Go All The Way/With You In My Life

Released 1972 on Capitol
The Seth Man, September 2000ce
If there’s one thing about “Go All The Way” (the very finest song Eric Carmen ever wrote and sang) it’s teenage as hell. Also a male fantasy par excellence, one that modern day females may probably prefer not in the least. But far from a blues-infected phallus lord, “Go All The Way” sees Carmen’s Goddess pleading for HIM to give it to her in the most persuasive way. And although he’s holding back, he still can’t believe his luck. What a yearning, innocent and sexy rock’n’roll fantasy fuelled by a barrage of hooks fired through with slashing, roar out guitar through a heavily, compressed production that makes the guitar and drums resound as though and buffeting currents of air back (most noticeable as the guitar riffs halt in the beginning). The chorus is sung in a voice about as high as any man would care to in ’72, but his vocal high wire act pays off in full as it nails first date innocence in a three minute teenage dream come true about as complex in its arrangement as it is simple in its description of the ultimate dating scenario. And not with just anyone, either, but:

Die über babe.
The hot one.
The RED hot one.
The one.

You know who she is by her grace, her beauty, and by the way she walks. The first time you saw her. The day she wore THAT SWEATER to school. Everything about her was just too much for words. And she never dated, ever. Not even one of the leering bull-fruit jocks, each and every one of them fully cognizant that if they so much as came away without anything less than home base, they’d immediately have to talk their parents into shipping them off to private school, or leave school to join the navy.

But one day you completely chance upon an encounter with her. Golden opportunity numero uno, dig, and you feel like puking you’re so charged up to even be in her presence in broad daylight. But as it transpires she’s actually friendly, and you crib what little you know about ballet or horses or some other like-minded feminine interest. She is the GODDESS, and just as you feel this golden moment will pass forever, you blurt out “Uh, you want to see a movie tonight?” because you feel so helpless you could fucking cry and you just want to see her again. Huh?

She just said the ONLY word that matters right now and forevermore: ‘Yes.’ Turns out she dug you all along, but you were so fucking QUIET she thought you weren’t interested. Hell, she probably had you pegged as the dork which you probably were anyway, but that doesn’t matter; you’ve been a dog chasing a car all these months and now it looks like you’re finally caught up. But what the hell does a dog know about driving a car? About as much as you do about girls, except you love ‘em so much and thought if even one of them ever knew how you felt, they’d reciprocate your feelings at once. Ha: being a teenaged guy perpetually bombarded by gallons of hormones that seek to clear a 6-lane highway to directly link your brain with your penis has left you totally in the dark with the fact that girls mature far quicker, so the deck is loaded from the get go. So in the meantime (read as: several years), you’re crazy. But not crazy enough not to arrange the time and place to meet and she walks off, even turning to wave a goodbye smile. You just hold your head all the way home, asking yourself what now, Casanova (By the way, she is also a good two years older than you, long-legged, blonde and well, I said it before: a GODDESS.)

Seconds pass like minutes and minutes pass like hours before that afternoon turns into Saturday night, and you’re beset with demons of insecurity, agitation and anticipation until you stroll up to her house. She answers the door and smiles and she looks…different. Not only more beautiful than ever before (even more so than on the immortal Day of The Sweater) because her social armour is all cast aside and her eyes, mouth and cheeks are made up stunningly and she is completely relaxed. She invites you inside, and from there, it’s all flashing by at the speed at of light. You dodge ballet questions and get her laughing at your parodies of all her teachers at school, punning on their names from hare to eternity, which is great because her laugh is sexy as hell. You ease further into her good graces over a Tab, telling a couple more slightly risqué jokes when she lets you know she’s no longer interested in going to see the movie. DON’T LEAVE, DUMMY she just wants to watch television, pop some corn “Something cozy, y’know?” she says as she heads to the kitchen.

It strikes you only now that the rest of the house has been unnaturally quiet. From the other room you ask where her parents are.
“They’re out of town for the weekend. You want something to drink?”

You shift slightly in your seat before you answer in the affirmative, and she reenters the room with two glasses, handing you one. As you drink it, you ask what it is. From the other side of the room, she dims the living room light and replies, “Why, does it taste funny?”
“No, not at all...”

“Don’t you like rum and Coca-Cola?” she asks, taking a long drink, keeping her eyes trained on you the entire time.
You’re two years away from your first hangover, and she’s now plying you with alcohol. And lucky for you, you have no idea what this means.
“Oh, yeah, sure,” you try to remain casual (and in doing so, quickly empty the glass in seconds) but even more casually she comes and sits next to you on the love seat. You old fox, you unwittingly chose the love seat and not the davenport. She notices this and smiles.

“Why did you choose the love seat instead of the davenport?”
“Why would I want to sit all the way in Iowa?” you joke, because you’re not only a wiseass but this is the most alcohol you’ve consumed up to this point in your life, and besides she’s just getting more and more beautiful with each passing moment and it’s making you...nervous.
“Iowa?” She now looks confused. Uh, oh.
“Sure...Davenport’s a town in Iowa,” you explain desperately, and now make waving motions with your hands while rolling you’re eyes, saying “Y’know...c’mon, get it, already...”

When she does, her head tilts back in total silence and instead of kicking you out for your insolence she nearly splits herself with uproarious laughter. You notice strands of her hair have strayed from the majority of her neatly arranged mane, and it looks great. She’s now hysterically laughing on the floor, and you get up and stand in front of her, addressing an imaginary audience, “For my next trick, ladies and gentlemen...” setting off further explosions of hilarity. By the dim light she finally recovers and still smiling, looks at you in a fixed, slightly determined way with piercing blue eyes. She then relieves you of your empty glass and places it on the table. You’re trying to not tremble, and the room is completely silent, except for the creasing of fabric as she seats herself carefully next to you and the crackling of energy from her body, now pressed gently against yours. And brushing aside one curtain of hair from her face, she eases her mouth into yours. And for a long time, the world is now free of you both. Shaking her long blonde tresses free, she whispers in your burning ear an equally burning plea:

“Baby, please…go all the way…”

This single always evokes that totally pre-intercourse teenage mindset when even the most impossibly out-of-reach über babe could be just a kiss away. But more importantly, that it could happen even to you.

(Operating as an ultimate teen raw power pop triumvirate alongside “Go All The Way’ are two other Eric Carmen-penned singles: “I Wanna Be With You” and “Ecstasy.” Raspberries albums as a whole tend to fall over into notoriously syrupy-ness, but these three tracks are light years above and beyond everything else remotely power pop.)