As the drums throb and the keyboards slink along the minor keys, the shadowy Deborah Galli emerges to confront her now very definitely EX boyfriend. Singing in a Cyndi Lauperesque accent that is pungent with the dumps of Brooklyn and the sewage of New Jersey, our Deb declaims with lethal bitterness:
"I saw you with your woman. My God you make a beautiful peyy-uhh. I heard her call you 'Honey.' I saw the way she ruffled your heyy-uhhh." (That's a rhyme of "pair" and "hair" folks).
The couple once made love to innocent tunes on the radio ("Underneath the Boardwalk…Be my little baby") but their hot-blooded affair curdled into a witch's brew of conflicting emotions: "Sometimes we were a play by Chekhov. Sometimes a rock and roll cartoon."
Check off Chekhov and cue the Poe, because Deb quotes "Dream within a dream." Pretty spooky, huh? Too bad other cuts on the album were aiming more for the "have fun" crowd, and something for Lauper-types to dance to at the disco.
Record labels seemed desperate to have their own Cyndi, and no doubt Galli was encouraged to fill her debut lp with up-tempo numbers and frivolity. Her label's choice for a 12-inch single was not this song, but a generic disco-pop number called "I Go To Zero," which didn't go to the Top Ten.
Ironically the dopey "girls just want to have fun" faded fairly quickly, along with girls wearing garbage bags (Total Coelo) along with garish wigs. Cyndi's next hit was the mournful "True Colors." The one time I did meet up with Cyndi she looked anything but happy. And I don't take the blame for it, as she was morose before we were introduced. And this was when "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was making her rich and famous. I met her up at Black Rock (the nickname we tiresome insiders use for the CBS building on 52nd Street). She was sitting around looking like a school kid in detention. She was probably called up to the Epic office to do interviews, and maybe sign some promo lps to send to disc jockeys. So when we were introduced (I was there to interview somebody else, and grab some new releases) she forced a glum hello and then continued staring off into space.
Not long after, I'm opening up promo packages, and I find yet another debut album by yet another label's Lauper wanna-be, with hair dye and punkish makeup. Only she looks a tad moody (the gun in the photo is Photoshopped). I dutifully audition some tracks, and love her self-penned "French Kisses." Why wasn't this the single? Would she be available for an interview? Was this a posthumous release? I had to keep wondering. Because...
Not everyone on a record label gets any kind of push. Sometimes even a direct call to a publicist yields, "Huh? You sure we have that artist on our label?" Or, "Have no idea about interview availability. But Cheap Trick can do a phoner…"
Ironically in 1985, a year after Galli's album came out, the movie "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" briefly hit movie houses. It starred embryonic starlets Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt and Shannen Doherty. The producers didn't use Lauper's version of the song. Instead, the piece was performed by the trio of Tami Holbrook, Meredith Marshall and Deborah Galli.
What's become of Deborah Galli since 1985? Hopefully she's not in any "sticky situation" (a grim phrase in the song related to clotted gore). Meanwhile, enjoy this immortally mortal, chillingly weird, New Yawk-tinged goth number that fell through the cracks like a Raid-sprayed black widow spider. Girls just wanna have fun, but women bleed. And they just might take you with 'em when they do.