I Survived Genesis — The Awl

I too remember the era of Genesis (the band). And, while it they were oppressively ubiquitous (Phil Collins even appeared on Miami Vice from time to time),  at least their output displayed some variety.

Meanwhile, from 1988 until sometime in the early 90’s, radio stations that would never air “Good Vibrations” or “Sloop John B” just would not stop playing “Kokomo.” Even as a child, I was able to pick up on just how slimy and gross the whole thing was. The intro, which lists off a bunch of tropical vacation spots, is the worst part; they manage to sing the word “Aruba” with the timbre of a lowing moo-cow.

And while the song is meant to conjure up the feeling of relaxation and mellowness, as I child I perceived it as merely sleepy. As an adult, the perception is far more gross: picture two sun-burnt avatars of late eighties conventionality, sweating booze out of every pore of their peeling skins, with serious plans to touch each other later that evening, while remnants of their cheap straw hats stubbornly cling to their heads.

Genesis! A cool breeze, compared to Kokomo.


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