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The quest for the best ‘unexpected’ AC/DC cover
08:12 am


Lesley Gore
Pat Boone

I was recently listening to the excellent 2002 compilation When Pigs Fly: Songs You Thought You’d Never Hear. The album is a collection of “unexpected” cover songs by seemingly mismatched artists. For example, Don Ho doing “Shock the Monkey” and Herman’s Hermits doing “White Wedding.” Great stuff. But the best track is undoubtedly Lesley Gore’s version of AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” with its soulful verses and “girl group sound” choruses.

Lesley Gore, one of the top female pop stars of the ‘60s, best known for “It’s My Party” and “You Don’t Own Me,” had a successful musical career from 1963 until her untimely death early this year.
Listening to Gore’s “Dirty Deeds” reminded me that Pat Boone had tackled similar “unexpected” AC/DC cover territory five years prior on 1997’s In a Metal Mood: No More Mr Nice Guy album. Boone, whose career was basically based on being the safe, parent-palatable alternative to Elvis Presley, broke with the conventions of his fundamentalist fanbase on that album—a collection of heavy metal covers done in a Vegas style. Boone does a Rat Pack-inspired version of “It’s a Long Way to the Top.”

Pat Boone had a successful career as a singer dating back to 1954 where he, for the most part, recorded “safe for white people” versions of black artist’s rock and roll songs.
Both of these “rocking but not rocking” covers of AC/DC tunes are great. Which one would win in a face-off? It’s hard to say. Personally, I think “Dirty Deeds” is better source material than “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” but man, Boone’s arrangements on his cover are ace. For my money though, Gore barely edges Boone out—I’m a sucker for ‘60s female pop singers.

Can you make the call? Or perhaps you have a suggestion for a better “unexpected” AC/DC cover? Let us know in the comments.



Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Lesley Gore on ‘Batman,’ 1967
09:10 am

Pop Culture

Lesley Gore

In a two episode story arc from the classic 1960s Batman TV series, Catwoman and her protégé Pussycat drugged Batman and Robin in order to compel them to become criminals. Robin got a little fresh, too, incidentally. But in the end SPOILER FROM ALMOST 50 YEARS AGO it turns out that all along, Batman was faking being drugged so that he could infiltrate Catwoman’s crime organization and rescue Robin. Cheeky devil! You can clearly see why that needed to be two episodes.

Of course it’s pretty stupid, but nobody watches that show for award-winning teleplays, we watch it because nobody sane hates huge, goofy, colorful fun. POW! And we watch these two episodes in particular because Pussycat was played by pop icon Lesley Gore, who gets to perform a song in each episode, and nobody sane hates awesome, sugary, ‘60s female vocal pop. You don’t hate that, right? If you do, Jeeeeesus, how many puppies have you kicked today, fascist?

When these episodes aired, Gore was still only 20 years old, but was already a veteran pop star, famous for still-familiar hits like “It’s My Party,” “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” and the awesome “You Don’t Own Me.” Gore never left the music business, though she stopped regularly producing LPs in the mid ‘70s. She earned an Oscar nomination in 1980 for co-writing (but not singing) a song from the Fame soundtrack, and she made headlines in 2005, when her coming out as a lesbian more or less coincided with her song “Words We Don’t Say” being featured in an episode of The L Word. Amusingly, her super-chipper 1965 top-20 hit “Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows” has lately found a 21st Century afterlife, being featured in multiple commercials, and in the kiddie flick Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. On Batman, she’s seen performing music from her then-forthcoming LP California Nights, “Maybe Now,” and the title song, which would enter the top 20 within a couple months of the episode’s broadcast.


Previously on Dangerous Minds
You Don’t Own Me: Lesley Gore, Lena Dunham, Miranda July and others fight back in the war on women

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
You Don’t Own Me: Lesley Gore, Lena Dunham, Miranda July and others fight back in the war on women

1960s teen idol Lesley Gore leads the charge against Mitt Romney and the GOP—with some well-known indie female faces like Lena Dunham, Carrie Brownstein, Miranda July, Tavi Gevinson, Tracey Ross and more—with a wicked lip-dub protest version of her 1964 hit “You Don’t Own Me.”

It’s truly hard to believe that in this day and age women are still fighting to get this message across.

Mitt Romney and the Republican Party are determined to overturn Roe V. Wade. Romney has not supported equal pay for women (The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act). Romney has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood. Romney has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Romney doesn’t want health care to cover birth control. Romney says same sex marriage should be banned with a Constitutional Amendment.


This election is shockingly close. Our safety is at stake. Our silence is consent and our vote is our voice. Let’s get active. Let’s get out every vote we can. Let’s make this election a mandate. A mandate to finally ensure women the respect, dignity and equality we all deserve! This is now. This is our call to action. Once and for all, let’s take back the power that is so inherently and naturally ours!


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment