When ib dropped the name "Bram Tchaikovsky" in the comment section a couple of weeks ago, it instantly brought to mind one of the formative episodes of my youth, when Bram (aka British pop-punker Peter Brammal) snuck a brilliant song about humping a blow-up doll onto the American pop music charts.
I was in grade school and living in Maine during the mid-to-late 70's, at a time and place when now-lowly AM radio had all the Top 40 stations and was the dominant format. FM radio was more progressive, of course, only there wasn't an FM rock station within 60 miles of where I lived. So, the big-time radio station that I first started listening to as a kid was WGUY, a Top 40 station that had all the wacky DJs and "be the 12th caller" contests that Top 40 radio still has today, only it was an AM "daytimer" station, meaning it went off the air at sundown! Things improved a little bit when Z-62 went Top 40 a couple of years later, since they were able to broadcast at night, but it was still "just" AM radio.
Of course, things that seemed cool back then look pretty bleak now, and I clearly remember a summer day when I was 12 or 13, playing Little League baseball while some high school kids drove around the school parking lot blasting Foghat and The Steve Miller Band on their car radios (it was Maine, there wasn't much else to do). Steve Miller's "Greatest Hits" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" were the two big AM radio staples at the time and they were better than disco, sure, but it wasn't what I wanted to listen to all of the time. Once I saved up enough to buy my own cassette player, I finagled copies of AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock" and Cheap Trick's "Live at Budokan" and wore those suckers out. Other than that, I spent a lot of time sitting next to the radio with my finger on the "record" button, waiting forever for a song that I liked to come on, and in that way built up a library of tapes to listen to. By now we're talking '78 and '79, and what I liked the most on commercial radio back then were songs like Sniff 'n' the Tears' "Driver's Seat", and Ian Gomm's "Hold On", and a song by some Beethoven-type guy, Bram Tchaikovsky or something, called "Girl Of My Dreams". I thought "Girl Of My Dreams" was pretty much the greatest song ever, even though I had no clue what it really was about.
Some years later I'm living in Connecticut and flunking out of college; I'm also working part-time at a record store that has a copy of the Bram Tchaikovsky album in the used bin, giving me the chance to sit down and listen to it more closely. That's when I finally sniffed out what "Girl Of My Dreams" really meant, and I got a good chuckle out of it.
Of course, it's a lot easier now to find out stuff using the internet, which is how I found this mp3 a couple of years ago-- on a British web page (not a blog) that had a bunch of British punk songs archived, and some other stuff too. "Girl Of My Dreams" was one of the songs that I downloaded from the list (thinking ahead to this very occasion), as well as the Cockney Rejects' "Oi! Oi! Oi!", and "Another Girl, Another Planet" by The Only Ones, thank you very much. Since then I've seen "Girl Of My Dreams" posted on a number of music blogs, though they always skip over the rubber doll aspect even though it's the most interesting part. And it's still one of the greatest recordings ever, I think.
"Girl Of My Dreams" (this file is now listen-only)
Judy was an American girl,
She came in the morning with the U.S. mail
She didn't say nothing, but she looked pretty good to me
Golden hair that shined so bright,
Loving eyes that seemed out of sight
She could keep the secrets that we shared in my world of dreams
And a man needs something when he ain't got nothing to hang on to
And there ain't no telling when I'll feel like yelling "I love you!"
Oooh, it gets lonely in the night,
When there ain't no one around
Oooh, she makes me feel all right
Get my feet right off the ground
She's the girl of my dreams
Judy does what I ask her to,
She makes me happy when I feel blue
She stares with the eyes of a child and gets me to my knees
Her heart it never beats in time,
Except when it's beating close to mine
I keep her from my friends, want away with my fantasies.
She's the girl of my dreams