I don’t expect you to remember Glass Tiger. In fact, I don’t want you to remember them. Just share this memory-my only memory of this god-awful Canadian band from the 80’s-a memory that came flooding back to me while I was watching VH1 Classic’s 80’s video show while writing another article entirely.
I need to stop doing that, as my most productive writing times are when I’m alone in the quiet without distractions. Of course, for reviews the album is probably playing while I write, but for other things that require me to recall something, it’s best to work in solitude.
Today was not one of those days. I had to restart the computer to some bullshit ITunes version, and in the process of waiting for everything to come back on, I turned on the television to see Glass Tiger.
The video was for “Someday,” I believe the second single from their debut album that everyone’s forgotten about and you’ll soon discover why. It’s a power ballad, which was the marketing plan for many bands back in the day: start with a fast tempo lead single and follow it with a slow ballad second single. Part of metal’s downfall in the 80’s was that the bands started to follow the same formula.
I’m looking at you, Whitesnake.
Glass Tiger wasn’t metal; they were pop. They had just enough talent to catch a few ears with their leadoff single, “Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone,” a song title that sounds more rock than it really is. Because the next line is decidedly un-rock: “My heart will break.” Seriously, if you’re going to bang a chick and then split, don’t ever convey emotion or sensitivity while you’re quietly digging in your pockets for the car keys when you’re trying to sneak out the front door.
But the second single “Someday,” shows the band in even more un-rock form. “Someday” is a mopey break-up song where the dude is essentially telling the chick “Someday, you’re going to be really sad that we broke up, but by then I’ll be over you.”
To convey this, the video director decided to place the band in what looks like an abandoned warehouse or factory building and told them to wear pastel clothing.
The lead singer complied by wearing a pink shirt and a maroon beret.
It’s supposed to look like the band is rehearsing the song, but the weird thing is that everyone else is plugged in and mic’ed up except the singer. He just mopes around and at one point actually pretends to use a back-up singer’s microphone like that makes a difference. He then turns and walks away, his voice magically projects without the aid of microphones.
One of my favorite parts is when-during a point where the band does a keyboard solo that sounds like a toy harmonica-you see the band “hangin’.” They’re quietly discussing the possibility of having a long, legitimate career.
If you haven’t guessed, I can’t stand Glass Tiger, but my anger was harsher back when they were still on the charts. This wimpy piece of shit was all over radio and, conversely, MTV-which was more like a contemporary hit radio station for kids, because the radio stations in our area played nothing current.
A few of us ended up at a friends house on a weekday afternoon where it became a daily ritual of getting high and watching videos-typically the top video countdown where unemployed young adults would call in and vote for their favorite videos throughout the day. They’d compile them all at the end of the afternoon and list them, 1-10. I remember that Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” was at the top of the charts forever; to the point where I believe the show actually disqualified it at some point because even the producers got tired of hearing it.
At some moment, Glass Tiger’s “Someday” was popular and a few shit-for-brains voted for it, placing the song/video into the top 10.
Nobody likes getting high and watching Glass Tiger videos. Nobody. But since our host was a girl, and since she’d often have some female friends with her, we allowed her to dominate the remote control.
Getting high with chicks was great because they tended to not smoke as much as the male contingency in attendance. Often, we were forced to give her little brother a few hits, but that was part of the cost of admission.
Her little brother-who would have been about sixteen or seventeen at this point, far from “little”-sometimes invited a friend over that was lovingly referred to as “The Yeti.” He was big. He was hairy. And he was the spawn of hippies, which made him a hippie, which made him an incredible drain on our weed resources.
One afternoon, the Yeti stopped by and went through his typical Wimpy “I will gladly pay you Tuesday” story, only in regards to weed and not hamburger. The Yeti was continually broke and even more often without weed. It wasn’t too long before we took notice of this pattern and on this particular afternoon, we grew tired of his continual mooching.
As he was pleading for a hit of weed, the Glass Tiger video to “Someday” came on. Since I hated the song, I changed the lyrics to something more fitting for the situation.
“Someday,” I crooned. “You’ll be smoking good hooch…That I’ve got right here.”
We were always coming up with slang for weed, and on this particular day, the slang word for pot was “hooch.”
An idea occurred.
There was a very attractive girl in the other room contently watching the Glass Tiger video. I thought it would be funny to have the Yeti do a trick before we allowed him to smoke. The trick was to have him go sit next to the girl, grab a magazine on the nearby rack and begin making conversation with the young girl. He was to look for one of the stray renewal notices that can be found throughout magazines, and then ask the girl if she’d like to get high with him.
Regardless of the answer, the Yeti was instructed to rip out the renewal notice, roll it into a phony joint, and then light it up. He was instructed to take a hit of it-no cheating-and then, in conjunction with the Glass Tiger song, sing the following phrase when they sang the line “Oh, oh, someday”:
He did a remarkably good job and was rewarded accordingly.
And Glass Tiger were rewarded accordingly when they failed to produce another hit single in the States.
Feel free to tolerate the embedded Glass Tiger video by changing the lyrics to my own.
And if you can find your own Yeti, weed, and parlor tricks to go along with it, even better.