Thursday, June 19, 2014

The late Gerry Goffin: "A WOMAN CAN BE A GANGSTER"

Above, Gerry Goffin with his second wife Michelle, and with his one time husband-wife songwriting competition, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

What did Gerry Goffin sound like as a singer?


You'll be reading many obits about Gerry Goffin, all of them focusing on the classic songs he wrote with his then-wife Carole King. Broadway audiences are loving that stuff at this very moment, via "Beautiful," the juke-box musical and drama. What most will not be mentioning is what part he played in those songs: the LYRICS.

One of the very important things about Gerry Goffin, is that HE, a MALE, was behind the feminist anthem "Natural Woman," and the tender ballad about a girl giving herself up, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow."

So, guys, when some bitch claims that guys aren't sensitive, tell that cunt about Gerry fuckin' Goffin!

Carole issued a statement: "Gerry was a good man with a dynamic force, whose words and creative influence will resonate for generations to come. His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn't know how to say."

The list of Goffin-King songs is huge, and includes "Take Good Care of My Baby," "Crying in the Rain," "On Broadway," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "The Locomotion," "You've Got a Friend," and the risky "He Hit Me and It Felt like a Kiss." Goffin also co-wrote with others after the split from Carole, and had hits with "Savin' All MY Love For You" (Whitney Houston) as well as the theme from "Mahogany," the Diana Ross film.

BUT...over here in the Land of Ill, Gerry is known for his two very weird solo albums, "It Ain't Exactly Entertainment" and "Back Room Blood."

I knew about Barry Mann's solo work. Ellie Greenwich, too (who partnered with Jeff Barry). Both had issued albums in the late 60's or early 70's, but it took a while before Gerry stepped out as a vocalist. It was in 1996 that the rugged "Back Room Blood" appeared via an indie label in Maryland. Gerry Goffin had SOME kind of a voice!

Listen for yourself. WHAT in the world is going on? Is this Randy Newman trying his damndest to sound like Bob Dylan?

"A Woman Can Be a Gangster" is sort of the motorpsycho nightmare rock answer to "Just Like A Woman." Maybe. PS, one cut on the CD, "Masquerade," is a co-write...Gerry Goffin and Bob Dylan.

Gerry did not disappoint. I had enjoyed his daughter Louise Goffin's punky first album, which was nothing like Carole King's world, so to hear this guy roar through some pretty eccentric songs was not a was a lotta fun.

"It Ain't Exactly Entertainment," by the way, is much more of a "Nashville Skyline" kind of folk-rock deal.

Goffin married King in 1959, and they divorced in 1968 (the blame seeming to be Gerry's philandering). But for nearly a decade, they wrote songs about romances and break-ups, and those songs continue to touch and influence thousands and thousands of listeners. The Gerry Goffin solo albums? Maybe a few hundred are playing them tonight in his honor...but that doesn't mean they aren't good. They show the wide, wide range of songwriting this guy was capable of. So, no Goffin-Coffin puns here...just a sincere, " very talented man." Gerry Coffin (February 11, 1939-June 19, 2014)

Gerry Goffin A Woman Can Be Like a Gangster

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