RIP Benny Mardones

Wretch

amazingly graceful
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
32,839
Location
is overrated
Cristy Blank said:
With the opening line, "She's just 16 years old, leave her alone, they said," we understand if you think this song sounds a little statutory.
Benny Mardones tells us that the 16-year-old girl he's singing about was named Heidi, and she lived in his apartment in Spanish Harlem.

Their relationship was purely platonic, however, as Benny looked after Heidi and her family after her father left.
Benny would pay her $50 a week to walk his basset hound, Zanky. Mardones wrote this song with Robert Tepper, who would later write the song "No Easy Way Out" for the movie Rocky IV.
Benny told us: "One night Robert Tepper and I were up writing songs.
It was about a week before we were leaving for Miami to cut the first big album, which was Never Run, Never Hide.
We thought that we already had the hit song, so did Polydor Records.
It was a song called 'Might Have Been Love.' But at the last minute we're sitting there one night at my apartment trying to write.
Bobby kept playing the chord changes and we tried 18 melodies and 30 kinds of lyrics and all of a sudden the key in the door turned and I said, 'Oh my God, it's daylight.' Because we liked to keep the blinds down.
And in she walks, 16 years old, dressed for school in a miniskirt, little stacked heels, adorable, 16-going-on-21.
She said, 'You've been up all night?' and of course it was obvious.
I said, 'Yeah, we have.' She says, 'Okay, come on, Zanky,' and she walks the dog out.
When she leaves and goes out the door, my partner goes, 'Oh, my God.' I said, 'Hey, Bob. She's just 16 years old, leave her alone.' And literally five minutes later I said, 'Play that lick again, Bobby.'
So he played the lick and I went (singing), 'she's just 16 years old, leave her alone, they say.' Then I thought about her dad and what he had done, and that's where I got (singing),
'Separated by fools who don't know what love is yet.' The chorus was, 'you're too young for me, but if I could fly, I'd pick you up and take you into the night and show you love like you've never seen.'
Then the verse 'It's like having it all and letting it show.
It's like having a dream where nobody has a heart.
It's like having it all and watching it fall apart.'
Because his success was not the family's success; it was just his. 'I can't measure my love there's nothing compared to it' - it was all about the abandonment of this family and this 16-year-old girl."

While the song has stuck like glue to radio playlists, when it first came out, radio stations had some concerns.
Benny explains: "When it first was released, R&B stations all over America thought I was black.
Then they found out I was white and they dropped the record.
White radio was afraid to touch it because they thought it was about me dating a 16-year-old girl at my age.
So Polydor Records sent out like 3,000 letters to radio stations across the country explaining what the song was really about.
And the song got added and almost instantly started playing all over America."

When this song became a hit, Benny Mardones suddenly found himself with a great deal of money and fame, which he didn't handle very well.
He developed a cocaine addiction and got in the habit of drinking a bottle of whiskey every night.
He recorded the album Too Much To Lose the next year, but when it came time to tour and promote it, he was in Miami, wasted out of his mind.
His momentum was stopped cold and his record company, Polydor, lost interest.

He continued his descent until 1985, when his son Michael was born and he stopped using drugs.
His best friend pulled him together and flew him to Syracuse, where Benny started a new life away from the temptations of Miami.
The only white stuff he saw was snow - and plenty of it.

Benny became a local celebrity, met various women who helped raise his son (Michael's mom was in worse shape than Benny), and was a big concert draw in the area for the next 10 years.
In 1989, "Into The Night" was re-released after a "Where Are They Now?" feature on the Arizona radio station KZZP, which led to renewed interest in the song.
The influential program director Scott Shannon added it to his playlist in Los Angeles, and radio stations across the country followed suit.
A new version of the song was released, and this time it hit #20 in the US.
The song was the only one to chart twice in the '80s by the same artist.

Usher interpolated this song on the song "Making Love (Into the Night)" from his 2010 album Raymond v. Raymond.
 

rumble phish

BAMF+
Joined
Mar 31, 2002
Messages
12,533
Location
Modesto, CA
Read the #2 post/quote above.
Yeah, that well maybe but if ya gotta go through such a song and dance to "explain" your lyrics then that ain't what the song was about. There's at least a part of him in that song that wanted to bang a 16 year old, and that still kills it for me.
 
