A bird on the bass
A tongue, what a face!
At best, the music could be described as lame
Sure we look disgusting
But whose chops are we busting?
In a year, maybe two, we’ll seem tame
And three years down the track
We’ll be a Las Vegas lounge act
We’ll be back
We’ll be back, ‘cus we’re the Boingers
Jimmy dropped his pants
And Ozzy dines on bats
And Hendrix played guitar with his teeth
The deadheads got their Jerry
And Mom’s got her Barry
And Ronnie listens to guys like Falwell and Meese
But if you don’t know by now
Bill bit the head off a cow
That’s no lie
That’s no lie, ‘cus we’re the Boingers
Was Bowie ever a fairy?
Was Debbie ever Harry?
Was Elvis ever the King?–let’s not be reflective
Does Barbra wish she was a goy?
Is George really a boy?
Is Filthy ever divine?–it’s all subjective
Answers to all this
Lie with their psychoanalysts
Just relax
Just relax
I can’t relax!
I can’t relax, ‘cus I’m a Boinger!

This probably seems incomprehensible to anyone who didn’t live through the ’80’s, but trust me, it’s funny.
At the risk of sounding like your grandpa, things were not as … narrowcasted … back then. By 1987, when Berke Breathed published his wonderful book of cartoons, the DIY ethic–thanks to SST and Flipside and skateboarders and Factsheet Five–had become a viable option for artists, bands, people.
But there were still some things that everyone knew. Like The Joshua Tree and its back cover. Or like, you know, that Ozzy had bitten the head off a bat at the Alamo. Which was news not because some metalhead at Kerrang! wrote about it, but rather because some suit at The New York Times did.
These days, there is no universal culture. No-one has to know anything about Justin Bieber or Kiefer Sutherland or Barack Obama, or whomever else, without wanting to.
Back in the ’80’s mass media–centrally dispatched information that permeated things as a matter of course–still existed. But despite the proliferation of information sources to a level that would have seemed unimaginable when Billy and the Boingers first hit the streets, it just no longer does.


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