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Alquin - Wheelchair Groupie CD (album) cover

WHEELCHAIR GROUPIE

Alquin

Eclectic Prog


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patrickq
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars "Wheelchair Groupie"/ "Mr. Widow" was a single released on Polydor in the Netherlands. In the US, an edited version of "Stranger" was the single, with "Mr. Widow" as the b-side. All are taken from Alquin's third album, Nobody Can Wait Forever.

Other than the title, "Wheelchair Groupie" is standard-issue AOR of the period. But wait, what's a "wheelchair groupie?" According to unrbandictionary.com, "wheelchair" has several slang meanings in American English, although none sheds more light on the term than the lyrics do. There are two verses: "She moved her chair up on the stage / her Hasselblad was on her knees" and "Her wonderboy came down the stairs / with silver pants and golden hair." There's a pre-chorus, "watch her eyes / she looks so happy / see her smile / I know it's not for me," leading into a refrain of "wheelchair groupie, oh wheelchair groupie!" That no special comment is made on her wonderboy's descent of a stairway makes me think he's not literally in a wheelchair. Oh well.

The b-side, "Mr. Widow" also mentions a commercial product in its first verse: "well, well, baby, sure I saw your yellow Jensen parked outside." The subject of this song is a sophisticated woman who's dating older men - - ages 66 and 95, to be exact. Just like in "Wheelchair Groupie," the singer interjects himself: "the richer you live / the poorer you die / you don't even know what's on my mind." (In case you're curious, "Stranger" could possibly be about the same woman. In the first line it sounds like the singer says "she's been runnin' around." Beyond that, though, it's not so clear.)

Compared to "Wheelchair Groupie," "Mr. Widow" is a bit poppier. Given the group's sound, either could've been at least a minor hit in the US in 1975. What's strange is how different that sound was from their first two albums, Marks (1972) and Mountain Queen (1973). While I would classify those LPs as art-rock, the songs on this single are anything but. Apparently the band had changed direction by the time they released Nobody Can Wait Forever. That title makes me wonder.

Anyway, nothing special here, in my opinion. For those interested in this style of radio-friendly rock from the Netherlands, I'd suggest Watts in a Tank (1980) by Diesel, also on Polydor.

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Posted Tuesday, June 4, 2019 | Review Permalink

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