by ANDREW J HICKS
My generation contains a subset of dorky guys who like girls but have a love for the cheesy adult-contemporary and pop hits of the ’80s and ’90s. I’ve got a friend — loves pussy, loves Michael Bolton even more.
Me, I’ve got musical guilty pleasures out the ass, but I have a special fondness for the Hot Diva Pop of the Reagan/Bush/Clinton years. Music that makes you look gay from women you’d love to fuck. I’m talking about early Mariah, Janet, Vanessa Williams, Paula Abdul, Madonna and, yes, Whitney Houston.
So when Whitney was found dead in a hotel room at age 48 last Saturday, it was a cause for mourning and reflection. There were also many crack jokes involved also. Because, let’s face it — it’s funny.
A coworker complained to me that Whitney was no great legend, that she only had like 6 popular songs. I told him I could name 20 Whitney Houston songs that charted. He didn’t believe me. I rattled them off: You Give Good Love, Saving All My Love For You, Greatest Love of All–
Another coworker interrupted: “How many can you name that don’t have the word ‘love’ in the title?”
I got to 19 Whitney songs and blanked. My general manager, who had arrived around the time I listed Song 13, chimed in, “What about [singing] My Name Is Not Susan“? And I had my 20. How could I have forgotten about the WORST Whitney song ever played on the radio? I started singing, “My name is not Bobby, but my husband’s name is.”
Later, I remembered Whitney’s 1991 live version of The Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. It was released as a single at the height of combat operations during the first Gulf War. You’d better believed it charted. A fourth coworker told me, “You know, at the time, no one had any idea that Whitney lip synched that Super Bowl performance.” I’d had no idea. “Yeah, he said, “saw that one on E! about 6 years ago.”
The weird thing about famous people dying young is, it brings the living closer together, if just in a minor way, for a short amount of time. Whitney, I respect your achievements. I love about 15 of your songs. I even watched your movies. And my coworkers and I had fun remembering you. Rest in peace.