Whither art thou, oh goddess of pitch and timing?
Remember when Anne Murray
lesbian wet dream? She was a gym teacher in Nova Scotia turned hit maker. An old university classmate of Murray's once insisted to me that Annie was known as the big dyke on campus. And so we all went gaga, even as mainstream Canuckistan embraced Murray for her earnest blandness.
"Like a certain persistent myth of Canada, Anne Murray
is emblematic of simple, wholesome, unsoiled virtue. She is the driven snow that blankets our nation like a cloak of downy innocence, that protects us from the libidinous nastiness emanating from across the border," write the authors of "Mondo Canuck."
"That's why so many Canadians were more than a little pissed at [punk Yank music critic] Lester Bangs
(a most un-Canadian name) when he dared to imagine what he might whisper in her 'well-formed Canadian ear.' How dare he?
"After all, as Larry Leblanc
wrote in Maclean's
in 1974, 'If you close your eyes and think of a naked Anne Murray, parts of her always come up airbrushed."
These days, she's the queen of the mushy hetero wedding anthems: "You Needed Me," "I Just Fall in Love Again," "Could I have this dance?" And "Snowbird"!!!
But a select few always understood. Like those who listened to her actually speak: Murray once called the Culture Club
hit "Karma Chameleon" "a piece of shit." Of the girl band Bananarama:
"They're three broads from London."
And that Saskatchewan farmer who once grabbed her at a concert and wouldn't let go -- the freak who introduced the concept of stalking to the Canadian public. (I expect Murray's hubby was none too pleased, either.)
But married or not, we've always claimed Murray. Leblanc again: "Even though Anne remains decidedly heterosexual she has the flinty good looks, the athletic figure, broad shoulders and boyish hairstyle that naturally make her a darling of the butch set."
Respond the "Mondo Canuck" boys: "Flinty good looks? The Chicago Tribune
put it rather less poetically: 'There's always going to be this lingering whiff of phys. ed. classes about the woman."
Indeed. But that, you moronic git of a reviewer, was a plus. And still is.