doesn’t sing all that often but conveniently rounds out the act to fit the 5-singer format?Brother Bear: But mama-
Papa Bear: Never mind the buts, Brother!

Mama Bear: You Could do those things and enjoy largely unprecedented levels of commercial success. But Sister Bear, wouldn’t you rather play in a multi-gender group like Tom Tom Club, writing & singing quirky yet irresistibly catchy tunes?
Sister Bear: I suppose.
Papa Bear: And if you write a song with a hook that’s half as good as Genius of Love, I bet that a highly influential Hip Hop group &/or a singer with a 5-Octave range will sample it some day & you’ll enjoy a steady royalty stream, to go along with your enduring critical acclaim.

(Sister Bear & Brother Bear nod in unison while processing the new information)

Mama Bear (relieved that Papa has rebounded from his earlier gaffes): Besides, wouldn’t you want to be part of a co-ed group & get to join the most exclusive club of all – membership on the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die List?
(Sister Bear & Brother Bear continue nodding, recognizing the rhetorical nature of the question) 

Verbalize the Positive

There was a funny early Family Guy Scene, where after being at home for an extended period of time, Peter complained of TV shows starting to run together (followed by the clip, Homicide, Life on Sesame Street)

It appears, given the above conflation of my sources of entertainment (Groucho Marx, The Gun Club, Tom Tom Club) & my kids’ favourite books (Berenstain Bears), we’re starting to reach that point ’round here!

From → 1980s

  1. I like how you can shift gears from Bernstein Bears to Homicide Life on Sesame Street and it flows!

    • My thanks, Deke – I’m guessing the girls enjoyed the Bears books back in the day!
      Hope Sue’s feeling better today, enjoy the weekend!

      • Thanks Geoff I will pass on the positive vibes to Sue.

  2. I’ve read numerous of those books to my kids, but never played them Tom Tom Club. Maybe I should’ve.

  3. I forgot to comment on this earlier! Two of my least favourite albums I’ve heard from the 1001 list (although the Tom Tom Club singles are great) but to tie them together with the Berenstein Bears is genius.

    • Much appreciated, Graham – I’m guessing you’ve read more than a few of the Bears books over the last few years!

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