Ready To Burn You With Love 'Til You're Sore
:: I'm A Love Volcano ::
What can you say about R&B music produced during this particular era? It was all about drum machines and synths and midi, and blatant sex. Walt Tucker and Gary Johnson were a couple of aspiring superstars from Compton, CA who booked some time in a Hawthorne recording studio owned and operated by a guy named Emitt Rhodes. The year was 1983 and Prince was hot, as was Michael Jackson and Rick James. Tucker and Johnson had a formula and a song, co-written by the two of them along with Tucker's mom, novelist Martha Hinton-Tucker.
Wha-wha-what? "I'm A Love Volcano" was written by a couple of dudes and one of the dudes' mom? Yep. Turns out Walter Tucker III is no mere kid from the ghetto. His dad, Walter Tucker Jr. was a prominent dentist, and civic leader, who by the time this record was made had been elected Mayor of Compton. Also by this time Walt III had already graduated from Princeton, then USC with a law degree, then Georgetown with a juris doctor. He passed the bar the year after Love Volcano came out.
So the record stiffed, but it wasn't like Walt Tucker had nothing to fall back on. He was a successful prosecutor working for the DA's office in LA when the elder Mayor Tucker passed away after about 9 years in office. Walt III was elected to succeed the old man the following year. The year after that, Walt ran for congress and won, leaving his brother Kenneth to unsuccessfully run for Mayor.
By all accounts, Tucker made a fine congressman. On top of everything else (including writing sexy songs with his mom), Tucker was an ordained minister, who would often give Sunday morning sermons at his family church in Compton. The fairy tale came to an abrupt end though, when he was convicted of bribery and extortion as the result of a sting operation while he was Mayor of Compton. He served 27 months in prison and is now a church pastor in Illinois.
I couldn't find any information on Gary Johnson, so who knows? Oh, and that recording engineer in Hawthorne, Emitt Rhodes? You gotta wonder what he thought of I'm A Love Volcano...