Polk Street Rag

Album: Octoberon (1976)
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Songfacts®:

  • This uptempo John Lees composition was inspired by the film Deep Throat, a low budget and somewhat off-beat sex comedy that was released in 1972; it became a massive box office success, bringing its leading actress, Linda Lovelace, worldwide celebrity and notoriety virtually overnight. In the film, Lovelace plays a woman with a strange anatomical peculiarity. The phrase "deep throat" refers to a sexual act which needs no elaborating here; it has since become a popular culture reference; Deep Throat was the pseudonym used for an informant in the Watergate affair.
  • Polk Street is a notorious red light district of San Francisco; the band were there when Deep Throat was released. The most noticeable feature of "Polk Street Rag" is the undisguised contempt of the lyric, and in the singer's voice. This contempt is richly deserved. Prior to making Deep Throat, Lovelace had "starred" in a film that can only be described as vile and utterly depraved.

    Eventually, she turned against the porn industry with a vengeance, and made all manner of lurid allegations against her ex-husband, who had also been her manager, blaming him rather than herself for her descent into depravity. It is doubtful if Lees knew any of this when he wrote "Polk Street Rag" but he sums up Lovelace poetically: "Was it in your mind, 'cause it sure wasn't out of sight." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

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