(This is another entry in the series of things we always thought were okay and inoffensive, but have turned out to be horrible, following my complete smackdown of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, found here. Herein I extensively and exclusively reference the song “Please Come to Boston” by Dave Loggins. If you are unfamiliar with it, you will find nothing wondrous in what’s to follow. Please seek out, and then return here for the vivisection. That is all. In fact, here, watch this, then read, if you like. Sorry about the crap, homemade YouTube quality.)
Also known popularly as the “I’m the number one fan of the man from Tennessee” song, “Please Come to Boston” is the sort of sappy love song that is pretty much forgettable as soon as it ends, but people generally hold in good opinion. I’m no music critic, it might be the greatest slice of music genius since “Minnie the Moocher” and I wouldn’t know it. I can say “It’s catchy” or “It’s got that cool funky beat” or “I can relate to 99 Problems, cause my bitch ain’t one!” but I can’t really break it down further than that.
However, musicality aside, I’ve got a pretty serious problem with “Please Come to Boston.” There are a lot of facts presented in this piece of work that show without a doubt that a) this guy was absolutely right to get the hell out of Tennessee in the first place but b) presents no reason why he even still communicates with this harping shrew of a woman. Let us begin at the beginning.
So this guy, for reasons unknown, went to Boston. He’s staying with some friends, but for a long enough period of time that he invites his ladyfriend to come along, and take up her trade on the street. Sure, he doesn’t have a job yet, but he’s got prospects, and considering he at least believes she’d be in to selling paintings on the sidewalk, she must not have a whole hell of a lot going on back home. So he asks her to come.
And what’s her response? “No, won’t you come home to me.” Now, he moved to Boston for a reason, and things seem to be going pretty well. All he wants is his goddamn ladyfriend to come hang out in Boston, a fun city with shellfish and patriotic historical landmarks galore. But she flat out refuses. “Boston ain’t your kind of town,” she assumes, despite the fact that he’s chosen to be there. And what’s the one thing she points to as to why not? “There ain’t no gold.” What the Christ kind of reason is that?! What, the gold is the reason people are flocking to Tennessee?? The other part of her rationale is that “There ain’t nobody like me.” This horrible, egotistical bitch has got herself on such a pedestal that she really believes there’s no one in Boston better than her. And for some reason this guy must believe her, as he asks her to come along, which would then put somebody “like her” there – namely, her. But no, she says no, gives terrible reasons, and life moves on.
Oh, and she’s the number one fan of the man from Tennessee, which we have to assume is the guy telling this tale of misery. If she’s such a fan, why doesn’t she want him to follow his dreams of hanging out in the lovely, colonial wonderfulness of Boston? Maybe she just has a problem with the city, maybe she just doesn’t like New England, okay fair enough. I’ll buy that. Until the next verse, anyway.
So this guy up and moves to Denver, again, for reasons unknown. But Denver is vastly different from Boston in most regards. He’s way the hell up in the mountains, no lingering smell of fish markets, not nearly as many intellectual snobs as in Beantown. Denver! What’s better than Denver? Despite the debacle their conversation was earlier, surely she’ll consider coming to Denver? Denver’s freakin’ gorgeous!
But, she says no. Again, she makes wild assumptions about what sort of town is this man’s “kind of town.” Apparently, in her warped, twisted opinions about this great country of ours, Denver doesn’t fit the bill either. You know why? That’s right! There’s no gold! What the holy hell does this woman want out of life? This social degenerate who think Tennessee is the goddamn bee’s knees, who’s leeching off society while trying to make it as an artist in the Ozarks is putting down beautiful, mountainous, sprawling Denver because there’s no gold?!
Clearly this guy is crazy in love with this broad, or just plain loony. What else explains him trying to get her to follow him around the country when she’s obviously too backwards to want to go? She wants love on her own terms! She’s selfish and awful, and deserves to be left cold and alone in Tennessee. The hell with her. This guy should just stay up in the mountains and shout “I love you” in the canyon to someone who appreciates him. But no, through the witty use of proclaiming she’s his “number one fan” (which sounds awful stalker-ish), she’s still got this guy under her thumb.
