Getting ‘Reckless’ | AspenTimes.com
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Getting ‘Reckless’

Barry Smith

In the summer of 1984 two important things happened: I graduated from high school and my younger brother, Bryan, bought the soundtrack to the movie “Breakin’.” This cassette contained a song which affects my life to this day: “Reckless.”Let me tell you about it …The song is sung, “rapped,” if you will, by none other than a pre-gangsta Ice-T. “Reckless” tells the tale of the song’s DJ, Chris “The Glove” Taylor, and how, despite the new innovations in the high-pressure DJ world of the early ’80s (“remixes, scratches and cuts …”), The Glove has remained “the turntable wizard of the hip-hop scene.” And when it comes to performing his wizardry he is … yep, he’s reckless!At various points in the song The Glove starts scratching away on his turntable. Now, I’m guessing that, regardless of musical preference, by now we’ve all heard what record scratching sounds like. But at that moment, in 1984, it was a sound I (and much of the country) had never heard.I wasn’t even sure how the sound was being made, but it sounded like someone was standing with their pants zipper in front of the microphone and zipping it up and down to the beat. The visual was a funny one (clearly my criteria for humor hasn’t advanced much in the last 20 years) and for the next few weeks Bryan and I listened to that song over and over, laughing each time a scratch/zipper solo came around.Soon we had the song committed to memory, so out came the video camera, which went on a tripod in the garage. I set up the boom box in the corner, pushed play and Bryan and I began our loosely choreographed video version of “Reckless,” with me lip synching and Bryan zip synching. I was pretty unconvincing as Ice-T, but Bryan nailed each zipper solo with zip-for-zip perfection. The result was, at least to us, really funny.We played the video for our parents, and they thought it was funny, too. It became known as “The Zipper Song,” and was required viewing for anyone who was unlucky enough to visit our house between 1984 and 1987.Now, two decades later, I still have the original VHS of the Zipper Song, along with countless hours of other family video. My plan is to edit all of those hours of birthday parties, Easter egg hunts and family members saying, “Barry, put the &%#! camera away!” into a nice little family DVD. And the Zipper Song, given its place in family lore, will be the pivotal offering.That is, assuming I can find a new copy of “Reckless.”After 20 years of deterioration and countless replays, the sound on the video is awful. I need some fresh audio to lay over the video track so that it really … you know, kicks.For the past year, and especially in the past month, I have been diligently searching the Internet for this song. My search has been complicated by the fact that there is a 12-inch remix of the song, which is widely available amongst MP3 “traders,” but it won’t do because the zipper sounds won’t match. Not to bog you down with too much detail …I recently found an original CD copy on eBay – bidding started at $150! Are you kidding me? I e-mailed the seller with the entire story you’ve just read, suggesting that they have pity and rip an MP3 of “Reckless” and e-mail it to me. I know this violates every possible eBay ethic (and copyright law), but this is how desperate I’ve become. The seller hasn’t gotten back to me yet, so I can only assume they’ve sent my name to the proper authorities by now.So now I’m turning to you – you know who you are. Somewhere out there one of you has the “Breakin'” soundtrack (not to be confused with “Breakin’ 2 – Electric Boogaloo”) stored in a box with your parachute pants. And I want it. I need it. Please e-mail me now saying, “I’ve got a copy, and it’s all yours,” so that I can get on with the things that really matter in life.In return, I promise to never make you watch “The Zipper Song.”Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is barry@Irrelativity.com, and his very own Web page is at http://www.Irrelativity.com


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