Angel” by Poison
In my last column, I discussed the “rocker disses televangelist” genre of popular music. Today, I am going to talk about two songs from an equally important genre—songs about a good girl moving to LA, becoming corrupted, and ending up as a porn star or stripper. These were very popular songs in the 1980’s, because these type of girls were the girlfriends of every single male rock and roll performer at that time.
The first song of this style we'll look at is “ “Dirty Movies” ” by Van Halen. I use the double quotation marks, because for some reason, the name of the song is not Dirty Movies, but “Dirty Movies.” I can only assume that this is because David Lee Roth felt that it was wrong for his favorite type of movies—pornos—to be considered dirty, and this was his way of commenting on that. The great thing about this song, as with many Van Halen songs of this period, is the “breakdown” section where Mr. Lee Roth stops singing and starts talking a lot of bullshit. In this one, he says, commenting on a former high school beauty who now stars in porn, “Hey, you remember when that girl was prom queen? Oh, wow! Take it off! Take it all off! Whooo! Ow! Woo! Aw, yeah! Woo! Woo! Ow! Yeah!”
Musically, this song is 100% awesome. It starts off with Eddie V. playing a bunch of crazy notes, probably the most “out” thing he ever played, only to segue into a some totally sleazy hard rock riffing. The chorus is an awesome harmonized fist pumper.
“Fallen Angel,” by Poison, looks at the more positive side of moving to LA, having your dreams crushed, and turning into a pornstar. Poison, frankly, are just too much of a bunch of pussies to say straight out that their “angel” is in porn. But when the girl from the beginning of the song (the “small town girl with her whole life packed in a suitcase by her feet”) turns into the girl described at the end as “such a good actress hiding all her pain / trading her memories for fortune and fame / just a step away from the edge of a fall, caught between heaven and hell... Where's the girl I knew a year ago?” it’s pretty clear that she isn’t ‘acting’ on a soap opera. This song is even more catchy that the Van Halen tune, and is the kind of song you want to listen to a million times so you can sing it with all your friends when you can get drunk. What Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” is to New Jersey teenagers, this song is to women who suck penises on camera for a living.