Reflections on the 90s, Ninja Turtles, and Vanilla Ice (Plus, a song)

Let me take you back to the early 1990s.

Hollywood had found a way to turn the Ninja Turtles into real people.

Reebok had created “pump” technology.

(There was only one kid in school with “pumps” and when he came in with them on the first day we all gathered around and took turns “pumping” and “releasing” his sneakers.)

And Vanilla Ice was very popular. I was a big fan. I knew all the words to his songs. This was around 6th grade I think.

Anyway, long story short, Vanilla Ice sampled a Queen song and then later tried to claim that it was original. His argument was something like, “Mine goes dum dum dum da da dum DUM and theirs goes dum dum DUM da da dum dum.”

It was just dumb, period.

But here’s where things gets hairy. I wrote a song called “Out on the Street”. And I know Bruce Springsteen has a song called “Out IN the Street”.

I don’t wanna pull a Vanilla Ice here, but I just want to let you guys know that I know what’s going on here and I’m fully aware of what I’m doing.

I’ve also written a song called “Born To Run”. I know this sounds ridiculous but it’s true and god dammit there’s just no other possible title for the song.

“Out ON The Street” was written on the corner of Hudson and Christopher, right where the PATH train takes you back to Jersey. It was 3 am and I’d been out doing this and that and it was the end of the night and I just didn’t want to leave.

As anyone who has spent any time on Christopher St. at 3 am can tell you, there’s still stuff going on. Alot of stuff. You can pretty much get into whatever you want to get into on Christopher St. at 3 am.

But me, I just wanted to stay. I didn’t want to leave the city. I love New York, I always have, and I just felt possessed by the energy of the moment. So, there you have it. “Out on the Street”.

Now “Born To Run” is a different story. It’s a question of verbs, and I’d tried them all. Try? No. Lose? Nah. Live? Nope. It turns out that I’m just born to run. I hope Bruce doesn’t mind. If he does I’m happy to split the royalties.

At any rate, here’s “Out on the Street”. This particular recording is A VERY CRUDE APPROXIMATION of what the song should really sound like, but it does kind of capture the heart of it so I’m fine with letting it out into the wild. Enjoy and share if you are so inclined. I will return with more tomorrow.


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