Our local oldies station plays Ides of March’s “Vehicle” every morning it seems. I never really bothered listening to the lyrics until my alarm went off this morning and the song came on.
I promptly curled up into a tight ball under the covers and didn’t want to venture out into the world due to the creepitude factor of this “love song.”
The story behind this song is that Jim Peterik dated a girl for a bit, but she broke up with him. Later on she started calling him up, asking him to drive her to modelling gigs, etc. Being a schmuck, he did, until it finally dawned on him that she was just using him. He ditched her, and wrote the song.
Except the guy took a perfectly rational urge to write a song about an ex using him, and notched up the creep factor for no good reason. (Hossack: 2011)
The opening lines:
Hey, well I’m the friendly stranger
In the black sedan
Oh won’t you hop inside my car?
I got pictures, got candy, I am a lovable man
I’d like to take you to the nearest star.
What. The. Eff. That isn’t a love song, that’s a how-to guide for kidnapping children. It’s made worse by how he refers to the woman in the song as “child” multiple times with the “I want you, need you, got to have you child” line in the chorus.
And Peterik made it creepy on purpose. He specifically changed the lyrics to coincide with a government anti-drug pamphlet, and the warnings that his mom gave him as a kid:
“The lyrics are both a love story and a tale of an unsavory guy who’s up to no good,” Says Peterik, “To me, the dichotomy is kind of cool.”
No. The dichotomy is not cool at all. He created a theme song for pedophiles, which became a hit in 1970 thanks to a candy-coating a funkalicious groovitude.
That is a gross abuse of the awesome power of funk.
People of 1970: what was wrong with you?