The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

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    The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    [partly x-posted; h/t yoga for the inspiration]


    Talk about "lonely"...!

    Consider, if you will, the sad case of Billy Squier, who in a much simpler and more ignorant time, was virtually banished from the rock world due to an ill-considered, campy video  (and no, not of the tommy-pamela lee varie-tay).

    He is like one of those poor souls who spends decades on death row, only to be exonerated by evidence that fell behind the filing cabinet.

    Billy really deserves his own thread...and yes, his relative status among boston's musical homies.

    I figure the least we can do is a tribute album...or maybe his own reality show.

    As it happens, Billy is responsible for a song called "The Big Beat" from his first solo album, Tale Of The Tape.  The song has the distinction of being one of the most-sampled songs in rap music EVER (e.g. Jay-Z's "99 Problems")

    Squier recorded with and was good friends with Freddie Mercury.  Andy Warhol designed his third solo LP's cover.  He brought Def Leppard to the US to open his shows.  By all accounts, he was headed for superstardom.  And then... The Video.

    If you've never seen it, it's hard to describe.  If you have, you might wish you hadn't.  The song is fine, if slightly dated, but otherwise workmanlike mainstream 80's rock.  Suffice it to say that Billy moves in a way that even Jagger would blush.  It was pretty much downhill after that - i.e. an avalanche of negative opinion from which he never truly recovered.  He might the "Buckner of Rock".

    Thoughts?  Opinions?  Flashbacks?


    [P.S. Ironic, to me, of his friendship to Freddie.  The same culture of ignorance which kept Mercury closeted (sort of) until very near his death may have also doomed Squier's career.]

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    I do know the video.  All I really remember is Squier ripping his shirt off...then hearing that the video was being ridiculed for being 'really gay'...

    A couple of Squier songs that stand out for me

    'The Stroke' - very catchy, very filthy...one of the first rock songs my daughter really liked.

    'Everybody Wants You' - if you've ever seen the movie 'Bad Boys' with Sean Penn, there's a scene where Penn is in his room, playing guitar and cranking this song to the max.  His mother yells at him to turn it down and he turns it down, but so little that it makes no difference.  This song has a killer riff...I liked it so much I bought the album.
     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    Woah, I am so glad I opened that can of worms; I had no idea; thank you so much for giving Billy Squier a spotlight.  Matty, enough is enough, is it not?    Here, I give so much credit to those of us diehard music fans ... to forgive, forget, and move on, from even the most cringe-worthy of songs, moments, or ... videos?    

    For a few seconds, I thought maybe it was b/c he's from Wellesley.  :P   J/K.  

    As for the vid, of course, I will take a look.  

    As for the Buckner analogy ... Hfx (or anyone) -- hasn't even Buckner been exonerated of the most infamous baseball "crime" moment of all time?  By that I mean, hasn't he been able to show his face and be cool?   I thought I read that fans have come around (since the Sox did finally the World Series twice (not that you'd ever know it now ;) ) --  so really, I'm just shocked that Squier was taken down, and was never brought back up.

    Really -- sanity check appreciated.   There had to be a reason for his name never surfacing in the Boston / local all-timers lists.   The truth really can be stranger than fiction.  
     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:

    Its actually a pretty hip song.  But the video?  Satin sheets, and he doesn't dance, he prances, with a stripper pole even, and a pink wife beater.  Yikes!  What were you thinking Billy?

    Saw him on TV, and even he makes fun of the video.



    OMG, just watched it.  I have tears in my eyes from laughing -- comments that just concur how the video smashed his rep and RUINED him -- but jeez, it's FUNNY now;  looks like a parody -- of Flashdance.   

    What's really crazy is that the vid could be re-issued now as a fitness routine.  :D

    I'm aghast.   Wow.  
     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    The song has the distinction of being one of the most-sampled songs in rap music EVER

    --------------------

    And for what its worth, why he ain't exactly scraping up breakfast money.  He's doing just fine

    [/QUOTE]

    Fair enough.

    I didn't mean to pity the guy undecorously.  But looking back, it's a bit disheartening how, in this case and others, the flash overpowered the pan.

    On the plus side, he did tour with Ringo's All-Stars - a who's who of rock anyone would give their left n*t to be a part of.

