If My Boyfriend is a Pilot had existed outside of its Macross context, it would’ve been the sort of summer song picked up on holiday abroad, something you’d hear in every disco until you got sick of it, then when you hear it years later on the radio, get an incredibly nostalgic flashback from. It’s not a particularly good song to be honest, just annoyingly catchy, but in its proper context it is something special, as iblessall tries to explain:
It’s just a singer describing her plane-loving boyfriend (an idol wishing the robot-obsessed fans of her franchise would pay attention to her). And because it is not special, it endures. It is a song that exists throughout franchise iterations, all the while unbound to specific events.
The Doylean explanation as for why My Boyfriend is a Pilot is so important would be just because it’s repeated over and over again, first in the original Macross saga, then as explicit callbacks to it in the sequels. But that’s a boring explanation. Far more interesting to present a case for why it became not just popular but a symbol that still resonates some sixty years later.
Which got me thinking. My Boyfriend is a Pilot is a song that in normal circumstances would’ve never become a hit, at best a minor curiosity. But then the SDF Macross found itself on the far end of the Solar System laden with some 70,000 refugees from Macross City who needed distraction from their circumstances, while Lynn Minway wanted to become an idol, with her not quite boyfriend Hikaru Ichijyo enlisting to join the ship’s defence forces and become a Valkyrie pilot. It’s because of her circumstances she can put the right emotions into what’s otherwise an ordinary pop ditty and it’s because of the circumstances the Macross finds itself in that it becomes a hit, resonating with its population. And when Zentradi infiltrants come across it, unaccustomed as they are to any form of culture, it hits them hard; smuggling it with them to their mothership it becomes a hit with the enemy as well. Hmm, that sounds a lot like a certain WWII love song…
Lili Marleen became a hit with both Axis and Allied soldiers because it spoke directly to that sense of longing for normality, nostalgia for home and girlfriend that’s universal among soldiers of any nation. The same goes for My Boyfriend is a Pilot in a sense, but its importance is even greater because it is literally the song that ended the war. It’s no wonder it stayed relevant all those years after it; they probably teach it in school. And what with the near-destruction of Earth and humanity at the end of Macross, it was pretty much Year Zero for culture as well, which means most of the Macrossverse pop culture is built on Lynn Minmay and My Boyfriend is a Pilot anyway…
Blue monday as it could’ve sounded had it been released in 1933, rather than 1983, courtesy of the BBC and the Orkestra Obsolete
Pantera’s Phil Anselmo engaged in his usual tired racist provocation, Robb Flynn calls him out on it, as well as the larger metal community for allowing it. It’s no secret that metal has a bit of a racism problem, so it’s good to see people be outspoken about it and not trying to sweep it under the carpet.
Drop your new album on Friday, die on Sunday. Rock and Roll as fuck.
Can’t say much more about Bowie than everybody has already said by now. As a child of the eighties I at first only knew him as one of those old fogey rockers who’d lived on beyond their prime, delivering the occassional half-decent song but mostly irrelevant. That and Space Oddity, a favourite of my music teacher in high school. It’s only been much, much later that I learned of the real Bowie. Even as he was dying he could still deliver something as powerful as this. A lesser artist would give their eyeteeth to have achieved even a tenth of his.