19 tequilas later, we had a deal…
Was (Not Was) was known for an insane concoction of pop, disco, electronica, funk, jazz, and a defiantly libertarian streak. The band was formed in ’79 by David Weiss (Was) and Don Fagenson (Not Was). Or maybe I have the Wases the wrong way around. Don Was went on to produce darn near everything for darn near everybody, and David Was went on to score a bunch of movies and TV shows, along with producing darn near everything for darn near everybody else. Had Frank Zappa been two people instead of just one, he likely would have been Was (Not Was).
Pretty good for a couple of weird Detroit dudes approaching 30 and looking for a way to escape poverty.
I somehow managed to miss out on them during their ’80s heyday, but a friend who knew me all too well heard tonight’s song, “I Feel Better Than James Brown,” told me I just had to hear it. RJ, who had also introduced me to the music (and Playboy outing) of Phoebe Legere and had re-introuced me to Leon Redbone was never, ever wrong about these things.
If there’s a funnier or more bitter breakup song than this one, I’ve never heard it. And the line from it quoted above was a sort of battle cry for us back in the day — an inside joke for semi-outcasts who were having way too much fun wasting our youth with our brother (and sister!) reprobates — along with far too many cocktails.