     

     

     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    Ok a few points....

    The video was for his song "Rock Me Tonight" and it didn't go over well by the veiwing public.

    He recorded two tracks with Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor on backing vocals - "Emotions In Motion" and "The Lady With A Tenor Sax"

    ...and Mr. Squier opened for Queen at the old Boston Garden on Queen's last U.S. tour - and he was AWESOME!

    As far as Freddie being closeted - I would argue that he was very open regarding his bi-sexuality and for that Queen "lost" their American audience as a result - keeping in mind that all happened around '80 to '82 their last US tour.

    I'm on the hunt for Billy Squiers participation with the Ringo Star All Star's DVD. I've seen it once and it was great to see him step out front and do a few of his numbers.  I beleive Billy is still writing music for other artists.

    And I would agree, I would put Squier among the better Boston "rockers'!

     
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  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    So an Eighties rock artist made a video that was really bad, really cheesy, really over the top, and really gay, and it was ruinous to his career.

    Meanwhile, Eighties New Wave artists like Culture Club and Dead or Alive with transvestite lead singers also made videos that were all of the above, and the videos helped raise their images and probably made them rich.

    I guess the lesson is, find the right niche and stay there.

    Or as Spinal Tap would say, 'It's such a fine line between stupid and clever'.
     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    Wow! I have't seen this in a while...........

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZvl2aqIyNg&feature=related

     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    ..."Love Is The Hero" w/ Freddie Mercury too...wish I could #!&*! edit my post!

     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    In response to RogerTaylor's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    And I would agree, I would put Squier among the better Boston "rockers'!

    [/QUOTE]

    In another thread, I  asked why Billy Squier is never mentioned as a home boy, never mentioned on any of Boston's musical rock success stories or on any favorite Boston musician lists -- EVER.   Never have I seen his name mentioned, never has anyone in any of the "local" artist threads ever included his name.  

    Matty's explanation came as a total surprise to me, the explanation being in category we have rarely discussed.  I do not think anything Matty said dissed Squier in any way; it's all in context.   

    I watched the video -- see my post above -- for the first time today -- so yes, I was aghast, while at the same time, laughed uncontrollably over it.  A term paper could be written on it, for crying out loud.   It's hard to believe that any producer who wanted him to succeed would have released that video when Squier's star was rising.   He seems to have made a comeback; even if his career was stymied for a while, I guess that proves that time really does heal (some) wounds.  

     

     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    There was never a time in the 80's where I said to myself. Oh its time to buy that Billy Squier album.. Im sure in some ways he's talented but I couldn't listen

     
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    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    In response to SlimPickensIII's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    That's not true. I've mentioned him and his Wellsley roots at least twice in the past year in this forum.  Seems to me he didn't make it until he went to NYC.

    I can't imagine him flipping anyone the word, so would have to get that confirmed from a far better source than the homeless guy that wandered over here recently from the sports forums.  But Matt Seigel has long been an object of scorn among rockers.

    [/QUOTE]

    I stand corrected  (I had made a joke that maybe being from Wellesley was part of the "local roots" problem since he didn't have a sad childhood back story -- hahah) yet, compared to stronghold J Geils (or others), you have to admit that Squier's profile is rather low here, considering his resume of hits "back in the day."    Seems off.     Then again, good point re: making it in NYC.    Wonder if JE will pop in.  :(  

    I know little Matt Siegel, but have had many co-workers who talk about listening to his show in the a.m. on the way into work.    Matter of taste, I guess.  Can't say I ever caught that bug.  :D

    PS Slim, I hear you re: the BDC software glitches.  I'm replying the same way each time I use that function, and it's a toss up as to the results; makes no sense.   Yesterday I thought they put a tombstone on the forums.   But here we are.   :D

     
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  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: The Sad Tale Of Billy Squier

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    As far as Freddie being closeted - I would argue that he was very open regarding his bi-sexuality and for that Queen "lost" their American audience as a result - keeping in mind that all happened around '80 to '82 their last US tour.

    ----------------------------------------

     

    The band's name may have been a clue

     

    [/QUOTE]

    If the band's name didn't do it, the cover photo for Sheer Heart Attack should have...

     

     

     
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