Sunday, February 04, 2018

Rock Me Tonite

Anyone who has followed rock music and its progression has most certainly understood, recognized, and celebrated Billy Squier, for his immensely popular music thematic to a more softer yet inherently contrasting loudness, contained together, that has since been classified as the genre known as 'arena rock.'

It has undoubtedly become a cultural inflexion in the evolution of yesteryear music - often standing out as a milestone that signalled the advent of a whole new age.

In the words of historian Gary Donaldson, who comes closest to describing the phenomenon, as being 'big hair, big voices, and really big guitars', this new form resulted in musical reactions like never before and rightly spawned subcultures that changed the social definition of onstage-performance, style, and appearances that now remain immortalized and often revered.

Little wonder that the period of the 80s is still considered the golden era of the new rock movement that gave rise to an army of names who would go on to establish themselves as influential and admired voices earning legendary fame and cult status.

But, I digress.

This is not about the style or genre, neither is it about the metamorphosis that came about so famously. It is more personal, actually. And, that is the recollection of the 1984 super hit, 'Rock me tonite', which, for me, is the 'truest' and the most absolute hallmark of Squier. Apart from of course the wonderful energy and electric tempo that this track so richly demonstrates and evokes, it is also in many ways the transformation of the artist - to embrace the then-emerging phenomenon that was known as techno-pop, the result that can at best be described as the fusion between the output of elegant guitaring and a new wave of electronic sound.

Critics may argue, and rightfully so, that this was a milestone that signalled the end for Squier - thanks in part due to the original video that portrayed, or rather sought to associate, a hideously stereotypical gay-theme with the rampant drug culture that seemed, at the time, most acceptable socially - perhaps to categorize and justify the typification. But, make no mistake, the adverse reception wasn't for the portrayal of a community as much as it was for the heavily laden homoeroticism that instantly put distance between Squier and his audience who almost univocally called out that "he's gay and he's on drugs."

But, I'm no critic. I'd like to think of myself as a music-buff to whom Squier's music, 'Rock me tonite' in particular, has appealed in a very big way. And, one line in the track, expresses the most descriptive of my feelings, when I listen to it, that "you feel the blood poundin' way down inside."


  1. nice tribute...i like how you can swing from one end of the music spectrum to the other! :)

  2. Well... I don't listen much to English songs!!

    1. Surely. We are each different people and have our own choices and preferences.