But is it possible he’s just happened to pick the two cities she hates more than anything on Earth? Maybe she thinks the Boston Tea Party was complete horseshit and she never liked John Elway’s teeth. Okay, that’s kinda reasonable, I guess. Anything’s possible. And maybe he loves her so much he’s willing to keep moving around looking for somewhere that will please her, but also that won’t be in godforsaken Tennessee. And maybe she thinks he’ll just end up a failure and have to crawl back south. So far, we have no indication he’s any sort of success anywhere. He just seems to be enjoying himself in various beautiful surroundings. And good for him. Besides the soul draining conversations he has with this manipulative sow, his life seems pretty nice.
Still, he’s a wandering soul, traveling around and we’ll never know why. It’s what the man feels he needs to do. Up until now, we might as well assume he’s a hobo, aimless, broke, with only this goddamn millstone back in Tennessee grounding him to anything. Might as well go back, right? I mean, she’s clearly not going to let up. And what the hell is he doing with his life? So screw this guy. No feeling sorry for him. Things haven’t worked out, and now he’s just being a selfish douche. Go on back, there’s nothing for you anywhere else.
Oh, but then there’s the last verse. L.A. He’s still all sorts of “Come out to L.A.” If you thought he might have commitment problems and that’s why he bailed the hell out of TN that shit is dispelled right here. “Please come to L.A. and live forever,” he says! Forever! That’s not even “Come sleep on my Boston friends floor while I try to score a job schlepping coffee.” He’s prepared to make the big leap, despite the fact that this self-absorbed, unsupportive witch has never shown the least bit of interest in what he wants. But, we can go further than that with the L.A. portion of the tale.
“I live in a house that looks out over the ocean.” Holy Jesus Christ. This guy has hit the big time! He’s not in some walk up cold water flat in Compton, this guy has got beachfront property in L.A.! Do you have any idea what sort of moolah this guy is raking down to afford a place like that? He could buy and sell you and me a hundred times over with a pad like that and the bankroll to match! He’s doing great! Who the hell wouldn’t want to go live with this rich guy they were already into to begin with in goddamn L.A. with the great weather and the movie stars and the Jack-in-the-Box burger joints?
This miserable bitch, that’s who. “Please come to L.A., she just said ‘No.'” At this point, seriously, what is even the debate? She’s never going to see the light. You can even tell her self confidence in her argument has completely broken down by now. Instead of her assured assumptions about the past places he’s been, now she’s all “L.A. can’t be your kind of town.” She has no clue, she’s just grasping and trying to insinuate herself into his thought process. Sure, she tries the “there ain’t no gold” shit again, but now this guy is living Scrooge McDuck style, trust me, there’s all the gold in the damn world in this man’s L.A. She has no reason not to go, and if she’s really the number one fan of the man from Tennessee, she goes, right? Nope. Turns him down cold.
And you know what? Considering this horror has now stretched from coast to coast and this imbecile still subjects himself to her whining about him not wanting to give up on his wandering from one awesome city to another, we have to assume he ultimately ends up back there, stuck in some goddamn backwater town, supporting this hippie artist broad who just can’t give up her precious Tennessee lifestyle. You can argue that maybe she lives in Memphis or Nashville, but there’s no way in hell that’s the case. This is small town thinking she’s evincing here, narrow, walled-in, isolationist thinking, hunting raccoon thinking, Mountain Dew for breakfast thinking. Did you see Winter’s Bone? This is Winter’s Bone thinking.
If this guy were your friend, you’d constantly be reminding him what an awesome life he has, and how much sweet, aspiring actress ass he could be getting if he’d just untether himself from the Machiavellian anchor howling at him from across the country. Get out there and live a little! Throw some Gatsby style parties on the beach, son! Your California life doesn’t have to be too hard to build! If you’re into starving artist types, well shit, L.A. has tons of those. The waitresses at any diner are hotter than every woman in Tennessee. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Wake the hell up, ass!
But he’s a lost cause. He’ll end up back there, his back forever turned on his dreams, wasting away in front of the television, or at the gas station, or in a tree stand, mind rotting while coming up with ways to earn money to support his wastrel, lazy wife and their countless stupid children. Doomed.
That’s the message of “Please Come to Boston.” Fuck your dreams.
And you know the honest to God worst part of all this? Despite having the most unlikable characters in any song I’ve ever heard, I still kind of like this song. I’ve got it on the iPod. I can’t help it. You suck, Dave Loggins. You suck a lot.