Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Interpreting Velvet Goldmine

What does this song actually mean? I've heard repeatedly that it was originally about making out with another guy and got toned down before it was released as a B-side without Bowie's permission. But where is the evidence? I've never been able to figure out where this assertion started.

Going to the lyrics as actually released isn't particularly compelling one way or another. I have come up with a sort of gay interpretation, as you can see, but it isn't particularly gay. It could be things other than making out with a guy.

You got crazy legs, you got amazing head
Okay, this could be about someone giving really good fellatio, but it could just as easily be anything else. And it isn't as if women cannot give 'head'. Or it could be about someone with a pretty face expressed in a inarticulate way.
You got rings on your fingers and your hair's hot red
You got wit from my tongue, name on the sun
I gotcha going to my breast
Cause you're the only one, who uses school to pleasure
Nothing else particularly gay here. I can't even figure out what "uses school to pleasure" might mean. Gets lots of sex at school?
You make me act real gone, you make me trawl along
I had to ravish your capsule, suck you dry
This could mean sucking on another guys penis. I think this line and the one following are the most open to a gay interpretation.
Feel the teeth in your bone, heal ya head with my own
This is what I'm talking about. Bone is a pretty common euphemism for a penis and someone playfully biting and then healing with his own? Sounds pretty gay to me.
Why if I don't have you home, we'll have to fight alone
Hang all together
The only thing I can figure is the last two lines are about "us against the world", nothing particularly gay about that, though it could be.
Velvet goldmine, you stroke me like the rain
Stroking could be about stroking a cock, but it could be just nonsense. I mean what exactly does Velvet Goldmine mean?
Snake it, take it, panther princess you must stay
Take his penis? Possibly, but again what does the rest of it mean?
Velvet goldmine, naked on your chain
Got nothing.
I'll be your king volcano right for you again and again
I could see volcano being about ejaculation.
My velvet goldmine
You're my taste, my trip, I'll be your master zip
Sounds like pure nonsense lyrics made up because the rhyme and sound vaguely dirty without actually meaning anything.
I'll suck your hair for kicks, you'll make me jump to my feet
Long haired guy or a girl?
So you'll give me your hand, give me your sound
Let my sea wash your face, I'm falling, I can't stand
Oooh! put your mink on
CHORUS Repeats
Shoot you down, bang bang
Did he change his mind here and 'shoot down' his friend about having sex? Or is it about shooting in another sense?
CHORUS Repeats

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