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Monday, November 7, 2011

The Six Best Statutory Rock Songs

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 2:14 PM


November is national Child Safety Protection Month. Part of protecting the young, naturally, is raising awareness of stranger dangers. We do that through warnings about taking candy and rides from unfamiliar people. As kids approach dating age, the advice sometimes includes "Stay away from musicians." This is generally, but not entirely, unfair. Here are the six best songs about inappropriate relations between age groups, or as we like to call it, statutory rock. Feel free to interject songs we forgot in the comments, but ask your parents for permission to use the Internet first.

6. The Beatles - "I Saw Her Standing There" "She was just seventeen / You know what I mean"

Admission - I was not alive in 1964. I was not there to write off the Beatles when the band first came across the pond to make the teen girls scream. Yeah yeah yeah, the bubblegum pop phase would end up enabling later greatness. But I can totally see how "I Saw Her Standing There" would have come off like pandering to the underage ladies. The only questionable part of this song today is the "You know what I mean" line; it's something Matthew McConaughey's character in Dazed And Confused would say while oogling the high school girls. But the song can be forgiven in the name of marketing and the need to rhyme, and since Paul McCartney sings the lead at the tender age of 21, we'll let it slide.

5. Emperor X - "Ainsley" "Ainsley I know I'm too old for you / And the youth group is wrong for me"

Chad Matheny (code name Emperor X) is a mad genius, kind of like if Daniel Johnston actually made the decision to be insane. He writes almost entirely from his own experiences, but usually filters them through his bizarre perceptions. "Ainsley", from his awesome 2005 album Central Hug / Friendarmy / Fractaldunes is a rare track that leaves nothing to the imagination. It's a confession to crushing on a young girl, bonding with her over video games, and admitting he'd convert to Christianity just to get close to her. Icky subject matter for sure, but it's made all the more unsettling by Chad's voice, which goes into a vulnerable falsetto not unlike the old man on "Family Guy" who's always trying to get Chris Griffin into the sack.

4. Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - "I Love Rock And Roll" "Saw him standing there by the record machine / I knew he must have been about seventeen"

Kind of unfortunate, really, that Joan Jett's only other seriously remembered hit was her cover of "Crimson And Clover", because "I Love Rock And Roll" is all the general population has to draw conclusions about her. And since the first lines are about checking out the fresh meat by the jukebox, and she still performs this song well into her fifties and hasn't adjusted for the half-your-age-plus-seven formula ("I knew he must have been about thirty two and a half" just doesn't flow right), Joan Jett is rock and roll's most prominent cougar.

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