In response to my recent complaints about the sexism of Sweet Charity, my friend Vicky told me how she loved Grease as a kid, but as an adult was appalled by its message that women should change to please men. I countered that Danny Zuko also changed for her . . . for about 30 seconds before changing back . . . but she wasn’t buying it.
She did add: “But the music…ah, the music.”
I can’t disagree. The soundtrack is filled with such hooky ’70s postmodern deconstructions of ’50s rock ‘n’ roll that even the punk I was at the time could not entirely resist (not that I would have admitted it to many people at the time, or knew what a postmodern deconstruction was).
I asked Vicky if she knew the source of the “tell me more, tell me more” bit in “Summer Nights”:
She did not recognize it was from “Great Big Kiss” by the great bad (but not evil) girl group the Shangri-La’s:
The New York Dolls also copped the intro of the song for their own “Looking for a Kiss”:
The Dolls’ second album, Too Much Too Soon (which was too little too late to hold on to their recording contract), was produced by George “Shadow” Morton, who wrote and produced “Great Big Kiss” for the Shangri-La’s.