She Brakes for Rainbows

That title certainly sounds like some hippie, summer-of-love bullshit. A t-shirt from a vendor in Golden Gate Park, years after all the actual hippies got cleared out. But that’s not the vibe this song is going for at all. It makes braking for rainbows sound kind of melancholy. What? When has the word ‘melancholy’ ever appeared in an article about The B-52’s? They’re the band who made it their life’s mission to be the opposite of everything sad and blue. Well, that was before their guitarist died of AIDS. Although their Bouncing Off the Satellites album was recorded before Ricky Wilson’s death, and none of the other band members were aware that he was ill, there’s a definitely something-ain’t-right vibe about the record. Maybe the band was just running out of steam after a really solid run of really good records, and also maybe they at least had to have suspected that Wilson wasn’t well. HIV can take years to develop into full-blown AIDS, but once it does, the effects are brutal. The person is walking around but their immune system is already dead. Not exactly conducive to writing and recording happytime party fun music. Hence, a lousy and depressing B-52’s album that disappeared upon arrival, because the band understandably was in no state to for promotional activities. Still, some of the songs have a weird beauty; not party music, but crying on the morning after music.