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Clark: Wild, wacky times from a no-Warrant zone

Two questions raced through my brain upon hearing my 10-year-old son singing the words to "Cherry Pie," that ye olde off-color rock song by bad '80s hair band Warrant:

One, could he possibly understand the double entendres and blatant sexual references throughout the lyrics?

And, two, where the heck did he hear that song?!

It didn't take my brain long to answer the first question all by itself: He had zero idea what the song was really about, simply by virtue of the fact that he was singing it.

My son regularly is scandalized by much of the more base off-color comments heard among the pottier-mouthed children he encounters. He generally comes home and immediately explains each and every one to me, often accompanied by the most unfortunate of queries about specific meanings and the occasional incredulous "What the heck?!"

This is not to say he's immune to potty-mouthiness himself. He's a good boy, but he's almost 11, after all. Even back in the dark ages of my own 11-year-old days -- aka 1972 -- kids loved the titillating talk and songs -- much to the chagrin of the adults around us.

My sixth-grade home-room teacher, Mr. Hill, regularly would let us choose records to play in the waning minutes of the school day. It pretty much went without saying that we would select a well-worn 78 disc that somebody had brought in of "My Ding-A-Ling" by Chuck Berry.

The entire class found the lyrics AB-so-LUTE-ly heeeee-sterical. In fact, we'd sing along with enormous glee, over and over again. Believe me, we knew exactly what old Chuck was singing about. We also took enormous glee in watching Mr. Hill regularly shake his head in horror and disbelief.

Kids those days.

If my son knew the double entendres in "Cherry Pie" he would have told me all about them, and then banished the song from his brain. I was more than certain he believed himself to be singing about nothing more titillating than fruit-filled pastry.

Plus, I was not about to pose that little question and open that uncomfortable little door.

But that second question was one I was willing to ask. After all, it wasn't as if anyone else in the house ever took to rhapsodizing over "Cherry Pie." It's pretty much a no-Warrant zone, thanks.

And, clearly, the boy's not old enough to hang with the hair bands or their equally coifed fans.

Not surprisingly, the answer was simple: "Guitar Hero."

"Guitar Hero," along with its "Rock Band" brother, is king among kids these days. And neither video game sensation apparently ever met a rock song from the 1970s or '80s that it didn't like.

A quick Internet search on the various music-based video games found the vast majority of the songs offered up for play are from my era, and not my son's -- or even that of your average teenager or twentysomething.

It's the latest exhibit in the growing evidence file that precious little truly good music has been created since the days of cassette tapes and the Walkman.

This isn't to say that NO great music has been created since then. Just not enough to fill a video game catalog.

Or an 8-gig iPod.

Or a thimble.

Of course, it will not be long before my son realizes what Warrant really was singing about in "Cherry Pie." That will be a sad and scary day.

For both of us, I'm sure.


Elsewhere around the Scene: The popular Sacramento Jazz Jubilee returns this Memorial Day weekend and a popular group from Modesto is among the locals who will play there.

The BluesBox Bayou Band joins the Old Town Sacramento event Saturday at

11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Freeway Gardens Stage and at 7 p.m. at the Turntable Junction Stage. For more on the festival, see www.sacjazz.com.

Closer to home on Saturday are a couple of shows looking to compete for your attention.

Anthem, Reggie Ginn and Spanish rockers La Magdalana hit the Queen Bean on Saturday night. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m.

The Cartel Band is joined by Lamarr "Deuce" Lubin, former lead singer for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, at a show Saturday at BlackJak's M/C Club, 1124 Kansas Ave. in Modesto. Doors open at 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m. open mike, with the featured artists starting at 9. Cost is $10. Call 409-5482 for more.

Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at pclark@modbee.com.

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