Erm… who’s ya hot friend?

Posted on March 31, 2021 by Alex Mayor

Not from memory – a series of unreliable liner notes for the book+album “Not From Above!” (Unbound, 2019)

Your Hot Friend!

I’ve always been weak-kneed at the sight of a fun double-meaning, so when I first encountered the phrase “your hot friend?” in some TV drama, my brain instantly glommed onto it. So, what if said friend was… the devil? Or at least, someone pretty high up in Satanic operations – corner office, nice car, the whole package?

A century ago, this was quite the depiction.

Then in a hazy caffeinated daze, I started to wonder if it might be the title of a hit single for a buzzy New York band, the kind that used to be perpetually emerging bleary-eyed into the lenses of Dazed & Confused photo features. A band who, let us be very clear at this point, had definitely signed papers with a suave, silver-tongued man, early on in their career. For, really, how could one turn him down? 

I also love how the devil is sort of a familiar yet over-determined concept. Sure, he’s a requirement of any narrative structure, got to have your suited-and-booted bad guy. But he remains sort of only credible in pop culture or literary settings. (Note to Catholics: blame my irreligious UK state education). He’s a bit too much. Like so many Netflix shows, you’ve got to write some pretty big cheques to make sense of it all.

I recently heard one of those rare Republican never-Trumpers, Adam Kitzinger, talking on the Bill Maher show, about how his family had decided he was the devil for having turned on Trump. Maher briefly paused the sympathetic love-in to point out that didn’t he, Kitzinger, actually believe the devil was real though? Kitzinger ducked and tried to change the topic, but one rather felt his credibility as a member of the “reality-based community” dissolved as the camera pulled away. Once more, there was that awful laughter… as the devil had somehow arrived in the room, only to whizz out of shot, a puff of smoke and silky cape, a shape disappearing through a window. You have to remember it’s 2021 sometimes.

Anyway, back to the tune. My thanks, then as now, to the inestimable Garo Nahoulakhian for wigging out on guitar at the end of the song like his very life depended upon it… and the ever-mighty 🥁 sticks-work of Mike Monaghan, who knew how to unleash the controlled madness that our Satanic overlords would surely insist upon.

So… the devil there. [Insert picture of Claes Bang.] Still hot.

You can find the ‘Your Hot Friend‘ in my new Spotify playlist “International Jetset Mindtravel Darlings vol IX‘, which also has a decent amount of intercontinental pop and other tuneful perversions