Dec 23, 2014

Drive-In Movie - Songs From The Last Q*Ball Album

What's it gonna be, boy? Come on
I can wait all night
What's it gonna be, boy? Yes or no
What's it gonna be, boy? Yes or no

Those are lyrics from Meat Loaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," an overlong classic rock radio staple that I kinda hate.  I've always kinda hated that song.  But a lot of people love it, probably because it's one of those classic guy-wants-the-girl-to-give-him-sex-girl-wants-the-guy-to-give-her-love tunes.  It comes complete with the classic non-committal male and even sex metaphors featuring Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto.

Go to a bar, put a dime in the jukebox, and select "Paradise By The Dashboard Light."  Then watch a bunch of drunken women put their arms around each other and start singing along to every note.  Why?  Probably because they identify with the song's female protagonist.

Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
I gotta know right now before we go any further
Will you love me forever?

Now here's a woman who demands respect.  She's not just giving herself to anyone.  But if she gives it, she's giving it all.

The guy, on the other hand, has less ambitious plans.  He's unsure.  Let me sleep on it. 

Because, y'know, guys are wolves.  We're wolves, we're cavemen.  We think with our meat loaf.  And the idea of "forever" - it scares a lot of us away.  We can't be tied down.  We're Danny Zuko before he meets Sandy.

Ah yes.  Sandy.  For yours truly, Sandy has been the biggest bitch of them all.  Why, Sandy darlin, why?  Why-ay-ay-ay-ay?

"Drive-In Movie" is my Danny Zuko Meat Loaf song.  But in my song, it's not the woman who demands respect.  It's not the woman willing to give it her all, but the man.  It's not the man who is less ambitious, less sure.  It's not the man who needs to sleep on it.  It's not the man who needs to sleep around, but the woman.

The man wants to park the car - not just in the way your Uncle Chaz and Aunt Joanie did up on Make Out Point back in 1959 - but because he wants to stay put.  For the girl, staying put seems a bit too claustrophobic.

In my marriage, I was the one jumping out of cars.  On the way to dinner.  On the way to couples therapy.  I was the one who couldn't breathe.  I was the one who walked away.  And it never felt unjustified.  It never does in the moment.  In the moment, we always think we're right.  But it's how we feel once cooler heads prevail that define how flexible we truly are.

My last love was never cool.  It was intense.  It had me cursing the gods one day and thanking them the next.  I was never in control of it, even in the short time that it was real and pure and not predicated on lies.  For the girl, staying put seemed a bit too claustrophobic.  So she was the one jumping out of cars.  She was the one telling stories.

So I understand both sides.  I've stomped on a few hearts in my day, but it has been a long time and my stompin boots are long retired.  I'd like to think I've learned from the mistakes a younger, less experienced guy tends to make - the type of guy in the Meat Loaf song.

I learned that if you can't breathe in a relationship, then you have to get out.  Even if you're part of the problem - and you always are, even if not the main culprit - you should walk away.  Not just for your own sake.

But so many of us do not.  When you're not happy, you're not motivated.  So you're not motivated to work hard to fix something that was once fulfilling.  So we hang on for all the wrong reasons - selfish reasons - and that opens the door for the ol' double feature.  Why watch one movie at the drive-in when you can watch two instead?  Why get ice cream with one dude when there are ice cream shops - and dudes - everywhere?

And these romantic double features are showing all over the world.  Seems like we all know someone who's steppin out.  Friends, co-workers.  Some of us might be related to a person like that.  Some of us have been victimized by a person like that.  Some of us might just be that person ourselves.  Some people learn to live with the guilt.  Others create some sort of logic, some sort of justification, for what others would consider loathsome behavior.  Because it couldn't be them.  It's never them.  Cheaters somehow never create their own messes.  

One thing I have learned in the four year experience that spanned the making of this album, and the inspirations for it, is that I am weak.  I am weak for love.  I give in too easily to it, I get impatient for it, I give the objects of my affection way too much rope.  And as a result, I have gotten less than I deserved.   

For all the times I should have just walked away, I didn't.  I couldn't.  My heart wouldn't allow it even while my brain and my gut were sending heat seeking missiles chestward bound to destroy it.  I'm what as they called in those drive-in days, a "sucker."  Except sometimes I was worse.  Sometimes I stuck around even after I knew the game was rigged.

And that's on me.  That's on all of you out there like me.  Never settle for anything less than you deserve in life.  Don't be afraid to just walk away.  Be open minded, just don't be stoopid.  Demand respect.  Don't give your heart to just anyone.  If you're willing to love, then love with your all.

I've been stoopid too many times because I want Crazy Stoopid Love.  And the movies remind us that Crazy Stoopid Love never takes a straight line.  It's crazy and it's stoopid because it's complicated, it's problematic, it's larger than life.  You make yourself believe it's meant to be this challenging because that's part of what makes it so special.

But this isn't the movies.  Love shouldn't be challenging.  It should be easy.  The challenge is in trusting that you're getting out of it what you're willing to put in.

Drive-in movies barely exist anymore.  The world has changed in a way that makes us redefine the word 'innocence.'  It's too easy to get away with being someone you're not.  It's too easy to hide the truth in a virtual world, it's too easy to sin and to be sinned against.  The art of the con has changed, but there are still con artists everywhere.  And deceit has truly become an art.  

The Last Q*Ball Album by Ron Scalzo - available now on iTunes and Amazon


Have you seen the double feature?
It's showing all over the world
And if things get too emotional
Put your arms around your favorite girl
Come on let's park the car
I don't want it
I can't breathe in here
Let's get ice cream
Don't just walk away
She said 'I'm hangin with Vanessa'
'We're going to the diner on 3rd'
I said 'You promised me a date and it's getting late'
'This movie's really great or at least so I've heard, so...'
Come on let's park the car
I don't want it
I can't breathe in here
Let's get ice cream
Don't just walk away
Come on baby let's go to the drive-in movie
Gonna put on a show at the drive in-movie
Got a ticket to ride at the drive-in movie
Cuz there's nowhere to hide at the drive-in movie
Put my hand on your shirt at the drive-in movie
Slide my hand up your skirt at the drive-in movie
Come on baby let's roll to the drive-in movie
Cuz you're driving me insane
Come on let's park the car
I don't want it
I can't breathe in here
Let's get ice cream
Don't just walk away


Ron Scalzo - piano, vocals
Joseph Milazzo - guitar, bass guitar, vocals
Alexa Criscitiello - vocals
Theodore Pagano - drums and percussion

Music by Joseph Milazzo & Ron Scalzo.  Words by Ron Scalzo.  Copyright 2014 Bald Freak Music (ASCAP)

Artwork by Joseph Milazzo

Recorded at Thump Studios and Teddy's Basement, Brooklyn, NY

Engineered and mixed by Chris Montgomery
Mastered by Michael Judeh at Dubway Studios, NYC

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