HAL: The album’s called Bums Like A Star. And I’d just like to point out that most stars burn no lower than 3,000 degrees Centigrade all the way up to millions of degrees at the surface of the star.
MARTIN: That’s a fascinating point. Could you please hold up the record cover so we could examine it?
HAL: There it is.
JESSE: The band’s called Stone Fury???
MARTIN: That’s right.
HAL: But the record’s called Burns Like A Star.
MARTIN: OK, it says it contains four hits on the cover, and it lists the four hits.† But listen to these hits: ‚ÄúBreak Down The Wall,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúLife Is Too Lonely,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúShannon, You Lose‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúI Hate To Sleep Alone.‚ÄĚ I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve yet to hear a single tune.
HAL: You mean you haven’t heard them on the radio.
MARTIN: It says “contains the hits,” yet there’s absolutely…
HAL: That’s because no one’s playing them!
MARTIN: But it says “contains the hits”!
JESSE: What label is it on?
MARTIN: Let’s see.† Oh, it’s on MCA. That’s very strange. They usually, uh, get their fair share of hits.
HAL: How many records really have four hits? I mean, that would be really unusual.
MARTIN: You remember the theory, don’t you, that every hit on a record will really mean a million in sales?
MARTIN: So, with four hits, this album should be selling four million copies! And–ironically–I don’t even recognize this album cover. And it’s been out for a couple of weeks. There’s something wrong going on here.†
HAL: Maybe there’s another edition, with a different cover, that you wouldn’t recognize, you know, if you were seeing it.
MARTIN: Well, I have to admit this is a terrible cover. I mean, no one in the world would know who this band is.
HAL: (looks at cover) Is that an observatory?
MARTIN: It’s a phallic symbol, I guess.
HAL: You know what it looks like? It looks like a water tower. But there are observatories in the background.
JESSE: Well, they obviously want to be heavy metal stars…
MARTIN: Yeah. Burns Like A Star.
HAL: Ahh! You mean, like there’s two kinds of stars–the kind of stars that inhabit the galaxies‚Ä¶and the stars that inhabit the stage!
MARTIN: That’s clever! OK, that’s a good title.
HAL: We didn’t see that right away, either. Almost.
MARTIN: Oh-oh. Looking at the pictures on the back, there’s some trouble here. Uh, I don’t want to be cruel but, uh–three of these are pretty good-looking, but the guy in the back there … he’s a dog!
JESSE: What? The guy on the left?
HAL: He looks kinda–well yeah, he’s a dog–but the other guy, he looks like he’s … you know–queer. (much laughter) †He’s got a perm.
MARTIN: Which one?
HAL: The guy on the right, in the back. What’s his name?
MARTIN: I don’t know. But ya know? By golly, you are right.
JESSE: Hey, let me see that.
MARTIN: Just one second!† Well, Hal may have a point. The last cut, side one: “Mama’s Love”
HAL: (laughs) Say no more! They do look kinda, you know, kinda tough. You know. I mean–if you saw them on the street, you wouldn’t wanna, you know, fuck with them, you know?
JESSE: Compared to somebody like Blackie Lawless or, uh…Nikki Sixx or Mick Mars?
HAL: But they look tougher than we do, right?
JESSE: This guy looks like a girl!
HAL: And the other guy looks like a queer!
MARTIN: And the other guy looks like a dog!
HAL: You’re right.
JESSE: (stares at LP cover in awe) This guy looks like a woman! (laughter)
MARTIN: Actually, let’s face facts. They were smart not to put their cover on the picture!
HAL: Their picture on the cover!
MARTIN: That’s right. I’m sorry.
JESSE: (points) This guy’s going for the Presley/Billy Idol look, with his lips.
MARTIN: Or Tom Petty, sort of…
MARTIN: Well, there’s only one thing to do now.
JESSE: (still staring at cover) This guy’s going for the Neal Schon look…
HAL: Well, look–we’re making a mistake here. Because we should be talking about the hits rather than what the guys look like.†
MARTIN: Like women! Yeah. OK, well let’s consider the fact there’s four hits on a record we’ve never heard.† Right?
MARTIN: Number two: their pictures aren’t on the cover.† Right?
MARTIN: Three: their actual picture itself proves they’re an ugly band! And their lack of masculinity! Finally, fact number four–it’s produced by Andy Johns, a fairly reputable producer. Right?
JESSE: Look, here’s their names.
HAL: Well, buried somewhere, sure.
JESSE: Listen–“Lenny Wolf,” “Bruce Gowdy,” “Rich Wilson,” “Jody Cortez.”
MARTIN: I’d be willing to bet I know who the Bruce is.
HAL: “Jody Cortez”? “Jody Cortez”? (much laughter)
JESSE: It’s like you gotta have a Juan Croucier, you gotta have a little ethnicity.
HAL: Are you saying this is a formulized band? Are we gonna go that far?
MARTIN: Well, there’s only one thing we can do.
JESSE: I mean, they don’t even play–it’s sort of like the Monkees, maybe. Down here they have little asterisks, and on one asterisk it says “George Perilli, drums.” And then they’ve got two asterisks–“Peter Parnegg, bass.” So they don’t even play their own instruments!
MARTIN: OK. Let’s get down to the final analysis. Should we play this record and even decide if it’s good, or not?
HAL: No. That would be pointless.
MARTIN: You’re right.
JESSE: No. If you wanna listen to heavy metal that looks like women, you might as well listen to Girlschool!
MARTIN: You’re quite right. So, should we listen to it?
HAL, MARTIN & JESSE: (together) NO!
HAL: So say we all.
–Hal Jordan, Martin Dio and Jesse Grace
(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK ‚ÄėN‚Äô ROLL, May 1985)