The Hoodoo Gurus are an Australian band that achieved minor success in the late 80s with this song. They’re very popular in Australia; they just never got big anywhere else. When I finally tracked down the CD version of this on Magnum Cum Louder, it was used. And cheap. That’s how we did it in the days before itunes, kids. (Come to think of it, that’s how we have to do it with anything that hasn’t made it to itunes for whatever reason. The music from Cowboy Bebop, anyone?)
Of course, we’re so myopic here in the US, I had to look them up on Wikipedia to find out anything. Like that they’re still going strong today. And that “Come Anytime” was used as the theme for an Aussie TV show. But since it didn’t happen stateside, it might as well have happened on the moon. It almost did. Australia is really far away. It’s Monday there right now. I think I might be babbling.
“Come Anytime” is a wonderful gem of a song. It’s not a diamond in the rough; it’s fully cut, polished, and set. It’s catchy, with lyrics that have a nice edge to them–think double entendre, not sword. And I’ve always loved the opening guitar chords, strummed on an acoustic. They have a sly, laughing quality, almost like a come on–think a guy in a bar coming on with the cheesiest pick up line ever. In fact, that might describe the whole song. See, this is one of those songs that could use a little back story. The closest I can come to analyzing the lyrics is that it’s all on big come on. The guy in the song seems to have a friends with benefits arrangement with the girl he’s singing to (or guy. . . that’s another thing that’s not too specific here). He’s pretty easygoing, “What is it you want from me? There isn’t much I will not do. If it’s only company, you know I might need that, too.” He is willing to carry on a casual relationship, telling her to “Come anytime, I won’t give you pressure.” But he’d happily make it a more serious relationship if she gave the word: “Maybe I’m a gun for hire, but baby, don’t we make quite a team?”
This is one of those songs that never really got a fair shake over here. (It did get a mention in the musical litany of Semisonic’s “Singing in my Sleep.”) I hope this inspires someone to give it another chance. To make it easy, here’s the video (which really doesn’t do it justice, but that’s how I first heard it).