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So "Rock"=Wild & "Party"=Crazy, or...
August 23, 2011 11:11 AM   Subscribe

Has an evaluation been made of the dichotomy between what is implied by the term "wild" in the line "You drive us wild" and what is implied by the term "crazy" in the immediately following line "We'll drive you crazy" in KISS's "Rock And Roll All Night?"
posted by herbplarfegan to Writing & Language (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
In return for being sexually attractive and inviting (aka 'You drive us wild') they will provide sexual gratification (aka 'We'll drive you crazy').
posted by mazola at 11:25 AM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, there are gendered, sexual connotations to these lines. "You" drive the (male) band members "wild": they're aroused and aggressive. In turn, they drive "you" -- which could be their audience and/or attractive women -- "crazy," i.e. eager to do all the "wild" (sexual) stuff "they" want "you" to do. This is even expressed by the melody, which peaks at "wild," (a boastful, macho display) followed by a suggestive, seductive descent on "We'll drive you crazy."
posted by John Cohen at 11:29 AM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Said another way, the whole thing is a variation on First law of thermodynamics. Here, sexual energy is conserved.

i.e. they are offering to convert latent, available stores of Potential Sexual Energy (SEp or 'wild') into Kinetic Sexual Energy (SEk or 'crazy').
posted by mazola at 11:45 AM on August 23, 2011 [23 favorites]


The division is not necessary gendered. For instance, there is the song, "She Drives Me Crazy," in which the narrator is male and being driven crazy.

My interpretation is that "wild" alludes to untamed, animalistic aggression and/or lust. "Crazy," on the other hand, may be a state of acute distress associated with sexual frustration or loneliness, i.e., "Crazy, crazy for feelin' so lonely..." etc.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 11:48 AM on August 23, 2011


The two are not mutually exclusive, nor necessarily gendered. See also: "wild and crazy guys"
posted by hermitosis at 11:56 AM on August 23, 2011


The division is not necessary gendered. For instance, there is the song, "She Drives Me Crazy," in which the narrator is male and being driven crazy.

OK, but I'm not denying that there are songs that deviate from traditional gender norms. The question isn't about the Fine Young Cannibals song; it's about the Kiss song. And I'm saying this one specific song -- considering that it's played by a male, macho hard rock band, and considering not just the words but the way they're sung -- expresses fairly conventional gender roles about sexual behavior.
posted by John Cohen at 11:58 AM on August 23, 2011


The two are not mutually exclusive, nor necessarily gendered.

Again, to say the terms aren't "necessarily" anything is not an answer to this AskMetafilter question. Words have different meanings in different contexts. The question isn't about what the words "wild" and "crazy" mean in general. In the "wild and crazy guys" skit, for instance, the two words become a synonymous unit that expresses what the guys are like. (It's also relevant that the skit ridicules the guys and expects you to feel superior to them, while the Kiss song, though it's hardly somber and serious, does invite the listener to identify with the singers.) The fusing of "wild and crazy" in the SNL skit is the opposite of what happens in the Kiss song: Kiss draws a clear delineation in which they are driven wild and they drive "you" crazy. And that is what herbplarfegan's question is about.
posted by John Cohen at 12:08 PM on August 23, 2011


I'm with mazola.
posted by rhizome at 12:14 PM on August 23, 2011


"We are excited that you have come to our concert, and so we're gonna return the favor by showing you a really good time." Essentially they've written "(if) you make us smile, we'll make you happy" or "You make us smile, (so) we'll make you happy", but with words that don't sound like they were written by Andy Williams.
posted by davejay at 12:36 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


and yes, the next time you hear the song, sing my lyrics instead. It'll be like KISS meets Fred Rogers.
posted by davejay at 12:36 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really think they didn't even put that much thought into the song. I always imagined KISS lyrics were written in the manner of "what cliches are acceptable for the rock 'n' roll ethos and also sound good when put next to each other?"
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:44 PM on August 23, 2011


Jon_Evil may be right, and that's all the more reason to think Kiss was probably falling back on reliable old gender archetypes (as well as various rock 'n' roll cliches about bands, audiences, groupies, etc.). I remember reading that the Beatles in their early songs repeatedly used hackneyed images like buying "diamond rings" not as any kind of trenchant commentary about gender roles or class or materialism, but simply because they didn't care much about the lyrics and they needed something to sing. Just because the lyrics weren't deeply sincere or personal doesn't refute the fact those "diamong rings" lines did have undertones about gender and class and materialism.
posted by John Cohen at 12:55 PM on August 23, 2011


>>>>>>>CHUCK KLOSTERMAN.... THIS IS YOUR BAT-SIGNAL.... PLEASE HELP US NOW!!!<<<<<<<<
posted by mrmarley at 1:38 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm in the "It's KISS, they say stupid shit for a living" camp. The syllables fit the verse, and entailed party language. "Thank you Buffalo, GOOD NIGHT!"
posted by Rykey at 2:52 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a meaning there, but the meaning there doesn't really mean a thing.
posted by flabdablet at 5:15 PM on August 23, 2011


You guys kick serious ass. #faithinmetafilterrenewed
posted by herbplarfegan at 9:30 AM on August 24, 2011


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