ILM's 2005 collaborative mix project hoonja-doonja!

February 07, 2005

Bobby Orlando, "German Girl"

Bobby Orlando is a man. A man from Westchester, who turned down a musical scholarship at age 18 to become a boxer. Boxing wasn't for him, however--too pretty a face to waste in a ring, too much fun had hanging out with the New York Dolls--and he started writing and producing music. Dance music. 1980 is the dawn of O Records, a time when disco was dead, or so they started to say, but the HI-NRG freestyle craze hadn't yet hit its peak. A risky proposition, some said to our hero Bobby. Never one to not take the random, insane plunge, though, he beat the naysayers and O Records was a success; its most enduring act being the Flirts, a sort of female Menudo, Bobby Orlando with an ever-rotating selection of female session singers to carry the lyrics. Well, the Flirts and the Pet Shop Boys. Ah yes: Bobby and the Pet Shop Boys. Our man Bobby basically wrote "West End Girls." The original version of the song still exists on The Best of O Records Vol. 2. Situation with a complication: your producer has just written you the best song you've had in your repertoire so far, but keeps trying to set you up on dates with the Flirts and convince you you aren't really gay. What do you do? The Pet Shop Boys, they steal the song and move to another record label, leaving their producer without a penny for his song. Which made Bobby very angry, indeed. So angry, in fact, that he basically shut down shop, went to law school, passed the NYS Bar, and sued the Pet Shop Boys himself in a rather Kill Bill-level of vengeance obsession.

Bobby Orlando took the millions he won off the Pet Shop Boys and now lives back in Westchester, where he breeds show Rottweilers. But not before he released two fantastic, classic freestyle/HI-NRG albums, one of which contains "German Girl," a song that sort of sounds like what would've happened had the Sisters of Mercy been from Astoria or Brooklyn.

Bobby Orlando, you have done every single thing I've ever wanted to do, from boxing to screwing over the Pet Shop Boys. You are my hero, my idol, the greatest man who ever lived and I salute you.

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