Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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OMGWTFLOL: Custom – “Hey Mister” (2001)

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on January 31, 2007

From the Vengaboys to the final season of Roseanne, OMGWTFLOL covers some of the most bizarre and inexplicable moments in Pop Culture history.

I don’t know how I missed this one. Recently brough to my attention by a friend of mine (who apparently heard a bunch of people reminiscing about it and was as clueless as I was), Custom’s “Hey Mister” is the heartwarming tale of some jackass (pictured above–could he really have looked any different?) informing a girl’s father that she is, in the words of AMG scribe Brian O’Neil “being schtupped by the sinning singer.”

Now, as far as I can see, there are two ways to play a song like this–with naive sweetness and (seemingly) total sincerity, like “Stacy’s Mom,” or with maximum rancor and obnoxiousness, like “Wait (The Whisper Song)”. But Custom, a.k.a. Duane Lavold, goes for that risky middle ground, with a sunny, sensitive-sounding melody (AMG says the accompanying album Fast sounds like Beck if he liked Judas Priest unironically but if this song is any indication, it sounds more like if Maroon 5 liked the movie Porky’s unironically) and the innocuous lead-off lyric “I really like your daughter,” while just about every other part of the song played for the ultimate shock value. Some of the more charming examples:

“When I’m horny like thirsty / She’s a bottle of water”

“You raised her so well / Now she’s calling me dad”

“God gave her the perfect body / Now I’m all up in it”

“Your daughter’s a freak / your daughters’s a pro / When I’m done with her she’ll do one of your bros”

And my personal favorite, from the chorus:

“It’s not she’s a tramp / It’s not she’s not pure / She just likes getting her fuck on / and it’s a good one at that I’m sure”

And that’s not even mentioning lyrics from the song’s super-ridiculous bridge. Throughout the song, it’s unclear why Duane is telling his girl’s father all the lurid details of their relationship–whether he’s trying to justify the relationship, get the father’s approval, or just to brag for no particular reason, and the bridge cements the latter as the song’s modus operandi. Apparently Duane has something of a general vendetta out for the girl’s father, drinking all his booze, wrecking all his cars, stealing all his credit cards, even putting boogers in his peanut butter (???) The song concludes with Lavold concluding “I hope I never have a daughter,” while, of course, a child choir sings in the background. Nice.

Maybe it’d been too long since the last hit song to brag about pedophilia, or maybe in a post-9/11 world, “Hey Mister” struck a chord with the inner asshole in all of us, but somehow, “Hey Mister” was actually a minor hit, reaching #20 on the Modern Rock charts, the first and last Custom song to make a dent. What’s more, apparently the song’s video was deemed too risque for MTV (though given the song, it probably could’ve been a whole lot worse), causing enough controversy to get written about in Rolling Stone. In the article, Lavold tries to justify the song and video:

“They completely misunderstood my intent. I wrote the song after I had watched my sister get hit on in a bar. I realized that I’m not thrilled with the idea of my sister having sex, but I can’t deny her that pleasure. It’s her right. Some fans have reacted to that, too, like the song’s a feminist anthem…”

Yes, Duane, I’m sure that the teenage females of America were thrilled that they finally had a song that represented their desire to date sleazy older dudes who like to brag about their sexual escapades to their parents. Meanwhile, I’m sure your sister doesn’t mind at all that she was namechecked as the inspiration behind one of the dirtiest, most despicable hit songs in history, I’m sure no one made fun of her for it in high school or anything (and Sister Christian thought she had it rough).

If anyone ever wondered why people seem to hate fratboys so much, this song is why.


4 Responses to “OMGWTFLOL: Custom – “Hey Mister” (2001)”

  1. I have some (non fratboy) friends who introduced me to this song and to the guy’s whole album.

    Not good.

  2. Victor said

    While I have no qualms with pedophilia in pop. I’m more disturbed by the fact that Duncan Sheik produced the album and provided some background vocals.

  3. Andrew Unterberger said

    haha, I knew I left something out. Makes me even more skeptical that the rest of the album sounds like Beck unironically liking Judas Priest–there’s no way Duncan Sheik would involve himself with a project that was any harder than, say, Lifehouse.

  4. Music Fan said

    What the hell are you guys talking about? Do you read what you right or just spew whatever comes to your mind. Have you listened to the album? Maroon 5? Are you joking? Are the lyrics nice? No, but the song is honest, which is a nice change compared to most of the BS out there. Heaven forbid a song actually gives an honest view of the world. While shitty, this is the view some young men have. Believe me, I have a daughter and when she gets to dating age this song will keep me up at night, but to say it is anything less than incredible is ignorance. And the fact the video was banned from MTV. what a joke. Look at the shit Lady Gaga puts out, much more “risque” than this music video. Oh well.

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