OP
Dameon

Dameon

BAMF+
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Messages
10,404
Location
Lafayette, LA
Website
TurboHayabusa.org
Yeah, that well maybe but if ya gotta go through such a song and dance to "explain" your lyrics then that ain't what the song was about. There's at least a part of him in that song that wanted to bang a 16 year old, and that still kills it for me.
You wouldn't care for me and my ways... I met my to-be wife when she was 17. We're still together, quite happily, after 27 years. If only other people's relationships could be so "doomed".
 

Master-Cylinder

Duck Loving Curmudgeon and Legendary Race Wrench
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
52,692
Location
Out in the field
Many, many songs were written aboot young girls. You know what? Doesn't bother me at all.
I think Rumble Fish is a closet statue remover helping tear down offensive statues, which appears to be all of them.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2001
Messages
24,329
Location
In a shack in a 1-horse town
All the angst about the young girl reminds me of an old joke...

A man goes to a psychiatrist. To start things off, the psychiatrist suggests they start with a Rorschach Test. He holds up the first picture and asks the man what he sees.
"A man and a woman making love in a park," the man replies.

The psychiatrist holds up the second picture and asks the man what he sees.
"A man and a woman making love in a boat."

He holds up the third picture.
"A man and a woman making love at the beach."

This goes on for the rest of the set of pictures; the man says he sees a man and a woman making love in every one of the pictures. At the end of the test, the psychiatrist looks over his notes and says, "It looks like you have a preoccupation with sex."

And the man replies, "Well, you're the one with all the dirty pictures."
 

rumble phish

BAMF+
Joined
Mar 31, 2002
Messages
12,533
Location
Modesto, CA
23. Is that a factor?
Not to get too personal, and of course you can certainly tell me to fuck off if you'd like (but of course, then I'll have my answer), but how old was she when you two consummated your relationship? Was she still living at home with her parents? Was she still in high school?
 

Austin_F

BAMF+
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
19,664
Didnt winger have a song she's only 17? I don't recall outrage at the time.
 

rumble phish

BAMF+
Joined
Mar 31, 2002
Messages
12,533
Location
Modesto, CA
Didnt winger have a song she's only 17? I don't recall outrage at the time.
Yeah, they did. Kick ass song. Of course, when it came out I was only 19 so it didn't strike that creepy chord with me. About six or seven years later I heard it on the radio and thought "umm, yeah, that's kinda creepy".
 

Stetson

BAMF
Joined
Nov 17, 2002
Messages
9,353
Location
Maine
Paul McCartney's girlfriend was 17 (I think he was 21 or 22) when he wrote "I saw her standing there" (She was just 17, you know what I mean) in the early 60's.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2001
Messages
24,329
Location
In a shack in a 1-horse town
I always liked this song... again, I generally don't think too much about lyrics, and I was in my mid 20's when the song came out. Heard it on the radio a couple months back and the wife was thoroughly disgusted! :lol:

.
 
OP
Dameon

Dameon

BAMF+
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Messages
10,404
Location
Lafayette, LA
Website
TurboHayabusa.org
Not to get too personal, and of course you can certainly tell me to fuck off if you'd like (but of course, then I'll have my answer), but how old was she when you two consummated your relationship? Was she still living at home with her parents? Was she still in high school?
On our our wedding night of course... :roll:

Yeah, I don't bring items that personal into the forum. Maybe in 2001, but not anymore. Maybe if we ever swap stories in person, you can meet her and ask her.

I don't put as much emphasis on age as society does. There was a time when the early teen years (13-15) were the norm for marriage and starting a family. Those were also the years when the average life expectancy was 50-60. I put more emphasis on maturity level. That differs for everyone. I've carried on coherent conversations with teenagers (male and female) and other times I couldn't stand to talk to other 20 year olds due to their immaturity and inability to form complex thoughts and translate that to meaningful conversation.

It all depends. I don't care for blanket statements in any aspect of life. I try not to make them and I try to debate them.
 
Top Bottom