Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eddie and the Hot Rods "Do Anything You Wanna Do" - An appreciation of, plus 18 interpretations.

I'm sure I must be someone, now I'm gonna find out who.

Cheap Trick "Surrendered," Superchunk lobbed everything they had at 'the man' in "Slack Motherfucker," and dare I say Twisted Sister simply "Weren't Gonna Take It" for a single moment longer.  Rebellious, three-chord (and then some) anthems have been around almost since the dawn of rock and roll itself, but as for the aforementioned, throwing some ambivalence, self examination, or social critique into the mix can turn what would be a routine tongue lashing into something downright enlightening and empowering. 

Needless to say given the header of this post, I hold "Do Anything You Wanna Do" in extremely hard regard, but it was more that lured me to Eddie and the Hot Rods now indisputable signature song than it's philosophical connotations.  Culled from the Hot Rods Life on the Line album (which I believe was their second) some may have taken "DAYWD" as yet another anthemic/anarchic "punk" single in the mold of "God Save the Queen" or any representative period piece by such obvious contemporaries as the Clash or The Damned.  Ultimately, Eddie and the Hot Rods were deemed to be more of an unusually aggressive pub-rock band, and as such weren't painted into the corner with the broad brushstroke of punk. All genre-zation aside, alongside the yearning and angsty subject matter, what help make this number such a prize, is it's melodic allure.  To my noggin,' the verses that absorb "DAYWD" pack an even stronger collective hook than the chorus, which is an anomaly for most songs - punk, pub, or otherwise.  In essence, were it not for the adept, tuneful prowess of singer Barrie Masters this mighty song would bear a mere fraction of it's rapture.

Better yet, alongside the immediate, knockout melody comes the (likely unintentional) espousal of fundamental concepts concerning existentialism, nihilism, and even dadaism - all conveyed in digestible and relatable everyman terms.  Wow.  Though not an outright "fuck you" or kiss-off so to speak, the song is nonetheless written from the perspective of someone serving notice to the naysayers and contrarians in his/her life that they're determined to buck the daily grind in pursuit of something that's a true reflection of themselves - and furthermore, anyone within earshot should consider following suit.

With that whole dissertation out of the way, it's apparent "Do Anything You Wanna Do" struck a chord with many of other folks other than myself, and whenever a song this monumental comes along I'm wont to excavate as many interpretations of it I can find, and in this case I found about sixteen, including a live version by it's original architects Eddie and the Hot Rods.  This is a self-assembled collection spanning various bit rates and sources, with participants ranging from Soul Asylum, Manfred Mann, Michael Monroe (of Hanoi Rocks), Ted Leo, The Flashcubes, Huw Gower (of The Records) amidst a variety of relative unknowns.  Hope ya like.  If anyone can help me find a version of this song that that the Greg Kihn Band did on one of their live albums please feel free to share.


angelo said...

the greg kihn version is here

Nuzz Prowlin' Wolf said...

A classic song

spavid said...

Thanks for the link Angelo. "Do Anything..." is beyond classic in my book.

angelo said...

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