#593: Talk Dirty to Me

GETTING MORE TALE #593: Talk Dirty to Me

The closest “record store” when I was a young kid wasn’t a “record store” at all.  It was a now-defunct department store called Zellers.  Located at Stanley Park Mall, they were a mere 10 minute walk from home.  If we were looking for new tapes to listen to, Zellers would be the natural first stop.  It was a bit of a needle in a haystack situation because I didn’t know the names of a lot of bands or albums.  For example, there was a cool band from Japan on MuchMusic.  They had a killer heavy metal track called “Crazy Nights”, but I couldn’t remember the name of the band.  I scoured the racks at Zellers until I found what I assumed was the right group:  “Wang Chung”.  Never mind that “Wang Chung” doesn’t actually sound like a Japanese name, but what did I know at that age?  I definitely didn’t know that the name of the band was Loudness, and the album I was looking for was called Thunder In the East!  It’s a good thing I figured that out before putting Wang Chung on my Christmas list.

Bob and I spent a lot of time browsing records at Zellers just out of convenience of location.  It was there that I first saw the band known as Poison.  “They look like girls don’t they?” said Bob.  “Yeah,” I responded, secretly deciding that Rikki Rockett was the hottest.  But they were men!  That first Poison album cover turned me off the band for a time.  I considered them a sub-Motley Crue.

What finally turned me on to Poison was actually a highschool Battle of the Bands.  It seemed every highschool band learned “Talk Dirty to Me” in 1987.  The track had a vaguely old-timey rock and roll feel and that appealed to me.  It was like old Kiss.

I gradually got into Poison, by taping their videos off MuchMusic.  It is quite possible that their videos were the most action packed of the era.  They were highly choreographed, but so much fun.  There is no shame in admitting that when Bob and I got our first guitars, we were more interested in doing stage moves than playing.  Poison (and also Cinderella) were the prototypes for many of our moves.  A few guitars hit a few ceilings because of Poison.  I had to have a faux-snakeskin guitar strap, with strap locks, of course, for those over-the-shoulder-throws.

The Poison video I liked the best was a ballad called “I Won’t Forget You”.  It was tour footage from the stage and off, and it was less choreographed.  It had a guest shot by none other than Paul Stanley!  If Paul appeared on stage with Poison, then they had to be good.  Right?

It was obvious from their videos that Poison were a flashy band, bent on entertainment or death.  My musical perception wasn’t strong enough to detect that the band weren’t the greatest musicians, but they did have good songs to my ears.  Every video they made was fun and catchy as hell.  Poison were pretty easy to get into, and they were everywhere.

I didn’t buy the first album Look What the Cat Dragged In for a while, but I got the second one, Open Up and Say Ahh! for a school project.  As recalled in Getting More Tale #455: How to Make a Music Video, Bob and I decided to make our own video for “Nothin’ But A Good Time” for the school video awards.  My dad paid for the tape and it was used for the backing music.

The music video turned out great, and one day I hope to transfer it to a format you can upload to Youtube.

I’m not sure how many kids back then could have claimed they used Poison for a school project, but we did and we kicked that project’s ass!  Add Poison to the list of bands I used for school presentations and essays, including Iron Maiden, Queensryche and Judas Priest.  Poison’s music might have been vacuous, but they served their purpose.  Even today, I still get those feelings that say “I Want Action”!  Poison are intertwined with my childhood, permanently, and that’s not a terrible thing.


  1. Poison! Good one! I had a black Poison t-shirt at the time with Talk dirty to me on the back.. Still have that first one on vinyl. Just recently I listened to Poison Hits comp and thought it was mostly filler.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While at university in London, we did a series of top ten list, when we got around to Top Ten Female Sex Objects, CC Deville made number 9. We let the ladies do a list for the males. Poison weren’t the most musically talented but they made the best with the abilities they had. I have always liked “Look What the Cat Dragged In” and have a special place for “Let Me Go to the Show” because of the father coming in at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Every Lebrain Wang Chung tonight. Uggh. Good thing you figured that one out. I would have loved to have seen you face if you would have bought that by mistake. “What the hell is this?” Ahaha.

    Zellers. Loudness. Good times.

    Thinking of guys that looked like girls brings back memories.

    One time my buddies were on the highway heading into the city. We drive past a “girl” and my buddy yelled “nice ass””. Then “she” turned around and we saw it was a dude with long hair that we went to high school with. Oops. We never let our buddy live that one down.

    Seeing that link for your high school video just makes us want to see your old vhs stuff more.
    The people have spoken. Now you must transfer this stuff.

    Nice 80’s memories man. Look what Lebrain dragged in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh fuck. OK I’ll tell you a story. About me when I had long hair.

      I was at the cottage with my buddy Peter one weekend. We were walking down the road and my sister saw us from behind. And she legit thought Peter was with a girl.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw them on that tour too in Columbus, Ohio. Which one did you go to 2loud2oldmusic? At the time I thought Poison was more fun than Ratt. I remember buying both shirts. I loved that Ratt t-shirt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I got to Poison through a buddy in school – he was into all of that stuff and played it constantly… funny, he never wanted to hear my jazz tapes! Anyway. I bought a couple of their tapes and we laughed and had fun. They really did dress like women.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I was a kid, I really liked the song “Poison” by Bel Biv Devoe, but I had no idea what the band was called. One of my sisters friends requested a poison tape for their Birthday, which made me say “That’s what I want!” and at Christmas time I got a copy of Flesh and Blood on cassette. I immediately realized this was not Bel Biv Devoe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This post reminds me of two things..

    1-Zellers- where myself and Tbone purchased Project Driver on cassette tape for a ridiculous price!

    2-Poison- how brutal of a live act they were in 1991…..

    Liked by 1 person

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