Pink Fairies – I Wish I Was a Girl

With an opening line of “all the boys come out to see me”, a flamboyantly flaming moniker like the Pink Fairies, a song titled ‘I Wish I Was a Girl’ and a totally out there drummer going by the name of Twink, one may be forgiven for assuming that this already excellent gay, gay world we now live in has just gone full-blown tool shed stratospheric. Whether otherworldly homosexuality has actually occurred or not, I like to think that despite their hairy butchness and yob-soaked lad-like behaviour, that London’s Pink Fairies will be somewhere circling our collective hedonistic psyches if and when the event truly does arise (pun intended).

The Pink Fairies pre-dated punk… whatever that is. They beat Motorhead to the loud ‘n’ heavy pub rock punch, and blew fellow Ladbroke Grove contemporaries like Hawkwind and The Deviants into sonic smithereens.

Debuting with 1971’s ‘Never Neverland’ – an okay but not totally convincing slab of straight-up rock meets half-assed psych and other such noodlings – by 1973’s difficult third and final album ‘Kings of Oblivion‘ the boys had honed their balls-out rock prowess to within an inch of its life. Cranking up with the proto-punk ‘City Kids’ and featuring the seminal ‘Chromium Plating’ and the anthemic ‘When’s the Fun Begin’, this cornerstone LP is full of brat, snarl and punk rock snot with an onslaught of searing lead breaks that seems to lift a leaf straight from the James Williamson playbook from the Iggy and the Stooges release from earlier that year, ‘Raw Power‘.

But it’s the near ten-minute sweep of side A’s ‘I Wish I Was a Girl’ that acts as the beacon for all that is pure, good and right about rock ‘n’ roll; misunderstood lyrics, a cracking intro, a fore-fronted, melodic bass, ambitious lead into an equally ambitious bridge, and an epic outro that puts Floyd, The Who and mid-seventies Zeppelin pretence way back in the rearview mirror of an often stale and somewhat corrupted r’n’r landscape.

In actual fact, songwriter, Fairies guitarist and early Motorhead member Larry Wallis set the man-love confusion straight (pun not intended) in a 1987 interview where he stated:

Well, everybody thought I was saying, “I’m a homosexual. I’m a girl trapped in this man’s body.” Well I wasn’t. I was just saying, “I wish I was a girl ’cause they get it so easy. Any girl can go home with a chap seven nights a week if she wants. That’s why I wished I was a girl.”

Quite certain he meant transexual but hey, the guy did write one of the greatest rock songs in history. Let’s cut him some slack. By the way, who the hell wouldn’t want to get laid every night of the week?

Whatever the man meant by his forever questioned lyrics, I believe that before we listen, we should sing kum ba yah campsite style; don’t ask me why.

Let’s practice:

All the boys come down to see me

I know they can’t believe me

I don’t need their coffee bars

Or dirt-track super stars

I don’t need their coffee bars

Or clapped-out racing cars

Oh girl!

As a child I was the only one

My school days weren’t much fun

As a child I was the only one

And I can’t say I was a son of a gun


I wish I was a girl

As a street fighter I don’t make it

When the boys cut loose I can’t take it

The sight of blood don’t turn me on

When the trouble breaks out, boys, then I’m long gone


I wish I was a girl

Oh I’d trip down the street in my fashion

Arousing the latest passion

If they misunderstand my eye

They don’t know that I’m just after their guy

I wish I was a girl

– lyrics by Larry Wallis, Intersong Music Ltd., 1973


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Benny Two-Shoes

Filling the void between grouchy dinosaurism and current day hipster snobbery, Benny Two-Shoes is the type of guy who kidnaps control of the stereo at sweet sixteen parties and does not relinquish until every last teenybopper leaves a fully-fledged Stooges fan.   

You can listen to the latest episodes, hosted by Benny Two-Shoes, on Roadkill Radio!

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